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this week in our school . . .

Volume 2 Issue 6 November 4th, 2016



Head’s start .

Mr. Davis, Headteacher, reflects on the Mr. Davis, week.Headteacher, reflects on the week. WhenItI started St.time Ambrose Barlow is aboutatthis of year that I there meet with were aeach number of things that I expected. Head of Department to review And the there were someexam thingsresults. that have happened summer’s This involves that I would neverofhave predicted. Taking part in plenty useful and thought-provoking Sumodiscussion, wrestling with a member the PEabout but it is usuallyoftalking department, watched by 6th formers is one numbers and letters. Behind this datasuch are event.stories: The enrichment afternoon we held how pupils did, how they felt,just what prior to theliked holiday the setting for thisWe battle they andwas what they achieved. of the always titans and, it’s fair to say, I let Mr. Burns focus on how things can be win. Iimproved relate thisas not simply so that mywhat defeat is well as celebrating went forever recorded in the annals of the school, but well. As a Catholic school, exam results are also tojust demonstrate huge variety of positive one way ofthe expressing the unique, Godeventsgiven and experiences that come the way of talents and skills of each pupil. It is most of us if we to are lucky enough spend important look beyond thetodata so Itime am in the school. delighted that much more of my job involves being in classes, walking around the school At the end of the week I enjoyed a hour or so in and talking to pupils, students and staff. the company of Year 7 and 8 pupils who make up one of the so-called nurture groups. These If ever you are feeling at all despondent or groups are a new programme in the school and fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the school are enjoying considerable success. Pupils would quickly raise your spirits. Let me derive great enjoyment from the groups which show you what I mean. Today (Thursday, afford an opportunity for the development of September 29th) for instance, I dropped into confidence and key skills. Part of the process is Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was that at least once each week the pupils make delighted to listen to performances of tea and toast for one another and for staff. I Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back was delighted to be asked along to enjoy this thepupils. River and When the Saints Gomyself Marching with the Within minutes I found In. I also got to sit with Daniel and locked into a fierce game of Top Trumps, Chester trading as they the demonstrated theirofprodigious DJing and debating relative merits famous trains talents. Next, during lunch, I supervised from the last hundred years. It was a close-runthe and made a pointfrom of watching thing, canteen but victory was snatched me oncethe interactions that take place daily. Pupils and more. No matter! The tea, toast and good staffwas holding for one another, company moredoors than open a compensation. offering thanks, little moments of personal appreciation and Of when course, The final highlight of mygratitude. week came a things don’t always go well in a school, but it Year 10 pupil presented me with a Halloween is lovely to witness a voluntary apology pumpkin containing a chocolate cupcake. As from a Year 9 to one of the lunch time staff, the Americans say, ‘What’s not to like?’ The or see which one pupil another who isdelivery, unsure pumpkin, washelp billed as a special where to go for class. had pride of place in my kitchen and much to the delight of my children sprouted impressive Sixth Form, lengthy chat with black,In hair-like mouldI enjoyed over the ahalf-term holiday. Aidan who explained both the theory of differentiation and its potential commercial application. In English they were studying the 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. Having spent Outside it’s: the “Sir,previous have youweek seendealing my tie?in the language and data of inspection these three Can you open my bottle? What did you little tales illustrate the vibrant life we enjoy think of last night’s game? What time is it,here atSir?” St. Ambrose Barlow. an ethos that was and, at least onceItaisday, “Oh my caught by many parents and carers who, days!” It can be noisy at times and in a on being informed the we inspection, wrote to us to community thisofsize can’t expect share their very positive view of the everyone to get on with each otherschool. all the The same picture was painted by the Parent View time. But it is our community, and a lively, surveys which showed a very high level of lovely, positive one at that. satisfaction with the school. My thanks to all who took the to highlight completeofthese and/ or Perhaps thetime single my week, if Ito write to us. had to pick, would be the conversation I had with Mrs. Fay who is leading the Now that we have been back fromI the development of our new library. am half-term a for nearly a week thoughts turn to the winter. library enthusiast and have been ever since For many senior pupils this means mock I was little. The furthest reach of my examinations, the real thing drawing just a little memory is back to moments spent in our closer. More our Year 7 and Year 12 it means local library entranced by its colour and the realisation that whilst they might still be the bright possibilities. On Twitter newest, they’ve nearly been here for half an #RememberingMyLibrary reveals the hold academic year. For staff there’s the prospect of that such an institution has: ‘A library card Presentation Evening, the deepening demands was a free pass to wonderment, words and of courses and seeing our young people the ability to roam the world’ observes one continue to grow and thrive. user, whilst another quotes the wrought iron gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, This weekend many of us will undertake the first Learn and Inwardly Digest.’ Others talk of real celebration of winter: Bonfire Night. I love theevening escape and that always a libraryhave. represented or of this Whatever you the refuge it offered from an unkind world. are doing please make sure that you are safe and reinforce to your children the importance of Mrs. Fay spent Saturday peacefully sensible and safelast conduct around fires and stacking the shelves and we are inching fireworks. closer to opening. What thrilled me was her comment several boys, some of whom I am lookingthat forward to another success, varied affect a dislike of reading, were electrified by and vibrant term at St. Ambrose Barlow. presence of a library in their school: ‘You mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, God bless Miss?’ was the breathless utterance of one pupil. Our library is at the heart of the Ben Davis school: a space for being open to and Headteacher sharing ideas and experiences. It is openplan and its shelves serve as a reminder Twitter: @BenDavis1972 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 Over the half-term break a group of pupils headed to Paris for a long weekend of cultural excursions and excitement. The trip was led by Mr. Bessonies of the Modern Languages department and involved staff and pupils in a variety if visits and experiences. They didn’t make it up the Eiffel Tower, but did get to see all the sights and sounds of Paris. Mrs. Cheshire, who has played a leading role in developing our new approach to Enterprise and business education, led all of Year 7 in the first stage of their Dragon’s Den competition this week. 210 pupils worked tirelessly in the assembly hall developing their business ideas, building crucial team working skills and writing their pitches. Later in the day each team presented to the Dragons (many of whom were recognisable as less fearsome teachers) and enjoyed the experience of communicating a business idea. Watch this space to see how the ideas develop between now and Christmas. It was another busy week in PE department. We were delighted to see the KS4 Girls Badminton team announced as Salford winners. We were also delighted with the attendance at the girls badminton lunch time club. Some pupils from Year 10 GCSE PE benefited from a trip to learn more about climbing and watersports. Elsewhere a

