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this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 8 December 2nd, 2016



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the week. week. Winston Churchill observed that the definition of It is about this time of year that I meet with success ‘was going from failure to failure without each Head of Department to review the losing one’s enthusiasm.’ Whilst I wouldn’t summer’s This involves characterise our exam Ofstedresults. report as a failure, it plenty of useful and thought-provoking certainly paints a picture of the school that is a discussion, it isthat usually talking about good deal differentbut from which we would numbers and letters. Behind this data like to have read. It may only be a two day are stories: pupils did, some how they what snapshot, but how it does contain fair felt, criticism they liked and what they achieved. We on which we are already acting. It also points to on how things success: can be our many always sourcesfocus of hope and future improved as well as celebrating went Sixth form (graded ‘Good’), our pupils what (we knew well. As a Catholic school, exam results are that), aspects of our teaching (such as just one way of expressing the unique, Godquestioning), our partnerships with business and given talents andstrong skills of eachand pupil. It is creatives and the very ethos important to look beyond the data so I am programme of personal development to name delighted that much more of my job involves but a few. And our enthusiasm is as vibrant and being in classes, walking around the school undimmed as before. and talking to pupils, students and staff. Actually, when I thought of Churchill’s words it ever you are feeling at foremost all despondent wasn’tIfour inspection that was in my or fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the mind, it was a class I had recently visited. school It is a would quickly raise spirits. Let me myth of policymakers andyour governments that show you mean. Todaylines. (Thursday, children learn in what nice, Ineat, straight They September 29th) for instance, I dropped into don’t. They make mistakes, get bored, Yearlose 10 GCSE Music. There, was question, their way, pursue fun, Ibut wasted delighted to listen to performances of lines of enquiry and, eventually, find a path Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back through the subject. This involves failure and it the River and When the Saints Go Marching is important not just to recognise that, but to In. I also to sita with Daniel and Chester encourage it. Togot foster healthy attitude to as they demonstrated their prodigious errors and slip-ups, to misconceptions and DJing Next, during lunch, I supervised wrongtalents. turns. But also to help our young peoplethe canteen and made a point of watching the learn to be resilient to the raw deal life can throw interactions that take place daily. Pupils at you, without warning or apology. This is a and doors openthe forapproach one another, simplestaff wayholding of characterising thanks, little moments of personal knownoffering as ‘growth mindset’ - an idea we appreciation course, introduced last yearand as gratitude. part of our Of work on go well a school, but it mentalthings healthdon’t and always wellbeing. Ourinrecent is lovelyEvening to witness a separately, voluntary apology from Presentation and, the a Year 9bytoour oneYoung of theCarers lunch time staff, or performance at the Lowry see one pupil help another who is unsure beautifully exemplified this mindset. where to go for class. Our guest speaker at the Maxwell Hall was local In Sixth Form, I who enjoyed a lengthy chatofwith poet Louise Wallwein shared the story Aidan who explained both the theory her life, including tales of overcoming great of differentiation its potential commercial challenge and manyand obstacles to achieve the application. In English they were studying the play Blood Brothers and talking with humour and excitement about superstitions; in Year 7 RE they were dissecting our new mission statement and exploring the personal meanings within it. School is a busy, bustling, humming place.

I get to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled things she has. It was even more amazing to in a task that is so challenging and exciting see the way in which she threw herself into that I want to stay and have a go myself. celebrating the achievements of each young Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie? person to whom she presented a certificate or Can you open my bottle? What did you prize. She clearly wanted to share in their think ofand last to night’s What is it, success sharegame? her own storytime for the Sir?” and, at least once a day, “Oh my benefit of others. days!” It can be noisy at times and in a community size can’tCarers expecthad played Earlier in the this week ourwe Young everyone to get on with each all the a key role in the performance ofother original drama time. But it is our community, and a lively, at the Lowry Theatre. Young Carers are a lovely, positive one atgroup that. , but their numbers frequently overlooked are much greater than you might expect and Perhaps the single highlight my week, their challenges greater still. Iofdoubt many if I had to pick, would be the conversation members of the audience left the theatreI had with Mrs.by Fay who is leading the saw. I found it unmoved what they heard and development of our new library. amwith a a both uplifting and tragic, but I was Ileft library enthusiast and have been ever since sense of hope that young people for whom life is I was little. The furthest reach of my so burdensome and complex can, with help and memory is back to moments spent inby our love, still thrive refusing to be defined their local library entranced by its colour and difficulties. Again, ‘growth mindset’ (and much brightinpossibilities. On Twitter more) action. #RememberingMyLibrary reveals the hold that such institution has: ‘A library So, back toan that class. The learning wascard hard: was a free pass to wonderment, words and questions, frustration, mistakes. However, by the ability to roam the world’ observes one the end of the 45 minutes there was a strong user, that whilst another quotes sense something specialthe hadwrought been iron gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark,use to achieved. The language the pupils could Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of you describe their progress was impressive and the escape that a library represented or of could almost taste the sense of accomplishment fromtoan world. like inthe therefuge air. It itis offered a privilege situnkind in on classes that: for the shared experience with the pupils, Mrs. Fay last Saturday peacefully but also forspent the excitement of seeing truly stacking the shelves and we are inching excellent teaching and support elicit genuine closer to opening. thrilled me was success from pupils. What Churchill would haveher been comment Ithat several boys, some of whom impressed reckon. affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by presence God bless of a library in their school: ‘You mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, Miss?’ was the breathless utterance of one Ben Davis pupil. Our library is at the heart of the Headteacher school: a space for being open to and sharing@BenDavis1972 ideas and experiences. It is openTwitter: plan and its shelves serve as a reminder that there should be no barrier to anyone using its volumes or seeking knowledge, solace, entertainment or information. I can’t wait to see it come to life in the weeks ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of helpers.

