Campaign Makers

Hi AGGS! In year 9 we’re doing a project called Campaign Makers, where my group and I had to choose a social issue that we were especially passionate about and also a charity that promotes the same cause.

We decided that our social issue was going to be homelessness; an issue which is most prevalent in Manchester currently, and as our charity we chose Trussell Trust, as they provide excellent help for people in difficult, unimaginable situations. This charity campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn for their help. They support a nationwide network of food banks and together they provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty.

Currently in the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. Imagine that, being a young, vulnerable person out on the streets all day, all year. The Trussell Trust support more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. Between April 2018 and March 2019, food banks in their network, provided a record 1.6 million food supplies to people experiencing the current homelessness crisis, a 19% increase on the previous year!

As part of the project, we were set the task of organising a social action, this means we had to be pro-active in raising awareness for our social issue in our community. So far, we have created ‘care packages’ including some essential items that a homeless person living rough may require, including toilet paper, tinned goods, hygiene products such as feminine products and wipes and much more. Now, we’ve understood how something so simple, such as these necessities, can be much more valuable and long-lasting for homeless person. Not only that, but they can also help people in crisis maintain dignity and feel human again. These care packages are now going to Trafford’s Trussell Trust Food Bank, in appreciation of the work they do for our community.

As well as making these packages, to raise awareness about our social issue, homelessness, we decided to write a blog post that would feature on the school’s Humanities blog to, hopefully, educate our fellow students on why we believe homelessness is a crisis to be dealt with today, not tomorrow…

We hope this inspires you to be more pro-active in your community and educated you more about such a significant issue, that is happening right now. If you would like to join us in demolishing homelessness for good, then you can drop off your food parcel or a non-food items to the RS department. For more information on what they are specifically looking for, you can visit their website – https://www.trusselltrust.org/

Thank you for taking your time to read this,

From students in Year 9

Year 8 Trip to the Synagogue

The trip to the Synagogue was an amazing experience! It was very interesting because it linked perfectly to what Year 8 have been studying in their RS lessons. We got the opportunity to ask the experts lots of questions, which was definitely not wasted! We were shown around and taught about the main features of a Synagogue and what happen when Jewish People worship. I learnt a lot from this trip. For example, we were told that Jewish People have a prayer for the Royal family, which originated as a way of thanking the Royal Family for allowing the Jewish Population back into England after their previous expulsion. Also, the fact that we got to see the Torah, Jewish people’s holy scripture was very exciting!! To be honest, I expected the Synagogue to be architecturally similar to a church; old and traditional. But to my surprise, the Synagogue was very modern. Overall, this was an awesome trip and was very valuable in helping with my understanding in this particular topic about Judaism.

Written by Fatima, Year 8

London Trip

The Y11 and Y10 citizenship classes went on a trip to London to explore the Supreme Courts and visit the Houses of Parliament. The journey to London, in all honesty, was incredibly exciting but also tiring, we took a tram to Piccadilly and then a train to London, Houston. We took the London underground, but we didn’t anticipate the noise, so I think a couple of us were left partially deaf! It was an incredible experience but also rather frightening as the crowds in Altrincham could not hold a candle to the influx of people that we faced in London. But, the train did have a café and they had free chocolates with every purchase and that was the highlight of the journey!

We went into the Supreme Court and we sat on the chairs that the judges, barristers and solicitors would have sat on. We did not spend too much time at the workshop within the court but in the time that had, we learnt a considerable amount, but what was most surprising is the fact that Supreme Court was formally established in 2009, only 10 years ago.

When visiting the Houses of Parliament, we had an amazing tour guide who was evidently passionate about her job. We were lucky enough to see the Speaker’s Procession where the speaker of the House of Commons moves from Speaker’s House through the Library Corridor, the Lower Waiting Hall, Central and Members’ Lobbies to the Chamber. We were stood in the Central Lobby and waved at the speaker and he waved back at us, he seemed really friendly.

Our guide took us inside the House of Commons and we watched the politicians discuss the issue at hand, and then we left a couple of minutes before Theresa May was due to come into Parliament and join in the discussion. We then did a workshop where we were split into two groups and had to argue about making one issue a law. Our topic was the curriculum for life and whether it should be mandatory to teach at schools. In the end, the votes were in favour of including the curriculum for life in the school curriculum, however we did hear impassioned arguments from both sides and our “speaker” had to bring order to the court more than once. Overall, it was enjoyable, and we did have a lot of fun arguing over the law.

After this, we met Graham Brady, our local MP and he talked about his experience in Parliament and what his role was in the House of Commons. We were allowed to ask him questions at the end of his talk and there were many people who were interested about his opinion on Brexit and also how he was able to become a politician. It was very interesting to be able to speak to a politician and ask him about his opinions on current issues because it is not something that we’re able to do often.

Overall, the trip was incredibly exciting but also very educational as I think I was able to understand Parliament more clearly and it was easier to understand what went on inside the House of Commons once we actually visited. It helped me to understand the difference between the roles of the House of Commons and the House of Lords since I was physically able to see what was different about the two and our tour guide helped a lot.