number of teams were in action in a variety of different sports including football and rugby. With November 5th and Bonfire Night around the corner it was the perfect time to bring the fire service into the school. A team of fire support officers tutored all of Year 8 in fire safety and CPR meaning that in one day the whole year group are now HeartStart trained. Earlier in the month a small team of 6th form business and enterprise students met at Manchester Airport to learn more about the world of business and share ideas with top designers and entrepreneurs. Earlier this week 6th form students came together to mark All Saints Day and reflect on the personal inspiration offered by the saints. The service was led by our new chaplain Miss Singleton. Throughout the week pupils from all year groups have been leading assemblies that focused on British values and identity. They spoke about the traditional ideas associated with the UK and explored what values such as tolerance, fairness and kindness mean. Several talked about their own experiences of these values. It made for an excellent week of assemblies. Finally, congratulations must go to Samuel Bryan of Year 8 who won the North of England Cross Country Relay at the start of holidays.


Our victorious KS4 Badminton Team; Year 10 GCSE PE pupils take to climbing.


The wonderful Drama club in full swing; Year 7 feeling the white heat of ideas generation in the Dragons’ Den.


calendar what’s on

Open Events

nov 26

Sixth Form Careers Conference

WED 09

TUE 08 This is Careers Focus week

Meeting re. 2017 Ski Trip 4 pm

THU 10

MON 07

SAT 11 SAT 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 (w/b October 31st):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11

7C & 7L 8L 9A 10C 11B

99.3% 99.0% 98.7% 99.6% 96.7%

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. 6

TWEET OF THE WEEK ‘Thank you! Really impressed with the setup but more importantly the ethos.’ @ChrisSayburn writing about our Open Evening 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 6  

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

St. Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol.2 Issue 6  

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