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
 

If you are a driver you will know how difficult it is to spot the pedestrian who nips across the road in front of you dressed in dark colours from head to foot.  Therefore the Student Council ran an assembly to raise awareness amongst pupils and staff.  Pupils were encouraged to wear something bright on their coats or bags and staff were asked to drive carefully and keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.  Free reflective stickers were offered to pupils visiting the Student Council Shop.

 

More generally the campaign this year was focused on calling on everyone, but especially drivers, to tune in to road safety, to avoid the devastating crashes that are caused by multi-tasking.

 

A lot of us are pretty attached to our smartphones these days, so distraction is no longer just about making a call. We’ve entered a new era where being constantly connected is the norm and some people find it hard to switch off even for a minute. Driving is the most risky thing most of us do regularly. It’s highly unpredictable, so you need your head on the job. Yet it’s easy to forget the risks, and many drivers think they can get away with multi-tasking.

 

The truth is none of us are good at doing two things at once. It’s a proven fact that if you try to multi-task at the wheel you’re putting yourself and others in real danger.

 

So drivers, why not turn off your phones, or better still, stick them in the boot, and never attempt to do anything at the wheel other than the critical task at hand: DRIVING.

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.

 

 

Nov 192013
 

What a wonderful fun day was had by Alfriston School Year 9 girls on Thursday 7 November 2013 at the South Bucks Special Schools Sports Association Tennis Festival at Halton Tennis Centre.   Other attending schools were Penn School, Chiltern Gate, Wendover House and Maplewood School.  

Morning sessions were indoors working on hand and eye co-ordination and during the afternoon outdoor session the main focus was on forearm.  The aim was to give the children a positive experience of tennis and possibly draw more children into the sport and see more children taking it up regularly.    Each participant will receive a certificate from the Centre.   Some of our girls already join our Tennis Club which is held after school on Wednesdays.   The girls were all very excited, and some a little nervous at first but determined to enjoy the challenge.   Quote from one student was “it was the best day ever”!

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/

 

Oct 132013
 

Year 8 girls from Alfriston recently took part in a ‘Tag Rugby Festival’ at Aylesbury Rugby Club.
When they arrived at the Rugby Club they received a warm welcome from the event organiser Tim Holmes, Rugby Development Officer from the RFU, as well as the team of coaches from Bucks New University. There was expert coaching and then matches were played on a rotational basis, (in teams of 7) playing against other schools in the area, which included Penn and Wendover.
All the girls who took part were excellent team players. They gave their all to sidestep players from the opposing teams, trying to keep their 2 coloured tags on their belts.  Some showed that they were a ‘dab hand’ at taking the opposing teams tags and many made numerous dashes for the winning line!

All girls received a certificate for their participation in this exciting, fast-moving, fun event!

(from the PE Department)

Oct 012013
 

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre has revealed that in the past two years, 184 children from the UK became victims of sexual blackmail online, with several self-harming or taking their own lives as a result.

 

The organisation warned that the offenders are getting bolder – in some cases, children are not just forced to send sexual images and videos of themselves, but also perform sexual acts live on webcam.

 

Pupils in the upper school have been discussing the issue and have watched a short film called Consequences which describes one possible scenario.  The girls were given a fact sheet which details the potential problems and the best ways to stay safe.  They were asked to share this with their carers at home so please encourage them to do so.

 

The key message is:

The best way to stay safe is by never doing anything on webcam you wouldn’t want your family or friends to see.  BUT it is never too late to get help.

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…