Ben Davis, Headteacher


Twitter: @BenDavis1972 2

around the school this week What an amazing fortnight it has been. So much has happened in the school that it is hard to do it justice in one newsletter. Perhaps the single greatest highlight was the Presentation Evening at Salford University’s Maxwell Hall. With guest speaker Louise Wallwein and outstanding performances from pupils as well as a wealth of talent being celebrated, who could have failed to be impressed? Earlier that week some of our Young Carers had taken part in an extraordinary performance at the Lowry Theatre exploring the reality of what it means to be a carer and the impact it has on all areas of life, not just on school. The performance was an original piece of theatre devised by the theatre company Lung that drew on the first-hand testimony of young people and their families. It was fantastic to see our pupils on stage tackling such challenging material. We were also visited by Mike Hill, a former pupil who joined the school in its first cohort (1955) and recalled his happy memories at the Shaftesbury Rd campus, which he visited as part of his trip. He viewed old photos of the school, shared many stories and greatly enjoyed his visit to a place that had changed so much since he left. We also pointed the next batch of prefects this week. Our Year 11 may be working hard on their GCSE preparation, but they also manage to find time to be role models to younger pupils and take on a significant role as leaders in the school - it always great to congratulate them on their appointment. This was the fortnight we published our Ofsted inspection report. You can read the letter from Mr. Davis online and can find the full report here: https:// reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/findinspection-report/provider/ELS/105989 . Subsequent to the publication of the report we held a strategy day for Governors and SLT to establish the action plans that are required. There is also a parents information event on December 7th. After our very successful Open Evenings for both the High School and 6th form it was great to hold a wellattended Open Morning for our 6th form. We are delighted that our newly relaunched 6th form has been recognised as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and even more delighted that in all the open events approximately 500 people have attended. Similarly, we are delighted that a number of Year 6 parents and carers

have taken us up on our offer of a school tour in the last week - the Year 7 guides have been fabulous! As usual in the PE department there have been trips and successes galore. The Year 9 boys took part in the quarter finals of the English Schools rugby tournament; over 25 Year 11 pupils received their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards and we saw great achievements by a number of sporting teams including in swimming. Year 8 also enjoyed a thought-provoking visit to Manchester Metropolitan University to encourage more pupils to consider university as a future destination. Other trips included a drama trip to see Ibsen’s classic play “Ghosts” and a fascinating visit to the local Chamber of Commerce of which we are proudly young members. Year 8 pupils also contributed to the RHS Schools Green PlanIt challenge which saw them designing a garden for the school - one that will shortly be blossoming in reality. Our Year 12 Chemistry students also enjoyed a university visit to deepen the study of their subject whilst the Art department led trips to the Tate, to Manchester Christmas Markets and out into the local area to take photographs. Year 12 Creative Media students at St Ambrose Barlow Sixth Form College headed down to London to present their BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend project at the BBC New Broadcasting House in London, and came away with the 'Highly Commended' creative award! Course leader, Adrian Cammann, said: “The students presented with confidence and real enthusiasm to win their much deserved award. Sara Janicka also received an award for her contribution to the project on the day and credit must also go to other members of the team including Cherry Stevens, Kyle Budgen, Angel Wilson and Charlie Dyson who contributed to the project over a 10 week period.” Over the last few months the students have been working hard on the brief to come up with a campaign for the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend. Their task was to create a campaign to raise awareness and promote BBC Radio 1’s Flagship event, Big Weekend to young people aged 15-29. The best teams were invited to the BBC offices in London to pitch face to face to a panel of judges from the BBC and The Ideas Foundation. 3


Year 12, above, at the university of Salford deepening their understanding of Chemistry; and below at Manchester Airport learning more about business.



Year 12 visiting the Christmas markets in Manchester for artistic inspiration; Year 8 at the Royal Horticultural Society event planning their ideal school garden. 5

Year 11 at Tate Liverpool; pupils working with the Young Assembly of the Chamber of Commerce.


calendar what’s on Post-Ofsted Parent Meeting, 3:45 pm 6th form Christmas Party, 6 pm

WED 07

TUE 06 Headteacher’s Surgery, 5 pm

Years 11 & 13 Parents’ Evening 5 - 7 pm

THU 08

MON 05

fri 09

Christmas Jumper Day

SAT 10


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. Best Attendance by form (w/b November 14th):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11

7f 8f 9j 10a & b 11m

98.3% 98.0% 97.9% 97.4% 95.4%

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 unauthorised marks may lead to a fixed penalty notice being served. 7

TWEET OF THE WEEK 16 yr old @SABSalford #DEC student Lauren is my new #hero. Now a @Mouchel #apprentice #engineer she's focusing on #nextgen @halfon4harlowMP Alison Watson @ClassofYourOwn 8





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 10

Profile for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 8  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 8  

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