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this week in our school . . .

Volume 3 Issue 25 April 27th, 2018

getting it right ready respectful safe



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the week. week.

Last week I wrotethis about idea that of a Ischool It is about timethe of year meet with being each like a Head ship. of It is a metaphor explored Department toI review the with staff last week at our weekly professional summer’s exam results. This involves development learning session. Perhaps plenty ofand useful and thought-provoking this, combined with the more temperate discussion, but it is usually talking weather about have experienced recently, has prompted myare numbers and letters. Behind this data thoughts this week. stories: how pupils did, how they felt, what they liked and what they achieved. We In theiralways book The Lost published focus on Words, how things can bein October last year, writer Robert Macfarlane and improved as well as celebrating what went illustrator Jackie Morris set out to preserve the well. As a Catholic school, exam results are namesjust andone phrases bring thethe natural world way ofthat expressing unique, Godto life,given but are vanishing from our dictionaries talents and skills of each pupil. It is and discourse. us are the concerned important Many to lookofbeyond data so that I am youngdelighted people, lured by screens, apps the that much more of my and job involves infinite, spiralling fascination of cyberspace are being in classes, walking around the school losing and touch with the world around them and talking to pupils, students and staff. with nature in particular. Worse still parents, carers,If educators, commentators others fret ever you are feeling at all and despondent or that young people no longer read, they lack fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the school concentration, they are satisfied only by the would quickly raise your spirits. Let me immediate, the gaudy and the effortless. show you what I mean. Today (Thursday, September 29th) for instance, I dropped into In some respects thisMusic. is no different Year 10 GCSE There, from I was previous generations, with the obvious of delighted to listen to performances exception of the ubiquity of social media the Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Holdand Back onlinethe life River manyand young people lead. The older When the Saints Go Marching generation has always had a tendency toChester lament In. I also got to sit with Daniel and the apparent reluctance of the young to read, as they demonstrated their prodigious DJing think and engage. the specific talents. Next,However, during lunch, I supervised the concern around young lives removed from the canteen and made a point of watching natureinteractions seems to ring true. Macfarlane’s and and that take place daily. Pupils Morris’s approach is to use poetry and word staff holding doors open for one another, play, accompanied by little beautiful paintings, to offering thanks, moments of personal renderappreciation the natural world and its inhabitants and gratitude. Of course,vivid and compelling. They talkgo of well theirinwork as but it things don’t always a school, ‘spells’isthat conjure an irresistible environment lovely to witness a voluntary apology from of animals, andoflandscape. a Yearplants 9 to one the lunch time staff, or see one pupil help another who is unsure In schools wetoare more prosaic, but I think where go often for class. we are aware of the challenges of engaging children in both reading and nature. Andchat we do In Sixth Form, I enjoyed a lengthy with our best to meet these, although few schools Aidan who explained both the theory of would differentiation claim outright and success. its potential commercial application. In English they were studying At St. the Ambrose Barlow we enjoy large campus play Blood Brothers anda talking with and varied grounds that provide a habitat for humour and excitement about superstitions; wildlife. The soggy field on which we were in Year 7 RE they were dissecting ourbuilt new has gifted us astatement run-off in which grow trees mission and exploring the and other plants thatmeanings shelter newts frogs. Pied personal withinand it. School is a wagtails, gulls and the occasional buzzard circle busy, bustling, humming place. our yard. No doubt foxes make the most of each day’s detritus when silence and night come down. The young people are conscious of these

I get to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled phenomena, perhaps fascinated by it: only this in a task that is so challenging and exciting week I watched a Science class examine each that I want to stay and have a go myself. square metre of the grass for signs of life and Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie? our weekly gardening club is vibrant and Can you open my bottle? What did you committed. think of last night’s game? What time is it, Sir?” and, at least once a day, “Oh my days!” It can be noisy at times and in a community this size we can’t expect everyone to get on with each other all the time. But it is our community, and a lively, lovely, positive one at that.

a fleeting glimpse of kingfisher or the breathless dash down scree in the Lakes is as important as any equation orsingle quotation Perhaps the highlight of my week, if I

had to pick, would be the conversation I had with than Mrs. that Fay the whoenormous is leadingtake-up the More for the development of our new library. a Duke of Edinburgh award indicatesI am a desire to library enthusiast and have been ever since learn from the natural world. For me, this is vital little.person’s The furthest reach of amy inI awas young development: fleeting memory is back to moments spent in our down glimpse of kingfisher or a breathless dash local library entranced by its colour and scree in the Lakes is as important as any bright possibilities. equation or quotation.OnIf Twitter you looked at the #RememberingMyLibrary hold pictures of the recent Year 9reveals retreat the in Keswick that such an institution has: ‘A library card you will have seen convincing evidence of this. was a free pass to wonderment, words and the ability to roam the world’ observes one Nature is a great teacher and an essential part user, whilst another quotes the wrought of the curriculum, much like reading or iron gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, speaking. I seem to have come across lots of Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of children reading this week, many of them doing a library represented or ofIt is sothe asescape they arethat walking around the school. the refuge it offered from an unkind world. lovely to witness this ambulatory activity; seeing a young person absorbed in a book is a lovely Mrs.toFay spent last peacefully thing witness. It is Saturday also a shared experience, stacking the shelves and we are inching with regardless of age many of us can identify closer opening.The What thrilled me was her the joy oftoreading. other morning I watched comment that several boys, some of whom as a youngster in Year 7 sat at a bench outside, affect atodislike of reading, were electrified reading her heart’s content as her friendsby presence of a library in their school: ‘You played around her. mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, Miss?’ was the breathless utterance of one The writer and naturalist John Muir observed pupil. Our library is at the heart of the that the walker receives far more from nature school: a space open to and when walking thanfor hebeing or she seeks. The sharing ideas and experiences. It is (nature openmountain or sea is not for conquering plan and its shelves serve as a reminder will always humble those who try), but is for that thereinto should be nofor barrier to anyone journeying oneself, testing, challenging using its volumes or seeking knowledge, and finding out about our capabilities, fears and solace, or reminded information. I can’t skills. In entertainment doing so we are of the debt wait to see it come to life in the weeks we owe nature and our need to be good ahead thanks Mrs. Fayhome’ and her band of stewards of our to ‘common as Pope helpers. Francis puts it. It seems like a very reasonable recompense for what nature gives us.

