Friday, 11 December 2015

Head's Blog 11th December 2015

Today we had our Advent Reconciliation Services prepared by Miss Hutchings. She reminded us that true riches are about how much we can give rather than how much we have and pointed out that there are only 14 days left to prepare for the blessings of Christmas.

Yesterday our Sixth Form students welcomed senior citizens for a Christmas lunch. It was really good to see our guests with the sixth form and Mrs Polson's Year 10 class working hard to make them welcome and make sure they were well fed and happy. It was also good to welcome back Mr Glanville and Mr Crossman who helped (along with Mr Ousey and our school musicians) to keep everyone entertained.

On Tuesday of next week we have our Senior Presentation Evening and I am very much looking forward to seeing the prizes presented and meeting some of our former Year 13 students and finding out about what they are doing.

Also next week we have the College Panto next week which promises to be even better than usual. This is on Wednesday and Thursday night. Also on Thursday we will have Carol Services in school. Parents will also be aware that the College closes for pupils at 1:35 pm on Friday 18th December and we re-open on Tuesday 5th January.

I have some very good sports news to share with parents. Firstly on Thursday 4th December the Year 11 Football Team played Plymstock in the semi-final. Mr Greenway tells me that conditions were not good and the boys had already had the disruption of the school having to close early because of no water. Nevetheless the boys put in a fantastic performance with the final score being Plymstock 0 St Boniface's 1 thanks to an Armand Rumbete wonder freekick. Mr Greenway is very proud of our boys especially since, as he reminded me, when we played Plymstock last year we lost 6-2.

Also we have 2 of our students representing Plymouth in the British Indoor Rowing Championships in London on Friday:  Billy Heath and Toby Marks. Both boys have worked extremely hard to get to this competition so congratulations to them.

Finally on Wednesday Mr Coleman took a group of boys to Plymstock to play in an under 14's badminton competition. The boys all played awesomely and over 2 weeks have managed to finish second in Plymouth for their age group. 

If your son talks to you about (and asks you for money for) the Sponsored Festive 500 that Mr MacCormick and Mr Romaine are undertaking and you are wondering what he means then I can help out. The Festive 500 is a challenge to cycle 500 km during the 8 days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. If that doesn't sound challenging enough Mr MacCormick and Mr Romaine are trying to set a record to do the 500 km as quickly as possible. The are going to start at midnight on Christmas Even and cycle until they have completed the full distance. They reckon this will take about 20 hours. They are raising money forCrisis at Christmas and the Shekinah Mission. They have set each Tutor Group the rather easier challenge of raising at least £22.29. That is the amount of money needed to house, feed and support a homeless person on Christmas day. Every tutor group that meets or exceeds this challenge will know that they have given at least one person a very happy Christmas.

Year 7 News
A representative from Lepra gave a talk to our Year 7 and Year 8 students during an assembly on Monday 7th December about the work of Lepra and how the charity looks after and treats children and adults with leprosy.  This is to help develop a wider understanding and empathy with people facing health issues which can often isolate them from their communities.

Between Monday 7th December and Monday 14th December students will have the opportunity to take part in fundraising to raise funds for Lepra.  Students have been given envelopes and have been asked to tell people about the work of Lepra, and collect voluntary donations to help support the charity.

We would like to ask you to support your son by enabling them to talk about their learning on this issue and permitting him/her to collect donations, only from those known to you and your family, or those whom you feel it is appropriate for your son to approach.  We do hope that you will feel able to support your son and thank you in advance for helping to give a life back to the many children and adults who are in great need of Lepra’s help.  

Parents Evening was a huge success last night, and we thank you all for your attendance.  It was a pleasure to speak with so many parents and hear of their son’s successes.  As some members of staff were unwell, please do not hesitate to contact them via email if you require information concerning your son’s progress in their subject area. 

Emails address are, for example; 

Unfortunately it has been brought to my attention that some individuals in Year 7 are choosing the wrong choices in regards to their behaviour.  As a Pastoral team, we cannot allow students to behave in this matter, and therefore the decision to issue a B4 detention, which is an hour after school, to any student involved in the following behaviours during lesson time and unstructured times;

 Pushing and shoving 

 Throwing wet and muddy leaves on the yard

 Swearing at other students

 Kicking and hitting in private areas

Students believe that the above can be perceived as being playful and messing around, which is not the case if their actions are at risk of putting themselves or others in danger of harm. Please note that it is only a very small number of boys that are involved; I am sure parents will be pleased that the College is taking action to make sure everyone is safe and happy in school.

