Friday, 15 November 2013

St Boniface's College Head Teacher Blog for wb 18.11.13

Hi everyone,

A good week here at the College although our thoughts and prayers go not only to all those affected by war but also to the devastation that has hit the Phillipines and the thousands of people suffering there. The College community has rallied in an attempt to do all we can to help with collections being sent off via CAFOD, acts of remembrance and most importantly prayers. We observed a two minutes silence across the College on Monday – the boys were superb, my thanks to each of them.

We are all excited by the announcement of our new Bishop in the press last weekend. Bishop elect Mark is in our prayers as well as our sadness at finally seeing a successor named to Bishop Christopher, who of course is also in our prayers. From the little I know to date Bishop Mark has quite a history in education so I am hoping to invite him to the College at his earliest convenience.

I am sure that you will be aware of the resignation of our long standing Governor, Mr Steven Hole, from the Governing body as per last week’s blog. My thanks go to Mr Malcolm Teague for stepping up from deputy Chair and as you can see below the Governors have been eager to find an equally talented replacement:


“Dear Parents,

Further to the letter at the end of last week, I am writing to let you know that my short stint as Chair of Governors has come to an end. I am delighted to announce that governors unanimously voted for Graham Johnson to succeed me as Chair of Governors at a meeting on Monday evening. Many of you will know Graham in his role as Chair of Governors of Notre Dame or through his significant involvement in St Peter’s parish, Crownhill.  He will write to you shortly to introduce himself.

With all good wishes and support for Graham as he leads the Governing Body and College on the next phase of its journey of continuous improvement.

Malcolm Teague”


For all year 11 pupils – Nov 21st is our post 16 evening – what is life like as a sixth former at St. Boniface’s. 6pm in the hall – see you there!


PTFA Update

The College's PTFA are hard at work!  The work of Jill Blake and her dedicated team is nothing short of amazing!   

We have arranged numerous fundraising activities for Project Motiv-8, our Fitness Suite refurbishment project, with great success.  We have now raised £3800 for this cause and are close to our target of £4500.  Thank you very much for your support of this cause thus far.  Our recent Mufti day raised £964 and our College disco raised just over £300 - fantastic totals! 

To assist with the future work of the PTFA, we require donations of: 

1. Raffle prizes into school for the event nights (big or small!)

2. Playing cards and Uno cards for our College's Card Club

3. Your time at meetings or to assist us at College events 

Please also remember that our next quiz evening is  at 7:30 pm on Friday 6th December - please check your son's bag for a flyer!  To secure your table of 6 people, please send £21 to the College reception (cash or cheques payable to St Boniface's Catholic College PTFA) in a sealed envelope marked PTFA Quiz.  If you wish to come but do not have a full team, please send in £3.50 per person and we will find a team for you!  This event was a real success in July and we urge you to bring your own food and drinks.  All proceeds go to Project Motiv-8.   

D. MacCormick


A note below from Mr Baines regarding the Sims Learning Gateway, SLG, for parents:

If you find that SLG repeatedly asks you to enter your password you will need to change your privacy settings in your browser.

1) Open Internet Explorer

2) Select Tools > Internet Options

3) Select Privacy

4) Select Sites

5) In the Address of website add ‘’ and click Allow

6) Click OK and restart Internet Explorer and try changing the password again



Gifted and Talented, G&T

There is a G&T PE and ICT event taking place on Wednesday 20th hosted by Devonport High School for Girls and the Plymouth Life Centre. 5 more able boys will be representing St Boniface’s Catholic College.



 Dear Parents

We are holding a Careers Fair at St Boniface’s Catholic College on Wednesday 20th November from 6.30pm -  8.30 pm in the Main Hall.

We would like to invite all students and parents from Years 9, 10, 11 and Post 16 in order to explore career pathways, employment opportunities, further education and discuss opportunities with PLT training providers.  Careers South West will also be attending to provide advice and guidance.

We are hoping to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for our students looking for information about future career opportunities.  Please find listed below the variety of visitors we have invited to the Careers Fair:


PCAD – Plymouth College of Art and Design    CSW – Careers South West

Plymouth University                                                Plymouth Community Care

Peninsula Medical School                                                 GHQ

Marjons                                                          HIT – Hospitality Industry Training

Babcocks                                                       Duchy College

Royal Navy                                                   Saltash College

RAF                                                                Skills Group

Dbs Music                                                   Norpo Training

Achievement Training                                Plymouth City College

EDT Engineers                                            A Plus Accounts

KPMG                                                                        Vickery Holman

Pauline Quirk Academy                             Access SW

Army                                                               Discovery College

Fursdon Knapper                                        Solicitors

It is a very important time for the students as they are all making decisions about their future.  It is therefore vital that they have this opportunity to discuss what their options are and hopefully this will spur them onto a successful career.

