Friday, 17 May 2013

St. Boniface's Catholic College Blog for week beginning 20.5.13

St. Boniface’s College in the news!

Ten Tors report.

Matthew (Y11) successfully completed a 45 mile route with Plymouth Explorer Scouts.

In addition the following student Matthew (Y9) was part of the 35 mile Plymouth Scout -27th Plymouth team.  They sadly did not complete, however Matt and the team were awarded special Ten Tors medals by the Brigadier as they selflessly sacrificed their chances by going to the aid of another team whilst en-route to their first tor. They heard emergency whistles and responded finding the team with a casualty and signs of hypothermia.  They provided help and support until Dartmoor Rescue arrived losing at least 2 hours from their day.


This meant that they only reached Tor 3 on day 1 (12 miles). Whilst one member did not start day 2 - the remaining team reached an amazing Tor 9 (a further 16 miles) by 2pm with only 7 miles to go. Unfortunately this was 20 minutes after their crash time and they were forced to stop by the organisers as the weather deteriorated further. But nonetheless a very determined effort and perseverance.

They are mentioned on the Ten Tors website

We are very proud of this team in particular and felt that you would also like to know about this extremely commendable behaviour from one of your students.


Team Manager & Scout Leader 27th Plymouth (Compton)



Moments to make us all proud!

Mr. Davies

Please remember that June 3rd is an INSET day and so pupils are to stay at home. There is a Year 11 English revision class running in the morning.

We had a fantastic celebration of Pentecost in the school hall this morning,(Friday)- music, singing and reflection. A Big Thank You to the RE department for arranging the celebration!

With next week being Curriculum Enrichment Week and Work Experience week clubs are suspended and there is no bulletin.

Year 7

A fantastic final week of the term for Year 7. Continued hard work and effort this term has really paid off, resulting in lots of “Head of Year Star Student” awards! 

On Tuesday of this week, we had our Year 4 & 5 Open Morning. This was a great success with five of our year group representing as Student Ambassadors, giving our visitors a tour of the College. What a fantastic group of students. They were exemplary and a real credit to the year group. Well done Jack, Frankie, Edward, Ben and Thomas.

 Tuesday was a very busy day for our year group with Mr. Weaver’s exciting charity event, “The Water Aid Challenge” completing the day. The boys had great fun taking part in the activity and lots of money was raised for charity! Please, if you have not already done so, sponsor the students involved to make this year’s event even more successful than last year.

Miss Heduvan ended our week with a lovely Pentecost service on Friday morning. This helped us celebrate such an important day in the Liturgical Calendar, so thank you to Miss Heduvan and the RE department for making this possible and so enjoyable.

 Curriculum Enrichment week is next week! I’m sure students are very excited, I hope that you all have a very safe but enjoyable week.

 A final note to say that I hope you all have a wonderful half term break and I look forward to the students return on Tuesday 4th June – Miss Beales, Head of Year 7.

Year 8

Year 8 had a successful Water Aid challenge. Congratulations to Piran who has raised over £100 on his own

Tom has reached the National finals of the British tap dancing championships the only lad from the South West

Mrs L Mcloughlin

Head of Year 8

Year 10

Good luck to all the year 10 boys going on work experience next week.  I'm sure they will represent the school with pride and demonstrate to future potential employees around the city that they have the right attitude and an excellent work ethic. 

Congratulations to Alaistair and Andrew for successfully completing the 45 miles Dartmoor Ten Tors event held last weekend.


Mr. Redfern

Head of Year 10



Year 11

All the best for the exams and thank you for all your efforts!

The exam invigilators were delighted with the boys’ conduct and approach during the RE exam on Monday. In fact, they have been really pleased throughout the entire period that the boys have been sitting formal exams!

Parents please remember that if you wish to have exam results posted home then please supply us with an A5 size sae. If the boys are happy to have a parent or another family member collect their results a letter to this effect must be written to Mrs Gimblett, the examinations officer.

After Curriculum Enrichment Week the boys will only have to attend lessons where exams are still to be taken. They must attend in full school uniform but they will be allowed to leave the school site if they have gaps between lessons

A number of boys completed the Ten Tors event in very challenging conditions last weekend. Well done to them!

Mr. Tucker


Post 16

We were fortunate enough today, Friday 17th, to have been able to spend time together as a group in the Chapel in the presence of Father John celebrating the Year 13 leavers day. Mr Tew spoke of his pride in the year group and of his desire to stay in touch with them. We wish them all the best not only in their examinations but also into their futures.


Please see below an update letter that I hope your son has brought home for you. Again as soon as our new website is up and running, assured will be in place any day now, I will be able to use it to post such information. There will also be a direct link to this blog from the website.


Dear Parents,

I wanted to drop you a quick note to keep you informed of what has been going on in the College since Easter. Following all the difficult media coverage, as I am sure you would expect, the staff at the College have been going about their business in a very professional manner. Our focus has been ensuring that all students receive the best possible education available. Whilst I understand that it is very difficult to please all pupils and parents all of the time it does not stop us from trying!  Our intention is to inform parents of important developments ourselves, before anything is reported in the media – though it doesn’t always work out like that. I know you will want to hear the outcome of the investigation. This is being dealt with as quickly as possible but it is still ongoing.

