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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Yr10 Business

Year 10 Business students pit their wits and entrepreneurship against 15 teams in the Peter Jones Enterprise Challenge (held at Kirklees Collage, Huddersfield).  The tests required the students to create a innovative design and make judgements in order to achieve the highest profit.

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Salters Festival

On Tuesday 16th May, Alina Abbas, Oliver Hill, Kayden Ramsden and Annabel Wagstaff took part in the Salters Festival of Chemistry. They competed in The Salters Challenge and The University Challenge. In the Salters Challenge, they were solving a mystery by testing for different ions and using paper chromatography. In the University Challenge, were creating different colours of ‘paint’ using hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide solutions in different proportions. They were judged on their practical skills, problem solving skills and how well they worked as a team. The challenges were followed by science demonstrations and a prize giving  ceremony.

The team were fantastic and achieved 1st place in The University Challenge, winning prizes for the school. They were a pleasure to take on the trip and were a real credit to the school.

National Champions

SJF 66 v 0 Shotton Hall

Year 11 Girls are the National Champions for the second year in a row, beating their opponents Shotton Hall 66-0 in the final at Featherstone Rovers. Player of the match went to Caitlin Beavers again, after scoring 5 tries and converting them all.

Well done to all the team, fantastic result!

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Re-enactment of The Crucifixion

Sixth Form Students braved the cold and rain on Good Friday to uphold the traditional Re-enactment of The Crucifixion at the Long Causeway Church in Dewsbury.  Despite the weather, there were plenty there to support the students which included James Sweeney who did a wonderful job in his role of Jesus.

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Bon Appetit

Les élèves préparent des crêpes pour la classe de français.

Il fait fondre du chocolat

Elle étale du Nutella sur la crêpe.

Elle coupe des fraises.

Voilà de délicieuses crêpes

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Year 10 Workshop with the Bradford Peace Museum


Peace MuseumSome of our Year 10 students were fortunate to attend a workshop with the Bradford Peace Museum on 29 March. The workshop centred on World War 1 and the choices that people in our country faced. The students discussed values, equality, the right to vote and the actions and consequences of war. The discussion was then brought into present day conflicts and world peace issues. 


The students participated fully and engaged in very thoughtful debate. Our thanks go to the Peace Museum for offering this activity. 

Mrs C Kernan

First Aid Training!

Yr 12 Health & Social Care received some basic first aid training last Friday hosted by Daniel Tinker who works at Barnsley general Hospital and is a First Aid trainer for the Scouting Movement. Students learnt CPR and how to respond as first on scene.

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Spen Valley Champions!!

The Under 16 Boys Football team defeated Heckmondwike Grammar 4-2 to become Spen Valley Schools Champions on Saturday 25th March.
Having gone behind to a fortunate Heckmondwike opener, Fishers levelled through a wonder strike from Niall McKinnell. Without breaking stride, McKinnell struck a half volley from an attempted clearance which rocketed into the top corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
Heckmondwike went ahead again from another poorly defended set-piece which was soon wiped out with a long distance strike from Dylan Pickles. As the heat and high tempo started to take it’s toll, Fishers started to stamp their authority on the game and looked the more likely to snatch a winner. With only 4 minutes remaining, a neat interchange on the left wing led to an excellent teasing cross from Michael Chapman. Substitute Stephen Kenny anticipated and ghosted round the back of the defenders to volley deftly past the oncoming goalkeeper.

As Heckmondwike piled forward in search of an equaliser, Connor Appleyard intercepted and surged forward before threading an inch-perfect ball to Niall McKinnell, who took a couple of touches to compose himself whilst holding off the defender, before skilfully lifting the ball over the stranded ‘keeper to seal the victory!

It was a gigantic team effort which resulted in a thoroughly deserved victory!

Squad: Charlie Heaton, Ben McGreavy, Joe Smith, Michael Chapman, Connor Appleyard, Luke Hall, Lewis Teale, AJ Topping, Dylan Pickles, Callum Orange, Niall McKinnell, Sam Ola, Stephen Kenny, Joe Booth, Tom Haley, Jacob Feiweles.

Rocket League

Last week saw the culmination of almost three months’ hard work with the inaugural SJF eSports Tournament Final taking place.

Rocket League (basically football in cars!) was the tournament game of choice and almost 150 pupils from Year 7 – 13 took part.  The two finalists, Year 11’s ‘Veracity’ and Year 10’s ‘Mansfield FC’ were both on top form coming into the final with both teams not having lost a team through the group and knockout stages of the contest.

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The gathering crowds knew they were about to witness something special and both teams didn’t disappoint as each game in the best-of-three final featured some outstanding gameplay from all involved.

After two games, with each team winning one game each, the assembled masses were on the edge of their seats knowing that only one team could be victorious.  With tensions mounting (and some tempers fraying) the pressure was certainly palpable as the combatants took to the arena one last time.

After what seemed like an eternity, the mighty gladiators of Team Veracity emerged victorious, with a score line that really did not justify the incredible endeavour shown throughout by both teams.

Both finalists and losing semi finalists will now make the long journey to London where Veracity will take on the best of what other UK schools have to offer in an attempt to be crowned the first ever UK eSports School Champions.

But what is esports?

eSports is an evolution of multiplayer gaming. It is the practice of playing video games competitively. Players perform either solo or in teams (depending on the game) and winners are awarded prizes; which for the world’s best can reach into the millions. Professional arenas and live tournaments are organised, with thousands attending to watch live matches and millions following a live stream online.

What does this have to do with education?

The event is designed to engage and inspire students with computing technology and the creative digital sector using a medium and a platform that they are already very familiar with. By using the medium of games, students are introduced to and given insight into a new world of career opportunities developing in the UK. In addition, students are very much at the forefront of the entire tournament, with many taking on the responsibility of organising much of the regional heats.

The teamwork and collaboration required to play the game along with the strategic thinking required to win the game, provides creative links to help develop computational thinking skills. The game itself is a strong hook for further cross-curricular computing opportunities and ongoing work. We want the participants to think beyond the enjoyment of the game, to the people who have utilised their expertise in computing and creative technology to successfully build a game that is enjoyed by millions globally.

From encouraging students to engage with education to careers education, and cross-curricular creative computing lessons, to planting the seed of alternative career paths, eSports is a cutting edge and highly motivating educational experience for all those involved with it.

Every pupil involved in every team has behaved impeccably throughout the entire tournament.  An amazing amount of sportsmanship has been shown throughout and it has been a joy for me to be a part of an event like this, allowing pupils of all ages to participate in the same event.

Roll on next year!