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this week in our school . . .

Volume 4 Issue 12 December 7th, 2018

getting it right ready respectful safe



Head’s start .

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

Our Christmas all with It is aboutFair thiswas timewonderful. of year thatLike I meet these each thingsHead thereofwas plenty of last minute Department to review the organisation (andexam the occasional panic no summer’s results. This involves doubt)plenty but it of alluseful came and together in the end for a thought-provoking great morning that got the school into the discussion, but it is usually talking about Christmas spirit.and The Year 7Behind entrepreneurs numbers letters. this dataput are on a great display of wares from cakes to cards stories: how pupils did, how they felt, what to games, of which wasthey co-ordinated they all liked and what achieved. by We form tutors and Mrs. Cheshire. The Parent always focus on how things can be Council, who have beenasthe driving force improved as well celebrating what went behindwell. the fair, ensured that thereexam was mulled As a Catholic school, results are wine, food andway softofdrinks and that morning just one expressing thethe unique, Godwent brilliantly.

given talents and skills of each pupil. It is important to look beyond the data so I am Of course the purpose of the Fair notinvolves delighted that much more ofwas my job simplybeing to celebrate the start of Advent. The in classes, walking around the school event and raised money for charity and brought the talking to pupils, students and staff. community together and as such was a very important date ourfeeling calendar. the or If ever youinare at allMoreover, despondent place fatigued was packed for the full two hours of the I reckon a quick tour of the school fair, with staff, families, parents, pupils and would quickly raise your spirits. Let me othersshow all enjoying theI shared of the you what mean. experience Today (Thursday, work of our pupils. This was further enhanced September 29th) for instance, I dropped into with performances byMusic. our school dance Year 10 GCSE There, I wastroupe.

delighted to listen to performances of A Catholic school isNinth so much more than Beethoven’s Symphony, HolditsBack exam the results or formal learning, it is a place River and When the Saints Go Marching through which a community can come together. In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester Eventsassuch the Christmas Fairprodigious embody this theyas demonstrated their DJing spirit. talents. My thanks to during the Parent Council and thethe Next, lunch, I supervised youngcanteen people (and their form tutors) who and made a point of watching the worked so hard to make it a success who and interactions that take place daily.and Pupils are sostaff committed continuing toone build the holding to doors open for another, community of our school.

offering thanks, little moments of personal appreciation and gratitude. Of course, This week saw a large number of in our pupils but it things don’t always go well a school, take our community out of the school and intofrom is lovely to witness a voluntary apology the wilds of Wales. As part of our literacy a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, or strategy spenthelp a week in Aberdovey, seepupils one pupil another who is unsure Snowdonia where they experienced the natural where to go for class. environment with the Outward Bound Trust. In doing In soSixth they Form, secured a John Muir Award, I enjoyed a lengthy chat with climbed hills, wrote poetry and did so muchof Aidan who explained both the theory more. differentiation

and its potential commercial application. In English they were studying Meanwhile, ourBlood SixthBrothers Formersand weretalking also out the play with and about on Wednesday performing their humour and excitement about superstitions; Random Acts7ofRE Kindness, living out ourour new in Year they were dissecting mission and vision through their actions. mission statement and exploring theOther members of ourmeanings Sixth Form undertook work personal within it. School is a placements this week with various creative busy, bustling, humming place. companies including Sharp Futures, a further benefit of the excellent links we have developed including those through the Ideas Foundation.

