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this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 21 June 9th, 2017



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects the Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on theon week. week. On the Friday we finished for the half-term I left is about this of yearinthat I meet with schoolItfull of pride in time our pupils, your children. each Head of Department to review the It had been an emotional and challenging week, examas results. This involvesus but thesummer’s young people ever had reminded plenty of useful and thought-provoking of what really matters as it came to a close. discussion, but it is usually talking about numbers and letters. Behind this data That day we held prayer vigils throughout theare stories: how pupils did, how they felt, what day for the victims of the attack at the they liked and what they achieved. We Manchester Arena. Each vigil lasted about thirty always focus can be minutes and was ledonbyhow ourthings pupil Chaplaincy improved as well as celebrating what went team. This group had, under the sensitive well. As a Catholic school, exam results are guidance of Miss Singleton and Mr. Davis, just one way of expressing the unique, devised services that involved participants, Godgiven our talents and skills of eachhope pupil. It is challenged thinking and offered in the important to look beyond the data so I am midst of great tragedy. delighted that much more of my job involves being in classes, around the school As they left the serviceswalking each congregation was and talking to pupils, students and that staff.the invited to write a short message of hope

leaders have since used to create a huge If in ever you are feeling all despondent or collage a heart shape. Foratme, and I am sure fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the school for many, the pupils who led these services would quickly perfectly caught the raise moodyour and spirits. set the Let rightme tone. show you what I mean. Today (Thursday, Throughout the day over 1100 young people September instance, I dropped participated in the29th) vigilsfor - every single one did into Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was so with reverence, respect and in an delighted to listen to performances of atmosphere of silent contemplation. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back the River and When the Saints Go Marching Year 11 also had their final assembly that day. I In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester can’t in all conscience say that they left as they as they demonstrated their prodigious DJing have returned to a tsunami of examinations and talents. Next, during lunch, I supervised the deal with these so well. Last year I remember canteen and made a point of watching the them leaving without any recognition at all, so interactions that take place daily. Pupils and this year I decided that we would go out of our staff holding doors open for one another, way to mark the moment. offering thanks, little moments of personal appreciation and gratitude. Of course, After their prayer vigil we spoke to them about things don’t always go well in a school, but it the significance of moving on and we is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from encouraged them to reflect on their time in the a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, or school assisted by a montage of their photos see one pupil help another who is unsure from when they were Year 7s. There was where to go for class. laughter and some shed a tear, but there was also great hope and warmth. After the service In Sixth Form, I enjoyed a lengthy chat with and assembly a large group of staff stood at the Aidan who explained both the theory of assembly hall doors to see off the Year 11, differentiation and its potential commercial shaking each one by the hand. application. In English they were studying the play Blood Brothers and talking with There were hugs, moments of gratitude and the humour and excitement about superstitions; sharing memories. Then went out our intonew the in of Year 7 RE they werewe dissecting May sunshine to sign shirts and take pictures. It mission statement and exploring the was a personal moment meanings of light andwithin happiness that it. School is a contrasted the darkness busy,strongly bustling,with humming place. of the week that had gone by.

I get to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled On returning to school after the break my in a task that is so challenging and optimism in our young people has notexciting been that I want to stay andinvigorated have a go myself. dimmed. It was further this week as Outside it’s: “Sir, you after seenexam my tie? I saw our Year 11s have sit exam without Can you open my bottle? What did you complaint, as they turned up for revision think of last Whatheaded time is out it, for sessions and night’s as our game? litter-pickers Sir?” and, at least once a day, “Oh my their first stint of the term. It was shored up by days!” It can assemblies be noisy at times and in a again the wonderful on Pentecost, community this size we can’t expect led by the Chaplaincy team. It was reflected everyone getinonthe with each other the I back at me to daily 5-a-day focusall groups time. But it is our community, and a lively, hold, young people offering ideas for change lovely, one at that. and hopepositive in our school. Perhaps the single highlight of my week, if I had to pick, would be the conversation I had with Mrs. Fay who is leading the development of our new library. I 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 suchended, an institution has: ‘A was library card My week as the country embroiled was a free pass to wonderment, words in post-election fever, with a visit from twoand Y13s the were abilityleaving. to roamThey the world’ one who cameobserves with cakes user, whilst another quotes theyou, wrought iron (always welcome) to say thank to chat gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, about their experiences (we have been through Learn Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of the last and two years together having started at the the escape that a library represented or of same time) and to reiterate their offer to come the refuge it offered from an unkind world. back, to stay in touch and to continue to be role models for young pupils even after they’ve Mrs. Fay spent last Saturday peacefully gone. I was reminded of a favourite John Henry stacking the shelves and we are inching Newman quote: ‘I am a link in a chain, a bond of closer to opening. What thrilled me was her connection between persons. He has not comment that several boys, some of whom created me for naught. I shall do good.’ Bishop affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by Arnold had referred to the sentence that presence of a library in their school: ‘You precedes this one in his homily at the Leavers’ mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, Mass. Miss?’ was the breathless utterance of one pupil. Our library is at the heart of the In a world that often seems to be filled with school: a space for being open to and broken connections our pupils offer the hope sharing ideas and experiences. It is openthat people can come together and flourish. plan and its shelves serve as a reminder that there should be no barrier to anyone God Bless. using its volumes or seeking knowledge, solace, entertainment or information. I can’t Ben waitDavis to see it come to life in the weeks Headteacher ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of helpers. Twitter: @BenDavis1972

