Attendance Matters!

  • Most children should routinely have attendance rates of 97% or more. This is the equivalent of 6 days absence per year. But 100% is achieved by many pupils at St John Fisher, 70 of them last year up from 57 in the previous year!
  • Research (by the Department for Education) has shown that 17 days absence in a year results in a drop of one grade at GCSE.
  • 90% attendance is like having a day off every two weeks (20 days missed)
  • 80% attendance is the same as having a day off every week (40 days missed)
  • For all absence – Parents / Guardians must ring or text school first thing to give the reason for absence and when the student is likely to be back. This should be followed up on the return to school with a Planner note.


A group of our Year 10 History students spent part of their half term on the annual Battlefields visit where they took in important sites from WW1 and learnt about the battles that were fought there; as well as stories behind some the soldiers whose graves they visited.  It was an eye opening experience and one that the students will not forget.

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eSports team wins Regional Finals

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St John Fisher crowned Regional Champions in first student esports tournament

7 March 2018 Having battled it out at the regional qualifiers yesterday, St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy came out on top in Manchester. Now the team prepares to compete in the Grand Final of the Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament, which is both a competitive gaming and careers education event taking place during the London Games Festival.

Students from St John Fisher, based in Dewsbury, joined four other teams from schools across the UK in Manchester, using Blizzard’s popular game, Overwatch, to compete for the coveted prize of Regional Champion. It was a close call between them and students from Liverpool Studio School, but ultimately it was St John Fisher’s Team Veracity that was victorious.

Kris Vilcinksas, a Year 8 student from St John Fisher, was the first student shoutcaster of the day, using live streaming video platform, Twitch, to share his thoughts.

Kris said:

“I’ve been commentating on today’s regional qualifiers event by shoutcasting on Twitch. It’s been really fun and the platform has lots of people talking about how the game is going and how the teams have been playing. I’m really excited to be shoutcasting at the grand final too!”

This ran in parallel to three other regional qualifiers that took place this week across the country, and Team Veracity from St John Fisher now joins the winners from each to battle it out head-to-head at the Grand Final, taking place at Gfinity’s London arena, 11 April 2018.

Bailey Barber-Scargill, Harrison Barber-Scargill and Josh Love, Year 12 students, said:

“We think today went really well and you can tell the team have been playing a lot and practicing. Esports isn’t just a lot of fun to be involved with, it’s also taught us a lot about strategizing and building our skills.

“Today could have gone either way and it was a close score, which has shown us that being prepared isn’t always enough and you have to evolve and go above and beyond to succeed. If this it just the regional qualifiers, the final is going to be awesome!“

Organised by Digital Schoolhouse, the education programme run by the games industry trade body, Ukie, and powered by PlayStation, the tournament will allow students from St John Fisher to meet professionals in a variety of roles within the sector, promoting the importance of computing skills and the wealth of careers available in games.

With powerful sponsors behind the initiative and this event in particular, students and spectators will be given the chance to hear from PlayStation, SEGA, Blizzard, ESL Esports, Warwickshire County Council, XMA-Viglen and Creative Assembly, about why they are getting involved.

Mark Ward, the Digital Schoolhouse lead at St John Fisher said: “We’ve worked really hard during the regional qualifiers heats and have enjoyed competing with Overwatch. Our team won the tournament last year so we’re excited to be heading to London for the Grand Final – hopefully Team Veracity will be reclaiming the title by bringing the trophy home again this year!”

Shahneila Saeed, programme director for Digital Schoolhouse, said: “St John Fisher has been a Digital Schoolhouse for two years and so this will be the second year they have entered. Team Veracity won last year and they’ve done well to get to the top of the regional qualifiers again, but there’s more stiff competition to come at the Grand Final!

“It’ll be a great chance for students to network, improve their teambuilding and problem-solving skills and learn more about the many careers available within the games industry. And we have some great sponsors behind us to share their expert knowledge!”

To register interest in becoming a Digital Schoolhouse, please complete the application:

For more information about the next esports Tournament, visit

Year 11 Mock Interviews

Mock Interviews for Year 11 were held last week in school. A worthwhile experience and great preparation for the future. Well done to all involved and thank you to the volunteers who gave up thier time to conduct the interviews with the students.

Gifts for Ghana

Donations to our link school (Wichau Junior High, Upper West Region of Ghana) finally arrived.  Sadly a little late for Christmas, still the thought was there. A hold up at Customs and red tape!  Special thanks to our Ghanian link Mr Mohammed Muniru Cosmos who fast tracked the parcel to its final destination.

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Staff donated a variety of items that would benefit both the School and the Community.  Our gifts were received with much delight and thanks.


Knit & Natter

The after school Knit & Natter got off to a brilliant start this afternoon with students from years 7 -12 plus staff. The atmosphere was that of excitement and enthusiasm throughout the session as some learnt a new skill while others shared theirs by helping others. The knitters were treated to hot chocolate and cookies whilst knitting and nattering.

The generosity of staff who are unable to come along after school is tremendous with many donations of squares arriving in the Chaplaincy throughout the day.

We shall Keep Calm & Carry on Knitting!

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First Friday Mass – Presentation of the Lord

On Friday 2nd February Fr John Aveyard celebrated our First Friday Mass on the Presentation of the Lord.

The Mass was led by students from years 7 & 8. The Mass Intention was for Roger Darbyshire, Chloe-Ann Walker’s uncle who passed away on Wednesday.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May he rest in peace.


Ofsted Inspection and Report 2018

Dear Parent/Carer,

You may be aware that on the 8th and 9th November 2017 St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy was subject to a Section 5 OFSTED inspection.

We have now received the final report from the OFSTED inspection team, and this is now  available for you to read on our school web-site.

You can view the report under the the About Us – Ofsted – Ofsted Report section.  The report can also be downloaded here – Ofsted Report 2018

The final report for the school will be published on the OFSTED web-site on Wednesday 31st January.

This coming Thursday 1st February I will be holding a meeting for parents at our school which you are welcome to attend.  The meeting will take place in our Main Hall and will start at 7.00 p.m.  My intention is for the meeting to finish by 7.45 p.m.

The meeting will be an opportunity for me to discuss the findings of the inspection with you, to outline our schools responses to the findings, and for parents to ask questions of me and Governing Body representatives who will be in attendance.

Yours faithfully, 

J Taylor


St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy

Chapel Helping Hands

Meet the new Chapel Helping Hands

Students from Years 7 & 8 accepted the invitation to offer their services to help in the Chaplaincy, creating and displaying posters, invitations and offering a warm welcome to visitors to the chapel during break and lunchtime every Tuesday.

Knitting Group

The Knitting has commenced!

Meet our team of eager knitters……

The Chaplaincy is starting a Tuesday ‘Knit & Natter’ after school club in February for both experienced and budding knitters. Students from across the year groups are coming together to knit squares of varying sizes to make sensory twiddle blankets for residents in local residential care homes with Alzheimer’s.

If you are interested please pop into the Chaplaincy for more information.

The generosity of staff and students has been tremendous with gifts of wool and knitting needles.


Enhancement Project to Dewsbury Minster

As part of a series of lessons looking at how Art is used to express Religious belief, Year 7 took a trip to Dewsbury Minster. Their task was to look at Christian Art and to seek inspiration for their own pieces of artwork and to examine where best to site their own masterpieces.

Mr Hawkins explaining the architectural detail of the Minster and its amazing stained glass windows.