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Sedgefield Community College have won the Innovation Award at the 2016 Northern Echo Schools Awards, being deemed by the University of Exeter the only ‘Advanced Thinking School’ in the region.  

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Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, attended the annual Norther Echo School Awards which were held at the XCEL centre in Newton Aycliffe, and was honoured to receive the award on behalf of Sedgefield Community College.

Phil said “It was a privilege to collect the award on behalf of Sedgefield Community College.”

“The staff have worked hard to improve learning across the school, and it is great that it is being recognised.”

“To be the only ‘Advanced Thinking School’ in the region is a fantastic achievement, which students and staff alike should be very proud of.”

Sedgefield Community College, which has been the highest attaining secondary school in County Durham for two consecutive years, was one of 10 winners on the day. The school received the Innovation Award which recognised the changes the school has made in how they approach learning.

Starting in 2009/2010 Sedgefield Community College began to look at how learning took place in the school. Staff wanted to ensure that students had the ability to think for themselves.

To move forward, the school aimed to become an accredited ‘Thinking School’, an award which comes through the University of Exeter.

To be accredited with the award schools must demonstrate a commitment to encouraging everyone to think deeply, and for themselves.

Sedgefield Community College created ‘The Sedgefield Leaning Box’. A metaphorical box for tools and strategies to support students and staff in thinking independently and effectively.

The success of the metaphorical 'Sedgefield Learning Box' has provided structures for students and staff to think in different ways, enabling different understanding. The approaches are currently being used across the school by teachers in all subjects.

 

Innovation Award for Sedgefield Community College

Sedgefield Community College have won the Innovation Award at the 2016 Northern Echo Schools Awards, being deemed by the University of Exeter the only ‘Advanced Thinking School’ in the region.  ...

The NAASA youth group at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre were joined by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, for pizza and to discuss the importance of voting.

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In total 30 young people attended the session, to listen to Mr Wilson discuss the importance of registering to vote and how laws in the UK are made.

The Newton Aycliffe and Shildon Alive Friday evening youth group attracts those in their teens up to 19 years old, which means some of those who attended could cast their first vote in the EU referendum this June.

But this government has made it harder for those young people to have their voice heard.

The rushing through of individual voter registration, a year earlier than planned, has stripped the ability to vote in local and national elections from hundreds of thousands of people.

According to a study by the Electoral Commission, 770,000 names were removed from the register when the transition period to individual voter registration ended, with those affected mainly young people or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Phil Wilson however, has made it clear that he will work hard to ensure young people in his constituency are not denied a voice.

He said “It is disgraceful that this government is making it harder for young people to express their opinion in the voting booth. Young people are the future of our country. Yet they are disproportionately affected by government cuts and deserve to have their voice heard.”

The current Tory government continues to hit young people the hardest. Maintenance grants for the poorest students have been scrapped, tuition fees have trebled, the number of young people owning their own homes is at its lowest level since record began, and those under 25 will not benefit to the rise in the national minimum wage.

In addition, 853,000 young people are not in employment, education, or training.

During his session with the young people at NAASA teens, Mr Wilson heard about their concerns and answered numerous questions on a range of issues, with one teen quizzing the MP on changes regarding e-cigarette legislation.

Others told Phil how important the youth centre is to them, and expressed their concerns over potential changes to the youth service in County Durham, a direct result of the disproportionate cuts the Tory government is placing upon Durham County Council, with the toll of government austerity costing the council £290 million between 2010 and 2020.

Commenting on the session, Mr Wilson said “What evenings like this show is young people care about their communities, and want their voice to be heard. The teens and the staff at NAASA are a credit to the town and to the constituency.”

“I want young people to have their say, it is not about whether they vote for me, it is about enabling them to exercise their fundamental right to vote, regardless who it is for.”

Vince Crosby Chairman of the Board of Trustees said, “My Trustees are fully behind this of getting young people to become involved in the way they can understand how both laws are made and how to engage with the MP and I would like to thank Phil Wilson MP for taking the time out. The young people having previously met with the local Councillors are becoming more involved.”

After Mr Wilson has finished speaking, those aged 16 an over were able to register to vote.

Overall the evening was a great success, with 16 pizzas consumed, and more young people now on the electoral register, able to have their voice heard.

Pizza and Politics with MP Phil Wilson

The NAASA youth group at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre were joined by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, for pizza and to discuss the importance of voting.

Phil Wilson the MP for Sedgefield has welcomed the launch of a new jobs club, based in the Newton Aycliffe headquarters of Northern charity DISC.

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At the launch of the new World of Work (WOW) club, Mr Wilson met with members who are hoping to break through barriers to employment and find secure work.

In a constituency which suffers from unemployment figures higher than the national average, with youth unemployment nearly double, initiatives like WOW can play an important role in giving people the confidence and skills necessary for the work place.

The new WOW club in Newton Aycliffe will provide members with a free, impartial and confidential services. Specialist support tailored to individual’s needs will be given, allowing them to gain qualifications, create a work record, and develop the skills needed to get into work. A specialist computer suite will also be available for members to use, to assist them in their job hunting and CV writing.

Speaking at the launch Mr Wilson said “It’s great to visit a project like this and talk to local people about the help and support they are receiving.

“By helping to secure training or employment, the WOW club will lead to improvement in the lives of individuals and families.”

Paul Townsley, Chief Executive of DISC, said: “We are very grateful to Mr Wilson who continues to take a keen interest in the work we do here to further the lives of people in this area.

“With our partner organisations, we can also offer potential training solutions that may help someone find a new job.”

For more information on the WOW club, please telephone 01325 731160, or visit www.disc-vol.org.uk

New Job Club WOWS MP

Phil Wilson the MP for Sedgefield has welcomed the launch of a new jobs club, based in the Newton Aycliffe headquarters of Northern charity DISC.


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