The Hour of Code is here!

 Community Links, computing, Curriculum, Uncategorized, Whole School  Comments Off on The Hour of Code is here!
Dec 062016
 

 

There aren’t many computer science weeks so we decided to make a big thing of it by inviting students from Stony Dean to join us for shared activities.   At first the boys joined Year 10 to explore the Hour of Code website and try out some of the coding activities.  The choices ranged from Disney’s Moana, Star Wars and Frozen, Minecraft and Flappy Bird.  Both the girls and the boys were nervous about working together at first but they soon forgot that they didn’t know each other and got down to coding.

Digital Camera

By the time the lesson changeover was ringing everyone was enjoying what they were doing and making good progress with the task.  The girls moved on to the next lesson but the boys stayed on to work with
a Year 9 class coming in to Computing.  By now they really were the experts and rose admirably to the challenge of sharing their skills with the beginners in Year 9.  These new pairings made rapid progress, completing activities and earning certificates.

Digital Camera

It was great to see pupils from the two schools working together so well and impressive to hear them chatting about computer science; solving problems and making things happen.

Digital Camera

Sound like fun? Visit https://hourofcode.com/uk/learn

Report from the Hockey Festival

 Community Links, Sport  Comments Off on Report from the Hockey Festival
Nov 302016
 

Hockey Alf 7

On Wednesday 23rd November, Chiltern Way Academy hosted a Hockey Festival for schools in the local area. The Festival was run by Alfriston School Sports Leaders alongside Miss Johnson.  All of the participants had a great day while getting engaged with the games as well as introducing themselves to pupils of neighbouring schools. The participants were divided into teams and the sports leaders led each team in an activity. These teams included players from each of the four schools. After a short break the pupils were put back into school teams and they all participated in a Hockey Tournament.

Alfriston drew two matches and won one.

The morning was a success as pupils were encouraged to communicate with each other during and between the games. This was a good method for them to “break the ice” with new people and be able to work as a team. Everyone involved enjoyed the afternoon and hopes to do it again soon.

The next event will be the year 7 and 8’s dance festival.

Do you want your Christmas to start early?

 Community Links, parental involvement, Whole School  Comments Off on Do you want your Christmas to start early?
Nov 242016
 

On Friday 2nd December our school will be holding a Christmas Bazaar in the hall. There will be fun games and food to eat. We will be raising money for our school and local charities. You will be able to buy crafts, cards and calendars. We will also have a tombola, hamper raffle and a cafe. The students get to go in first and need to bring a plastic bag. Parents can come along at 10.15 to 12.45. Come along and join the fun!

 

by Ionie

Nov 012016
 

When the fabulous boyband Boycode agreed to visit Alfriston, we were delighted not just because of their entertainment value but also because of the important message they brought about online safety and cyberbullying.

They didn’t claim to be experts but since they were at school just a few years ago, they felt they knew first hand exactly what pressures the girls might be under and they urged the girls to make the right decisions in life with respect to online safety, bullying and discrimination.
Their top tips for online safety were:
• Never give out personal information, such as telephone numbers, home address or details about your school, college or place of work – sometimes you don’t know who will end up with this information and what they could do with it.
• Never agree to meet someone you are in contact with over the internet. Remember, not everyone is who they say they are. If you don’t know who they are, how do you know they are a real person? People can easily set up fake profiles, with a picture that isn’t of them (use a story) – Catfish the TV show on MTV – Shows how many people actually pretend to be other people on the Internet, you don’t know that you are actually speaking to that person
• If someone says something that makes you feel upset, uncomfortable or threatened, save the messages but do not respond. Then tell a parent/carer/or report it online – If you respond you can make things worse and escalate the situation. Make the right decision and be the bigger person
• Never send pictures of yourself or any of your friends or family to anyone you meet online that you wouldn’t want other people to see. Once you send it, it could be sent/shown to other people, so if you wouldn’t want other people to see it – don’t send it!
• Follow the rules your parents/carers have set when using the internet
• Remember – spending too much time online can effect concentration, education, sleep and health
• Keep your profiles private – Check your privacy settings and keep everything private so not strangers can see any of your personal information
Report it and block it if you find something on the internet that makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
They also offered some helpful advice just in case the girls do fall victim to cyber bullying:

What to do

• Ignore— If you’re the victim of “minor teasing or name calling” ignore it if you can avoid it. Sometimes bullies are encouraged by seeing a reaction and the situation can become a lot worse.
• Record—Keep a record of bullying messages you receive. If you can show an adult either the messages themselves or a diary of when you received them, it may be easier to verify what went on and who the bully was.
• Reach out—Your parents, your teachers, your friends, and even police officers can help you deal with cyber bullying or discrimination. Speak to people that you trust. There is no reason to suffer alone when you are the target of bullying.
• Cut off the bully—The National Crime Prevention Council advises victims to stop all communication with the bully when possible. If it’s cyber bullying you may be able to block their phone number so you no longer receive their calls or texts. Facebook and twitter etc allow you to block other users so that they can no longer interact with you.
Report It— You can also report If you’re being bullied via a website, chances are that the bully is going against the website’s terms of use. Youtube, facebook etc have safety centres where you can report the activity and sometimes get the bully kicked off the site.

