May 142014
 

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
 

 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.

Feb 102014
 

We have already started thinking about Safer Internet Day in school and pastoral groups are discussing what they can do to make the Internet even better than it already is. Our Monday assembly focused on this and some rules for staying safe on the Internet.

The day itself offers the opportunity to focus on both the creative things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role and responsibility that all stakeholders have in helping to create a better internet and that includes you!

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. But it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so why not take a look at the really useful advice from the SID website:

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers

The website also offers these top tips for parents and carers:

  1. Talk to your child about their favourite websites. Starting a conversation on a positive foot can lead nicely into a chat about online safety.
  2. If your child loves to use social networking sites, teach them about protecting their personal information by thinking about what they are sharing and who they are sharing it with. Show them how to use privacy settings, and how to block and report – and advise them to only accept friend requests from people they know in real life.
  3. Remind your child that showing respect for others online is just as important as showing it offline. Encourage them to think before they post and encourage them to show positive behaviour online.
  4. There are lots of ways you can advise your child about cyberbullying, if they are worried remind them to save the evidence and to always tell an adult they trust if something upsets them online.
  5. SID2014Logo-croppedThere are ways in which you can help to prevent your child from seeing inappropriate content online. Have you considered parental controls and filtering in your home and also on your children’s portable internet enabled devices?

Additionally, SIDtv will be streamed live from the website on Safer Internet Day. Tune in to the parents’ hour at 3pm or 7pm.

Your daughter will be asked to talk to you about making the internet better and she will be bringing home some conversation starters to get the ball rolling.  Please let us know how your conversations go.

 

 

Jan 292014
 

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

 

Jan 292014
 
Having been one of the winners in the  ‘Name a Gritter’ competition run by Transport for Buckinghamshire (tfb) back in 2011/12, we were offered the chance to have a gritter visit our school so that our pupils could see one of the vehicles that helps keeps our roads safe during the winter months.
 
So it was that “Alfie the Grit” arrived at Alfriston one wet afternoon this week.  Three  members of staff accomapnied the vehicle and they were pleased to talk to the girls about how the vehicle works and what they do.  Several classes were able to look over the truck and check out inside the cab.  The girls enjoyed this opportunity and Connie Sellers took a particular interest, asking lots of questions. She discovered that this sort of truck takes two years to make and costs £250 000.00!  We also learned that Alfie is one of the newest shiniest trucks in the fleet and is deployed to clear major routes and motorways.
 
It is possible to follow the progress of the trucks on the tfb website and we were able to track Alfie leaving Beaconsfield on the interactive map.  Next time the weather turns wintry, you could  look to see where Alfie is working:
Nov 282013
 

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
 

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
 

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.

 

 

Oct 262013
 

v

 We are pleased to announce that we are now part of vInspired Schools, an exclusive programme which rewards our students for the time they spend volunteering.  Girls in years 10 and 11 have already been briefed on this and have registered on the site.  It will be highlighted to other girls after the half term break.

 

This programme brings with it a wide range of benefits for our students including:

  • Great experiences to include on UCAS/job applications and personal statements
  • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • Develops life skills suitable for future employment e.g. problem-solving and creative thinking
  • Enhances learning in ICT, PSHEe and Citizenship
  • Strengthens employability skills
  • Introduces new experiences and new people
  • Provides focused goals with recognisable rewards, including certificates, and the chance to attend the national vInspired awards
  • Opportunity to discover, acquire and build on talents

 

For more information on how you can get involved speak to Mrs Shorrocks or visit http://alfriston.vschools.vinspired.com/

 

Sep 222013
 

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…