Page 1




this week in our school . . .

Volume 4 Issue 16 & 17 February 1st, 2019

getting it right ready respectful safe



Head’s start .

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

It has It been a privilege to lead assemblies this is about this time of year that I meet with week. each I’ve always thought that assembly is Head of Department to review the centralsummer’s to the workings of a school, particularly exam results. This involves a Catholic school. At assembly you build plenty of useful and thought-provoking shareddiscussion, history, shared understanding, through but it is usually talking about routines and experiences that encourage each numbers and letters. Behind this data are personstories: present to view themselves as part a how pupils did, how they felt, of what wider they community. Assembly, through prayer, liked and what they achieved. We challenge andfocus presentations, takescan each always on how things be of us out of improved ourselvesas and into the collective. Thewent well as celebrating what hardest part is knowing what to talk about. I are well. As a Catholic school, exam results say that not because I am short of ideas, but just one way of expressing the unique, Godusuallygiven because myand mind is flooded talents skills of eachwith pupil. It is potential topics whenever I know myso turn to important to look beyond theit’s data I am do assembly. This week, however, it was easy delighted that much more of my job involves to identify subject matter.

beinga in classes, walking around the school and talking to pupils, students and staff. Last week I had the good fortune to visit Belfast, and the community of If ever youChristian are feeling at all despondent or Corrymeela, with a group of headteachers from fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the school acrosswould the UK. Partraise of our work involved tour quickly your spirits. Let ame of the show city toyou learn more about its contentious what I mean. Today (Thursday, history. It was my29th) third for tripinstance, to BelfastI dropped in the last September into twentyYear years, the difference this time was 10 GCSE Music. There, I was that there was a clear The Troubles and delighted to focus listen on to performances of their visual presence. This was my starting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back point for

theassembly. River and When the Saints Go Marching In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester I shared the pictures had taken DJing of as with they pupils demonstrated theirI prodigious sectarian murals and of the so-called ‘peace’ talents. Next, during lunch, I supervisedor the ‘interface’ wallsand thatmade demarcate of the canteen a point sections of watching the city. These walls rise interactions thathigh takeabove place daily. Pupils and neighbourhoods and are loaded staff holding doors open forwith onegraffiti, another, most of which challenges their existence or offering thanks, little moments of personal calls for peace between communities. I started appreciation and gratitude. Of course, with my pictures Belfast’s wallsinand muralsbut in it things don’tofalways go well a school, my assembly.

is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, or First we whatanother must bewho the ismost seeconsidered one pupil help unsure famous wall in the world at present, and it isn’t where to go for class. even built: Mr. Trump’s Mexican one. Then I took the pupilsForm, through my Belfast pictures, In Sixth I enjoyed a lengthy chat with finishing with a line from the Lebanese Maronite Aidan who explained both the theory of Catholic philosopher,and Kahlil Gibran: ‘Your differentiation its potential commercial neighbour is your other self dwelling behind a application. In English they were studying wall.’ the

play Blood Brothers and talking with humour and excitement about superstitions; On one of athey Belfast well this in section Year 7 RE werepeace dissecting our new phrasemission was presented in neat, snaking steel. statement and exploring the It’s a powerful isn’t it? it. That the person personalthought, meanings within School is a who you might see only as different to busy, bustling, humming place. you is just another version of yourself obscured by the judgments and assumptions you make, the ‘wall’ you put up. This took us to the way in