Thank you for your continued support of the College. We will continue as always to focus on the most important aspect of our work, to provide the best possible education for your sons’ and daughters. As staff we never forget the great privilege we have in helping to develop all our pupils and we are very proud of them.

The year 13, 12 and 11 pupils are now very close to the start of their A level and GCSE examinations. All efforts are being directed towards ensuring that they are in a position to achieve their best and staff will always be available to support them right up to the examination start. I visit every class on a daily basis, I am very pleased to be able to report to you that all are trying very hard in school. I hope that you as parents are seeing a similar effort at home. These can be stressful times for both students taking exams and families and I am sure your children will appreciate your support.

Year 10 are about to experience the world of work during their work experience week. I trust that they will find the opportunities provided to them rewarding and productive and can return to the College with a refreshed impetus to take them into their final GCSE year. All employers involved in the work experience week have had all the necessary checks, carried out by externally accredited to ensure the safety of students. A member of the College will visit the pupils at their place of work wherever feasible.

Our Key Stage 3, years 7, 8 and 9 pupils appear to be looking forward to their Curriculum Enrichment Week. An lot of preparation and resource goes in to ensuring that the week is a success. Every year pupils and staff comment on how good it is to see each other as something other than staff and pupil – a time for everyone to discover something a bit different about those around us.

On a more business-type note, the College management plan is proceeding well. Developing the Religious character of the College is a focus with hopefully a whole school outdoor mass taking place on July 5th. I am sure the British summer will not let us down. Thank you to those who were able to share the recent Year 11 mass celebrated with Father John in St. Peter’s.

Our six-weekly quality assurance meetings aimed at each of KS3, 4 and 5 continue – during these meetings close examination is carried out by Heads of Year, Curriculum Leaders and Senior Leaders of pupil progress. Reasons to celebrate pupils’ efforts are highlighted, the reverse is also discussed too, of course. 

Standards of behaviour and safety form another area that needs to be constantly monitored. Some boys make mistakes and this is a natural part of growing up. Our Catholic ethos is one to continue to offer support and guidance and this we do - as long as pupils and families are prepared to work with us. There is a clear line of firm support over which we will not pass. We believe that in their most formative years, boys and young men need clear guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and respect and we regularly enforce these to all. I know that you are supportive of us in this issue.

We have been having regular meetings with the Local Authority Finance division to ensure that we are managing our deficit budget in an appropriate manner and I am pleased to be able to inform you that the Governors of the College have been able to set a budget for the next year that matches all needs.   

You may be aware that the Government has altered the way in which all schools obtain their funding for vulnerable students, SEN pupils. This will have a significant effect on all schools and colleges. We are in the process of restructuring our provision in this area to meet these enforced changes. Please rest assured that staff and Governors are adamant that our recognised good practice in this area will continue.  As with all change there will be a period of unease as new practices become embedded. We will do all we can to ensure that this is handled sensitively and the pupils’ needs will remain our primary concern.

This time of year is always the most stressful in every school’s year. Not only are external examinations looming, but it is also the time when in the teaching profession most teachers look for promotion ready for September. I am pleased to report that our Head of Science, Mr. Hitchcock has applied for a more senior post in Cornwall and has been successfully appointed. Mr. James is also about to leave us. Mr. Mather our Head of PE is off to warmer climes in Abu Dhabi, where his wife has secured a position in a very prestigious college. I would like to thank all these colleagues for the hard work and dedication they have shown in their time with us at St. Boniface’s College and wish them all well. At the time of writing this letter to you we have advertisments in the teaching press looking to replace these key staff, interviews are taking place and I will let you know how these proceed.

Our new 21st Century website should have been launched by the time you read this. Please do familiarise yourself with the site as you will be able to find a host of useful information, as well as a link to my weekly blog, enabling you to keep abreast of developments and news from the College.

On a final note we intend to promote all year groups on July 1st this year. The reasons being that we wish the pupils to be settled with their new teachers ready for an immediate start back in September, it enables the teachers to set suitable tasks for pupils to keep their minds active on schoolwork – should they need it of course – and it supports our most vulnerable students and their families in not having to wait over a six week period with the potential to worry and become anxious about the changes needed.

I would like to share a prayer with you that appeared in our Year 11 Leavers’ Mass Booklet,

“Lord here I stand on the threshold of life – a new life

It’s like standing at the end of a long, lonely dusty road on a hot summer’s day.

There are road signs, Lord, lots of them:

They’re all offering me different things.

I don’t know which road to take.

Must I choose the easiest one, the smart highway, or the muddy path, the steep gravel road or…?

I know nothing of whom I am going to meet and see, and the difficulties to be overcome.

But, Lord do a friend a favour!

Help me live fully, no matter what, and to be completely human.

Walk with me Jesus.

Show me which road to take and help me along my path.”

I do hope that this letter has been of use to you and hope to produce a regular termly newsletter that can be found on our website as well as via this more traditional route.

Andrew Davies
Acting Headteacher

May 2013


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