Mrs Shorrocks

News from our Unite Ambassadors

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Feb 112019
 

As trained Unite Ambassadors we have been thinking hard about how we can make things better for young people. We are aware that many teenagers and younger children struggle to get their use of the Internet and social media right and that it causes a lot of friendship issues and upset for the girls in our school. So, when we heard about Safer Internet Day 2019 we thought that this was something we should highlight and promote to others.

We met to discuss our ideas and decided that we would raise awareness of this international event to the Alfriston pupils and to their parents. There was a lot of material available online to support us and we wanted to present it in a whole school assembly. We divided up the script amongst the five of us and began rehearsing. Meanwhile we each contributed ideas to a document which would give advice to parents. We wanted to invite the parents into school to listen to us but this wasn’t possible and so we decided to send the information home to parents in an email.

 

 

 

On 4th February we were ready to give our assembly to highlight Safer Internet Day on 5th February. However, we had a problem as the projector in the hall had lost its remote and nobody could turn it on. We had to think fast and improvise. We borrowed a white sheet from boarding and an antique projector was brought out of retirement. We also decided to make the assembly more interactive and made some True/False cards to find out how much pupils knew about the social media platforms they use. We told them about Big Data and how Instagram was being forced to change its ways following the death of Molly Russell.

Later that week we asked pupils to contribute their own ideas about how to make the Internet a better place and made a display of their answers. We made several tweets about this too on @alfristonschool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that we have made a small difference and that our pupils know that it is their right and their responsibility to make the Internet better.

Next we want to highlight homelessness in our local community.

 

Aimee, Alice, Chloe, Claire, Louise

Feb 062019
 

A group of Alfriston students were invited to attend a Youth Voice event at The Hub in High Wycombe.

Eight of our students took part in a range of workshops and discussions with other school representatives. We were able to share issues and concerns that affect young people today and try to come up with solutions or ideas to help resolve these.

Topics which all the representatives thought were worthy of discussion were:

– Mental Health
– Staying safe
– Transport
– Ideas for teens (things to do)

Our ideas were then presented to the panel led by Youth services, Mind and the police force.

The girls came up with some great ideas for ways in which the youth services could evolve in the future, such as open air cinemas for the young and social spaces where they could gather safely with friends.

All the girls involved should be very proud of themselves, as am I.

 

Lisa Hance

 

Poetry at Alfriston

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Jan 222019
 

Alfriston school

Take students with some difficulties
And take some happiness
Then get caring teachers who can give them a smile
Remove negativity within the students and teachers
Add a huge swimming pool to the school
Then stir slowly to let them take some time to settle in
Mix it slowly as well to not rush them
Then take a blend of something special
Combine them together
And turn up the heat for it grow
Sprinkle in some kindness
Leave the ingredients to simmer.
As they mix and blend allow them to work together to flourish in to hard working people
Allow time to let it cool down so that everyone is calm and confident in their abilities
Add some people to help others to not be nervous or scared
Serve with some peace and friendly love
And enjoy

By Victoria

 

 

Alfriston School

Take creative students
And mix in some awesome teachers
Then put warm water in the swimming pool so that anyone can go in it
Remove all the nasty people
Add more classes that people like the most
Then stir smoothly
Mix in a calm place
Then take a blend of happiness and sadness
Combine friends and support teachers
And turn up the heat
Sprinkle English
Leave the ingredients to simmer.
As they mix and blend allow pupils to flourish
Allow time to play with family
Add a bit more time in the hall for P. E.
Serve with friendship
And enjoy

By Annabel

 

What Parents Should Know about Screen Time

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Jan 082019
 

This week, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health released their report into screen time. The good news is that they haven’t found any compelling evidence that screen time is harmful – but unfortunately for the many confused parents out there, there’s no definitive line on what a ‘safe’ amount of screen time looks like, either.

But there are sensible, evidence-based ways to think about screen time limits – and, by getting your kids involved, you can find a solution that really works for your family.

Here’s where to start.

