Page 1




this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 20 May 26th, 2017



Head’s start .

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

On Monday evening I left the Year 11 Leavers’ It is about this time of year that I meet with Mass feeling optimistic, enlivened by the sense each Head of Department to review the of possibility thatexam our pupils embodied. It was a summer’s results. This involves wonderful, warm evening. The Bishop had plenty of useful and thought-provoking delivered an excellent parents, discussion, but ithomily; is usually talkingteachers about and pupils wereand mingling exchanging numbers letters.and Behind this data are memories andhow taking photographs; you felt, could stories: pupils did, how they what liked and what achieved. Wethe not failthey to see a bright andthey exciting future for youngalways peoplefocus there.on how things can be improved as well as celebrating what went well. Asday a Catholic school, exam results The following our school community, like are just one way of expressing the unique, communities across the world, was united in Godgiven talents and skills of each pupil. It is grief, horror and disbelief at the events that had important to look beyond the data so I am taken delighted place in Manchester just hours the that much more of myafter job involves Leavers’ Mass. being in classes, walking around the school and talking to pupils, students and staff. I find the contrast between the two events powerful andyou distressing for many reasons, butor If ever are feeling at all despondent quick of the school mainlyfatigued becauseI reckon it forcesa one totour reflect on the quickly your spirits. futureswould snuffed out inraise seconds by the Let me show you whatThat I mean. (Thursday, Manchester bomb. futility,Today that sadness September 29th) for instance, I dropped and that terrible, gnawing injustice would be into Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was overwhelming where it not for the resolute delighted listen people to performances of brightness of thetoyoung in our school Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back and across the Northwest. the River and When the Saints Go Marching

In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester Just as people have been victims DJing of asyoung they demonstrated their the prodigious this crime, so they have also proved to be the talents. Next, during lunch, I supervised the heroescanteen and heroines. Consider a minute the and made a pointfor of watching ways in which older generations to Pupils and interactions that take placelike daily. staff holding doors openlacking for oneinanother, characterise the very young: offering thanks,with littlematerial moments of personal resilience, obsessed luxury, appreciation and gratitude. Of course, like absorbed in their online identifies. Perhaps, things don’t always go well in a school, but it all of of us, they are some of these things is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from sometimes. But not this week. a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, or see one pupil help another who is unsure In the where last few have seen children and todays go forwe class. young people react with kindness and compassion. have witnessed them giving In Sixth We Form, I enjoyed a lengthy chat with support to one another, to adults and to the of Aidan who explained both the theory emergency services.and Weitshave seen commercial them differentiation potential application. Englishand theystill were studying experience terrible In carnage focus on playinBlood Brothers and talking with what isthe good others. They have harnessed humour andsocial excitement superstitions; their oft-maligned mediaabout to positive effect in Year 7 RE they were dissecting our new with uplifting and practical hashtags. And then, mission statement and exploring the confused, upset and hurt as they are, they have, personal meanings within it. School is a mostly, got up, come to school and, in the case busy, bustling, humming place. of Year 11s, sat public exams.