Ben Davis, Headteacher

Twitter: @BenDavis1972 God bless, Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972



calendar what’s on

Achievement Points this week: St. Benedict St. Francis St. Margaret Clitherow St. Teresa of Calcutta

Parent Council 6:00pm

Headteacher’s Surgery 5:00pm

TUE 01

WED 02

THU 03

768 763 775 731

FRI 04 SAT 05

MON 30

COMING UP THIS WEEK week beginning 30.04.18 week A

attendance We aim for 100% attendance for all of our students and have set 96% as satisfactory attendance for this year. Attendance is monitored period-by-period and statistics are published each week. Excellent attendance guarantees excellent learning. Attendance by year (w/e April 20th) Congratulations to 8M who had 100% attendance for the week

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 School

95.7% 94.8% 95.3% 93.1% 93.5% 94.5%

Attendance and its impact on learning 10 days absence means 95% attendance 19 days absence means 90% attendance 29 days absence means 85% attendance 38 days absence means 80% attendance 47 days absence means 75% attendance Please note: If your child is off school you need to contact student services the same day on 0161 921 1589/1551. If the school has not been contacted within five days, the absences will automatically be unauthorised. Ten Challenge; Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster unauthorised marks may lead to a fixed penalty Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer3 notice being served.

Trust fundraiser


After our Ofsted monitoring visit in December we put in place a detailed and substantial plan to improve our system of pastoral care. This week we advanced that plan considerably by taking our first steps towards changing to what is called a vertical form system. 

This will see each form composed of pupils from Years 7 to Year 11 and each form part of one of six houses. This represents a very significant change to the way we organise and run our school.  It brings with it a number of opportunities too. 

Each form will be like a family, containing a cross-section of pupils from all year groups (with the exception of Years 12 and 13). Within this family there will be roles for older pupils to mentor those younger than them, for pupils to work together across year groups, strengthening our community and culture.  We have begun the process of involving staff and pupils in leading this change. 

Today the Pupil Council were at work considering a new design for our ties, one for each house. This is the only change we plan to make to the uniform and it will be fully funded by the school, ensuring no family faces an additional outlay as a result of our decisions. 

This week also saw the launch of our new strategy to promote and improve homework: Show My Homework. Having listened to the concerns of parents and carers we have taken action to improve homework.  The web-based service allows pupils and parents or carers to  view all homework online, arrange to-do lists, organise their time and have their work marked and monitored.  Show My Homework makes setting homework easier and, more importantly, helps pupils and parents to see exactly what homework has been set. 

The introduction of the initiative is being led by Mr. Lawford who led assemblies about Show My Homework this week.

So, in summary…

Pastoral Changes From September 2018 and possibly earlier, all forms in years 7 - 11 will be arranged vertically. This means that they will contain a small number of pupils from each year group. Heads of Year are being replaced by Heads of House. The uniform will be adjusted so that each house has a different tie - this will be undertaken at no cost to parents.

Show My Homework With immediate effect we have put in place an online system for logging, monitoring and tracking homework. This can be accessed by searching for Show My Homework online or by using the link at the very bottom of the home page of the school’s website (RM Unify).

School Name We are consulting on changing the school’s name to St. Ambrose Barlow Catholic College with effect from September 2018. This is in recognition of us now being an established 11-18 school. You can comment here:

ScoPay There is a new facility within SCOPAY to enable parents / carers to set up an ALERT if the cafeteria account falls below a certain amount set by the account holder eg: £2.50.

An email is sent to the registered account holder advising the account in low and the balance needs topping up. This will remove the need to contact parents during the working day to top up.


With spring arriving you can see the Gardening Club planting out. Seeds are sprouting this week. We were delighted to welcome guests from all over the UK to the school to look at our amazing Design, Engineer, Construct provision. This week also saw the launch of our steel band - a video of their first rehearsal is on our Twitter and Facebook pages.



Mrs Robb @AJR_1984

Year 7, your new Head of Year congratulates you!! #myambrose





ST AMBROSE BARLOW RC HIGH SCHOOL & SIXTH FORM www.stambrosebarlowswinton.org 37 Ash Drive Swinton Salford M27 9QP 0161 921 1570 @SABSalford Headteacher: Ben Davis 7

Profile for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 Issue 25 April 27th 2018  

All the news from St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School and Sixth Form, Swinton, Salford, UK.

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 Issue 25 April 27th 2018  

All the news from St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School and Sixth Form, Swinton, Salford, UK.