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good

Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972 2


around the school this week Year 7 are building up to their speeches at the end of June. This will be a big moment and a rite of passage in their first year at St. Ambrose Barlow. This week the staff received special training in Oracy across all departments. The Year 7s will experience pop-up lessons and will enjoy extra time for preparation in form time. We would really like it if parents and carers could come into school on the three days and the evening that we have set aside for oracy this year. Information is being issued this week. In the Oracy classes the work is phenomenal, and the visitors we have had in from both the Chartered College for Teaching and School 21 in London have only had one word for it: ‘WOW!’ This week Year 7 also had their second parents’ and carers’ evening. This was arranged at the start of the year as an alternative approach to progress reports. Instead of a written report pupils get the two parents’ evenings as well as the interim reports and events like the oracy presentations. Parental feedback at the evening was very positive, although turn-out was lower than usual at about 57%. However, we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who came and to the excellent Year 10 pupils who were so positive and helpful throughout the evening. They have gone on to apply for prefect positions as they move into Year 11. As many of you will know we have the distinction of being trailblazers by offering a qualification in 6th form called Design Engineer Construct or DEC. We were the first school in the country to do this at A level and this month our students completed their course and graduated. At the same time we received our Year 11 DEC results which were once again excellent. Congratulations to Mr. McDonagh and the pupils and students. Both 6th former and Year 10 pupils were on their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions this week and some were making excellent progress towards the Silver Award. As the pictures here show the pupils and students were more than equal to the challenge and took part with great verve and enthusiasm. As the sun comes out a little more each day so our fruit and veg are growing, according to the Science Club pupils who tend our in school allotments each week under the watchful eye and green fingers of Mrs. Robb. As you can see the produce is flourishing in the Wardley climate and each week the plants grow taller and stronger. Our pupils really are excellent stewards of the environment. The commitment of the pupils to the local area was reinforced this week with our litter pickers once again pounding the streets for a weekly tidy-up. Their energy and enthusiasm is seemingly boundless and it is always nice when the local residents show their appreciation for the work they do. Change makers indeed - keep it up! The Sixth Form enjoyed an excellent look at opportunities for the future in the What uni? event this week. Our out-going Year 13 have once agin secured the destinations they require with over 60% headed for university. While many students and parents are concerned about the cost of HE we remain committed to ensuring that the skills of our young people can be fulfilled and that their ambitions remain both appropriate and high. Presentations like this help to focus the students on an aspiration. Our Year 10 British Values group headed to Wardley Hall this week for more work on their Manchester International Festival project. In the week of the election they were, as ever, politically engaged and full of great questions. A team of Year 8 pupils got to work on an exciting and bespoke enterprise project as well, while all of that year group were introduced to the possibilities of recycling as a vehicle for social enterprise. More to follow...


calendar what’s on  

WED 14

TUE 13

THU 15

FRI 16 SAT 16

Malham trip (all week)

MON 12


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 (week ending May 19th):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 overall

7B (100%)

95.8% 95.5% 94.7% 94.6% 94.5% 95.0%

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.

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


Pupils preparing their speeches for the Oracy days at the end of JUne. This is WOW! work in action. Staff undertaking training across all departments in Oracy.


Working with MIF and Interference Art on the British Values project; Year 8 pupils hard at work on enterprise.


TWEET OF THE WEEK Kate Parkes @KateParkes2 Jun 7

Great yr7 parents evening @SABSalford. Pupils helping were so friendly and welcoming. A credit to the school; and their parents of course.





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 8

Profile for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 21 June 9th  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 21 June 9th  

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