Celebration assembly is very quickly approaching, and will be held on Thursday 17th December.  There will be many certificates handed out which have been issued by your son’s subject teachers, to recognise those students who are constant ‘stars’ in their lessons.  I will also be giving out prizes for students with the most merits in Year 7, and these will be recorded on Wednesday 16th December…so boys, you must hurry and get your merits counted by this date!

Kind Regards, 

Mrs Swann

The prayer theme for this week is homelessness - which makes Mr Romaine and Mr MacCormick's fund raising even more apposite. Boys will be using this prayer in their tutor rooms.
God of compassion, your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus, whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:
we hold before you those who are homeless and cold.

Draw near and comfort them in spirit especially in this bitter weather and bless those who work to provide them with shelter, food and friendship.

We ask this in Jesus' name.


Monday, 7 December 2015

Head's Blog 7th December 2015

The first thing I want to talk about today is the school closure last week. Like all Headteachers I really dislike closing school particularly when students are already here. I am very conscious that students, often with their parents, and members of staff made sterling efforts to get in to school; They will be very disappointed that lessons barely got going before boys were sent home. (Perhaps students were not that disappointed but parents and staff certainly were!) I am sure parents understand that a lack of water is one of those rare situations where there really is no choice but to send students home.

I have spoken to South West Water as I think the failure of the College water supply was predictable and had they contacted us much earlier (instead of an hour after the water went off) if would have enabled us to make a decision about closure sooner. I will be working with them to make sure that in the very unlikely event of something similar happening in the future we have better information in College.

I want to thank staff, parents and students for their helpful and calm response to the situation.

There are some important things happening over the next two weeks. Firstly on Thursday we have our Christmas Lunch for senior citizens organised by our sixth form students. Secondly on Friday we have Advent Reconciliation liturgies for all students. Next week we have Carol Services for students on Thursday 17th December. Friday 18th December is the last day of term. Students will be leaving College at 1:35 pm. Staff will be remaining on site until 3:20 pm to prepare for next term.

Students return after the Christmas Holiday on Tuesday 5th January 2015

In the last two weeks of term we will be raising money for Crisis at Christmas. Mr Romaine and Mr Maccormick are doing a sponsored cycle with a difference (more details to follow). They have challenged every form to raise at least £22.29 as this is the amount of money it costs Crisis to provide for one homeless person over Christmas. 
More details are here.

Year 7 News

Mr Tew and Mrs Cox are organising an OAP event for Thursday 10th December, which is an annual event where the grandparents of Year 7 are invited in for Christmas celebrations. Letters have now been given to students with the full details of this event explained.

To help support this event, we are kindly asking if Year 7 would be able to bring in a wrapped present that clearly states whether it is male, female or unisex, so we can present each Grandparent with a gift during their visit.  Last year we had gifts such as chocolate, biscuits, joke books, fragrances, shower/bath smellies etc.  We thank you in 
advance for those who are able to donate to this great event.

If your son has a Grandparent who is able to attend and would like to help out during the event, please ask him to express his interest to his Tutor.

The event is great fun and it would be fantastic to see as many students to support Mr Tew and Mrs Cox.

Unfortunately it has been brought to my attention that some individuals in Year 7 are choosing the wrong choices in regards to their behaviour.  As a Pastoral team, we cannot allow students to behave in this matter, and therefore the decision to issue a B4 detention, which is an hour after school, to any student involved in the following behaviours during lesson time and unstructured times;

 Pushing and shoving 

 Throwing wet and muddy leaves on the yard

 Swearing at other students

 Kicking and hitting in private areas (this may result in a B6 - a day in the link room)

Students believe that the above can be perceived as being playful and messing around, which is not the case if their actions are at risk of putting themselves or others in danger of harm.

Parents Evening will be on Tuesday 8th December from 3.30-6.30pm.  Your son will receive an appointment card this week during Tutor time, and it will be his responsibility to arrange a time with his subject Teachers, ensuring that you note on the appointment card which times you are available between the times mentioned above.  

However, please do not hesitate to contact your son’s subject Teacher via email if necessary, emails address are, for example; 

Each appointment is a 5 minute slot which will give you time to have an overview of your son’s current progress, and to discuss any questions or queries that you may have in regards to your son’s academic progress across all subjects. We very much look forward to seeing you all there.