 We hope you enjoy the evening and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Mrs R Hudson

Careers Coordinator

01752 779051 x 231

01752 753972

 Last week saw our vocational skills event, a great success as you will tell from the photographs below! Thanks to all those involved.


Panda Knitting Club knitted  48 hats which were posted off to support the Innocent Big Knit.  This campaign is designed to support the elderly in our own communities and nationwide. 

Hats of various shapes colours with pompoms, googly eyes and even two octopus arrived in a steady stream from students parents and staff alike.   Many donations of wool and needles were a great help to make this project successful.  Staff and students enjoyed knitting and this encouraged new members to join our Panda Knitting Club which has been running this past year.

A huge thank you to all the students and parents especially Adam’s mum who sent in bag full of little hats.  Many thanks to my colleagues Mrs Snaith and Mrs Rogers who assisted the students with pompom making and having fun.

Mrs Parsons – Panda Knitter





Year 7

 Yes it really is only 25 school days until Christmas, although I am starting to believe it now, with the 6 degrees that lit up on the dash board of my car this morning!

 A very busy, yet rewarding week for Year 7. We now have 1200 entries onto SIMS for a range of achievements including merits, achievement awards, home-learning and effort in learning. Well done boys, I’m incredibly proud.

This week we had lovely remembrance assembly for Armistice Day from 7K. The music playing as we entered the assembly hall really set the scene and  the words so eloquently spoken by 7K moved everybody and gave us all a chance to reflect. Thank you to everyone from 7K who were involved.

 Well done to Sam, Luke, Chris, Kieran, Warren and Tom who took part in the annual Plymouth and West Devon Cross-Country Championships on Thursday, on behalf of year 7. It is so pleasing to see so many students attending extra-curricular activities. We offer a great range of activities so please remind your sons what is available!

 On Friday we had Children in Need, celebrated with a  mufti day. I’m sure you have already heard of the pastoral team’s terrible singing and dancing with the Year 7’s on the yard at break time and lunchtime! Well done for everyone who got into the spirit of things by dressing up! There were some great outfits!

To ensure the extremely high standards that Year 7 continue to demonstrate, please can I ask parents to make a note of the following;


·          Students should adhere to the hair and uniform requirements at all times. I hope that the boys have managed to have suitable haircuts over half term! Please also ensure that the correct outer wear garments are being used as the weather starts to turn towards winter. Students should only be wearing black or navy blue coats, thank you.

·          Mobile phones should not be on during the school day. They should be switched off and in bags so that learning is not disturbed.

·          Home learning should be completed for all subjects in a timely manner. Please can parents insist on checking planners and guiding the students with organisation.

·          Please can parents ensure their son has a reading book in his bag every day to support our reading scheme. This is to further help and improve literacy standards whereby all students will undertake 30 minutes of silent reading each day.


Just a quick reminder in advance that the Mentoring Day is on Friday 22nd November. For those of you, to whom this is a new concept, it is a collapsed day at the college where students will be expected to continue with home learning etc at home for the majority of the day. Parents (and students) will meet with their son’s mentor at a convenient time, to discuss the academic progress during the first term and put in place any intervention to overcome barriers to learning. The meeting times will be arranged with the mentors and will be approximately 15 minutes in length (similar to the old-fashioned parents evening). Students will have now received a letter from their mentor. Please can you contact mentors by email to arrange appointments.


7B’s mentor is Mrs Polson

7E’s mentor is Miss Heduvan

7G’s mentor is Mrs Printy

7K’s mentor is Miss Gosling

7V’s mentor is me, Miss Beales!


We all very much look forward to meeting you and discussing your son’s learning.

Another advanced warning is of the Carol Service for the Community of St Boniface’s College and the Year 7 students and parents. This is held annually at St Peter’s Church and this year, will be on Sunday 8th December. Year 7 students will be singing in the service, therefore attendance by all students in Year 7 is imperative please. We also welcome you along to the service and to enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies after in our new catering facility. More information about the service will be available soon!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend – wrap up warm as winter is on its way!

Mrs Beales – Head of Year 7

Massive congratulations to Sam who yesterday qualified for the West Devon Cross-Country team by finishing 6th in the Plymouth and West Devon trials at Staddiscombe. Brilliant!