ceop

What Not to Do
• Sink to the bully’s level. Starting your own cyberbullying campaign against the bully will get you nowhere, it will only potentially make the situation worse
• Forward bullying content or messages. If someone sends you a bullying message, forwarding it to a friend only expands the problem. You never know how far an email chain can go.
• Believe the bully. Don’t let bullies destroy your self-esteem. No one deserves to be harassed. Bullies are cowards and their actions are often more about their own problems than they are about you. When bullying gets you down, talk about it with someone you trust who can build you back up.

Since the boys’ visit we have had an internet safety week in school when all the girls reflected on questions related to cyberbullying. In the upper school, pupils heard about the tragic story of Felix Alexander and the heart breaking open letter his mother wrote to the press. We all agreed that we should commit to BE KIND online and that if we are feeling bullied or lonely, it is so important to talk to someone about our feelings.
This is what Sophie wrote to Felix’s mum:

Dear Mrs Alexander

I am really sorry for your loss. I will try to be the better person and be kind to my friend and not hurt their feelings I will support my friends in every way even if they are going through hard time. If they are being bullied and together we can tell someone or ChildLine. I will do everything to stop them killing them self. I will never post any unkind messages to anyone.  If we all remember to be kind there will be no more cyberbullying ever. It is very important to talk to someone if you are worried or getting bullied and remember there is always someone you can talk to.

From Sophie

 
Meanwhile, if you want to hear Boycode for yourself of follow their progress you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Be Safe When you Trick or Treat!  

 Community Links, Extra Curricular, Student Council, Whole School  Comments Off on Be Safe When you Trick or Treat!  
Oct 182016
 

 

Hallowe’en is fast approaching and you’re probably thinking about going out trick or treating.  BUT before you do, think about keeping yourself and others safe.  Read through these guidelines and organise a safe outing

 

  1. Consider only approaching neighbours you know

This will keep you safer and make the experience more sociable

 

  1. Only head to houses that are decorated

People who decorate their houses are more likely to be interested and to have planned some treats.

 

  1. Be respectful of people and property

Not everybody celebrates Hallowe’en and not everybody will open the door or give you a treat.  That’s their choice and you must respect it. Do not cause any damage to their property and be respectful to them.

 

  1. Be wary of time

Don’t go knocking too late – even people who were feeling generous early in the evening may not be so keen in the late evening.

 

  1. Be grateful

Just as some households might have hoards of sweets ready for trick or treaters, others might be less prepared. If they go raiding through their cupboard to find something, and you’re not impressed by what they find, take it and be grateful anyway.

 

  1. Remember manners

Trick or treat aren’t the only words you know!  Make sure you remember to say please and thank you.  People value politeness.

 

  1. Take an adult with you or nearby

Hallowe’en falls after the clocks go back which means it will get dark very early.  Don’t put yourself at risk; invite an adult to supervise your outing.

 

Have fun trick or treating this year!

From Hope

On behalf of Student Council

Oct 032016
 

Your daughter has brought home a leaflet about the Love in a Box campaign.  If you haven’t seen it you can see the leaflet here.  Schools, churches, other organisations and individuals collect and pack items into shoeboxes for the Mustard Seed Relief Mission to send to under privileged children throughout Eastern Europe. They have sent on average 40,000 boxes each year and each one is individually received by a child.

This campaign is endorsed by our Student Council and we really urge you to take part.  You can create your own gift box or you can donate something for a class shoebox.  Your daughter will tell you what age group her pastoral group has decided to support.  You can see some ideas for what to send in as your contribution in the list below:

Boys 3 ‐ 5 years old. Toy cars / Ball / Jigsaw / Picture Book / Soft Sweets / Crayons / Pencils / Soft Toy / Soap / Flannel / Toothbrush / Toothpaste / Hairbrush / Comb/ HAT / GLOVES.

Girls 3 ‐ 5 years old. Toy dolly / everything else as above.

Girls 6 ‐ 11 years old. Toy Dolly / Skipping Rope / Jewellery / Ball / Playing Cards / Sweets / Book / Felt Tip Pens / Pencils / Paper / Soft Toy / Flannel / Toothbrush / Toothpaste / Soap / HAT / SCARF / GLOVES.

Boys 6 ‐ 11 years old. Toy car / Yoyo / Everything else as above.