to Maths to find all of Year 9 embroiled AtI get school they have collected money for the in a task that is so challenging and exciting victims, taken time to speak with one another that I want to stay and have a go myself. offering words of comfort and, of course, Outside it’s: “Sir, have you seen my tie?they have reflected and asked questions. Can you open my bottle? What did you think of last night’s game? What time is it, InSir?” otherand, words they once have a found and at least day, the “Ohpersonal my emotional resources to at react in the days!” It can be noisy times andsame in a way as community size weage. can’tThey expect people three this times their are everyone to get on with each other all thetheir inspirational and they manage to harness time. But it is our community, and a lively, feelings into action. We should be very proud of lovely, positive one at that. our children - they are more than a match for the terror that was enacted against them and their Perhaps the single highlight of my week, if I culture on Monday night. had to pick, would be the conversation I had with Mrs. Fay who is leading the development of our new library. I am a the futility, sadness andbeen terrible, library enthusiast and have ever since I was little. The furthest reach of my gnawing injustice would be memory is back to moments spent in our overwhelming wherebyititsnot forand the local library entranced colour bright possibilities. On Twitter resolute brightness ofreveals the young people #RememberingMyLibrary the hold an institution has: ‘A library card inthat oursuch school was a free pass to wonderment, words and the ability to roam the world’ observes one Tomorrow weanother are holding a series of prayer user, whilst quotes the wrought iron services for all year groups. The pupils will lead gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, aspects of these services and Others will focus Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ talkonof seeking hopethat andalight in darkness. More the escape library represented or ofthan the Irefuge it offered an capacity unkind world. ever have great faithfrom in their to do this and to set an example to the rest of us. Mrs. Fay spent last Saturday peacefully stacking shelves we are inching I know thatthe many of ourand pupils were in closer to opening. What thrilled me wasand her attendance at the Ariana Grande concert comment that several boys, some of whom we are fortunate that none was hurt. affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by Nevertheless must in alltheir takeschool: the time‘You in the presence of we a library coming weeks to support those who are mean I can borrow this and, like, read it,upset orMiss?’ traumatised and to promote a positive, was the breathless utterance of one hopeful vision for the future. Our pupil. Our library is at the heart pupils of the and students this future andopen we astoadults school: are a space for being and have a sharing ideas experiences. It is openresponsibility toand them to model reconciliation, plan and shelves serve as a reminder respect anditstolerance as essential values. that there should be no barrier to anyone usingyou its volumes or seeking I wish all a peaceful, happyknowledge, half term and solace, entertainment or information. I can’t would like to take this opportunity to remind you wait to see it come to life in the weeks of the support that remains on offer in school ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of should you feel that your child needs it. helpers.

God Bless.

Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972

Ben Davis Headteacher



calendar what’s on 

Year 7 Parents’ Evening 5 - 7 pm

WED 07

TUE 06

Governors’ Meeting 5 - 7 pm

THU 08

FRI 09 SAT 10

MON 05


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 Cancer3 Trust fundraiser


We are the only school in the UK who is presenting Design Engineer Construct! students at Key Stage 5 this year. And here they are making history and passing with flying colours! Our Science club is making hay while the sun shines (almost literally) as they enjoy the first shoots of the seeds they’ve planted. Year 9 pupils enjoyed their first session of the Inspire to Aspire programme working on their skills for learning, life and work. 4


It has been another week of exams for Year 11. They are now well into the diet and have been benefitting from additional revision classes. They will have a final assembly on May 26th at which they can look back at the years and sign shirts as a last memento. However, after half-term they come straight back into a demanding series of exams. The new English and Maths GCSEs are already partially completed and in school we are trying to manage Y11 stress levels by offering additional counselling. At the end there’s still the prom to look forward too! Pictured here is the Y11 Drama class after their practical exam. Also on this page we have the everenthusiastic community litter-picking team who are out in action every Thursday afternoon to keep our streets clean #changemakers!



What a fabulous week it has been for weather. The Duke of Edinburgh groups have been making the most of it exploring the Ribble valley and preparing for more demanding walks and activities. Many challenges are much easier when the sun is shining and this one is no exception. Even better when you can light a huge fire and BBQ marshmallows at the end of the day.


We were hugely honoured to enjoy the Year 11 Leavers’s Mass at St. Luke’s church concelebrated by Fr. John and Bishop Arnold. The Bishop spoke about the power of friendship enduring through the years and the foundation for future fulfilment that is established in school. He also focused on the theme of the Mass: Who is God calling me to be? In doing do he shared the idea of Cardinal Newman that God has called each of us for ‘some definite purpose.’ The readings, bidding prayers and music were all led by the pupils and there was an excellent, supportive turn-out of parents and carers. We wish Year 11 very well with their future - we will not forget them! Their form tutors were each presented with a tree as a symbol of growth and hope.


TWEET OF THE WEEK Rose Wright @wrightrose124


@SABSalford good night at the mass not ready to leave school but can't wait for prom





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 9

Profile for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 20 May 26th  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 20 May 26th  

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