Kind regards

Mrs Swann

The prayer them this week as we approach the Christmas Season is "incarnation" and students will be using this prayer with their tutors:

God our Father, you created light and all that we can see. Show us how to grow in a sense
of wonder that we may “really see” and appreciate all the beauty that is around us. Lead us to discover how inter – connected are so many things in life and how inter – woven with your presence. 

May the coming into our world of Jesus, your Son, who lived fully as a human being, remind us that we are all called to be at – one with you. Show us how to transform all 
that might be ordinary in our daily lives and, through your Spirit, become more fully alive, to your greater glory. Amen.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Head's Blog: 23rd November 2015

I am very pleased to be able to report a number of successes last week. Firstly the year 11 football squad competed in the quarter finals of the Plymouth schools cup on Thursday. The fixture was against DHSB who reached the quarter finals of the English schools cup last year. The boys, captained by Lewis Guest performed fantastically showing immense effort and great team work throughout the fixture and won the game 4-1. Mr Greenway is rightly very proud of all the players for the manner in which they conducted themselves and the pride they showed in representing the school. Special praise must go to Ewan Morgan for putting in an outstanding performance.

Secondly the PTFA Quiz on Friday was a great success primarily because it was enjoyed by all who attended. In addition the event raised over £700. I am very grateful to all those involved.

Thirdly we were visited on Friday by Sir David Carter who is the Regional Schools' Commissioner for the South West. Sir David is responsible for monitoring and making decisions about all the academies and free schools in the South West so that is Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset all the way down to Penzance and even the Scilly Isles. Sir David was interested in what we are doing to improve our College. He met with the Leadership Team, observed some lessons and spoke to students. He was tremendously impressed with what he saw, especially during his conversations with students. Parents may have seen his tweet about us:

As Advent approaches it is a good time for me to give you early warning of our College Pantomime and Christmas Concert which will be in the last week of term.

Year 7 News
Mr Ousey has shared some great news this week…”Sam Hammond was involved in a Reptile Convention event on Monday 16th November at the Achievement Centre in the city centre.Sam gave a 10-15 minute presentation to approximately 50 people - all University/College students going into Pet 

His talk was on his Woma Python - Stripes - and he talked about their care needs and how to handle them. He was also detailing his breeding program he is establishing for them!

Sam also took other snakes along and then helped the audience to hold them! Bad news is that Sam also bought a tarantula at the event - here's hoping he doesn't want to bring it in!”

This is great news, although I’m not sure about the tarantula!  Well done Sam.

Mr James has shared this great news…"The year 7 rugby team came home Cunningham Cup trophy winners after 6 hard fought games! 

It was a brilliant day with 10 schools; almost 150 Year 7 students competing.

The boys were awesome and represented the school magnificently.”

Mr Tew and Mrs Cox are organising an OAP event for Thursday 10th December, which is an annual event where the grandparents of Year 7 are invited in for Christmas celebrations (letters will be available in due course with more definite information).

To help support this event, we are kindly asking if Year 7 would be able to bring in a wrapped present that clearly states whether it is male, female or unisex, so we can present each Grandparent with a gift during their visit.  Last year we had gifts such as chocolate, biscuits, joke books, fragrances, shower/bath smellies etc.  We thank you in 
advance for those who are able to donate to this great event.

If your son has a Grandparent who is able to attend and would like to help out during the event, please ask him to pass his name to his Tutor.

Mrs Swann

The prayer theme this week is "Media" and boys will be using this prayer:

Lord Jesus, in the world that you love so much we are surrounded with advertising on the 
streets, in magazines, on TV and on the internet all trying to convince us of ways of enjoying ourselves and becoming likeable and popular.

Keep our vision clear and show us how to distinguish between what is shallow and what is of lasting value. Inspire us to choose ways of deeper happiness that lead to fullness of life. 

We ask this of you who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Amen.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Head's Blog 15th November 2015

We ended last week with a day raising money for Children in Need. Make sure you look at our Facebook page for pictures of the boys. I will let you know the total raised next week.

We also had some important sporting success recently. On Thursday our Table Tennis squad travelled to Eggbuckland to compete in the Devon School's tournament. The U16 team managed to get to the final where they were narrowly beaten by the home team. To be second best in Devon is a great achievement.

The Year 7 Rugby Team managed to go one better and win the Cunningham Cup trophy coming out top of 10 schools.

