Friday, 29 January 2016

Head's Blog: Friday 29th January 2016

This week we marked Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday. All students watched a video of Holocaust survivor Solly Irving. The whole school found his testimony very moving. I urge you to talk to your son about what he saw and what it meant to him.

Year 11 teachers have almost completed marking students mocks. They are preparing for Year 11 parents evening on Tuesday 9th February. At the moment teachers are making sure that students understand exactly what they need to do to improve. They will share this information with parents on the 9th; an extra reason to attend.

Year 7 News
Mr James, Mrs Davey and 7B are the first Tutor Group to present their assembly, based around fitness, to KS3 and KS4 this week.  The assemblies have gone smoothly and enjoyed by all.  I noticed that KS3 had a few giggles during the video which was showing, what I would only describe as, outstanding efforts within fitness in lots of different sport areas – well done 7B and of course to Mr James and Mrs Davey for your superb work in putting this meaningful assembly together!

The phase of ‘Seat belting’ has been brought to my attention this week, and I wanted to bring it to yours.  The term refers to students pulling another students bag straps so hard that they fall over.  I have discussed this matter with a very small minority of students, explaining the consequences of these actions, and the dangers of such behaviour. I reminded them that we are all responsible for keeping each other safe. I would really appreciate your support in this matter, and discussing this behaviour with your son.

iPads and tablets are being mentioned more often and staff have noticed some Year 7 students in possession of one I am concerned that they will get damaged or even worse, taken.  Students leave their bags at lunch and breaks times to go and play on the yard, and I do worry that somebody could step on, or fall over a bag which could cause the electronic to become damaged.   I would advise that  students DO NOT bring such items into school, as there is no need for them throughout the school day, and students aren’t able to use these during unstructured times – I thank you in advance for this.

Mrs Swann

Mrs Swann makes a very good point about bringing expensive items in. Parents need to be aware that the College insurance does not cover repairs to students' property; if a valuable item is brought in then parents need to make sure that it is covered by their own insurance. My advice is the same as Mrs Swann's - leave them at home.

This week the prayer theme is love. Boys will be using this prayer:
Father, we read in the Bible that the best way to describe you is to use the word “Love.”
Your love for mankind is so great that you sent Jesus, your Son, to live as one of us.
We pray that we may appreciate and value one another.
God of love,

Lead us to grow in love.

Amen.


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Head's Blog: 24th January 2016

I was very interested to look at the merits totals so far. After all we are getting close to the halfway point of the year.
Merit Leaderboard
1Morgan McLean353
2Oscar Dawson351
3Thomas Oliver316
4Oliver McLean301
5Mathew Villaquiran293
6Brandon Wood281
7Aidan Bettell279
8Thomas Warmington268
9Cameron-Rhys Braddon243
10Spencer Luetchford240

Well done to all the boys in the top ten across the College.

If we look at totals by house we get:


HouseTotal
Barrett10,571
Grimshaw9,470
Keily10,221
Vaughan6,792

and by age:
PhaseMerits
Transition (Year 7)10,141
Lower School
(Year 8 and 9)
12,820
Upper School
(Year 10 and 11)
13,131
VI Form962

It's also pleasing to see that most boys have quite a few merits each even if they haven't quite reached 300. It would be worth discussing this with your sons. I am sure parents remember that students are given a red token for each merit and these are collected and counted by Tutors each week so you can ask your so how many merits he has this week by asking to see the tokens. If your son is gaining lots of merits in a range of subjects he is probably working well; if not there is a discussion to be had with him.

Year 7 News

7K and 7V’s assembly, has unfortunately been postponed to later on in the year, this is due to the GCSE Mock exams taking place and the students needing use of the assembly hall. The students and their tutors have put in a huge amount of work into preparing for their assembly, and we wouldn’t want to miss out on this so we will make sure it is rescheduled for later.

Thomas Warmington in 7K is a member of Boringdon Golf Club, and recently came 2nd in a competition against 13/14 year-olds.

Oscar Dawson in 7K has recently competed in a Brass Band Competition in Torquay - and won!

Will Gillen in 7K has recently come 1st in a Mountain biking competition at Plym Bridge Woods.

Lots of exciting things happening in 7K at the minute – well done lads!

Mrs Braganza is involved in running our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical) club and is taking a group of Year 7 students to Plymouth City College on Thursday 28th January from 9:45am - 11:45am.

Oliver McLean 7K
Max Edney 7V
Ty Mitchell 7B
Ethan Carlisle 7V
Riley Piper 7B
Isaiah Akinrowo 7B
Adam Richards 7G
Morgan McLean 7K
Archie Ladell 7V
Will Gomery 7K
Rayan Kalam 7K
Angel Waruih 7B
James Quintrell 7G
Alex Smith 7B
Will Hicklin 7V

I look forward to hearing all about it on their return…and hopefully I will have some photos to share with you!

Kind Regards,

Mrs Swann

I have also been asked to publicise the fact that the Catholic Children's Society has ten places in the Plymouth Half Marathon on Sunday 17 April 2016; I am happy to do so. If you are interested in running please see the poster below for details.


The prayer theme this week is "Friendship" and boys will be using this prayer in Tutor Time:

Lord, as you lend me life, lend me a heart full of thankfulness, that I may treasure good
Inspire me each day to live positively and cheerfully, living in such a way that I express
thanks and encouragement to others, so that, together, we may bring out the best in each other and be appreciative of all who are part of my life.

