Today, Wednesday 20th January 2016, we were thrilled to have a visit from Sally Holland, on the 1 year anniversary of her appointment! She said she was excited to come to Millbank as she'd heard so much about us and our great work as a Rights' Respecting School. We were also very excited.
Our Super Ambassadors, whose mission this year is to help Sally by spreading the messages about rights and helping her find out what to shout about for the children of Wales, met Sally and gave her a tour. They really loved showing how everything we do as a school all comes under the umbrella of being a Rights' Respecting School - from our new canteen and new school, to our commitment to being an Eco-School, our Fruit Tuckshop, our Learning Centre, our Partner School in Kenya, and, of course, our brilliant classrooms full of super pupils and staff! Well done to them - they had planned and led an excellent tour.
Next School Council joined Sally for a meeting. She had questions for them, and they had questions for her as well! Sally asked them about how she can better help children across Wales deal with bullying problems. In her survey last term bullying came out as the top concern of children in Wales. School Council were very keen to tell her all about what they and the whole school do to try and stop there being any bullying, and how it is dealt with quickly if there is some. She also asked them what other things they thought she should be working on especially for children in Wales this term, and how they were elected for School Council, as well as how they organise their meetings.
School Council asked her all sorts of questions. They asked her about whether she thought the new Meningitis B vaccine should be given to all children now to "catch up" now it's available, and they explained why Meningitis Now is so important to Millbank.
They also told her about the new high school planned for Ely and Caerau, and asked how she can help the children in the area make sure they get the best school possible, so that they have the same fair chances as other children. Sally answered that she is following the development of the high school in the area very carefully, and will do her best to make sure it has really good facilities, but most of all, she wants it to be a school where everyone feels safe and valued so that they can learn and reach their potential.
School Council and the Super Ambassadors asked Sally how they can help her more to spread the rights messages. As well as doing the termly missions and activities, Sally asked them two things:
1. Keep her informed in the sorts of things we do for rights so that she can share our good work and use it to give other schools ideas
2. Find a good way to find out what matters to the youngest children in the school, as it is usually older primary and secondary children she hears from.
Finally, Sally joined the whole school in assembly. She really liked our school song and our great singing! Each class had one question to ask, which led Sally to tell us about the many jobs she's had before becoming Children's Commissioner (ice-cream seller, social worker, support worker for disabled children and then a college tutor teaching adults to teach and work with disabled children), as well as the sorts of things she does during a normal week in her important post.
Just before she had to leave, Sally asked us to think about things which really matter to us that she can work for and help with. We promised each class would get some ideas and write to her in the next few weeks.
Thank you Sally - we really enjoyed seeing you today and enjoyed your first visit to Millbank. We hope you'll visit us again soon.
ANTI-BULLYING WEEK 2015
Monday 16th November saw the start of Anti-Bullying Week across the UK. At Millbank, as a Rights Respecting School, we always use Anti-Bullying Week as a focus week to get the message across - no bullies and no bystanders! We all have the right to be safe from harm, right to relax and play, right to friends and the right to be the best we can be. Bullying goes against all these rights.
We started off the week with a whole-school assembly which introduced the week ahead. All our year groups linked the anti-bullying message into Literacy and Numeracy - for example: posters, raps, graphs, research, iMovies and much more.
On Wednesday we had a special Anti-bullying Week Assembly led by Year 5. Year 5 have been working with Cardiff Against Bullying (CAB) and presented us with information, role-plays and instructions. The message was especially DON'T BE A BYSTANDER!! In other words, don't stand by and let bullying happen to anyone - support them and tell an adult about it.
Da iawn pawb! Gwaith ffantasteg!!
In September we learnt that all our brilliant work on sustainability had been recognised and we were finalists in the Sustain Wales Awards for the Sustainable School or College of the Year. We canvassed votes from everyone we know across Cardiff Council and further!! But the two other finalists were both Further Education Colleges - one with over 13,000 students and the other with over 23,000 students! So we knew our chances of actually winning were slim.
On Thursday 19th November Mrs Brown and Miss Warner went to the Sustain Wales Awards Ceremony. We weren't winners but we were pleased to be given a special certificate for being highly commended as one of the 3 finalists in our category. It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed meeting other finalists and the sponsors of the awards. Well done to Bridgend College who won our category.
We were also really pleased to see Miss Debbie and lots of other cooks from schools all over Cardiff there. They were finalists for the Summer School Meals projects - an excellent scheme we hope to be part of next year!
We held our Harvest Service on Friday 16th October. Year 6 led the service beautifully. They really made us think about sharing, greed, poverty and richness, with a Millbank version of "Deal or No Deal" - we had......"GREED OR NO GREED!".......and we all learnt not to make choices the way King Midas did.
Millbank's families were as generous as ever and many crates of food were donated and taken to Cardiff Foodbank, where we know everything goes to local families at times of crises. We know any one of us could need the help of the Foodbank at some point.
Alongside sharing our food with local families, we also had a non-uniform day and had a collection of our friends in AMAF School, to support them in their great work there. It was just a week before Miss Newing and Mrs Penfold-Smith were travelling to Kenya, and we wanted to send them on their way with a gift to our sister school!
Harvest helps us remember Article 24, which says all children have the right to good food and water. That's every child in Ely, Cardiff, the UK and the World!!
Thank you - diolch yn fawr - to Blwyddyn 6, and to everyone who donated food and money, as well as to the parents and carers who joined us.
On Friday 25th September we celebrated both Roald Dahl's Dahlicious Day AND Macmillan's WORLD'S BIGGEST COFFEE MORNING. Over 40 parents came to support the coffee morning, as well as plenty of toddlers and babies. At the same time the children were in classes doing all sorts of Roald Dahl-related learning, in some amazing costumes. Classes were full of Charlies, Georges, Matildas, Mike TVs, Willy Wonkas, Oompa-Loompas, Witches, Miss Trunchbulls, Sophies, Crocodiles.......and many more!
Over £200 was raised for Macmillan - bendigedig pawb!
And of course, it was a Fairtrade coffee morning - with Fairtrade sugar, tea, coffee and hot chocolate on offer!!
We held our School Council Elections on Tuesday 15th September. It was International Democracy day and we all took our voting very seriously. The week before we had a special assembly about what it means to be a democracy. The children who nominated themselves to be councillors were given the chance to tell their class why they thought they'd be good councillors and why they should be voted for. Their names were added onto a ballot paper for their class. On Tuesday each child went to the voting booth and made their selection. Mrs Morgan and Mr Simmonds counted up the votes that evening and the announcements were made the next morning in assembly!
Article 12 if the UNCRC states "you have a right to say what you think should happen and be listened to." One of the ways to do this in school is through the school council in our Rights-Respecting School!!