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this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 16 March 31st, 2017



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the week. Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the week. For parents and carers of Year 8, Year 9, Year 11 andIt Year 13 pupils andofstudents is about this time year thatmatters I meet of with choiceeach and Head discussions about the future of Department to reviewhave the a high priority just exam now. Iresults. can relate: of my summer’s Thisone involves own children move from plenty ofmakes usefulthe anddaunting thought-provoking primary to secondary year. These discussion, but itthis is usually talkingpoints aboutof numbers letters. Behind this data are transition have and considerable significance in the stories: how pupils did, how they felt, what lives of young people and their families. they liked and what they achieved. We always focussensitive on how things can beof big We are especially at moments improved as well as celebrating what change and I think this is partly because wewent well. As a Catholic school, exam results are deal with them by looking back perhaps to just one way of expressing the unique, Godconsider what we have lost, or reflect on the given talents and skills of to each pupil. It is personimportant we onceto were. This is even harder look beyond the data so I am when,delighted as parents and carers caught in involves the that much more of myupjob busyness ofineveryday we are suddenly being classes,life, walking around the school faced and withtalking the child sawstudents as ‘little’,and reliant on to we pupils, staff. us, growing up and going their own way, making If ever you are at all despondent or their own choices andfeeling mistakes. fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the school would quickly raise subjects your spirits. Let me The process of selecting to study at show you what I mean. Today (Thursday, Key Stage 4, of choosing a university or college instance, I dropped place September post-16, can29th) havefor this effect. It makes into Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was adults and young people together think about delighted to listen to performances of what the future holds. It Symphony, asks us to map a Beethoven’s Ninth Holdout Back life of the possibilities and opportunity, to aim for a River and When the Saints Go Marching career,In.theI also fulfilment of potential, of ambition. got to sit with Daniel and Chester Of course, those of us who have through as they demonstrated their been prodigious DJing all of that already know thatlunch, it is not as simple as talents. Next, during I supervised the canteen and madeand a point watching the it seems (if only it was!) that of what appeared that take daily. Pupils to and to be ainteractions straight journey fromplace school to college staff holding doors open for one another, university to job to happiness via the occasional littleturning moments of personal exam offering is in factthanks, a twisting, route of appreciation and gratitude. Of excitement, disappointment, risk, losscourse, and things don’t always go well in a school, but it exhilaration. is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, or It occurs mepupil that this choosing and seetoone helpprocess another of who is unsure planning for the future also encourages us to where to go for class. ask what our education is for. There is no shortage of politicians, public figures andchat people In Sixth Form, I enjoyed a lengthy with Aidan of who explained theory of in positions influence whoboth likethe to tell us what differentiation commercial our education shouldand be its for,potential but in the end it is a application. In English were very private, individual thing. they For all thatstudying school the play Blood Brothers and talking with and learning is social, we each have a unique humour and excitement about superstitions; experience of education and, I imagine, we each in Year 7 RE they were dissecting our new have differing views about the purposes of the mission statement and exploring the education we receive. personal meanings within it. School is a busy, bustling, humming place. At St. Ambrose, our mission statement (which can be found on our website and is displayed in

every classroom as well as in the foyer and on I get to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled page of this explains what we in a 9 task thatnewsletter) is so challenging and exciting consider to be the purpose of the education that I want to stay and have a go myself. on offer at this Catholic school. We seek to offer an Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie? experience that goes beyond realising potential, Can you open my bottle? What did you that is about than examWhat results and think of lastmore night’s game? time is that it, is Sir?” and,toatacquiring least once a day, of “Oh my not limited a range knowledge in days!” It can be noisy at times and in a subjects. Lots of schools agree with us. Just as community size we‘head, can’t expect we talk aboutthis educating hand and heart’, everyone to get on with other all the ‘the others articulate a similar each idea of educating time. But it is our community, and a lively, whole child’. lovely, positive one at that. InPerhaps our mission statement we have the single highlight of myattempted week, if Ito capture the importance of a range of different had to pick, would be the conversation I had aspects of education: curiosity, creativity, service with Mrs. Fay who is leading the ofdevelopment others, challenge, fulfilment of our personal new library. I am aand satisfaction, excellence, care,been compassion and library enthusiast and have ever since love. word is short, butofvery I wasThat little.last The furthest reach my powerful. memory is back to moments spent in our library entranced by its colour It local is essential that the education everyand young bright possibilities. On Twitter person’s education at St. Ambrose Barlow is #RememberingMyLibrary filled with love, teaches howreveals to love the andhold asks that such an institution has: ‘A library cardSo, young people to act out of love for others. was a free pass to wonderment, words and when making choices for the future we should the ability to roam the world’ observes one consider whatanother our understanding of the purpose user, whilst quotes the wrought iron ofgates education is. We should ask the of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, questions,’Why am I doing this? Whattalk does Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ Others of it mean to me?’that Weashould be asking the escape library also represented or of ourselves the much harder question: I doing the refuge it offered from an unkind ‘Am world. this with love?’ This can be interpreted in many Mrs. ‘Am Fay spent last Saturday peacefully ways: I comfortable with who I am and the stacking the shelves and we are inching choices I am making? Am I making them for the closer to opening. What thrilled me right reasons for the good of others? was Haveher I comment that several boys, some of whom considered those closest to me in making those affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by decisions?’ presence of a library in their school: ‘You mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, Many people will breathless blithely tellutterance you that change Miss?’ was the of one is good (as good as a rest we told), but it pupil. Our library is at the heart of theis only truly goodaifspace we use to reflect school: foritbeing openontowho andwe, on what we are doing on why weItare doing it. sharing ideas andand experiences. is openplan andwe its are shelves as a reminder As a staff hereserve to support parents, that there should be no barrier to anyone carers, pupils and student in making decisions usingthe its future volumes or seeking knowledge, about - doing so is an act of love for solace, information. I can’t the youngentertainment people in our or care and their families. wait to see it come to life in the weeks ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of helpers. God Bless.

