15th January 2016
Dear Parents and Carers,
There is much going on in the school as the Spring Term draws towards its close, so an extra
Newsletter seemed a good idea. It will not be so long nor contain so many features as the usual
ones, but there is plenty also to read all about.
After several months of filling in the details and then waiting, and then sending off some more
details and more waiting, we have now been given approval to start the formal part of the process.
This in its turn will take a couple of months at least, so we may well not have everything done by 1st
June, but rather 1st July or even 1st September. We continue to work so that the outcome is right
rather than trying to do things quickly. We will also now begin the formal part of establishing The
Bishop Fraser Trust.
This news has only just arrived in school, so there should be some more detail in the next regular
Newsletter in early May.
Not reducing the school week from 25 to 24 periods
Thank you very much to the Canon Slade families who wrote in with contributions to this
consultation, with many challenging questions, clear views and helpful ideas. I managed to respond
to about half of them – apologies if you are in the other half – but I will reply to the ideas raised in
the coming days.
After much consideration, at their meeting on 5th April, the Governors took the view that it is not
right for the school to make this change from September. Therefore we shall continue with our
present school week and the timing of each day as it is now.
There are many reasons leading to that decision: families raised concerns about the particular
subject that would face a reduction in curriculum time if we made this move – such as the Arts in
Year 7, the second Foreign Language in Year 8, ICT in Year 9, and the possibility of extra Maths in
Year 11. There was also a feeling that we did not wish to lose one of the prime slots for sports’
practices and matches, or rehearsals for shows or concerts, which we would with an early finish on
There were practical considerations which loomed large – several families raised the issue of
childcare arrangements on the early-finish day, and our discussions with the bus companies did not
give us confidence that they would be able to organise the one different day – although there are
schools across Greater Manchester which do have an early finish day each week for whom the bus
companies do make such arrangements.
From a staff point of view, we all recognised the value of the weekly professional development time,
but could not see how we would enable part-time staff, not working on the early finish day, to gain
access to the programme. We also wish to preserve the four non-contact planning and preparation
periods for teaching staff, one of which would have been subsumed into the new scheme.
Finally, Governors and staff are mindful of how much change is happening in our school in the
coming months – academy conversion, partnership within The Bishop Fraser Trust, new
headteacher. We are also aware of the continued rolling programme of change in our GCSE and A
level syllabuses and soon in the way that all schools are funded. To introduce another element of
change and possible upheaval at this point did not seem sensible.
As promised, the consultation was a real one and views given to the school from families were
important in reaching this decision. Thank you for taking the time to do that.
What we will do next is to revise the school calendar for the coming year, looking at the place of
parents’ evenings and school events, department meetings and staff days, to see how we can get as
close as we can to what everyone agrees would be a very good thing: a weekly professional
development time for teaching and support staff who work closely with our students.
At the end of this term, we say farewell to two teachers who have given much good service over
many years to Canon Slade School and to our students: Ms Spencer-Craig retires from her post as A
level Psychology teacher after more than a decade of service to the Sixth Form, in which, in addition
to her teaching, she was a key organiser of the Year 13 Prom and many charity events.
Mrs Swithenby also leaves the Foreign Languages department. She is one of those rare teachers who
has devoted her whole career to this one school, for more than 30 years. She began here on
teaching practice, and then just stayed. Except that she did so much more than ‘just staying’,
teaching so many students over the years, leading the department, being a tutor, organising tripsand
so much more. We thank her so much for her dedication.
We wish both of them long and happy and healthy retirements.
Trips and visits
The end of Spring Term overseas ventures are on their way to Madrid, Paris and New York. Our
thanks to Canon Slade families for your support for these and we hope that the students and staff
have marvellous times.
It has been a demanding half term for the school and we have done so much together – ‘The Wizard
of Oz’ and the Dance Show, the Gala Concert, so much sport, so many lessons and so much activity.
Our thanks to all of our students – who are as exhausted as us, at the time of writing on Pasty Day,
the last day of term – who have worked hard and participated in so much. We have also appreciated
very deeply with what kindness and support they have treated each other in times of challenge and
Thank you, as Canon Slade families, for all of your encouragement and support, for your prayers and
for your contributions too. May the holiday ahead be restful and refreshing for everyone. May Easter
fill us again with the promise of hope and of new life, of new beginnings, because of the One who
went to the darkest places for us all.
‘Woman in Black’ trip
We are grateful to students and to parents and carers for support for the successful trip that took
place on the 22nd March. We took 36 students to The Lowry and it was a fantastic and thrilling
experience for the students to see the well-known film and book in live theatre. The students were
sensible, mature and a credit to the School. Hopefully the Culture Club will have more trips in the
Germany Tour with the Music Department – June 2017
On Tuesday 25th April at 6pm in the Chapel there will be a meeting for parents and pupils who are
going on the Germany Tour with the music department at the end of June. The evening will be an
opportunity for parents and pupils to ask the music department questions on the tour and you will
be given important information regarding the trip.
