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Castle Hill Infant School recognised by UNICEF

Castle Hill Infant School has achieved a new award. They are the first school in Suffolk to be awarded the UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award Level One. Will Jackson, UNICEF’s assessor spent a day meeting children, parents and staff to discuss the impact the award has had on the school.

He said ” It was clear that everyone places importance on developing an ethos where children are able to know, understand and realise their rights.” He was particularly impressed by the parental understanding of the work taking place within the school in relation to this award.

The Principal, Eileen Allpress, described the school’s vision,” We have many children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We wanted to build up children’s self-esteem and develop how they interact with society. The Rights Respecting School Award is an ideal vehicle to help us hone this through the curriculum.”

The school have a charter of Rights and Responsibilities which the children help devise. The school holds regular themed days to which parents and carers are able to come into school to work with their children to support their understanding.

Parents commented that their children talked about rights at home and noted the positive impact in school. One parent said, “It’s better for them because it’s their rights rather than our rules.”

During the assessment children were able to talk to the assessor about the link between rights and global citizenship. They have learnt that in some countries education is not free, and that there are inequalities in the wider world that needed to be addressed. One child explained,” Some children can’t go to school”.

The children, parents and staff are extremely proud to have achieved this award.

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EDF Energy inspires girls to choose engineering – as new research shows change needs to happen

Pupils from Alde Valley Academy and Sir John Leman High Schools in Suffolk have taken part in a pilot workshop at Sizewell B power station designed to encourage more females into science and engineering roles.

The Year 10 and 11 pupils took part in the workshop to gain a better understanding of the range of jobs on offer for students with good qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

The pilot was launched as new research into women in engineering is released.  The report, ‘Igniting change: building the pipeline of female leaders in energy’ found that 61% of the top 100 UK headquartered energy companies have no women on their boards, only 5% of executive board seats are held by women and only 7% of companies have at least 25% female board representation.

Sizewell B is highlighted in the national report as an example of setting good practise by launching primary school visits to the power station and showing girls the range of roles science and engineering can lead to.

During the workshop the pupils were set a task to challenge their maths and engineering skills.  The pupils worked together in teams to design and build a structure that could hold a weight.  They were able to ‘buy’ simple products such as paper, tape and scissors to assist with the project.  Female apprentices and technicians from Sizewell B were also on hand to support the pupils.

Teresa Featherstone, a former apprentice and now a qualified Technician at Sizewell B, helped with the delivery of the workshop and took part in a Q&A with the students.  Teresa said: “I hope I was able to give the pupils an insight into how exciting a career in science and engineering can be.  EDF Energy is looking for more females to join the industry and we want to show students that STEM subjects can lead to a really rewarding career.”

Kerri Barker from Alde Valley Academy said: ”The students involved have found this a very interesting and thought provoking experience. This workshop has given the girls involved a real understanding into the roles and opportunities that this industry can offer.”

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