At their first full session of the school year the Imagineers were taking some time to reflect on being back at school. It’s an important time for many of them with the transition to High School. Some of our new P5 Imagineers were at their first full Imagineer session.
We met at the amazing Treasure Hub in Northfield. Here are a few highlights of the ‘life at school’ session. We will make a special newsletter about it, so watch this space. Here are some messages from the Imagineers.
The Primary Imagineers love art and music. They don’t like it when children feel lonely. The most common things that get in the way of enjoying school and learning for the Primary Imagineers are: distractions in the classroom (some kids need to understand how annoying it is), homework, hitting and bullying. One of the Primary Imagineers suggested these things to make school a better place for them: Listen to me; Be nice; No bullying; More discipline; No racism.
The High School Imagineers have seen some big changes. A lot of the first day feelings about being at High School were being nervous or anxious. But there was also excitement. For some Imagineers being at a new school means meeting and making new friends. But for some it’s been a struggle, with feeling a bit lost, worrying about how to manage things and experiences of violence. Some Imagineers have had detentions and feel they are just getting into a lot of bother. Looking back at preparing for High School the Imagineers would have liked a lot more visits and time in the High School when they were in P7, so they could meet teachers and other children. A thing they would like High Schools to do is make it feel safer.
Imagineers have been invited to talk with adults about smoking. The big idea is that we can make Aberdeen a place where young people don’t start smoking and where adults stop smoking. This is called a tobacco-free future. We want this so that everybody can be healthy.
In their communities, Imagineers see adults and teenagers smoking in the parks; at front doors; in their houses; in cars; at the bus stop; when people walk their dogs; and outside on the street. The Imagineers want more smoke free zones and smoking areas in the places where they live.
The Imagineers attitude to smoking varies depending on whether they experience adults smoking at home. Those that do feel they really don’t care about smoking because parents have been doing it since they were young. Some worry that their mum or dad might end up in hospital because of smoking.
The Imagineers that don’t experience smoking at home say that smoking makes them feel sick, scared and upset. They know it isn’t good to breath in smoke and they wonder why people do it in the first place.
At school, some of the Imagineers learn that smoking is bad for your lungs. Many of the Imagineers mums and dads tell them not to start smoking. They also find the pictures on packets of cigarettes disturbing – it puts them off starting.
Aberdeen’s ambition to become a Child Friendly City has taken a leap forward with the launch of a three year partnership with Unicef. The Imagineers were invited to contribute to the Discovery Day and help choose what are the priorities for the city.
Welcome to Kadie, Leah, Deacon, Caitlin, Sammy, Croydon and Naomi, who have joined the Imagineer team.
‘We feel excited and special to become Imagineers.’
The Imagineers rounded up the 2016/17 school year with invitations to accept prizes for all the great work they’ve being doing to ensure children’s voices are listened to. First they met with Gayle Gorman, Aberdeen City Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services, who presented them with certificates. The following week they were awarded a GREC Anne Frank Award for their amazing work and commitment to human rights.
‘I loved getting an Anne Frank Awards for my hard work as an Imagineer. Anne Frank was a girl who lived during WW2. She kept a diary and wrote in it every day because she was hiding from the Nazis and couldn’t go to school or play. She then was taken to a concentration camp and died. Her awards go to children who help show respect and fight discrimination in their communities. It felt good getting it because I was representing my school.’
‘We made a big poster about what has changed for the better in Middlefield and what still needs to improve.’
“On Tuesday 23rd of May we went to London with Catrin, Sarah and Mr Gray (our teacher). We went to the Houses of Parliament to get a tour. Our MP Kirsty Blackman was going to do this but because of the election we met with her before we went and asked her questions about her job and her life between London and Aberdeen.
One our tour we seen where Queen Victoria sat and where she got changed into her robes for the opening of Parliament. The roof in Elizabeth’s dressing room was covered in gold and the carpet red.
We learned a lot of things but here are a few things that stick in our minds:
There are paintings of Henry the 8th and all his wives. We learned a poem to remember what happened to them all. It goes like this ‘divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.’
At the end of the anteroom there was a statue of Queen Victoria. The purpose of this statue was to make Queen Victoria feel more comfortable while she said her speech. Queen Victoria used to be so nervous she would scratch at the side of her chair and tap her feet on a small stool.
In the past no man or women had the right to vote. Men got it first but woman had to continue to fight for it. They came into parliament and threw flour everywhere last century. After protesting they finally got the right to vote.
The parliament is split into thirds. The parliament is colour coded for different groups. Blue represents the Queen’s part, green for the House of Commons and red for the House of Lords. The Queen is now allowed in House of Commons because it shows the separation of the House of Commons from the monarchy. She can’t interrupt what they are deciding on.
My favourite part of coming to London was the bus tour because it took me to different landmarks and beautiful buildings. It made me feel privileged as we are the first people to do this in our school.
We London because the lights at night looked incredible. The city feels alive. We liked the building designs and how unique they are. It made us feel even smaller!
The London trip made me happy because we got to share rooms. The girls with the girls and the boys with the boys. It was fun!”
‘We made a big poster about what has changed for the better in Tillydrone and what still needs to improve.’
In March the Imagineers visited Hazlehead Park. They made 3D daffodils to celebrate the change in seasons and mark the coming of Spring. The Imagineers reflected on their experiences as Imagineers and wrote what they think has changed for them in the past year on their daffodils. They also considered what they still think needs changed in their home, school and community.
‘Being more confident, speaking to adults more and having a say is what has changed in my life’ said Imagineer Demi-Leigh. ‘We made a daffodil to write what we can still change. I said school can get better by asking pupils for their ideas’ Imagineer Malachy.