If any pupils have not yet brought back passport, EHIC and medical information to the finance
office can you do this as soon as possible. Thank you.
Year 10 students – work experience
The deadline for work experience confirmation forms to be returned is Friday 5th May. There are
still more than one hundred and eighty forms outstanding….
We hope that the Easter break will be a good time for students to find their placements!
Congratulations to the Year 8 and Year 9 boys’ football squads on becoming town champions this
season and well done to their coaches, Mr Brookes and Mr Stephenson.
We had a wonderful night in a full – and warm – chapel on Wednesday evening, 5th April, as we were
entertained superbly by the school’s student musicians. There was folk music and there was rock
music, a Mozart flute concerto, ‘a reprise of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ , the concert band giving
us ‘Phantom of the Opera’, saxophone and percussion groups, guitar and flute ensembles, delightful
solos from GCSE and A level students, and a chance to sing Happy Birthday to Mr Moore.
Our thanks to all parents and carers for your support and applause! Congratulations to all
performers on such high quality and musicianship, and our gratitude to the Music Department,
teachers and peripatetic tutors for the hours of practice to bring the concert together.
The year group services have taken place in the Chapel and we are grateful to the Revs Iddon, Pearce
and Ainsworth for being with us to celebrate the approach of Easter. Our theme was ‘Building a
Kinder World’, taken from our visit to Coventry Cathedral. We shall follow this up in our assemblies
after Easter, when we shall be looking at Being Kind, then Being Well, Being Good, Being Busy and
Summer Term begins on Monday 24th April at the usual time. We have the Bank Holiday of course on
1st May and very soon shall be reaching Year 11 Leavers’ Service (Thursday 11th) before Founder’s
Day on Friday 12th
These arrived just too late for last month’s Newsletter – apologies.
Canon Slade Junior Boys Swimming Team
Greater Manchester Youth Games Champions
The Junior Boys’ swimming team swam superbly at the Greater Manchester Youth Games held at the
Manchester Aquatic Centre. Having won the Bolton Town championships they went forward to
represent the Town at these Youth Games.
The team made up from: Jake Reynolds, Sam Murphy, Harry Robinson, Dan Gregory, Tom Gillard,
Zac Walmsley and Josh Auberry took on the very best from the other regions in Greater Manchester
and, having swum individual races, a Medley Relay and Freestyle Relay they were placed first and
were duly awarded their winners medals. Well done to all swimmers who can be very proud of their
success. This comes on top of recent success at the Sutton Trophy and earlier in the term the Bolton
Town Swimming championships. In both these competitions the school finished in first place.
Canon Slade Swimmers Secure Third Trophy Success
Canon Slade swimmers secured a third successive win in the prestigious Sutton trophy organised by
Manchester Grammar School. Held at Stretford Leisure Centre, the 11 invited schools prepared to
compete in this annual event.
The competition comprises two age groups – Colts and the Open age group. Colts are Under 15 from
1st September and the Open age group is Seniors (those over 15). However, there is nothing stopping
a very good swimmer who is Under 15 competing in the senior age group. Teams that take part may
be mixed if schools wish and there are heats and finals. There are two finals – an A and a B race with
points being awarded for those schools in the A final. The swimmers swim a Medley Relay and a
Freestyle Relay and can be in both.
Canon Slade first won the trophy back in 1999, but since 2015 have now won it three years running.
This latest success was by just two points from their nearest rivals St. Ambrose College.
The Colts Medley relay team was made up from Harry Robinson (Backcrawl), Jake Reynolds
(Breaststroke), Abi Harrop (Butterfly) and Alisha Hogan (Frontcrawl). In the final they swam 2:08.2 to
take first place. The Open age group in the Medley Relay was made from Gabe Glynn (Backcrawl),
Charlotte Hulme (Breaststroke), Ben Gregory (Butterfly) and Ben Clark-Davidson (Frontcrawl).
They posted a time of 2:05.10 in the final which put them in third place.
In the freestyle relay for the Colts, Abi Harrop, Harry Robinson, Alisha Hogan and Jake Reynolds
swam a time of 1:58.86 and finished in third place whilst the Open age group comprising Maya Ezra
Essien, Ben Clark-Davidson, Gabe Glynn and Ben Gregory came fifth with a time of 1:53.89.
When all the races have finished the points are totalled up. The scoring system is such that if you do
not come in first place, the other places still matter. The fact that Canon Slade were in each of the
finals (four in all)< with a first, two thirds and a fifth place, the 37 points were just enough to
squeeze past St. Ambrose who finished with 35.
An excellent result and a competition slightly different from the usual ones which added to the
enjoyment of those competing.