Amen.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Head's Blog: Monday 18th January

I am very pleased to have some good news to share this week. On Tuesday Mr Tew took a group of Sixth Form students to a Mental Health Conference where students from all Plymouth schools met to discuss ways in which the mental wellbeing of students can be improved. Mr Tew tells me that the boys were superb ambassadors for the school so well done to Oscar Dawson, Scott Luetchford, Lorenzo Stacey, Eroni Cokanasiga and Tavian Petrie. Mr Tew was particularly impressed by Tavian who spoke wisely and eloquently.

Two other sixth form students, Tino Mwadeyi and Munashe Nyikadzinashe  are going with Edmund Rice network to Geneva in two weeks time to see how the United nations works, they will be talking to NGOs and seeing s live debate on human rights; a chance of s lifetime to see from the inside how the UN works,

I am also delighted by how well the Year 9 Basketball team are doing. Their results so far are as follows:
DHS 35                                      SBCC 14
All saints 14                               SBCC 15
Stoke 5                                       SBCC 27
Plymouth college 10                  SBCC 17

This means we currently sit second in the league with our remaining fixtures against Plymstock, Coombe Dean and Torbridge scheduled over the next 2 weeks. Mr Greenway tells me that not only are the boys performed fantastically but they have also represented the College in an excellent manner showing great determination, teamwork and pride. Our Year 9 team is The team has consisted of James Harris, JJ Jemmeh, Lance Khu, Zac Hammond, Warren Woodward, Marcin Kloczko, Freddie Davies, Mason Wills, Taylor Kasitz and Will Birch. and here they are:


For our prayer theme this week we are joining Christians of all denominations across the world in praying for Christian Unity. Boys will be using this prayer in Tutor Time:

Renew in our own days your miracles like a second Pentecost. Grant that the Church, re-united in prayer, may extend the kingdom of Jesus – a kingdom of truth and justice, of love and peace. Amen.

(Pope John XXIII)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Head's Blog: Friday 8th January 2016


Our Year 11 boys are just about to begin their GCSE Mocks (Y12 and Y13 have already been working hard on theirs). This is a chance for the boys and their teachers to find out how much they know and can do so that the last few months of the course can focus on the areas that need improvement. I am sure that parents of Year 11 will be encouraging boys with their last minute revision and making sure they get an early night.

This week in assemblies I have been talking to students about the Feast of the Epiphany. Obviously I spoke to them about the symbolism of the three gifts from the wise men; gold indicating that Jesus was a King, frankincense that he was God made man and myrrh predicting his death on the cross. But I also asked them to think about gold in their lives - their successes and things they enjoy, myrrh in their lives - things that cause them pain and sorrow in their lives. I invited them to consider the things that they could change from ordinary to extraordinary as their "frankincense". Just as the Wise Men offered their gold, frankincense and myrrh to Our Lord, in the same way we can offer our successes, failures and the "ordinariness" of our lives too.

Early warning for parents of boys in Year 9: On Tuesday 19th January we have our Option Information Evening. This will give you and your sons a chance to find out about what is on offer next year. I look forward to seeing you there.

A finally some sporting news: I was not able to get to the annual St Boniface Old Boys' Boxing Day rugby match but I am delighted to report that the score was:
Saltash Rugby Club 0, St Boniface's Old Boys 68. Congratulations to our former pupils. I must see if I can make it to this year's game.


Year 7 News
Happy New Year and welcome back after what I hope to have been an enjoyable Christmas for all of you.

Year 7 Assemblies will begin next week, in which the whole Tutor Group will be involved in presenting an assembly to all Year groups within the College.  Mr Ousey and 7K are first to present, and will be focussing on the theme of ‘Singing’ – good luck to all! 

The Lepra Foundation visited us last term in the hope of receiving some support from our Year 7 and 8 students.  I would like to say a huge thank you to those who donated towards this cause.  The money raised will be totalled very shortly and I will share this amount with you very soon.

The Christmas Pantomime was a huge success last term and I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the Thursday evening, again I was reduced to tears at times due to laughing so hard.  The Year 7’s who were involved were an absolute credit to the College, and I was overwhelmed in seeing so many involved, whether it was in the choir, pantomime, behind the scenes or in the band, they all did an amazing job – well done boys!

Mrs Swann

The theme of the week next week is: Questions and boys will be using this prayer in Tutor Time:

It seems to me, Lord,
that we search
much too desperately 
for answers 
when a good question
holds as much grace
as an answer.
you are the Great Questioner
Keep our questions alive
that we may always be seekers
Rather than settlers.
 a wondering
 far-sighted
 questioning
 restless people

And give us the feet of pilgrims
On this journey unfinished.


Amen

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Head's Blog 5th January 2016

It was lovely to welcome back students to school for 2016 this morning. It was also a privilege to speak to Year 10 and Year 11 in assembly. I spoke to them about the feast of the Epiphany. As well as reminding them that the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh symbolised Christ's Kingship, his Godhead and the manner of his death, I invited them to consider that we could consider gold, frankincense and myrrh in our lives: that the gold would be things that were going well, that the myrrh represented the things that troubled us and the the frankincense represented those things that could be transformed by a change of heart. I will be speaking to other year groups later in the week.

At the end of last term we send "farewell" to a number of staff. Ms Abubakar leaves the RE team and Mr Tithecott leaves the science team. Mr Tucker has moved to a new school and Mr Neethling has returned to South Africa to be nearer to his extended family. This term we are delighted to welcome Mrs Sweeney who will teaching Modern Languages and Mr Stevens who will be teaching PE. We are also very pleased indeed to welcome Mrs Kendall back to the College. Boys and parents know Mrs Kendall better as Miss Heduvan and we are very lucky that she is returning to the RE team with her first lessons today.

I hope all parents and families had an enjoyable Christmas and I would like to wish everyone all the blessings they need for the new year.