Written by Malaika K

My experience at the 2018 MGSMUN conference

We started the day with an opening ceremony where a teacher from MGS gave us an inspiring note to start the day and the Former Labour MP Nick Bent gave us a talk on the importance of Education and his work in Politics and how he had co-founded a non-profit organisation to help children from families who can’t afford much needed to tuition and give them a personal tutor.

We were then told where to go to find the room when our committees would be held. Once we had reached our committee room (I was in EnviroSoc) we sat behind a label of our designated country (for example, I was the delegate of Myanmar). We were then introduced to our chairs and were asked if we would like to read out our Policy Statements (for example, “Honourable delegates, esteemed chairs. The delegate of Myanmar is delighted to be here today and looks forward to debating (this was what I said) the issue of overpopulation and the issue of the problem with plastic. We hope to pass some effective resolutions and look forward to a fruitful debate. We then were given time to meet the other delegates and get as many as possible of them to sign our resolution (the first issue we debated the issue of the problem with plastic).

After we had all handed in our resolutions, the chairs picked the one they thought would be best to debate and we were all given a copy of the resolution. We then debated the resolution by asking questions and also at this time we submitted amendments. We then debated some amendments and then voted for the resolution as a whole (there was a break in the middle of this when you could go to the bathroom or the tuck shop). It was them lunch where went to the school canteen and ate as well as caught up with our friends in other committees. We later when back and debated the next resolution in a similar way. We were then show a video about the crisis and then went to a second break. We then debated possible solutions for the crisis (by submitting clauses) after we had finished we went the General ceremony.

We started by going through each committee and the clause that had been voted for in theirs. The different committees focused on different aspects of the crisis (for example, as I was EnviroSoc (which stands for Environment and Social committee) we focused on the social aspect (the crisis had little to do with the Environment) aka, how it affected people. We then, as our countries (we were sat on a table each with other delegates from other committees but we were all the same country (so should have all the same beliefs), voted on the clauses. Just like when we debated our resolutions a representative for the clause would debate for and then later another against, prior to voting. After this there was the award part of the ceremony.

During all the debates the chairs would mark down if the delegates had submitted amendments resolutions or just commented a lot if so the delegate could receive one of four awards, best young delegate, commended, highly Commended or Outstanding (which was the highest accolade). I received an award for commended which I was absolutely thrilled about. Another delegate for Myanmar received an Outstanding so our country had done very well. After all these awards the chairs announced how well the countries as a whole had done. Our country (Myanmar) overall came third which was a huge achievement. France, which was Manchester High School came second and Poland, which was Saint Ambrose, came first. Overall, I had an amazing day where I learnt lots and had lots of fun. Also special thanks to Mr Humphrys who was our supervisor for the day.

Written by Katie Y, Year 9

RS Quiz No 6 – Answers

  1. Can you name the Muslim female World War 2 veteran who was awarded a George Cross for bravery?
    She also went by the name Nora Baker and was a published author of Indian and American descent who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her service in the Special Operations Executive, the highest civilian decoration in the UK. As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II, and was Britain’s first Muslim war heroine.
  2. What was the name of the first mosque in Britain and who founded it?
    The earliest recorded mosque in Britain was founded in a Liverpool terrace house in 1889. The Muslim Institute was established by a group of 20 British converts to Islam, led by Sheikh Abdullah William Henry Quilliam (1856-1932). A local solicitor raised in a Methodist family, Quilliam had converted to Islam during his travels in Morocco.
  3. Where does the musical instrument the lute come from?
    The lute derives its name, as well as its distinctive shape, from the Arabic ‘ud, an instrument which is very much at the heart of Arabic musical life to this day. ‘Al ‘ud’ means ‘the wooden one.’ It came to Europe in the Middle Ages from Muslims in Moorish Spain.
  4. When the  Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation as a Prophet, who was the first to believe in him and support him?
    Khadijah, his wife. She was older than him and proposed in marriage to him before becoming the first to embrace Islam. She was a successful businesswoman in Mecca.
  5. 2 women in particular are mentioned as eternal role models in Chapter 66 of the Quran. Can you name them?
    Mary or Maryam, mother of Jesus and Aasiya, wife of Pharoah.
  6. Who built the first pinhole camera around 1000 AD?
    Ibn al Haytham also called Father of Modern Optics. He hailed from Iraq. His most famous work is the 7 volume book Kitab ul Manazir or Book of Optics. By using a dark room with a pinhole on one side and a white sheet on the other, he projected an inverted image of the objects outside the room on the sheet opposite. He called this the “qamara”. It was the world’s first camera obscura.
  7. What does Allahu Akbar mean?
    God is Great. It is also said by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians, amongst others. It is also used in the call to prayer.
  8. What chapter in the Quran is named after a much revered lady?
    Maryam or Mary
  9. What contribution did early Muslims make to modern surgery?
    Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally.
  10. Do you know what the words ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ mean?
    Islam and Muslim derive from the root Arabic word ‘slm’ which means submission to God. Muslims believe that though submission to God, peace is attained.