Laura’s Day at the House of Commons

 Extra Curricular, Post-16, Student Council, Participation  Comments Off on Laura’s Day at the House of Commons
Nov 242015
 
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My youth workers Carol and Sam met me at Amersham train station and we travelled up to London together with my fellow MYP Kate Jameson. We took the Underground to Westminster and made our way into the House of Commons.

It was amazing – I found the architecture so beautiful and the atmosphere was buzzing. Everyone was very excited and there were MYPs from all over the country.

We had to wait until 11.00 to go into the chamber when a doorkeeper walked us in in a very grand and formal manner. John Bercow introduced the day and other MPs spoke as well.

Then the debates began on a range of issues selected from the Make Your Mark consultation, including the need for improved mental health services and tackling racism and religious discrimination.

It was really interesting and cool to hear young people like myself speaking in this magnificent arena.IMG_1005
Each debate featured a proposal and an opposition speech to open it. Then the Speaker asked MYPs from different regions to give their views and opinions. Each debate was eventually concluded with a closing speech.  When my friend Kate was chosen to speak I felt very proud and she did a really good job.

Nov 132014
 
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Everyone can make the Brake Pledge. It’s a Pledge to do simple things to protect you and people around you, build happier communities, and help save the planet.  Perhaps you will be inspired by one of these ideas and when you are ready perhaps you will visit http://brake.org.uk/pledge to make your pledge…

 

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Slow

Drivers – I’ll stay under limits, and slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops to protect others. I’ll slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking.
Everyone – I’ll speak out for slowing down and help drivers understand that the slower they drive, the more chance they have of avoiding a crash and saving a life.

Sober

Drivers – I’ll never drive after drinking any alcohol or drugs – not a drop, not a drag.
Everyone – I’ll plan ahead to make sure I, and anyone I’m with, can get home safely and I’ll never get a lift with drink/drug drivers. I’ll speak out if someone’s about to drive on drink or drugs.

Secure

Drivers – I’ll make sure everyone in my vehicle is belted up on every journey, and kids smaller than 150cm are in a proper child restraint. I’ll choose the safest vehicle I can and ensure it’s maintained.
Everyone – I’ll belt up on every journey, and make sure friends and family do too.

Silent

Drivers – I’ll never take or make calls or texts when driving. I’ll turn off my phone or put it out of sight and on silent, and stay focused on the road.
Everyone – I’ll never chat on the phone to someone else who’s driving.

Sharp

Drivers – I’ll get my eyes tested every two years and wear glasses or lenses at the wheel if I need them. I’ll take regular breaks and never drive if I’m tired, stressed or on medication that affects driving.
Everyone – I’ll look out for friends and loved ones by ensuring they only drive if they’re fit for it, and rest if they’re tired.

Sustainable

Everyone – I’ll minimise the amount I drive, or not drive at all. I’ll get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as I can, for road safety, the environment and my health.

 

Don’t forget to visit http://brake.org.uk/pledge

May 142014
 
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Alfriston’s Student Council is supporting the Send ALL My Friends to School campaign to remind world leaders that it is children with disabilities that are missing out most on their right to an education.

 In 2000 world leaders promised universal primary education by 2015, but with only a year to go 57 million children are still out of school and over a third of them have a disability.

 To support Send ALL My Friends to School, we will be asking pupils to make chains of colourful ‘buddy’ figures to represent the estimated 24 million children with disabilities that are missing out on school.

 Ade Adepitan, broadcaster and Paralympian is supporting the 2014 campaign, which aims to have thousands of schools taking part.

 Ade presents the campaign film which links to his own story.

Ade says: “If world leaders are serious about getting EVERY child into education, they must prioritise the neSMF logos-and-graphicseds of children with disabilities now.”

 Ade was born in Nigeria where he contracted polio at 15 months old. Ade moved to London before he started primary school but knows that if he had stayed in Nigeria his life would have been very different. Nigeria is the country with the largest number of out of school children, currently at over 10 million and is of course in the News right now after 100s of girls were taken from their school.

 

May 142014
 
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 Alfriston School has been awarded a Gold Democracy Award by UK Youth Parliament.  This has come about because we achieved 88% participation in the 2013/14 Buckinghamshire Youth Parliament Elections.  The presentation event will be held on June 10th.

 

Our pupils voted in the South Bucks and Chiltern constituency where the following young people were appointed:

MYP             Faiyaz Amin

Deputy MYP Kate Jameson

Deputy MYP Becky Mohr

 

We also took great interest in what happened in the Wycombe constituency where our very own Laura Gonsalves was a candidate.  She received a fantastic 1824 votes and was duly confirmed as a Deputy MYP.

 

The new MYPs will continue working at a local level and will also attend district and regional meetings.  We are looking forward to a visit from Faiyaz in the coming weeks.

Jan 292014
 
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The United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) gives the young people of the UK between the ages of 11 and 18 a voice. A voice heard and listened to by local and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies with an interest in the views and needs of young people.

 UKYP has over 400 elected members of youth parliament (MYPs) and deputy members (DMYPs) who represent young people throughout the UK and elections are going on right now.  Amber and Sam explained the voting process to some of our girls and now some of our Y11 pupils are going to work with the rest of the school to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote.

 Since Alfriston is in Beaconsfield, we are eligible to vote for candidates in Chiltern and South Bucks and we will be looking at the manifesto videos for those 3 candidates.  However, our very own Laura Gonsalves is standing as a candidate in Wycombe and we really hope that she is elected even if we can’t vote for her!