Boys 12 ‐ 15 years old. Marbles / Travel games / Juggling Balls / Baseball Cap / Playing Cards / Geometry Set / Note Book / Pens / Pencils / Soft Toy / Sweets / Soap / Flannel/ /Toothpaste / toothbrush / GLOVES / SCARVES.

Girls 12 ‐ 15 years old Hair accessories / Jewellery / Mew make up / Perfume Stick / Talc / Deodorant / Dolly / Skipping Rope / Everything else as above.

 

If you haven’t got time to go shopping then you could simply send a donation towards the postage as each gift box costs £3.00 to send on its journey.

If you make up your own shoebox there are a few points to note:

  • Please wrap the box base and lid separately as they will need to be checked en route
  • Hats, gloves and scarves are the only items of clothing allowed
  • Please attach the sticker part of the leaflet to the box
  • If you can, please enclose a minimum £3 donation
  • Place an elastic band around the box to hold the lid on
  • Christmas cards and messages are encouraged but do NOT include private addresses
  • Completed boxes must be returned to school by 4th November ready for collection by Mustard Seed Missions

The Big Bang @ Bucks

 Community Links, Extra Curricular, Science  Comments Off on The Big Bang @ Bucks
Jun 272016
 

Y 10 pupils had a very busy day at The Big Bang @ Bucks on Monday.  The day featured many workshops and activities for visiting primary school pupils all presented by many different organisations. One such organisation was five of our very own year 10 pupils from Alfriston: Courtney, Charlotte, Nadia, Ayesha and Hope.

They worked brilliantly in leading 180 primary school pupils through activities to excite their interest in physics. The Alfriston pupils guided the primary school pupils through fun experiences involving electromagnetism. For some the highlight was ‘thinking putty’ although the Gauss gun (led by Courtney) was also very popular. image1

Why don’t you see what you can find out about ‘thinking putty’ on the internet?

 

May 262016
 

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting anxiously for an update on our expedition earlier this half term.  With that in mind, I thought I’d answer two of the most frequent questions I have been asked.

How did you get on?

I would call our expedition a huge success.  We arrived at Ben Nevis to excellent condition, bar the snow that was covering most of the mountain.  It was a bit of a push, but all of us got up the mountain, which is a huge accomplishment.  One of us even had ten minutes on top by himself, making him the tallest person in the UK for a very short time.

Scafell Pike went a little less according to plan.  While a large group forged ahead, a smaller group at the back made the decision, based on the weather and safety concerns, to call it a day halfway up the mountain and return to the bottom.  So, 8 of 12 made the summit, which I would still say is an excellent achievement.

Last on our list was Snowdon.  Due to arriving later than planned in Wales, we packed our head torches and started our climb almost as soon as we arrived.  Although we made great time up the mountain, it was not to be.  Poor light, less visibility, and dropping temperatures forced us off the mountain.  In hindsight, this was an excellent decision and one that no one has second guessed.

So, there you have it.  Our Three Peaks Challenge that became a one and a half peaks challenge.

What next?

We started this challenge as a physical and mental challenge but it has become so much more.  It has given us an opportunity to help give back to the school library.  Our original target for fundraising was £1000.  Unbelievably, we reached that inside of 6 days.  So, we decided to be a little more ambitious and increase the target to £2500.  Incredibly we hit that target on the last day of fundraising.

We are now beginning the process of improving the school’s library.  A questionnaire has been sent to pastoral tutors to get ideas from the pupils and we are working to decide how best to use the funds now available to us.

To everyone who has donated, supported us, or followed our adventures on twitter, thank you.  Thank you so much for your kindness, generosity, and dedication to making Alfriston School a place where our students have to opportunity to learn and to grow.  Again, thank you.

Mr VanDenBossche

Three Peaks Team

Year 9 visit Shakespeare’s Birth Place

 Community Links, Curriculum, English, Extra Curricular  Comments Off on Year 9 visit Shakespeare’s Birth Place
May 172016
 

On Tuesday the 10th May year 9 went to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford upon Avon. We drove there in two mini buses. It took us about an hour and a half to get there.

We   went in to a room where we looked at a puppet of Shakespeare. We also looked at the hats that they would have worn and their bowls and spoons which were made out of metal.

We went inside Shakespeare’s home. We learnt that the best bedroom was down stairs and the second best bedroom was upstairs. We also learned that they did not have toilets so they had buckets beside their bed!

When we finished Shakespeare’s home we went into the gift shop and bought some things about Shakespeare. The budget of money we had to bring was £5.00.

Our favourite part was when we were finding interesting facts about Shakespeare and his life. Our favourite fact was that the best bedroom and the best bed was only for guests.

 

Ionie and Hannah

Do you know which members of staff are taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge?

 Community Links, Extra Curricular, parental involvement, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Do you know which members of staff are taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge?
Apr 182016
 

I want to donate

 

…And the staff who are participating are:

  1. Mrs Younge

Mrs Younge is Head of English at Alfriston.  She joined the school this academic year and she likes afternoon tea but not the washing up!