Mr Tucker


Year 7 Inter House Soccer Challenge. 

Congratulations to 7 Barrett  who, having won three out of their four games, are the Year 7 Soccer Champions for this year. Well done to all the Year 7 students who took part over the 10 matches with such positive enthusiasm and good spirit. The presentation will be in assembly on Tuesday.

Mr Edwards



Year 8

Congratulations to Chris, Dayne , Eddie , John-Joe , Josh  and Zak  who all recently were successful in moving on to the next stage of their rugby trials.

Further congratulations to Ben, Chris and Callum who competed really well in the Plymouth and West Devon Cross-Country trials at Staddiscombe yesterday. Very special congratulations must go to Lewis Eason who finished 16th. It must be pointed out that the boys were running in a combined Year 8/9 race where the vast majority of runners were Year 9 boys. Lewis, who ran for Devon last year, ran a remarkable race and could still be offered a place in the West Devon team (the top 15 runners qualify automatically for the Devon championships).

Well done to the basketball team who played their first league matches last night. They beat Hele’s in their first game before coming up against a very strong Coombe Dean side. Despite losing this game they never gave up and showed great spirit. Well done!

Dr Trimming wanted me to highlight three boys in her tutor group who deserve a special mention. Harry, Lewis and Matthew all took part in Sunday’s Remembrance Service on the Hoe. All three are in different cadet set-ups and deserve a round of applause for doing such a great job!

 In Year 8, like every Year group, we’re trying to decide on a charity to support this year. If you, as parents and carers, have any suggestions please let me know.

Thanks to the team of form-tutors and mentors who do such a great job in supporting the Year 8 boys. We look forward to meeting you all at next Friday’s Mentoring day.

B. Tucker

 The Year 8 inter House Soccer competition has started this week with a positive spirit.

Mr Edwards


Year 9

This week started with a Remembrance Day assembly and a 2 minute silence in which all the boys dutifully paid their respect to current and past service personnel gave their lives in the call of duty, as I also mentioned last week many of the lads also paid their respect through their service cadetships on church parades in the city.

This week’s assembly also rewarded a number of students for their positive academic achievements this term, it was a real pleasure to be able to praise them for their efforts and I hope to be able to do this more frequently.

What is always rewarding is how as a school our students rise to an occasion, this week it was raising funds to help the victims of the Philippines to help communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan and of course Children in Need.

Thank you as always for your kind generosity.




Another busy week in Year 10…!

A big thank you to Mr Neethling and 10K for leading us in assembly Monday about remembrance - during the assembly the boys respectfully fell silent for two minutes, after which the boys led us in reflection and prayer.  A poignant moment for the year group.  Each student in Y10 wrote a remembrance prayer on the back on a red poppy last week, which was attached to a wreath and laid in front of the Union Flag – flying on the College flagpole throughout Monday.

We were very proud of Fletcher, Joshua and Harry for their unending efforts in raising money for CAFOD to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines earlier this month.  The boys gave up all of their break and lunch times to collect donations from the whole school.  Well done lads – you did a great job!

Thomas and George represented the year group and the College at the Plymouth and West Devon Cross-Country Championships on Thursday.  Mr Tucker was very positive about their efforts.

Jake and Bradley represented Year 10 at the BBC Children in Need Pudsey Party on Friday night at Falmouth’s Maritime Museum.  You might have seen them waving the giant SBCC cheque!  The boys were (as always) a credit to the College and fantastic role-models to the KS3 pupils.

There are still some places left on next year’s trip to New York City – the deposit (£100) deadline is November 30.  If you would like more information, ask your son to pick up a flyer.

Congratulations to Tom and George who competed so well in the Plymouth and West Devon Cross-Country Championships at Staddiscombe yesterday. As equally important as their success in the running, I would like to personally thank them for the way in which they looked after the younger members of the team, unprompted, just using their initiative. Brilliant!

Mr Tucker


Year 11

The focus this week for our year 11 boys was the start of their mock GCSE examinations.  So far the boys have conducted themselves impeccably and have been congratulated formally by our examinations officer Mrs Gimblett.  It is always good to see our boys performing well in sport, in or s outside of school and having a positive contribution in the local and wider community, so it gives me particular pleasure to congratulate Max for his recent sporting achievement.  Max, has been asked if he would like to join the water polo squad for the Devonport Royal Swimming Association.  He was invited to trial at Exeter for the regional development squad south west    and was so successful he was invited, on this performance, to join the squad.  He’ll be coached by the GB ladies coach at the Middlemore Police Headquarters.  Congratulations Max from all the teachers and tutors in year 11.