 If you have family or friends who go to school in the Wycombe area please tell them about Laura and hopefully they might decide to vote for her.

 You can watch all the manifesto videos on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwjvKGhqm-Y&list=PLz-wyyfTP1DXfy7x4O7xFV98sXNc8tbBt

 

Nov 282013
 
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We arrived at 9.00 at Wycombe Abbey Children’s Centre and we had to sign in and take a name badge.

 Soon the parents arrived and sat down to enjoy tea and toast and chat to each other.  Their children went off happily to play with the toys that were out for them.  We were just observing and learning about what goes on. 

After a while we joined in with the children and we led activities like play dough and sticking and glueing.  The children were lovely and we really enjoyed working with them.  Some of them were a bit shy to begin with but they got used to us as the day went on.  Others were excited to see us right from the start!  One little boy, James, wanted us to play with his truck. 

At lunchtime the parents and children went home and we spent some time clearing up all the mess.  You can’t believe how much mess 16 little children can make!!!  The play dough seemed to get everywhere.  When it was all tidy, we sat down for lunch with the staff and got to know them a bit better. 

Soon another group of parents arrived with babies this time- under 6 months.  We chatted to the mums and played with the babies.  They cried a lot and we tried our hardest to keep them happy and quiet. 

A lady called Rachel led a session on how to calm the babies using music.  This session was called Baby Beats.  The music was on her ipod and it seemed quite effective as most of the babies went quiet.  She also helped the parents to relax by focusing on positive thoughts.  We found her ideas very interesting and useful. 

When the mothers and babies had left we were able to talk to Rachel and help her tidy up.  Before we left, we had a cup of tea with Debbie and Kate and Mel and wrote up our feedback for the day.  We felt that it had been a really positive experience.  Debbie and Kate were very complimentary to us and said we would be very welcome to come back for work experience. 

We received a certificate and then it was time to go home and recover from our busy day!

Nov 242013
 
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The pupils who have chosen to take part will look round your home to see what appliances are left on even though they are not being used.  They will identify which members of the household are responsible and monitor their actions over 5 days.  They have a form to record their findings.

 Hopefully parents and carers will get involved and ideally discuss what the family can do to save energy in the home.  If you want to take it seriously you can create a family pledge on The Pod website to be in with a chance of winning a super prize.

http://jointhepod.org/campaigns/pledges/pledge/29

 Alternatively pupils can return the completed form to Mrs Shorrocks to be entered into the draw for a small prize related to Road Safety week.  The form must be returned by 2nd December.

Nov 222013
 
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Take Over Day

Yesterday, I went to Takeover Day at Bucks County Council offices in Aylesbury. It was giving us a chance to look at the roles in the youth service for the day.  I was put forward for it by my youth worker, Ross.

I arrived at 10am and met the other four young people who were taking part. I was looking forward to the day.  I met with my youth worker, Amber. She told me what was going to happen.  I was going to be a young journalist.  We were going to look at the Bucks youth council twitter feed.  We were sending tweets and hash tags about the youth services.  We looked at three websites, the county council website, the Berkshire young people’s website and the family help website and gave our opinions about them.  It was very interesting as we all had different opinions. 

Lunch was provided and was lovely. It gave me a chance to chat with the other four young people.  After lunch I interviewed a disability commissions officer as a young journalist and I interviewed some other people who had different jobs in the service. I also interviewed Laura, who is quite senior in the service. It was very interesting, learning what they did. I loved the interviewing.   

We had to choose 53 blogging ideas which we are going to blog about.

At the end of the day I filled out an AQA evaluation about the day.  It was a fun day, as well as an interesting and useful learning experience, which gave me an insight into how other people think and how I will think in the future.  I would thoroughly recommend it to other people. 

I am looking forward to the follow up day.

 

 

Sep 222013
 
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takeoverLast November I was proud to take a group of six girls from Year 9 along to an all day activity at Youth Space in High Wycombe.  They were there to work on a project to target the way young people are treated by health professionals.  It had previously been identified that young people, and especially young people with learning difficulties and other special needs, were disappointed with the way they were treated by health professionals.

The aim then was to give advice to health professionals and young people about how to manage their health consultations.  Along with pupils from other schools we set about identifying some clear messages and designing some posters and leaflets to carry this advice.  At the end of that first day the young people handed over their ideas to the adults to continue the process.  The young people were consulted at key stages but finally the posters were ready to be launched.

The official launch took place at the Judge’s Lodgings in Aylesbury.  Sue Imbriano, Strategic Director for Children and Young People in Buckinghamshire, was there to congratulate everybody involved and to make presentations to the young people.  Each pupil who took part was given an AQA Unit Award for contributing to a focus group.

We were especially pleased to see that the design elements created by Chanel and AJ were included in the final versions.  We were also very proud of Laura who gave a short presentation at the launch event.  Well done all of you!  And we shall look forward to seeing the posters in Buckinghamshire clinics soon…

 

 

Jul 222013
 
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wild

This picture was taken by someone at Alfriston as our chicks began to emerge from their eggs in June. It gave us the idea for next year’s school calendar which will have a ‘wildlife’ theme.

If you think you could take a great picture over the summer holidays, you can enter our competition. The pictures we use will be chosen by the post 16 Enterprise group next term and there will be prizes for those selected.

Pictures can be of animals, insects, fish, plants; the more unusual the better. It is open to all girls, their families and staff too. Try to achieve the most interesting and best quality picture you can.

Please email your entries to Alfriston school office by 20th September. Please include your full name with your entry. Information about where the picture was taken would be helpful too.