Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Abbeywood sixth formers reach final of Community Apprentice challenge

Posted on Friday 2nd August 2019 at 9:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of team SOS pitching to a panel of judges.

A group of six Year 12 students who attend Abbeywood Community School have reached the final of the Envision Project which they have been working towards for the last eight months. The final took place on Wednesday 12th June at the Wills Memorial building in Bristol city centre, where the group were up against four other Bristol schools.

Envision is an organisation, mainly run by volunteers, whose aim is to develop young people’s employability by empowering them to tackle real-life social problems. They have been working with secondary schools in Bristol, Birmingham and London for the last 15 years, seeking to instil character and values in young people. They run a programme called ‘Community Apprentice’ which is loosely based on the TV series ‘The Apprentice’. It is an inter-school competition between five schools which requires students to develop and demonstrate the competencies most valued by employers.

At Abbeywood, two groups of students decided that they wanted to take part in the Community Apprentice challenge and so created two teams; Team SOS (Stop Occupational Sexism) and Team Islam No Phobia. Their first task was the film challenge where they had to work as a team to communicate why the issue they had chosen matters. This had to be done in under two minutes and in a single take. Then they had to prepare a project plan and pitch it to a panel of judges at school – this included the headteacher, Mr Howe and their Envision mentors. After a successful pitch and with a score of 43/45, Team SOS won their place at the final.

Team SOS consists of Chris Yalamov, Bianca Gornea, Galin Zhelyazkov, Lara Dalton, Adnan Evans and Denisa Racaceanu. They decided that their passion lay with tackling occupational sexism in Bristol. They have spent the last eight months developing their ideas by delivering workshops to Year 7 and Year 8 students, as well by creating a board game that is aimed at people over 12 years old that has been put up in two boardgame cafés in Bristol; Playground Café and Chance & Counters.

More: "This has really developed my skills in teamwork & leadership" »

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Author’s pirate tales enthrall Reception pupils

Posted on Tuesday 30th July 2019 at 6:28 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of author Ali Smith with some of the Reception class children.

Monday 10th June saw the children in Reception at St Michael’s Primary School, Stoke Gifford receive a visit from a children’s author as part of their topic: Just Keep Swimming.

Self-published author, Ali Smith, is a teacher in the South of England who has always loved children’s picture books and wanted to write her own. She has now written 20 books about a pirate named Captain O, who is inspired by her nephew, Owain. She has also used the names of her own children and nearly all of her nieces and nephews as characters in the series.

Photo of Ali Smith reading one of her stories to some of the Reception class children.

As part of her visit to St Michael’s, Ali went to each of the Reception classes, reading some of her stories and answering questions about being an author. The children were enthralled as Ali read four of her Captain O stories, using props and actions to engage her audience. They then had an opportunity to ask Ali a number of questions including “How did you become an author?” and “Who draws the pictures?”

One of the stories, Captain O and the Rainbow, included the dilemma of choosing a pot of gold or your friend, and as this question was put to the children, they were able to discuss the pros and cons of each option. One child claimed they would choose the gold because “then I would be rich” whereas another chose their friend because “I would have someone to play with”.

As part of her visit, Ali had signed copies of her books that had been ordered, which were gratefully received by the children. Upon leaving, Ali said: “It’s a real joy to inspire children to read and write their own stories. Everybody loves a pirate!”

If you would like to read any of Ali Smith’s Pirate O books, they are available to purchase on Amazon.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 20). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Abbeywood students enjoy visit from Lords peer

Posted on Thursday 4th July 2019 at 8:47 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Lord Rooker with students at Abbeywood Community School.

On Friday 17th May, a Year 10 business studies class and a group of Year 12 students at Abbeywood Community School were lucky enough to receive a visit from Lord Jeffrey Rooker, a member of the House of Lords.

He was there as part of the ‘Peers in Schools’ programme, which was has been running since 2007. The scheme allows members of the Lords to demonstrate its pool of experience and knowledge by visiting schools, talking to students about their role in the House of Lords and hopefully encouraging them to become more engaged with the political and parliamentary process.

Since 2007, members of the Lords have visited over 2,000 schools across the country and spoken to around 100,000 pupils in support of the citizenship curriculum.

The students who attended the talk were fully engaged as Lord Rooker spoke to them about the differences between the Commons and the Lords, what the House of Lords does, how an idea becomes law and the role of the Lord Speaker. This was followed by a question and answer session where many of the students put Lord Rooker through his paces by asking him very topical questions, including: his opinion on the prison system, if he thinks young people are fairly represented, what he thinks the future of the government looks like and, of course, his views on Brexit.

Denisa Racaceanu, one of the Year 12 students who attended the talk, felt very lucky to receive the visit from Lord Rooker, saying:

“I thought the talk was very empowering and inspirational. I am really interested in law and hearing his story makes me motivated to achieve the things that I want. I also feel proud to be part of Abbeywood and be given these sorts of opportunities.”

More: Event "brought politics to life", says teacher »

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Schools’ career advice scheme set for expansion

Posted on Saturday 15th June 2019 at 9:23 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Mayor Tim Bowles with a group of students and teachers outside Abbeywood Community School.

West of England mayor Tim Bowles visited Stoke Gifford’s Abbeywood Community School on 20th May, where he took the opportunity to announce plans for the expansion of a scheme designed to inspire young people and make them better prepared for the world of work.

The Careers Hub initiative was launched by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership in September 2018, to initially work with 25 schools and colleges across the region.

Thanks to a successful start, the Hub has now been awarded a further £166,000 from the Careers & Enterprise Company, allowing it to work with all 70 mainstream schools and colleges across the West of England.

The schools and colleges will be supported to improve knowledge and understanding of career opportunities and experiences of the workplace for young people, allowing them to make more informed choices about their future careers.

Research has shown that young people who have regular, meaningful contact with employers while at school are more likely to find employment or pursue further education or training.

Regional mayor Tim Bowles said:

“The Careers Hub is at the heart of my ambition for economic growth that benefits every resident. I want all our young people to realise their potential, by ensuring they know what the world of work can offer them, and that they have the right skills for our region’s employers.

“I’ve visited a number of the Hub schools and it’s fantastic to see how we’re nurturing and developing the raw talent of our region’s young people.”

More: Hub has helped improve careers provision at Abbeywood »

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