She signed up for the Three Peaks Challenge  because she thinks it will be great to have a new and wider range of books in school for students to learn a love of reading!  She has been preparing for the challenge with lots of walks, jogs and cycle rides.  She is really hoping to complete all 3 mountains but she is worried about losing her footing and slipping over!

Please encourage her.  Perhaps you could offer her a cup of tea if she doesn’t slip over.

2. Mrs Jones

Mrs Jones, teaches Home Economics, Art, PHSE and D of E at Alfriston and is pastoral tutor to 9J. She has always been quite outdoorsy and enjoys camping and walking; her passion for mountains came about after she completed World Challenge to Guyana with students from her previous school.  She says she is not the fittest of people but will always try things outside her comfort zone.   She has previously climbed Mount Kenya, Mount Meru, Mount Kinabula and Kilimanjaro.  She so enjoys the peace and tranquillity of the scenery and open space and she would really like to complete her mountain leaders training.

Ask her what’s so great about mountains because she’ll be able to tell you!

3. Mrs Knibbs
Mrs Knibbs has just taken retirement, having taught PE at Alfriston School for many years!!!! She will be continuing to work with the South Bucks Special Schools Partnership and do some Supply teaching for Alfriston, when needed. She obviously loves all sports and she likes to take on new challenges, so the Three Peaks Challenge is definitely for her.

However, she fears that she may have to ‘pull out’ at the last minute as she is nursing a skiing injury but she hopes to be able to reach the top of at least one of the Peaks and to have fun with the team.

Please tell her “She can do it” as we don’t want all her training to be in vain!!

4. Mrs Smith (Science)

Mrs Smith is an SSA supporting largely in science and home economics.  As she is a mini bus driver, she also gets to go out on trips and visits which she loves!

She enjoys walking, particularly in the mountains, running and swimming.  Since climbing Snowdon a few years ago, she has been itching to climb Ben Nevis, so being offered the chance to climb three peaks in one go was an opportunity not to be missed! Although she has trained hard, she is still nervous about the enormity of what the team are taking on, but hopes that, with a positive frame of mind and a good team spirit, everyone will rise to the challenge.

Help her to be convinced that she can climb all three mountains, no sweat!

5. Mrs Brown

Mrs Brown has worked at Alfriston for nearly 12 years. She worked for 7 of those in the classroom as a support assistant and now she is up in boarding as part of the residential team. She has worked with children most of her life as well as having 5 of her own. She enjoys most sports and goes to the gym regularly, mostly doing group activities/classes. She also walks her 10 month old German Shepherd/Border Collie pup and that takes up a lot of her time.

She is really looking forward to the 3 peaks as she’s never done anything like it before and she hopes that she will enjoy being part of a successful team!

Go Mrs Brown and the whole team.

6. Miss Leahy

Miss Leahy teaches PE and DofE at Alfriston, as well as visiting our partnership primary schools from the South Bucks School Sports Partnership to assist with the delivery of PE across all ages.  She loves all sports and adventurous activities, especially those that involve water and incorporate a social element.  As she spent much of last year on a physio’s couch, the challenge of the 3 peaks and the chance to train with a specific focus, provided the motivation to get her out and about and fit once more!

However she’s much more accustomed to a relaxed ride up a mountain via a chairlift before descending down at leisure either on a bike or a pair of skis.

Let’s hope she won’t need those skis on any of the 3 peaks.

7. Mrs Shorrocks

Mrs Shorrocks is Head of IT at Alfriston.  She has been at the school for many years and enjoys reading, photography and spending time with her grandchildren.

She is not much of a sportswoman but does try to stay fit by walking and running and she has joined the Challenge because she wants to see the view from the top of Ben Nevis.  She is hopeful that the weather will be kind and that she will get a good photo from the summit but she is worried that her knees may give out before she is safely down from Snowdon.

Give her some tips for staying awake and NO rain-dancing!

 

8. Mrs Stevens

Mrs Stevens has been working at Alfriston for almost three years. She works mainly in the PE department but also in Boarding and coordinating the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Before working at Alfriston she was an Outdoor Instructor so she loves being outdoors and challenging herself. She has walked a lot in the past but this is a new challenge and she is looking forward to tackling it with the team!!

Good luck Mrs Stevens and the team!

9. Mr Waterman

Mr Waterman is the science teacher at Alfriston and he’s worked here for ages!  He enjoys running, going to the gym and hill-walking when he gets the chance.  He hopes that the weather will give clear views but is happy to be going when there is snow.

Thanks for organising the whole thing Mr Waterman and let’s hope your GPS keeps working!

10. Mr Van Den Bossche

11. Mrs Male

 

 

 

…and who else????