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this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 15 March 24th, 2017



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the week. week. In the Ittwo weeksthis since theoflast newsletter (we is about time year that I meet with try to keep it weekly, but as it is written on a each Head of Department to review the Thursday evening events can make that difficult) summer’s exam results. This involves many plenty exciting actvities have taken place in of useful and thought-provoking schooldiscussion, and you can in this butread it is about usuallythose talking about edition. However, have been numbers andevents letters.nationally Behind this data are stories: pupils did, howinthey felt, what dominated by how the terrorist attack Westminster. they liked and what they achieved. We always on how things bewho We took time focus this week to pray for can those improved as well as celebrating what went lost their lives, those who were injured and for well. As a Catholic school, exam results divisions in our world to be healed. As I have are one way expressing the unique, writtenjust before, in allofform groups from Year 7 Godto given talents and skills of each pupil. It is Year 13 we are looking closely at issues of important to look beyond the data so I am extremism, radicalisation and British Values. delighted that much more of my job involves being in classes, walking around the school Only yesterday I watched group of and Yearstaff. 10 and talking to pupils,astudents pupils who were preparing to provide training to teachers fromyou across the North West on Britishor If ever are feeling at all despondent Values. They were assured, competent fatigued I reckon a quick tour of theand school thought-provoking. Oracy 7 would quickly In raise yourlessons spirits. Year Let me show you what I mean. Today (Thursday, have been exploring ideas of democracy 29th) forvoices instance, I dropped literallySeptember studying how our are heard and into Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was how we can better articulate ourselves in this delighted to listenOur to performances of met busy and noisy world. Student Council Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back with me recently to discuss ways of promoting the River and When the Saints Go Marching greater equality across the school and to ensure In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester that our daily work is informed by the United as they demonstrated their prodigious DJing Nations Convention the Rights the Child. the talents. Next, on during lunch, Iofsupervised

