Friday, 13 December 2013

St. Boniface's College Headteachers Blog for wb 16.12.13

I believe Christmas is in the air! There certainly is a fair bit of excitement in the College. The St Boniface’s Carol service and the Science Christmas Show last week along with 2 evenings of Panto and Concerts this week, Wednesday and Thursday, all add to the festive feel. Nonetheless school work will continue right up to 1.35 on Friday 20th December when we break up. Being somewhat of a scrooge character until the holidays actually begin I feel that each and every lesson is important and school life will continue as normally as we possibly can, homework will be set for completion over the Christmas break.

 On the subject of homework staff at the College are encouraging/making boys use their planners to write their homework in. I have had several contacts from parents commenting that when they look at the planners there are no entries for subjects. When I then challenge staff it more often than not transpires that homework has been set but that it has not been put into the planner. Could I ask you to please check planners on a weekly basis – please do get in contact if there are gaps – I would much rather there be a case of pupils not entering the homework into planners than find none being set.

I have also needed to take a firm line on boys who persistently amble into College after the 8.50 start. Not only do these pupils miss out on their education but they also disrupt the learning of others by arriving late – this cannot be tolerated. As such starting on Monday I have asked that pupils who continue to be persistently late receive a full 1 hour detention with me after school. I am fully aware that buses can run late, morning traffic problems occur and just the general hurly burly of getting out of the house sometimes can cause problems – these actions are not targeted at the odd case but far more at regular and persistent offenders. We cannot allow educational standards to drop. Time management is an important part of growing up.

Anyway onto happier notes – I was very proud and pleased to be able to attend the commissioning of 5 of our students to be Eucharistic ministers at St Peter’s last Sunday. I am positive that the pupils will serve in a way that reflects the importance of the position and wish them all well on their individual journeys. As a staff we were also fortunate enough last week to have a staff liturgy arranged by year 11 pupils in our chapel  - again huge thanks to those pupils who not only arranged the liturgy for staff but also act as the bedrock for our student Christian Union group. It really is much appreciated.

It was a real pleasure to see so many pupils and parents at the Year 11 parent teacher evening last week. I hope that as parents you were able to get answers to any questions you had and received encouraging news regarding academic  progress along with areas to develop.
Next week I shall be sending home the Christmas newsletter so please do ask your son for it. I do hope you can make it to the College Panto and Concert, starts at 7, and would love to see you there.

It’s that time of the year again…oh yes it is!!....

Mr Trimmer and Mr Ousey would like to invite you to this year's festive Christmas Musical Concert and Pantomime, to be held in the College's Main Hall on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th of December 2013, starting at 7pm.

 'Come all ye faithful' and begin your Christmas with good cheer from the talented young men of St Boniface's Catholic College. Enjoy classic musical highlights during the first half and in the second half an explosion of Dickensian cheer, the Pantomime ‘What The Dickens’, written by one of our past pupils, Peter Simpson.  

Tea and seasonal food will be sold by Mrs Polson’s GCSE Catering Class and the PTFA, during a short interval.

 We do hope you can attend this wonderful occasion. Tickets are available from the College office for a voluntary donation. 

Mr Trimmer, Head of Drama

 The College is looking to run a course to help those parents who are struggling with the teenage years. Please see details in the forthcoming newsletter.

I am very pleased to report that St. Boniface’s College is now accredited to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Thanks to the hard work of Mr Claricoates we will soon have our own DofE group running!

A.   Davies


All Years –

 We've had an excellent term for extra-curricular fixtures and the Bonnies lads have impressed the PE Department immensely. The year 8 rugby team won 6 games out of 7 before half term and followed that up by winning 8 games out of 10 in basketball - a great achievement from that year! The year 7's came third in their basketball tournament and excelled in rugby losing only one fixture out of 8! In cross-country, Sam Y (year 7), Lewis E (year 8), James A, Ben G and Chris H (year 11) all finished very high in their respective age groups. The annual team table tennis championships gave our year 9's a chance to show off their skills, narrowly losing out on the semi finals by a single point! Massive congratulations from the PE Department for all the effort and success in the various fixtures and competitions furthermore, the commitment and enthusiasm in all of our clubs - especially the fitness suite at lunch time - has been fantastic. After a well earned Christmas break we return to football season, the year 9 basketball fixtures, among others. Thank you also to the sports leaders who have helped coach and umpire training and fixtures over this term including Harry R (year 9) and John B (year 10), the PE department appreciate the help.