Year 7 News

Mrs Coot had the pleasure of accompanying members of the HMS Heroes group on two visits the first to HMS Raleigh and the second to Plymouth Guildhall, just before half term. She was accompanied by Will Gillen, Oliver and Morgan McClean, and students from other year groups to the guildhall just before the half term break to take part in three days of lead learner training.

The training required the learners to work in a team, planning and developing learning activities, action planning, personal targets and giving effective presentations. Opportunities for the students to reflect and think about what being a service child meant and the positive and negative impact it has on them was extremely interesting.

Well done boys for being such role models to our College!

Mr Trimmer - The boys below have expressed an interest in becoming involved in a production of 'A Thoroughly Modern Mill' at Notre Dame.  Danielle Orlans is coming to talk with them this week about this production, and hopefully we will see some of them (or all!) collaborating with Notre Dame in this production.

 Joseph Massey

 William Gillen

 Oliver Jackson

 Ben Cookson

 Oscar Dawson

 Ethan Murray

 Ethan Hamley

 Jacob Jones

 Brendan Garill Perkins

 Alex Coen

 Ryan Brown

 Tom Pyne

 Russell Felix

Mrs Swann

The prayer theme this week is "Vocation" - on Thursday Year 9 will have this as a theme for their retreat. Students will be using this prayer during Tutor Time.

Loving Lord, inspire me to bring out the best in others and “touch hearts” by being welcoming and generous and always positive in attitude, showing individuals that they matter and are important. May those who are part of my life this say treat me in the same way as I treat them. 


Monday, 2 November 2015

Head's blog 2nd November 2015

On Saturday our New York trip returned. Mr Scott tells me that the boys had a great time but returned very tired! I am sure they will have had a chance to catch up on their sleep before returning to school tomorrow.

I would also like to make you aware of an event at St Peter's Church on Friday. 

Gen Verde are an international performing arts group of the Focolare Movement and will be performing at St Peter's Church in Crownhill Plymouth on Saturday 7th November at 8:00pm. I thoroughly recommend this event to young people and parents.
Tickets: £5 tickets on sale at the door. For more details see the Plymouth Diocese website:

Year 8 and 9 news
This term has seen a positive start to the school year; students have shown a positive attitude to their studies and as a result have gained many merits through the college’s new rewards scheme. As I write this blog our lower school students – those in years 7 & 8 - have received  in total 4853 merits: Year 8 2240 and year 9 2613,  a fantastic achievement. 

Further congratulations go to the current year group leaders, Esala and Liam.  Year 8 has seen a great competition all term with the early leader Esala being chased all the way by Gee and it is fitting to see both students sharing the top spot at the end of term 1. 

Year 8
Esala Lomani 105
Gee Paul 105
Spencer Luetchford 87
Year 9
Liam Hamley 94
Tyler Gregory 86
Jack Rigbey 84

With the college looking to offer exciting prizes to the winners we further encourage all students to strive for success in the gaining of the merit tokens next term.

Next term we will be issuing details of an educational trip to Disneyland Paris which will run in February half –term so watch your e-mails for further details. More and more notices are being sent by e-mail so please ensure we have a current up to date e-mail for you, if you have changed address just send me an e-mail with your son’s name and year to and I will update our records.

As always I would like to wish students a good half-term week, and if you are travelling - as I know some are- a safe journey and remember we return on Tuesday 3rd November  with smart correct uniforms and shoes (NOT TRAINERS), with  short haircuts ready for the new term and all it holds as we start our approach to Christmas with Advents, school concerts and pantomimes.

Mrs L McLoughlin

Year 7 News

The Buckfast Abbey retreat is going fantastically, and I have been very lucky in being able to visit some Tutor Groups to see how they are getting in.  So far I have seen some lovely Stained Glass jam jars being created, Mr Trimmer climbing a tree (please see the photo on the right for evidence of this), fantastic questioning from the students while visiting Buckfast Abbey, helpfulness while clearing away after meal times, excellent pizza making skills and great team work.  Lots of photos are being taken during each Tutor groups visit, and these will be shared next term.

The Merit Leader board is constantly changing, as seen below, and I know that many students have been receiving merits during their time at Buckfast Abbey, and these will be added to their current totals in the first week of the new term – keep going boys, you are all doing fantastically!

