Oct 232014
 

road safety posterThis weekend the clocks go back and we all realise that summer is over.  We can enjoy an extra hour and start looking forward to Hallowe’en,  fireworks, and dare I say it, Christmas.  However, the sudden change to dark evenings makes for a very dangerous time on the roads.

During the week, casualty rates peak between 5pm-6pm for adults, and 3.30pm-4.30pm for children. There is another peak in the morning, 8-9am, but the afternoon peak is higher for all ages. These times coincide with the morning and evening rush hours and school runs, which are already dangerous due to the volume of traffic, and even more so in the winter months when the evening journeys are made in the dark.  Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and poor weather. For example, in 2013 there were more than twice as many pedestrian deaths in December as in June. It has been observed that each year from when the clocks go back in October, the peak in evening road casualties shifts so it falls in the hour after sunset. Research has also found that serious and fatal pedestrian collisions increase 10% in the four weeks after the clocks go back.

The Student Council have talked to the whole school about this and the importance of taking extra care on the roads at this time of year.  They have urged pupils to wear something white, bright or reflective as our black uniform makes us very difficult to spot in the dark. School coats do have reflective strips in the design but adding a sticker or badge to bags will help improve visibility.

The student Council are also running a competition to design a sign or poster to promote road safety around school.  Look out for the leaflet in their school bags this half term.  Please encourage the girls to enter as this will help them to remember that roads and motor vehicles can be very dangerous.  The closing date is 14th November and winners will be announced during Road Safety Week which begins on 17th November.

 

 

Oct 232014
 

Internet-Document-icon All of these stories serve to remind us that sadly, the Internet can endanger, as well as enrich, the lives of our children.

All ICT lessons this week have been given over specifically to e- safety and responding to the concerns about what we are hearing in the news. Older pupils are discussing the pitfalls of sexting and, indeed, posting any photo that might be compromising. This is particularly relevant given the Snapchat news which has underlined the fact that once your photos go online it is very hard to control what happens to them or who can see them. Other pupils are learning that it is not safe to assume that you know who you are talking to online and therefore you should never meet up with somebody you only know through online communications. Our new pupils are learning the SMART rules which still offer good sensible guidance on what to do or not to do online.

The girls are bringing home the latest edition of the Digital Parenting magazine to help reinforce these messages. Please take a look through the magazine; it is full of really useful advice.

Of course if you have any concerns about how to help your daughter or ward stay safe online please contact me at school.

 

Mrs Shorrocks

 

If you want to follow up on some of the news items, please try these links:

Snapchat: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29569226

Trolling: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29678989

National Crime Agency: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29692685

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 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
 

Halloween is a great opportunity to dress up and have some fun, but parents are being reminded to make sure their children behave appropriately when they go trick or treating.

Halloween can be a nerve-wracking time of year for some members of the community, especially the elderly or vulnerable people who may be distressed by unexpected callers. Many houses will be displaying posters showing whether or not they are happy to be visited by trick or treaters, so look out for them to check if you’re welcome. If you would like to display a poster in your own window you can print one from Thames Valley Police website:
http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/crprev/crprev-asb/crprev-home-hols-halloween/crprev-home-hols-halloween-people

If your children or teenagers are planning to go out trick or treating, the advice is to remind them to behave considerately. Trick or treating can be lots of fun, but it is not an excuse for irresponsible or antisocial behaviour. Tricks like throwing flour and eggs, graffiti, or other vandalism can be treated as criminal damage and the police will prosecute anyone found breaking the law.

Should you be affected by the few individuals who use trick or treating as an excuse to commit crime or antisocial behaviour, you can report it by contacting Thames Valley Police on 101. In an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

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/