 PE Dept


A few photos from the Panda knitting club can be found below – a diverse education!




Year 7 – Miss Beales

One week left of school and you can cut the tension with a knife as students are kept in suspense of who will receive the achievement awards in this term’s “Achievement Assembly” on Tuesday. As a year group, I have been so incredibly proud of your achievements boys and I very much look forward to celebrating your successes on Tuesday! (There is also a very special treat for the students from our Pastoral Team!)

I would like to take this opportunity to say a real heart felt “Thank You” to all who supported and attended our Carol Service on Sunday. It was a really lovely service and gave us all a chance to reflect on the important message of advent. Special thanks particularly to our readers, Tom, Joe and Jamie who read so eloquently, well done boys.

Out of school activities and well done mentions this week go to Luke R in 7B, who is playing for Torquay Elite Football Team and Tom Mitch for making the West Devon Cricket Team! Also, well done to Joe L-G (7K) who has been working on a community event at Devils Point, Josh B (7K) for his excellent diving at the Life Centre and George W (7K) for his effort in winning for Plympton AFC last Saturday. Also regarding football, Mason W (7G) scored two cracking goals for his team on Saturday! Keeping to the theme of being a Good Samaritan this week, well done to Leon S (7E) for his 5K Charity run and well done to a very modest Taylor K (7E) who qualified for the Devon Football Team, such a great achievement! Finally, Kallum B (7V) received a Bronze Medal for a diving competition at the Life Centre, well done Kallum and Bill D (7V), had a great result in his fencing competition coming 9th out of 20! Well done to all who were mentioned this week!

This week our assembly was such a thought provoking theme based on community and the Good Samaritan. Presented by Mr Ramage and Miss Heduvan, we watched the video footage from the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Derek Redmond tore his hamstring in the 400 metres semi-final but continued the race limping and, with assistance from his father, managed to complete a full lap of the track as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. The incident has become a well-remembered moment in Olympic history, having been the subject of one of the International Olympic Committee’s 'Celebrate Humanity' videos. This gave the students the opportunity to reflect on their learning and being a Good Samaritan in lessons and in their personal lives. It was such a lovely assembly, thank you to all of those involved. I was also able to give the students some well-deserved recognition for just that, including our three students who read in the Carol Service and also to Daryl R (7B) who has been improving dramatically with his phonics during intervention with Mrs. Hill in the Library. Well done boys.

We had the OAP Christmas Party on Thursday 12th December. This was run and organised by the Sixth Form team and students, and this year we had some of our Year 7’s helping distribute gifts and mince pies to our guests. (See attached photographs!) Well done to Lorenzo, Leon, George and Kiegan for being such great sports and dressing up as Santa’s little helper elves! Also, a big thank you to all who kindly donated gifts, the OAP’s were so thrilled with such an array of gifts and mince pies!

Some final reminders please for the last week of term;

·         Don’t forget this year’s Christmas Concert and Pantomime, “What the Dickens!” (An exceptionally loose adaptation of Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol”!). This year’s pantomime is written by an exceptional former student, Peter Simpson, so is one not to be missed! (Oh no, it’s not!). The pantomime will be on the 18th and 19th of December and you should’ve received a letter home with have full details of how you can snap up your tickets before they sell out! There are a number of Year 7 students involved this year, both on stage and behind the scenes, so please come along and show your support. There will also be a raffle and refreshments to raise money for our fantastic on-going PTFA “Project Motiv-8” and any donations towards the raffle will be gratefully received.

 I hope you all have a lovely weekend and if I don’t get the opportunity to speak to you all before, I wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas.

Miss Beales – Head of Year 7/ Christmas Quiz Winner 2013!

Year 7 -

A team of 8 students from year 7 travelled to the Life Centre on Wednesday to take part in the annual Plymouth schools basketball tournament. The lads played exceptionally well considering it was the first time the team had been together, coming third overall. Two impressive wins against All Saints and Stoke Damerel, two closely fought draws against Plymstock and Coombe Dean and a narrow loss to a very good (and tall) Ivybridge team. Many congratulations to Marcin K, Sam Y, Taylor K, Freddie D, James H, Tom M, JJ and Luke R. Thank you to Mr Claricoates for driving the minibus and to all the parents who came to support. The lads conducted themselves in an excellent manner and were a credit to St Boniface!
Mr James

 Year 9

Where has the time gone! I don’t know about you but I still have cards to write, presents to buy, carol services to perform, awards evenings and pantomimes to attend aarrggh, but by hook or by crook I’m sure I will get there. “Oh no you won’t”, “Oh yes I will”.