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. which we categorise people and who we like to Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie? put behind walls, then came the challenge. Can you open my bottle? What did you This February we have designated a month of think of last night’s game? What time is it, ‘Upstanding’, as I like to call it: thirty days Sir?” and, at least once a day, “Oh my where we learn more about communities who days!” It can be noisy at times and in a have been marginalised and affirm our community this size we can’t expect commitment them, to giving everyone toto getsupporting on with each other all the voice totime. the voiceless and to eliminating prejudice But it is our community, and a lively, and discrimination. lovely, positive one at that. Perhaps single highlight of my week, if I That thethe person who you might see had to pick, would be the conversation I had with Mrs. Fay who is leading only as different to youtheis just development of our new library. I am a library enthusiast andof have been ever since another version yourself I was little. The furthest reach of my memory is back to moments spent and in our obscured by the judgments local library entranced by its colour and assumptions youOn make, the ‘wall’ you bright possibilities. Twitter #RememberingMyLibrary reveals the hold put thatup. such an institution has: ‘A library card

was a free pass to wonderment, words and Throughout this month focus will beone on the the ability to roam the our world’ observes LGBTQ+ community, for whom it is History user, whilst another quotes the wrought iron month In form each day pupils gatesnationally. of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, will beLearn discussing related issues and learning about and Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of LGBTQ+ figures from the past and present. the escape that a library represented or of We will be revisiting History Month, thealso refuge it offered Black from an unkind world. originally covered in October, to explore issues around race in more - wepeacefully feel the times Mrs. Fay spent last detail Saturday we are living through make this very important.

stacking the shelves and we are inching closer to opening. What thrilled me was her Finally, this that coming week (beginning comment several boys, some ofFebruary whom 4th) we explore Hidden Figures, at key affect a dislike of reading, werelooking electrified by female figures in history who are often presence of a library in their school: ‘You overlooked ignored. the like, last fortnight mean I canorborrow thisInand, read it, we began working with the Proud Trust have Miss?’ was the breathless utteranceand of one established a pupil-led school inclusion council pupil. Our library is at the heart of the which, along with for ourbeing work open on mental school: a space to andhealth and our aim of securing UN Rights sharing ideas and experiences. It Respecting is openSchool status, is central to our plan and its shelves serve as aobjective reminderof tearing down the walls that divide that there should be no barrier to us.

anyone using its volumes or seeking knowledge, God bless, solace, entertainment or information. I can’t wait to see it come to life in the weeks Ben Davis ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of Headteacher helpers. Twitter: @BenDavis1972

Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972 2


calendar what’s on


Advance Notice School closes for February Half-Term Week, Friday, February 15th, 3:05pm.

Year 11 Parents’ Evening, 5-7pm Parent Council 6:15pm

TUE 05

WED 06

THU 07

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 08 SAT 09

MON 04

COMING UP THIS WEEK week beginning 04.02.19 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 January 21st)

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 School

95.9% 95.2% 94.7% 95.1% 92.8% 94.8%

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

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer3 Trust fundraiser


Hot Chocolate Friday, celebrating the many wonderful things our pupils do; Year 9 working on the pop art that graces our front cover.

Cement There’s fear in his eyes. Blood, sweat and tears despise the end, Men sleepwalking in the grouynd that they will fall to, Consciously knowing that they will fall through. Too many hearts have humbly grown, Only to be remembered by a stone above the dirt where they lie. All for their place and their rulers’ sake. Walking in lines as straight as a ruler. Pressure is on the innocent hands, of those who watch from where they stand. A hole in the chest, a hole in the shoulder, Barely a man, sixteen and not a day older. A letter is sent. Reading about your son’s death is an event That feels like you’re sinking when standing on dry cement.

Cement, a poem by Chloe Lea, Year 8, inspired by the war poetry she is studying. 4


The boxes of form readers about to be issued by our team of Reading Ambassadors. Below, a class of young DEC pupils taking part in their steering group discussions.

Top: at the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge; Below: 6th formers at the Teenage Cancer5 Trust fundraiser


Janine Appleton @Appleton1Janine Feb 1 @SABSalford my son has just been sharing that he joined Mr Davis for Hot Chocolate Friday today. I’m sure that he has grown a foot in the last few hours. Thank you.





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.4 Issue 16 & 17 February 1st, 2019  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.4 Issue 16 & 17 February 1st, 2019  

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