canteen and made a point of watching the Theseinteractions are all reasons hope at daily. at timePupils whenand that for take place the future can appear bleak and our world riven staff holding doors open for one another, by discord. Our young people are often offering thanks, little moments of personal described as lacking resilience, addicted appreciation and gratitude.asOf course,to things don’t well in a school, but it the seductive bluealways light of go tablets and iPhones, is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from as placing greater emphasis than even on a Year to one of the lunch staff, or material gain 9and comforts. If this time is true then one must pupil view help another who unsure we, assee adults, ourselves as is culpable where to go for class. for raising them in that way. But I do not see that as straightforwardly true. In Sixth Form, I enjoyed a lengthy chat with Aidan who explained both the theory of The younger generation willpotential inherit the world as differentiation and its commercial we have left it, and right now they are desperate application. In English they were studying to shape they are frustrated by old ways. the it, 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 in a task that is so challenging and exciting that I want to stay and have a go myself. That is notit’s: new, it has been the way of Outside “Sir, havealways you seen my tie? things, only now there have never been Can you open my bottle? What did youas many to harness power, voice thinkattempts of last night’s game?theWhat time is it,and action young. Sir?” of and, at least once a day, “Oh my days!” It can be noisy at times and in a community this size can’tthe expect I met with Jordan and we Emma other day. everyone to get on with each other They are both in Year 11 and face all all thethe time. But it is our community, and a lively, challenges that go with that year. Their concern lovely, positive one at that. was not self-centred, but civil. “We know we have exam revision and coursework to Perhaps the single highlight of my week, if I complete, but we want to tell all the pupils and had to pick, would be the conversation I had students about Youth Council, we’re with Mrs. Fay Salford who is leading the campaigning for votes at 16”, they said. development of our new library. I am a Their enthusiasm and theand sincerity of their library enthusiast have been ever since commitment impossible to resist, it must be I was little. is The furthest reach of my nurtured our to young people. memoryinisall back moments spent in our local library entranced by its colour and bright possibilities. So, faced with all thatOn theTwitter attacks on #RememberingMyLibrary reveals Westminster make us feel and think,the wehold should that such an institution has: ‘A library card have no fear in turning to the young and seeing was as a free passof tooffering wonderment, words and them capable hope and love for the ability to roam the world’ observes one the future. I consider myself fortunate to see user, whilst another quotes the day.. wrought iron that in action in our school each gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of the escape that a library represented or of God the Bless. refuge it offered from an unkind world. Ben Davis Mrs. Fay spent last Saturday peacefully Headteacher stacking the shelves and we are inching closer to opening. What thrilled me was her Twitter: @BenDavis1972 comment that several boys, some of whom affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by presence of a library in their school: ‘You mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, Miss?’ was the breathless utterance of one pupil. Our library is at the heart of the school: a space for being open to and sharing ideas and experiences. It is openplan 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 Year 9 pupils have continued their ceramics work on British Values with a digital designer in residence at the People’s History Museum. Their work will be exhibited on April 6th at the museum. The many students and pupils who study our Design Engineer Construct! courses welcomed guest lecturers from the School of the Built Environment, Salford University to enhance the work they are doing. As ever our guests were stunned by the quality of the work by our young people. Our Year 12 Business Studies students continued their work with Manchester Airport with ACM Platform while in other airport-linked work the 6th form team who are co-ordinating the Teenage Cancer Trust work are hard rehearsing for their fashion show. It was great this week to welcome to the school Lawrence Bettany from Caritas Salford who presented to Year 7 on the work of the charity and how our pupils’ fundraising is making a difference in the city. Pupils in Year 8 RE have been marking the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis by writing their own Papal speeches, with Jemson Appleton being singled out for particular praise for his piece. Their key question in doing this was, ‘How would you change the world?’ Year 7s have also enjoyed a fantastic trip to the University of Manchester Science Extravaganza, where they were singled out for praise for their curiosity, knowledge and conduct. Year 7 Science Club are no different and have been busy making lava lamps and learning about density over the past two weeks - a great experience for all. Its the time of year when our budding journalists head out onto the streets of Manchester to report on the top stories in their inimitable way for the BBC School Report initiative. You can read their work on their dedicated blog:https://ambroseschoolreport.com. We also enjoyed an excellent Year 10 Parents’ and Carers’ Evening with 76% attendance and many very positive comments and interactions. If you were unable to attend we would love to hear from you so that we can set up an alternative appointment. We would also encourage all Year 10 parents and carers to complete the survey: https:// www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WWLQJHT. The PE department reported a great success with the Year 10 boys football team getting through to the finals against Albion Academy after an exciting battle with Walkden in the semi-final this week. We have completed our interviews for entry to Sixth Form next year, with nearly 300 applicants for around 90 places and a very strong field we will be shortly be sending out our offer letters. Thank you to all who applied. The English department were enjoying the sunshine this week as 8A1 headed outside for inspiration as part of their descriptive writing course and Year 10s took their work on power and conflict into the great wide open. Also led by the English department a group of pupils headed to the Salford Children’s Book Awards to offer their reviews of a variety of new books. Year 7 got into their Readathon reading in all sorts of comfortable positions in class and simply enjoying their books, it was lovely to see. The past two weeks have also seen a wide array of trips and visits: Year 12 headed off the UCAS conference, PE students were kayaking, climbing, cycling and skiing for their moderation events while Year 13 were undertaking a variety of work experience placements as part of their BTEC courses. 3

calendar what’s on 

TUE 28

WED 29

Year 12 Parents’ & Carers’ Evening, 5pm 7 pm Teenage Cancer Runway Event, 7 pm

THU 30

FRI 31 SAT 01

Headteacher’s Surgery, 5 pm

MON 27


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 March 13th):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 overall

7f 8f 9f 10F 11B

99.3% 97.6% 99.0% 98.3% 96.8% 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 unauthorised marks may lead to a fixed penalty notice being served. 4



From top: Year 9 working on British Values; Year 7 at the Science Extravaganza


Top: DEC! students working with lecturers from Salford University; Bottom: Year 12 at Manchester Airport


TWEET OF THE WEEK Debra Kidd @debrakidd Mar 20

Thank you @BenDavis1972 for welcoming me to St Ambrose today. So lovely to see a school with hope and compassion at its heart. 7




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 15 March 24th  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 15 March 24th  

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