Ben Davis, Headteacher

Ben Davis Twitter: @BenDavis1972 Headteacher

Twitter: @BenDavis1972



around the school this week It seems no time at all since our last newsletter, but in the intervening week we have seen so much exciting activity in and around school. Form time has been a riot of raffles and other activities raising money for St. Joseph’s Penny and Caritas, a charity of the Diocese of Salford. It is hard to go a few metres down the corridor without being accosted by a keen pupil desperate for you to purchase their wares. Even better was seeing two forms (one in Y7 and the other in Y8) receive a weekly Golden Ticket for 100% attendance. Often in this newsletter we celebrate groups of pupils, so it is delightful to see Hollie Mellor (Year 9) honoured as by the Rotary Club as a an outstanding young citizen this week. Later in the month she gets to enjoy tea with the Mayor as a reward for her service and selflessness. Well done Hollie! With Lent well underway we spent a lunch time this week holding a service of Adoration in the chapel. Organised by our lay Chaplain Miss Singleton it was very well attended with a wonderful, prayerful atmosphere. Year 10 pupils were exploring their future careers options this week at the Choices event in Manchester. There they looked at future university and college courses and considered the way in which their education so far is preparing them for their future. Some even came back resplendent in gory make-up. Year 12 also had a chance to reflect at the annual Parents’ Evening. With an attendance of nearly 70% this was our first evening for the newly expanded 6th form. We were delighted that so many parents and carers attended and that representatives from several northern universities were on hand to discuss future options with students and their families. Later in the week we hosted talks from speakers from Oxford University who spoke to Year 11 about the possibilities of attending Oxford and Cambridge after 6th form. The younger members of our school community did not miss out, however. We have been working hard on developing our whole school approach to literacy in a number of ways, not least through the development of the library and paired reading. The year 7 and 8 pupils who have improved their reading ages since Christmas got to celebrate this week with a trip to the Manchester Velodrome. Meanwhile business and enterprise pupils also had a cycling theme to their work in a partnership with the Dirt Factory where they were looking at different business models. Year 10 pupils had an amazing experience at the start of the week working with top theatre company Frantic Assembly exploring how cultural experiences can support the exploration of identity and British values. Frantic Assembly are the company behind Fatherland which is performed at this year’s Manchester International Festival. Also impressing us with their performance skills this week were the girls who performed at the Lowry Theatre in the Salford Dance Explosion as well as the Year 12 and 13 students who took to the catwalk at the Teenage Cancer Trust fundraiser at Manchester Airport. It was our first foray into the event and the weeks of intense rehearsal paid off as the team of nine models, co-ordinated by Mrs Grundy, looked every inch the model professionals on stage. Mr. Cammann’s 6th formers went behind the scenes looking at the filming of Countdown this week as part of their course. Finally, we were delighted to celebrate the sporting success of the Year 10 boys football team who took the honours in a hotly contested final against Albion Academy on Tuesday. The score after ninety minutes was 3-1, Albion having been a goal up in the first half. Mention must be made of manager and coach Mr. Gregson who led the team to their success. Year 8 pupils took part in the Siemens Rollercoaster Enterprise Challenge, while Year 9 watched a performance of Odd Arts play on Self-harm as part of our continued work prioritising mental health and wellbeing.


calendar what’s on

School Closes for Easter Holiday, 3.25 pm

T-Shirt Day & Year 7 Disco Exhibition of pupils’ work at People’s Museum, Salford (2 - 4 pm)

TUE 04 Easter Liturgies take place throughout the week

WED 05

THU 06

FRI 07

Porto Trip departs

SAT 08

MON 03


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 March 20th):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 overall

7B 8B 9C 10C 11M

Attendance and its impact on learning

95.7% 99.0% 98.8% 97.5% 100% 94.4%

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 Cancer5 Trust fundraiser


Year 12 Business students at the Dirt Factory



The girls at Salford Dance explosion; working with Frantic Assembly



Year 7 and 8 at the Velodrome; Year 10 presenting on British Values to teachers from across the North west


TWEET OF THE WEEK Jamie Graney @jamieg2892 Mar 30

Great evening at @SABSalford , thanks for inviting @LivUni to come talk all about #comingtolivuni ! Looking forward to future visits!





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 16 March 31st  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 16 March 31st  

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