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 firstinitialsurname@stbonifaces.com, for example; kswann@stbonifaces.com 

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.


Amen.


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 firstinitialsurname@stbonifaces.com, for example; kswann@stbonifaces.com 

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.