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this week in our school . . .

Volume 3 Issue 05 October 6th, 2017

getting it right ready respectful safe



Head’s start .

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

This week in the this Catholic Church is Prisoners’ It is about time of year that I meet with Week.each It coincides with World Mental Health Head of Department to review the Awareness Day on Tuesday, 10th. In summer’s exam results.October This involves one week, of great significance and plentytwo of issues useful and thought-provoking complexity that often are talking given aabout stage. discussion, but overlap it is usually numbers and letters. data are It is easy to be cynical aboutBehind themedthis days and stories: how pupils did, how they felt, what weeks and there is always a risk that they bring they andso what achieved. an issue toliked the fore thatthey it shines brieflyWe always focus on how things can before being forgotten once again and be receding improved as well as celebrating what are went into the background of our lives. But these well. As a Catholic school, exam results are two issues that we cannot, should not, ignore. just one way of expressing the unique, Godgiven talents and skills of each pupil. It is The first because in which our society important tothe lookway beyond the data so I am treats delighted those whothat have broken laws, much more of my job involves transgressed done wrong says muchthe about being inor classes, walking around school us as and a community. The second because the talking to pupils, students and staff. prevalence of mental health problems, of If and everdepression, you are feeling all despondent anxiety has at never seemed or fatigued I reckon a quick tour of the greater to me. Both matters ask of us thatschool we would quickly raise your spirits. Let me do what we can, that we do to others as we I mean. Today (Thursday, would show have you donewhat to us. Both exert a grip on our September 29th) for instance, I compassion, our ability to understand dropped the way into Year 10 GCSE Music. There, I was other people work and our commitment to giving delighted to listen to performances of a voice to the vulnerable, the marginalised and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Hold Back the ignored. the River and When the Saints Go Marching In. I also got to sit with Daniel and Chester Our packed our sometimes as theyprisons, demonstrated their prodigious DJing overwhelmed could lunch, be saidI supervised to suggest the talents. courts, Next, during canteen pointofofpreventing watching the that there may and be amade betteraway that takeoffenders; place daily. crime interactions and of rehabilitating andPupils I say and staff holding doors open for one another, that without for a minute dismissing the offering work thanks, moments of personal extraordinary thatlittle those who work with appreciation and gratitude. Of course, prisoners do. The often-reported increase in things don’t always go well in a school, but it mental health issues tells another story, but one is lovely to witness a voluntary apology from that isaconnected. Perhaps society, its or Year 9 to one of the our lunch time staff, values, its culture, is not conducive to people’s see one pupil help another who is unsure happiness. whereIttomight go forreward, class. but it doesn’t fulfill, it fails to nourish. In Sixth Form, I enjoyed a lengthy chat with Aidanthis whomean explained the theory What does for ourboth school? Firstly,ofwe differentiation itsmatters potential commercial must recognise that and these exist and are application. In to English theyabout were studying important, they have be talked with play Blood Brothers and talking youngthe people. Second, both issues are with humour and excitement about superstitions; opportunities for us to deal in the hope that our in Year 7 RE they were dissecting our new faith offers and to turn this into action. Young mission statement and exploring the peoplepersonal especially are so good - taking meanings withinatit.this School is aa challenging issue andhumming taking concrete busy, bustling, place. actions. I see this around school each day in the way that children and young people are proactive in fixing relationships, in reaching out to one another or

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. toOutside staff to restore it’s: “Sir,what havehas youbeen seenbroken my tie?by an unkind word or amy moment rudeness. Can you open bottle?ofWhat did you think of last night’s game? What time is it, Sir?” and, at least once aus, day, “Ohismy As Pope Francis reminds there hypocrisy days!” It can be noisy at times and in a the in seeing only wrongdoing, in not seeing community this size we can’t expect person who has made the mistake that any of to getSometimes on with each all the useveryone could make. weother all need to fail, time. But it is our community, and a lively, to come up short, in order to see that things lovely, positive one at that. have to change, that there is another way, a way ofPerhaps hope and Mental health course, thelove. single highlight of is, myofweek, if I different, it is not a failing, but it can be had to pick, would be the conversationa Ishared had experience, a moment when we with Mrs. Fay who is leading therecognise that we can’t alwaysofcope, thatlibrary. we have lostahope, development our new I am but that others haveand experienced too and library enthusiast have beenthat ever since they can help.The There mustreach be noofshame I was little. furthest my in memory back moments spent in have our asking for is help or to admitting that things local library entranced by its colour and overwhelmed us. bright possibilities. On Twitter #RememberingMyLibrary reveals the hold Whether we encounter the prisoner or the that such an institution has: ‘A library card person suffering anxiety the challenge we are was a free pass to wonderment, words and set is to see ourselves in them, to see God in the ability to roam the world’ observes one them remember theythe arewrought someone user,and whilst anotherthat quotes ironof equal value and worth to ourselves; that we gates of Stalybridge library, ‘Read, Mark, could easily be them. Digest.’ Others talk of Learn and Inwardly the escape that a library represented or of the refuge it offered from an unkind world.

there is hypocrisy in seeing only Mrs. Fay spentin last Saturday wrongdoing, not seeingpeacefully the person stacking the shelves and we are inching who has made theWhat mistake anyherof closer to opening. thrilledthat me was comment that several boys, some of whom usaffect could makeof reading, were electrified by a dislike

presence of a library in their school: ‘You mean I can borrow this and, like, read it, InMiss?’ working onthe ourbreathless school culture this year we are was utterance of one putting all of our efforts into ensuring that our pupil. Our library is at the heart of the faith is expressed in justice, love,toforgiveness school: a space for being open and sharing ideasso and experiences. is that openand tolerance that we celebrateItall it is to and its shelves a reminder beplan human, even whenserve life is as hard and we need that theretoshould be but no barrier anyone someone carry us, also sotothat we always using its volumes or seeking knowledge, reach out to those who have made the mistakes solace, entertainment orand information. that we could have made we act asI acan’t wait to see it come to life in the weeks neighbour of goodness and compassion. ahead thanks to Mrs. Fay and her band of helpers. God Bless.