Don’t forget to come to school at 6 on Thursday 21st for a look at our post 16 life. Bring your friends!

Mr Redfern

Very well done to James (6th), Ben (10th) and Chris (14th) who all qualified for the West Devon Cross-Country team yesterday by finishing in the top fifteen at the Plymouth and West Devon Championships held at Staddiscombe. Fantastic! Congratulations, too, to Matthew Roberts who finished well up in the field and kept us entertained all afternoon!

Mr Tucker

Post 16

This week has been a very stressful week for many students. GCSE retakes have been happening and it is now essential for a student to gain a Grade C. Thanks must go to the English and Mathematics Departments for their help in preparing the students and to the extra revision sessions that they put on. Perseverance is essential when so much is resting on the result. Hopefully they have done their best and the results will show the hard work that they put in.

Next week is an important week for the future. The Year 11 into 12 Open Evening is on Thursday where we look forward to next years intake and tell them about what it is like to be a Sixth Former at St Boniface. It is also a time where we start to reflect and realise that time is running out and before we know examinations will be looming.

Your son will have a series of mock examinations in January by subject and preparations should now be starting. The technique of Examinations is crucial with the changes that the Government is making. The application of subject knowledge and the changing of grade boundaries are making examinations more vital. The changing to linear examinations in the near future and the removal of January resits is making June more important and also more stressful.

 I am looking to develop our counselling and support strategies and facilities for students. The current economic climate is making choices more limited in the future. The need for stress counselling and careers guidance is important.

Last week we have had a number of occasions where the Sixth Form community has rallied around and supported each other. Without this special support things would be a lot harder.

On a lighter note Friday was Children in Need day, many sixth formers in fancy dress as Super Heroes, a charity football match in the afternoon between year 12 and yr13 has just taken place!

The Sixth form facilities are starting to change. The Common room has been repainted, the SSS started to be prepped for painting. WiFi has been surveyed and should be installed soon. The next level of change is now been designed. The next painting session will be on 22 November. A huge thank you to all those involved in our last painting spree!! Van Gough beware.

The reintroduction of Parents Evenings comes into effect on Tuesday 26th November from 3.40 till 6.30. Appointments can be made now with your subject teacher. Love to see you there!

Mr. Tew


PE Extra-curricular Clubs Timetable

0730 - 0815
Breakfast Club
Fitness, Basketball and Badminton (all years)
1345 - 1415
Fitness Suite and Basketball (all years)
Fitness Suite and Basketball (all years)
Fitness Suite and Basketball (all years)
Fitness Suite and Basketball (all years)
Fitness Suite and Basketball (all years)
1530 - 1630
Rugby (Years 8 and 9)
Basketball Year 7
Rugby Year 7
Circuit Training (all years)
Table Tennis (Years 7 and 8)
Rugby (Years 10 and 11)

Year 11 Mock Timetable November 2013
Start time
Length of exam
Wed 13th
Maths Paper 1
Non calculator
1 hour 45 mins
Period 1 and 2
History Paper 1
2 hours
Period 3 and 4
Thurs 14th
Geography Paper 1
1 h 30mins
Period 1 and 2
PE (GCSE only)
1 h 30mins
Period 3 and 4
Fri 15th
French Listening and Reading exams
2 hours Higher
1 hour 15mins
Period 1 and 2 in Sixth form study
Product Design
2 hours
1 hour
Period 3 and 4 in Sixth form study.
Mon 18th
2 hours 15 mins
Period 1 and 2
Geography Paper 2
1 hour
Period 3 and 4
Tues 19th
Religious Studies
1 hour 30 mins
Period 1 and 2
11D 1 hour 30
11 LOP 1 hour
11 T 45 mins
Period 3 and 4
Wed 20th
Maths Paper 2 Calculator
1 hour 45 mins
Period 1 and 2
History Paper 2
1 hour 30 mins
Period 3 and 4
Thurs 21st
1 hour 30 mins
Period 1 and 2
Friday 22nd is mentoring day for all students – no exams
Mon 25th
All day
Mrs Wills’ room
Tues 26th
All day
Mrs Wills’ room



O God of truth and justice,

we hold before you those men and women

who have died in active service:

in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

As we honour their courage and cherish their memory,

may we put our faith in your future;

for you are the source of life and hope,

now and for ever. Amen.


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