I get to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled in a task that is so challenging and exciting that I want to stay and have a go myself. We welcomed a group of architecture and Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie? construction professionals into school this week

Can you open my bottle? What did you as well. They were working with 60 pupils in think of last night’s game? What time is it, Year 8 on architecture and design projects, Sir?” and, at least once a day, “Oh my focusing particularly on designing an Ecodays!” It can be noisy at times and in a Classroom, bringing extensive urban community this size we can’t expect regeneration Greater everyone toof get on withManchester each other to all life thein the classroom.

time. But it is our community, and a lively, lovely, positive one at that. We also welcomed an artist into school to work with a group Year 7 pupils on our week, Snowman. Perhaps theofsingle highlight of my if I This is a development of the Manchester had to pick, would be the conversation I Bees had towith which weFay contributed earlierthe in the year and Mrs. who is leading will be exhibited in the Lowry Arts development of our new library. ICentre. am a

library enthusiast and have been ever since I was little. The furthest reach of my memory is back to moments spent in our local library entranced by its colour and bright possibilities. On Twitter #RememberingMyLibrary reveals the hold that such an institution has: ‘A library card was a free pass to wonderment, words and the ability to roam the world’ observes one Finally, this week sawquotes the publication of our user, whilst another the wrought iron Ofsted We shared this‘Read, with parents gates report. of Stalybridge library, Mark, and carers a letter earlier in theOthers week and Learnvia and Inwardly Digest.’ talk the of report can bethat reada on our represented website. Weorhave the escape library of reprinted theittext of my letter this newsletter the refuge offered from an in unkind world. (on page 4) in case you have not had a chance toMrs. see Fay the report.

Saturday peacefully spent last stacking the shelves and we are inching There are positives the me inspectors closer tomany opening. Whatthat thrilled was her wished to celebrate andboys, theresome remain number comment that several of awhom ofaffect priorities for improvement. Theelectrified very good a dislike of reading, were by news is thatofthe view ofinthe inspectors presence a library their school: ‘You accorded withborrow that ofthis theand, senior leadership mean I can like, read it, team andwas they have recognised that we Miss?’ the breathless utterance of had one a good areas for pupil.understanding Our library isof at the the key heart of the improvement and for were already school: a space being opentaking to andaction.

sharing ideas and experiences. It is openplan and its shelves serve as a reminder God thatbless, there should be no barrier to anyone using its volumes or seeking knowledge, Ben Davisentertainment or information. I can’t solace, Headteacher wait to see it come to life in the weeks Twitter: ahead @BenDavis1972 thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of helpers.

A Catholic school is so much more than its exam results or formal learning, it is a place through which a community can come together

Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972 2


calendar what’s on


Advance Notice Christmas Jumper Day December 14th

Sixth Form Open Evening

House Advent Services December 20th

Senior Citizens’ Lunch

WED 12

TUE 11

Governors Meeting

THU 13

This Week

This Year

St Benedict of Nursia



St. Bernadette of Lourdes



St. Francis of Assisi



St. Michael the Archangel



Blessed Oscar Romero



St. Teresa of Calcutta




FRI Jumper Day 14 SAT 15

MON 10

COMING UP THIS WEEK week beginning 10.12.18 week b

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/b December 4th)

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 School

96.7% 95.9% 95.0% 95.4% 93.2% 95.3%

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

Dear Parent or Carer,

• The attitudes and involvement of students in the

RE: Ofsted Report of visit on November 7th & 8th, 
 November 2018

• Outcomes for pupils who resit GCSE English and

Following our recent two day Section 5 inspection by Ofsted the report is published today. A copy can be found on our website and on the Ofsted site - links are included later in this letter.

Page two of the report outlines our Areas for Improvement which are centred around leadership and management; improving the quality of learning and teaching; improving pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare (particularly the behaviour of a small number of pupils) and improving learning and teaching in all subjects in the Sixth Form. Overall, we need to be more consistent in what we do as a school. As the report makes clear there is variability in the quality of learning and teaching, in outcomes for different groups of pupils and in other areas of the school and it is this that prevents us from being a ‘Good’ school. It is, however, recognised as a great strength that our judgment of the school and that of the inspection team were in complete agreement. They were reassured that we had already written our improvement plan around priorities that were reflected their own findings.

Our inspection was a routine two day visit focussing on all aspects of school life. The report outlines the ways in which the inspection team gathered evidence.