Ben Davis, Headteacher Twitter: @BenDavis1972 Twitter: @BenDavis1972



around the school this week The big event this week was our annual Sixth Form Open Evening which took place on Thursday. A year after it was relaunched our Sixth Form is full and over-subscribed, rated Good by Ofsted. Judging by the attendance at the Open Evening we can look forward to a huge number of applications for entry in 2018. As ever we were especially delighted to welcome Year 11 pupils from other Salford schools and some further afield. At present our Sixth Form enjoys great success. Everyone who applies to university secures a place and most exceed the UCAS points they are asked for. Over 50% of students go to university and several each year leave our DEC! programme headed for top training positions in some of the biggest construction firms in the world. On our BTEC courses the average grade is a Distinction and 95% of leavers secure the destination of their choice. Thursday night was a celebration of this and of the hope we have in the wider curriculum we now offer. If you would like to experience our Sixth Form, please make an appointment to come in and see us. On Friday the school’s Fairtrade group, organised by Miss Dwyer Moores visited St. Charles Primary school to lead assembly. They presented to the whole school and invited parents and staff on the reasons for Fairtrade and the benefits it brings. The same group then spoke at Mass in St. Charles on Saturday and Sunday and manned the stall selling Fairtrade good and raising over £400. An outstanding effort! Mrs Tulloch and Mrs Chan took a Years 11 and 13 to the theatre this week to see Things I Know to Be True performed by Frantic Assembly at The Lowry, a powerful piece of drama that the pupils and students responded to brilliantly. On the pitch there have been no small amount of successes. The Y8 rugby team beat St. John Fisher 30-20 at home, while the Year 9 team beat Walkden. The Year 11 team beat the Blue Coat school in the GM Cup 5-2 on Thursday. We also heard this week that former pupil Will Hope has been selected for the Ireland Rugby League World Cup squad heading to Australia later this year. All this week Year 11 have been benefiting hugely from retreated led by a speaker and facilitator from Life. The retreats have been challenging and required pupils to engage with some big ideas and question their beliefs, but they have done so brilliantly. 

'Credo In Unum Deum' The beginning of our Creed (belief), which we recite each Sunday as a community, we acclaim the audacious claim: 'I believe in One God'. This 'I' is a personal statement but, paradoxically, it is also a communal 'I' of the Church as a whole - united together in a single voice. In such a pluralistic society where our centre of gravity seems to be in flux, we as Catholic-Christians claim that we are centred and rooted in the belief that there is but One God. In an age where consumerism and 'keeping up with the jones' seem to be the mission of the day, we find ourselves, more than ever, needing to find a place where we can be firm, secure, and at peace. Where is it that we go to find our centre of gravity? Where we can we truly be ourselves? What place is there that even our mess and confusion can give way to the realisation that I am a someone? For the Christian it is in this phrase 'I believe in one God'. This loaded phrase means that 'I', in the good and bad, in the joy and confusion, in the drama and the mess of life, am a someone, and this someone is in communion with God. This is God who doesn't 'sort out my problems', but rather is God who says 'even in all the confusion I AM WITH YOU’. At St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School we try to find ways to promote the truth that each person is valued, each person has worth, that '[each] of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.' (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 24th April, 2005, Rome). This is what makes sense of who I am, of who you are. The response is simply 'credo in unum Deum' (I believe in one God). This is enough for the Christian. This is where the 'I' becomes a someone, and this 'someone' has a purpose and an eternal reality. Only from this juncture can the mystery of our life begin to unfold into a wonderful collage of colour. 3 Have a blessed week. God bless. Fr. Gavin.

calendar what’s on  

Parent Council 6:15 pm

Governors Welfare, 5 pm

TUE 10

WED 11

Liturgy of Commissioning for Pupil Leaders, 6:30 pm

THU 12

FRI 13

Munich trip departs

SAT 14

MON 09

COMING UP THIS WEEK week beginning 09.10.17 week B

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. Attendance by year (October 6th):

Year 7 Year 8 year 9 year 10 year 11 School

97.6% 96.6% 96.3% 94.7% 95.7% 96.2%

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

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


Above: students at The Lowry Left: Shannon and Salah welcoming at the Open Evening


Preparing to lead assembly at St. Charles’ PS Getting the garden ready for some autumn planting


TWEET OF THE WEEK Benjamin Davies @BenDaviesRE

5 lessons in a row & morning/break/lunchtime/after school duty- hardworking, motivated & joyful young 7 people @SABSalford #loveinlearning





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. 3 Issue 5 October 6th 2017  

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

St Ambrose Barlow Weekly Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 5 October 6th 2017  

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