Saint Aidan's News

Personal Development Days

The first of three Personal Development Days across the school year took place on Thursday 6th July 2017. Here four students and the Heads of Year explain what happened during the day and what the students learnt.

Year 8: Feed the World by Ruby Allison

All students have learnt about ‘Send My Friend to School’. They have done a prayer walk with Opa, keeping safe and the learnt about Christian Aid.

‘Send My Friend to School’ is a charity where people raise money to let kids all over the world have education in school. The Year 8 students discussed how lucky they are to have free education, food, toilets, great teachers and much more.

The next thing they did was a Prayer Walk with Opa. They relaxed with calming music to clear everyone’s bad feelings then walked around the prayer walk. It was a quiet reflection time.

Also through the day, the students created biscuits (either baking or wrapping them) that were sold the next day to raise money for the Happy House Foundation. For every three bags they sold, it would allow three children to have breakfast for a day!

Lastly, they learnt about how hard it is in other countries and how the charity Christian Aid help. In Uganda, the children have to walk miles to get some water - something the students tried.

Mr Darren Elwell, Head of Year 8 explains, “Our school is located in quite a rural, isolated spot so this PD day was designed to help students consider people in other parts of the world, often facing huge difficulties. Sessions included visits from Christian Aid (looking at how they help provide families with water in Uganda) and Elizabeth Gomm with whom we have worked closely over the past few years helping to fund raise for the Happy House school in Kenya. Our students showed real empathy on the day, asking thoughtful questions of our visitors and asking themselves what they would do in difficult situations.”

Year 9: by Millie Stephens

Year Nine's Personal Development day was based all around multiculturalism and diversity. It included activities focusing on discrimination, prejudice and rights, having lessons on stereotypes, talking about the rights we have as humans and discrimination in everyday lifew. We were also lucky enough to have a visit by a guest speaker who talked to us about the roles of different people in situations such as the Holocaust, and learn about Anne Franke and how her story ties in to that reoccurring theme of discrimination and scapegoating.

Personally, I really enjoyed this PD day because it taught us not to prejudice people of certain qualities and to ignore harmful stereotypes. I liked the session with the guest speaker because it showed us how much hate and cruelty there is in the world. Combined with the lesson about our visions of a perfect society, I thought that the whole day was really eye-opening and motivating.

Mr Paul Tyson, Head of Year 9, said, “Year 9 spent the day celebrating diversity. They had 5 sessions based around human rights, living in a diverse society, the holocaust, understanding prejudice and had an eye opening talk from Silvia Crompton from the Anne Frank Trust. The day was hugely successful and students were engaged in all activities and showed a real maturity towards the materials being delivered.”

Year 10: Wasted Lives by Amy Shuttleworth

The topic for PD Day for Year 10 was especially interesting: Wasted Lives. This consisted of learning about the negative effects of alcohol and E-Cigarettes and how the use could cause serious injuries.

Some groups started the day in the hall learning key first aid training. The North West Ambulance Service showed the students demonstrations of skills to possibly save someone’s life. They worked in teams to practice putting “casualties” in the recovery position and learning the correct way to perform CPR on dummies.

Other groups spent the start of the day in classrooms learning about alcohol use. It was interesting to find out what classmates think about the age limit of drinking alcohol and whether it should be raised or lowered. Another topic groups covered was E-Cigarettes and the dangers of using them. They created posters to show the difference between normal cigarettes and electronic ones and which ones were safer.

Miss Amanda Dixon, Head of Year 10, said, “After that was a challenging day, in parts, Year 10s now have a good grounding in first aid thanks to paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service, understand more about alcohol and e-cigs and just how dangerous it can be on the roads thanks to the Wasted Lives presentation. It was great to see so many students engaged throughout and asking really incisive questions. I believe each and every one of them will take something from the day beyond Saint Aidan's.”

Year 11: Financial Capabilities by Abi Hargreaves

For our first PD day in Year 11, we learnt about a topic that would become vital in later life: Personal Finance. The distinction between Gross and Net income was made clear and what tax deductions went towards which governmental or personal service. Through this PD Day, we have learnt to appreciate the cost of living.

Firstly, we were taught about the function of pay slips and income tax. We saw how different payment types could benefit people as well as how employees can get paid in a variety of ways.

During the next two stations, we were educated on the average pay our dream job would earn us compared to the amount of money we would receive and the alternate forms of credit including loans from the bank and credit cards.

In the lecture theatre, we were given a chance to differentiate between expenses and essentials and to work out our balance. Finally, we looked at house prices and places that we could rent as a first house.

Overall, it was an educational and interesting day, if not a bit daunting to see the reality we will have to face after high school is over.

Mrs Helen Cross, Head of Year 11, said, “Year 11 Personal Finance Day was certainly an eye-opening experience for some. Many students found a greater appreciation for their current circumstances and hopefully the skills and knowledge learnt will help them all budget more successfully in the future.”