1. Remember that not all screen time is the same
Not all online activities are equal: doing something creative or learning new skills are very different from mindless scrolling on social media. Perhaps being online is allowing them to socialise in a positive way – or they’re just doing something that they really enjoy. If there are real benefits, then the amount of time they spend doing it is less important.

You know your child better than anyone. As long as screen time isn’t interfering with schoolwork or other activities, and isn’t having a noticeable effect on their mood, then try not to obsess over the numbers – there’s probably no need to panic.

2. How long should kids spend online per day?

That said, most parents will want to set some kind of limit. The ‘Goldilocks theory’ put forward by academics from Oxford and Cardiff universities suggests that a certain level of screen time can be beneficial, helping children develop their creativity and communication skills. Around 1 to 2 hours daily during the week and a bit longer at the weekends is considered ‘just right’ for teens – after that the benefits gradually taper off and the negative effects increase. Younger children, aged 4-7 years old, should probably spend no more than an hour a day online – this can go up to around an hour and a half as they get older.

3. Boundaries really do work if you stick to them
The important thing is to get your child involved in the process so that they understand why you’re setting limits. Be very clear about your reasons and ask them what they think – getting buy-in at this stage can really help to avoid arguments later on. Remember that teens, in particular, might need to spend longer online to complete their homework.

Once you’ve agreed the limits, stick to them! It can be tempting to give up in the face of pester power or teenage sulks, but it will get easier every time you stick to your guns.

4. Look out for signs that screen time is having a negative effect

Keep an eye on how your child’s screen time may be affecting other areas of their life. If they’re spending time with friends and getting enough sleep and exercise, then they may already have a healthy balance. Talk to your child about what they’re doing online and get them to think about how it makes them feel when they spend time doing these things. You never know, they may actually agree that staying up late gaming is making them too tired for school the next day, or admit that constant scrolling through social media is starting to affect their self-esteem.

5. Use it as an opportunity to have quality family time
Although it is good to set aside time when the family is not using screens – outdoor activities, chats at meal times, day trips at the weekend – this doesn’t mean that you can’t also get involved in using screens together. If you know that your child enjoys playing games online, organise a family gaming night or give them ownership to plan something for the whole family to get stuck in. If you take a real interest in what they like to do online, they’re more likely to come to you if something goes wrong, or they make a mistake along the way.

You can read the original article and other news from Parent Zone here

Thirsty Thursday Has Arrived!

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Nov 232018
 

The idea of Thirsty Thursday is for the Head or Deputy Head to invite pupils who have gone over and above during the week to share a hot drink and a chat together. It is an opportunity to spend time with members of the school who get on quietly and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. This special time will alternate each week between upper school (Y10, 11, P16 ) and lower school.

Our school council announced this scheme in an assembly and invited all pupils to vote on the question of whether this scheme should be implemented. When the votes were counted the result was conclusive, though not unanimous, with 90% of pupils in favour.

So today is the inaugural Thirsty Thursday and we are preparing to celebrate the dedication of the first set of pupils from Y7, Y8 and Y9, one pupil from each pastoral group. We are all eager to see who has been chosen…check the pupil portal to find out.

It so happens that today marks 50 days of this school term so what a great way to launch our latest initiative!

Anti Bullying Week 2018

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Nov 182018
 

Following a consultation with over 800 children, teachers and members of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, it emerged that a top priority was showing that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that children and young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, in their homes and communities, and online.

The aims of the week were to support schools and other settings to help children and young people, school staff, parents and other professionals who work with children to understand:

The definition of respect
That bullying is a behaviour choice
That we can respectfully disagree with each other i.e. we don’t have to be best friends or always agree with each other but we do have to respect each other
That we all need to choose to respect each other both face to face and online

At Alfriston, pupils have discussed these issues in their PSHE lessons and many have worked on producing their own Choose Respect posters.

We started off the week with Friendship Friday when we invited pupils to check with a friend what their favourite fruit was and submit an order form for that fruit. A week later we enjoyed Fruity Friday when older pupils had made up a fruit basket for each pastoral group based on the orders received.

When all the posters have been completed and handed in, they will be made up into a booklet to be displayed in our reception area and the message of Choose Respect will be reiterated throughout the year.

