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!

Year 9 Mass

On Thursday 16th March Year 9 walked down to Our Lady & St. Paulinus church in Dewsbury for our Year Group Mass.Yr 9 Mass 2017

Fr. Patrick Mungovin celebrated the Mass for us and in his homily he spoke about our solar system on how all the planets orbit the sun, and that is how it should be in our relationship with God.  He should be a centre of everything that we do.  As we are in the season of Lent, Fr. Patrick pointed out that the readings we heard, read by Olivia Brennan and Frances Newman-Burke, were perfect instructions on how we should live during lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving (acts of charity).

After Mass we carried our school banners with pride back to school through Dewsbury Park – it is good to let our local community know who we are and leave them with a good impression.

World Book Day

Staff and students celebrated World Book Day in their customary style of dressing up in their favourite book character and were engaged during every lesson reading a text set in the school to try and get to the truth about a fictional ‘theft’. Could the villain be a ‘trusted’ member of staff? Could the truth be uncovered?


WBD Reading Quiz

A group of enthusiastic Year 7’s participated the World Book Day Reading Quiz at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Lots of fun was had even if we didn’t win this time round!  Maybe next year.

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Career Ready!

On Tuesday 14th February was the day that we had our annual Icebreaker session for the Career Ready students. This is when our volunteer mentors came into school to meet up with our Career Ready students. The volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and this year we had people from Leeds Building Society, Locala, Flexitallic, KIrklees Council and Sesame Bankill.

There was a real buzz around the room as the students and volunteers “broke the ice”. By the end most of the students had been paired with their mentor and had arranged their next meeting. Students will be able gain the wisdom and knowledge of their mentors experience of the world of work. Over the years we have had many successful partnerships, many of whom stay in touch long after the programme is finished. Another fantastic opportunity that is available at St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy Sixth Form.

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Bernard Higgins – RIP

Bernard Higgins RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bernard Higgins who taught at the school for very many years.  His subject was mathematics and he was also a year head for many years.  We understand that his funeral mass will take place at St Paulinus church next Monday, 20th February at 12noon.

Speed Dating Success for St John Fisher Students!

Local NHS community healthcare provider, Locala Community Partnerships CIC, invited Health and Social Care GCSE students from St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury to take part in a ‘speed dating’ session with healthcare professionals.

Around 30 pupils aged 15-16 years attended the Dewsbury event, to find out more about healthcare professions. Practitioners ranging from health visitors, physiotherapists, pharmacy technicians and alcohol nurses had a 10 minute ‘date’ with students, which involved introducing themselves and their roles, before being asked questions about their backgrounds, daily routines and for careers advice.

One student, Lara Kiely, said: “I think the session has been really interesting as I have been able to find out about many different healthcare roles. Being able to speak to the practitioners has taught me so much more than reading a leaflet or looking online. Today has made me realise that there are opportunities to move around in a healthcare career too.”

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Bailey Chatha, another student, said: “Today has been brilliant. It has helped me understand what support patients need, which will help me with my case studies project at school and I’m really interested in finding out more about becoming a Physiotherapist.”

St John Fisher’s Head of Vocational Studies, Mrs O’Hare, said: “It was fascinating finding out more about the different roles and services that Locala provide, some of which I didn’t even know existed. The students really engaged with the practitioners and asked lots of questions. I think this session has been really valuable for them.”

Heidi Curry, Volunteering Services Manager, also attended the session, to give a short talk on the benefits of volunteering for Locala. Jo Swift, Locala Nursery Nurse, said: “I encouraged all of the students here today to volunteer, to help make themselves stand out from others when applying for healthcare roles.”

This event was part of Locala’s commitment to engage more with young people across Kirklees. Locala has also demonstrated this commitment over the last year by supporting ‘Takeover Day’, an annual initiative from the Children’s Commissioner which sees organisations across England opening their doors to young people to take over adult roles. Locala invited students at the event to share their ideas for this year’s ‘Takeover Challenge’, which saw a number of them keen to shadow practitioners, to get a taste of what it is like to work in healthcare.

As a community interest company and membership organisation, Locala values and welcomes the opinions of young service users and members of the community. Young people from across Kirklees are invited to visit the Young People’s Network pages on the Locala website, to find out more information and to have their say. The Network is also responsible for the content of this section of the website and regularly blog about topics such as body image and dealing with stress.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the Network can contact Youth Engagement Co-ordinator Emma Boyes at emma.boyes@locala.org.uk or find out more at https://www.locala.org.uk/get-involved/young-peoples-network/.