As you may have gathered it is pantomime season, and next Wednesday and Thursday evening is the school concert and pantomime, tickets available from reception, come and support your sons or their friends who may be performing.

Thanks to the lads who helped to arrange our annual OAP party – mainly 6th form and to some of our lads who helped make it an enjoyable occasion, thanks also to those who attended our annual college carol service held at St Peter Church last Sunday which always helps us to focus our thoughts on the real meaning of Christmas.

This week is our last school week of the year with lots still going on both during and after the school day so no time to relax yet - all systems go until we reach the finishing post – 1-35 Next Friday (20th Dec). Until then good luck with all the pre-Christmas preparations I am sure I will bump into many of you in town as we scurry around looking for those last minute presents.

Mrs Mcloughlin

Year 10
Our College Chaplain – Ms Chapman – emailed me this week to let me know a ‘thank you’ certificate from CAFOD for the £180.99 raised. Ms Chapman commented “I know this was a school effort but it was your year group that initiated this - so thank you to you and your year group.”

David K received his music result on Friday - 75% for ABRSM Grade 3 - a super achievement!

George B managed to raise a staggering £453.10 for Shelterbox by performing a sponsored swim – well done!

We’re really excited about Christmas concert and pantomime this week!  There are a number of Year 10 students involved in the pantomime “What The Dickens?” – so a big well done and good luck to: Noah B, Owen B, Tavien P, Scott C!

Also in the festive spirit are the Year 10 GCSE Catering students – who have been busy preparing a meal for 60 guests at this year’s OAPs Christmas Party!  The event was a great success!  Well done again boys!

Mr Scott

Year 11

It was great to see so many year 11 parents attend the parents evening on Tuesday.   The evening went well and I for one enjoyed the opportunity to meet and chat with some parents that I hadn’t seen for quite a while.  A number of the boys in year 11 are involved in the preparation of the Christmas pantomime and concert.   Tickets are still available for the two performances on the Wednesday and Thursday of the last week of term.  Carrying on with the thespian theme, it is so pleasing to see Andrew not only finding the time to take a significant part in this year’s pantomime production  but to also  play  the role of Thenadier in  Les Miserables at the Lipson Muse Theatre with the Wranglers Theatre Company from 18th-22nd of February 2014.  ‘Break a leg’ Andrew! The lead presenter in last Friday’s assembly was Debbie from the Apprenticeship Skills Council.   Debbie gave the boys invaluable advice on how to go about getting an apprenticeship and what to be aware of, as well as how to  avoid all the various pitfalls that may exist in trying to secure a good training contract with a reputable firm.  
Mr Redfern

 Post 16

This week has been a busy week for the sixth form culminating in the fantastic Old Peoples Party on Thursday. Meetings have taken place with year 11s about places in the sixth form next year. Many have had a very mature approach to their studies and are gathering all the information required, others have not started looking at their future. If your son has missed his appointment or you require further information then please do contact Mr Tew at the College.

On Friday we have a talk from Babcock about apprenticeships in the sixth form. It is important that as a sixth former all the options available are explored. University is not the only option. Many firms are looking to recruit higher apprentices before they go to University. This is worth exploring along with the Year in Industry scheme.

UCAS deadline is the end of term, a few students are left to apply. If you require further information on the application process or funding then contact me at the College.

The Old Peoples party is an annual event hosted by the sixth form. Too many individual names helped out to mention. Special mention must go to Colin and Steve for the jokes and pulling it all together. The music was outstanding along with the exceptional food prepared by Mrs Polson and her class. The elves from year 7 danced and looked cute. It was great to see Mr Davies at the party. Special mention to Dan for organising it with Mrs Cox who always puts in hours of work. The Santas, Macauley and Mr Budge handed out presents both exceptionally good Santas but lacking beards..This is a very special event and the care and warmth shown by the students was exceptional. They listened, helped, talked, and played Bingo. Each and every student represented the College and themselves with pride. They gave back to the community in a time when young people are often much criticised, such people should come and see what these young students do without the need for praise.

Mr Tew

Lord Jesus Christ, who is, who was, and who is to come, we pray for the virtue of hope,
that amidst the trials and difficulties of this world, we may keep our hearts fixed upon you,
 who reigns over the cosmos. May your grace enliven us, strengthen us, and defend us,
 as we await your coming in glory.

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