Nov 142018
 

Did you know that democracy was a Greek word made up of “Dem” meaning people and “Crat” meaning ruler? Have you realised that General Elections are held on Thursdays? At least they have been ever since 1931. Do you know the difference between Parliament and Government?

Women first got the right to vote in 1918 after some unrest by politically active women. In the early 20th century women didn’t have the same rights as men – they couldn’t vote in elections and the majority could only get jobs as house servants. The suffragettes were a movement that campaigned for equal opportunities for women. As part of their protests the campaigners let off bombs, smashed shop windows and set fire to buildings – which meant they weren’t popular with everyone. You may have heard of people like Emmeline Pankhurst or Emily Davison.

 

 

 

 

 

The school council has put up a display board in the reception area at school and launched a colouring competition for pupils. In addition, they are holding a secret ballot about an initiative called Thirsty Thursdays. We will tell you more about this if the idea gets passed in the ballot.

Be Safe this Hallow e’en

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Oct 282018
 

Take a look at this advice from Rosie and Chloe…

 

  • ‘trick or treating’ is more fun and safer if you go in a small group with friends and family and a responsible adult to supervise.
  • stay on the doorstep or driveway where the responsible adult can see you.
  • if you play pranks that damage property this could result in arrest and a criminal record
  • throwing eggs or flour could get you into trouble so best not to do it
  • Hallowe’en can be a night that some residents dread, so remember to be respectful and polite
  • it is possible to print out posters to show whether you want to participate in “Trick or Treating” or not so check if people are displaying such a poster before you knock on the door

You could visit these websites for more advice, posters to print and fun ideas:

Thames Valley Police

safe4autumn.com

BBC

And now the clocks have changed make sure you are safe on the roads by dressing to be seen – wear light, reflective clothes or carry a lamp or torch so that drivers and your responsible adult can see you.

You can buy reflective badges and clips from the kiosk at school (prices start at 60p)

Our School Linking Project Update

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Jul 172018
 

We have now held the third and final meeting of this project with Beaconsfield High School.  On 4th July the whole of Y9 went to Becky High where we explored our community identities; where we live and our hopes for the future. The aim of this session was to discuss what our area could look like in 50 years’ time, taking inspiration from Martin Luther’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.

Pupils spent the day dreaming about their future but also sharing their fears for the future; asking questions like ‘Will there be an end to prejudice?’ ‘Will we ever become green and litter free?’ ‘Will the world finally understand the devastating impact of pollution?’  and ‘Will there be an end to bullying?’

After some initial awkwardness our pupils enjoyed a tour of the school in small groups which relaxed their nerves and they were happy to be placed in mixed groups. Pupils then worked in these small groups writing poems, stories, songs and creating illustrations but more importantly they spent time talking to one another and creating a connection.  The levels of cooperation between the girls was impressive  and the Becky High girls were excellent role models and leaders in the activities.

The highlight was when the girls presented their work and the ultimate success of this project was that many Alfriston pupils were able to stand up in front of the whole group and read out or describe what they had been doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project has brought two communities together that may have not met on their own. It has been a very valuable project and the girls have very much enjoyed working with each other and we are so proud of their commitment to the project. Both schools are very much looking forward to connecting again in the next academic year.

A few quotes from the girls:
‘It has been really interesting and nice to meet new people who we wouldn’t have met otherwise. We really want to continue next year’
‘It has been helpful to meet girls from other schools – a great opportunity to be kind to other people’
‘The Linking Project has been a great idea to meet people from different cultures and communities and it has been great to connect with other students from different schools’

 

 

School Council Action

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Jun 202018
 

This week School Council are promoting awareness of two national campaigns.

 

 

 

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. Pupils have learned about the plight of refugees through an assembly and in their PSHE lessons or pastoral time,

It is also the Week of Action for Send My Friend to School. Around the world there are a staggering 264 million children who cannot attend school and of these some 246 million children are out of school because of violence.

Alfriston pupils have been comparing safe and dangerous schools and completing posters which will be sent to our MP, Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan, to lobby her about the issue.

Click on the pictures to learn more.