The report makes clear a wide range of improvements since our last inspection in October 2016 and our monitoring visit in December 2017. Nevertheless, the overall grade awarded to the school remains ‘Requires Improvement’. The report notes the following strengths and positives:

• The vision for our school

• Pupils’ safety and the way in which they learn

about keeping safe

• Improvements in our systems to deal effectively with bullying, with ‘the vast majority of pupils confident that bullying is dealt with effectively’

• Pupils’ attendance and improvements in attendance

• The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and our Catholic ethos

• The review and development of the curriculum

• Careers and enterprise education, including sixth form work experience

• The accurate view leaders and governors have of the school, our priorities for improvement and the plans in place to support this

• Improvements in outcomes and the quality of learning and teaching

• Greater stability in staffing and new appointments that have strengthened the team

• The pride staff have in the school and their opportunities for professional development

• Improvements in systems for tracking pupils’ progress

• The new house system of vertical forms

• Improvements in governance

• Our effective safeguarding, record-keeping and staff training

• Teachers’ subject knowledge

• Our programme of PSHE and pupil leadership

• The behaviour of most pupils in classes and around the school

• Our recently updated approaches to managing pupils’ behaviour and inclusion

• Improved progress amongst Key Stage 3 pupils and those in Year 12 & 13

Sixth Form

Maths in Years 12 & 13

We are committed to becoming an Outstanding school and your children are served by a staff who work incredibly hard to offer a high standard of education every day, along with a wide range of additional opportunities. Our aim is to be a fully inclusive Catholic school, a place of excellence, welcome and joy. As this report suggests we are on our way towards achieving this aim, but the process of improvement needs to be more rapid. As a ‘Requires Improvement’ school we will be reinspected within 30 months and will receive a monitoring visit at some point before this inspection.

I strongly encourage you to read the report and, in doing so, to compare it with the reports of October 2016 and December 2017. This will give you a sense of the progress that we have made as a school in two years.

You can read our inspection report by clicking on the following link which directs you to our website: http://www.stambrosebarlowswinton.org/eleven-tosixteen/our-school/ofsted/ . Later today Ofsted will publish the report on their site.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss the report in more detail. A meeting for parents and carers will be convened in early January to outline our plans for continued improvement.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Davis


Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer4 Trust fundraiser


Just a few pictures of our Christmas Fair, including (top left) the glamourous Parent Council members who made it all happen.

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage



Creativity in action. Above you can see the pupils who designed and painted our Snowman. Below is the RHS Green Plan-it team.

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer6 Trust fundraiser


Over 60 Year 8 pupils took part in the Eco Classroom project last week with colleagues from a number of construction companies.

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer7 Trust fundraiser


Left: Declan (a former pupil) who now works at Civic Engineers came in to work with Year 11; right, Amelia and Rachel (Year 12) were undertaking their work experience placement at the Sharp Project; below, former pupils Joe, Shania and Isabel all showing off their success

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer8 Trust fundraiser


The amazing trip to Snowdonia - just three pictures that give a sense of the learning that went on.

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer9 Trust fundraiser


Pupils enjoying success outside school. Samuel in Year 10 who secured a Gold Medal in the, U15 Boys Greater Manchester Cross Country Championship. Ailis, Madison and Ciara who achieved 4th place, 2nd place and North west Champion at the Irish Dance competition meaning they have qualified for the Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; World Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer 10 Championships. Trust fundraiser


Janine Appleton @Appleton1Janine Dec 1 The children were amazing and ran their events splendidly. Well done everyone thank you for such a fantastic time. What a super Christmas Fair! Year 7s enterprise work was so innovative and enthusiastic. Ate far too many sweets and had a great time. Well done everyone. I’m ready for Christmas now. I cannot wait to use my new pink fish melts.





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 12

Profile for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.4 Issue 12 December 7th, 2018  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.4 Issue 12 December 7th, 2018  

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