Thomas Oliver
Jack Ryan
Morgan McLean
Jack Meertons
Oscar Dawson
Rayan Kalam
Samuel Hammond
Archie Netherton
Oliver McLean
Dylan Jones

William Gillen has been chosen to represent the HMS Heroes at the Guildhall this week, so I look forward to sharing some information and hopefully some photos from this soon.

“Alfie Bettell had a piece of writing published in a book along with other students from St Pauls RC Primary and a few other primary schools. The book is called Starlight and it’s a mayflower 400 anthology of young people’s writing. 

The event I believe was organised by Plymouth City Council and I believe the books are available to purchase. Each child was presented with a copy of the book and a £10 Waterstones book voucher by the Plymouth Lord Mayor.  As you can imagine we are very proud.” – said by Alfie’s Mum.

Term 1 is very nearly over and I really can’t believe how quickly it has gone, it has been a fantastic but busy term, and I look forward to seeing everyone fresh faced and recharged on Tuesday 3rd November (please note that Monday 2nd November is an INSET day for all students).

Kind Regards,

Mrs Swann

On a final note, we have a very small number of students who are arriving late for College. Please could parents make sure that students leave home in plenty of time so that they can arrive on the College grounds by 8:45 am.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Head's Blog; 17th October 2015

Over the last few lessons your sons' teachers have been assessing their progress ready to report on where they are. Please find time to log in to SIMS learning gateway to check what progress they have made and speak to your son about his school work.

The other thing that happened last week was the Harvest Liturgy. Thank you for your generosity in contributing food items - we collected over 600 items. These have gone to the Plymouth Food Bank and the Shekinah Mission.

We also a passed a milestone last week - over 10 000 merits were earned. Well done to all the boys for their hard work in lessons.

This is how the Leader Board for merits looks:


Merit Leaderboard
1Ciaran Olford190
2Jack Humphris112
3Esala Lomani105
4Gee Paul103
5Liam Hamley94
6Spencer Luetchford87
7Tyler Gregory86
8Jack Rigbey84
9Alfie Tasker83

We are also half way through our Year 7 retreats. Last week it was 7B and 7K. Next week it will be 7G and 7V.  I really enjoyed sharing Wednesday evening with 7K up at Buckfast and I am sure that 7G and 7V will enjoy Buckfast Abbey as much as 7B and 7K.

This week for Year 11 student we have our Sixth Form Open Evening starting at 6 pm on Thursday and those students going to New York over half term are very excited and can't wait to start.

Year 7 News
Mr MacCormick congratulated Mr James' Form on Wednesday on their time spent at Buckfast Abbey. The boys had a fantastic time bonding with their peers, whilst being involved in lots of different activities.  All arrived back at school today buzzing with excitement!  Mr Ousey's tutor group left for the retreat today at 3.20pm and I look forward to joining them in the morning.

Lots of photos have been taken already and I will make sure I include some in the blog after the half term break, once each tutor group has had their chance to visit Buckfast Abbey.

Mr Scott has been incredibly busy planning this year's St Boniface's Most quick though as there are limited spaces and they will fill up quick! Please see the details below;

Kind Regards,

Mrs Swann

Year 7 and 8 News
This week starts off with a big thank you to all the parents who contributed by donating gifts to our harvest appeal.  On Wednesday Years 7 & 8 had an assembly/liturgy on the topic of harvest and the starving. 

All gifts were greatly received by the Plymouth Food Bank and the Shekinah Mission who were seen leaving the school site with fully laden cars and big smiles. 
Did you know if all the starving stood hand in hand they would reach 20 times around the world - a sobering thought?

A big thank you also to our readers from year 7, they did a stoic job to stand up in front of the older boys and to lead the prayers, well done and many thanks.

Congratulations also to Callum Hill, Joe Cocker, Daniel Cornish and Joe Farr who successfully auditioned for the Plymouth schools choir who will be going to America in the summer to participate in the Mayflower celebrations.

Further congratulations to year 9 student Bartosz  Gwizdala  who successfully made the Plymouth schoolboys football squad for this season – hope the hand injury soon heals– not good for a goal keeper.

Keep up the good news stories

Mrs McLoughlin

The prayer theme this week is "One World". Boys will be using this prayer:
God of the impossible,

We pray for justice, peace and reconciliation;
When the challenges seem too many,
Remind us of your resurrection power;
Remind us of your vision of a world made whole.
Help us to hope that the impossible can happen