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

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.

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.

Sun Safety Tips

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May 172018
 

School Council have discussed the importance of being safe in the sun and have issued this guidance based on information given by Cancer Research UK

Whatever your age, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.


When the sun is strong:

Spend time in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm in the UK

Cover up with clothes, a hat and sunglasses.

And use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 and 4 stars. Use it generously and reapply regularly.

 

Shade

One of the best ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays is to spend some time in the shade.

 

You can find or create shade in many different ways. For example:

  • Trees and foliage
  • Umbrellas and parasols
  • Canopies and awnings
  • Tents and shelter
  • Going indoors

Spending time in the shade is a great way to protect your skin when the sun is strong. But UV rays can go through some fabrics and reflect off the ground so it’s still important to think about clothing and sunscreen.

 


Covering up

Along with shade, another way to protect your skin from the sun is with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and good quality sunglasses.

Clothes

The more skin that’s covered by your clothing, the better the protection you’re getting. Choose clothing that’s loose-fitting and deeper in colour. Also look for materials with a close weave- as a guide hold the material up to check you can’t see through the fabric. Clothing that’s dry also provides more protection than if it’s wet. This is particularly the case for cotton clothes.

Hats

Hats are great for protecting the whole face and head. Choose a wide-brimmed hat for the most protection. A ‘legionnaire’ style hat that has flaps around the ears and back of the neck also offers good protection.

Sunglasses

When choosing sunglasses look for one of the following:

  • ‘CE Mark’ and British Standard
  • UV 400 label
  • 100% UV protection written on the label or sticker


Sunscreen

Sunscreens will not protect us completely from sun damage on their own. However, they can be useful for protecting the parts of skin we can’t shade or cover. This is why we recommend using sunscreens together with shade or clothing to avoid getting too much UV exposure.

 

We recommend buying sunscreens with a:

  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 (UVB protection)
  • High star rating with at least 4 stars (UVA protection)
  • UVA protection can also be indicated by the letters ‘UVA’ in a circle which indicates that it meets the EU standard.

 

Tips for using sunscreen properly

No sunscreen will give the protection it claims unless you apply it properly.

  • Make sure you put enough sunscreen on – people often apply much less than they need to. When your risk of burning is high, ensure that all exposed skin is thoroughly covered in sunscreen.
  • Reapply sunscreen regularly. Some products are designed to stay on better than others, but beware of sunscreen rubbing, sweating or washing off.
  • Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to avoiding getting caught out by sunburn.
  • Don’t be tempted to spend longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.
  • Check your sunscreen has not expired before you use it.

April 22nd is Earth Day

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Apr 202018
 

Plastic is threatening our planet’s survival, from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our streams and landfills. Together, we can make a difference.

Earth Day is now a global event each year, and more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.

You will have heard that Theresa May wants to lead the way in the UK by banning plastic straws and cotton buds.

Here at Alfriston we have been profiling our use of plastic and highlighting waste. Some girls have been collecting the plastic waste from our lunches and snacks over a two-week period at the end of which we will weigh it all. P16 girls have carried out a survey and made recommendations to the Senior Leadership team about how we can reduce plastic use in school.

In English girls have been using the topic as a focus for their writing and we are looking forward to hearing more about their ideas.

In addition, we have been thinking about how wasteful our society is and some groups have been on visits to see what happens to our waste after we have binned it or flushed it. We have also been running a swap shop in school to encourage the idea that you can pass on things you don’t want anymore rather than throwing them out. There was a queue at the door on the opening day and lots of great items to swap.

Autism Awareness Week

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Mar 282018
 

What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

What is autism like?

Some autistic people say the world feels overwhelming and this can cause them considerable anxiety.

In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family, school, work and social life, can be harder. Other people appear to know, intuitively, how to communicate and interact with each other, yet can also struggle to build rapport with autistic people. Autistic people may wonder why they are ‘different’ and feel their social differences mean people don’t understand them.

Autistic people often do not ‘look’ disabled. Some parents of autistic children say that other people simply think their child is naughty, while adults find that they are misunderstood.

Watch this film to see what it is like yourself?

Find out more at: www.autism.org.uk

 

Alfriston Skiing Trip 2018

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Mar 282018
 

 

 

 

On our journey, we travelled through France, Switzerland then finally Italy.  When we arrived in Italy we stayed in a hotel named Roma.

We all felt nervous on the first day of skiing but excited to see what we could achieve throughout the week.

During the week we had lots of challenges, e.g. steep slopes, heights, jumps and even skiing backwards.  But by the end of the week we all overcame the challenges.

Skiing wasn’t the only good thing about the trip, we also made friendships with students we don’t usually talk to and that’s why it was extra special.

When we were in Italy of course we had Italian food, which was amazing and different!

After our day skiing we had an activity afterwards.  In those activities we went tubing which is where you sit on an inflatable ring and slide down a snow slope.  Also, we went for Italian ice cream, which was very tasty, then pizza night where we went out and a movie night.  We also picked up a few Italian words along the week.

At the end of the week we had a presentation where the instructors gave us each individual certificates and recognised all our achievements.  Also to say a little thank you to the instructors for all their hard work we presented them with a gift each.

The skiing trip was AMAZING and if it wasn’t for Miss Leahy, Mrs Walsh and Mrs Stevens we wouldn’t have had the privilege to go on the trip.

(written by Hope)