May’s Jack Petchey award was this week given to a 6th Form student who works tirelessly with students raising awareness and the profile of women in the science subjects.

Aleffa Islam, who’s 17,  joined St Bonaventure’s 6th Form from Brampton Manor Academy in September. She spends much of her free time networking with University science departments trying to organise speakers to come into school and motivate our young female science students.

She is in the process of setting up a women’s group with the focus on women in science. She’s constantly on the lookout for opportunities for scholarships, incentives and opportunities for women to study science at university not only for herself but for other girls in our 6th Form and she passes on what she has found freely. She recently organised a group of girls to visit Queen Mary University for a WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) conference.

Curriculum Leader of Numeracy and Key Stage 5 Maths Co-ordinator,  Miss Murphy nominated Aleffa for the award and commented: “I had a lunchtime launch event where Aleffa supported me in speaking to our female students about the importance of raising the profile of women in science. We discussed how we can play our part in inspiring the next generation and take advantage of some of the positive discrimination that is currently around. Aleffa really is a positive, proactive student who is passionate about what she believes in and genuinely wants to help young women fulfil their dream of a career in science.”

Aleffa wins £250 as part of her award and she is thinking on how best to spend her prize money.



The annual Mass for Migrants in the Capital in honour of St Joseph the Worker, took place in Brentwood Diocese this year at our local church,  St Antony’s.

Bishop Alan Williams was the Chief Celebrant and a magnificent, colourful procession of banners from London’s diverse ethnic communities and parishes – from the capital’s three Catholic dioceses: Brentwood, Westminster and Southwark greeted the large congregation.

Our  choir  led by Ms Brockett  sang as the procession entered the church with the Kerala community carrying their traditional, stunning parasols. It was a fantastic sight to behold.

The service began with testimonies from various speakers including Dellon in Year 8 who spoke compassionately and with kindness. His poignant words were spoken with love and was along the lines, if we don’t speak out, then who will? He spoke about the events we have organised  in school  to raise awareness of the plight of refugees in Newham and the Refugees Welcome fund.  Mr Lewis, our Director of Religious Studies was there also and said he was incredibly proud of our boys.

In his homily, Bishop Alan  spoke about how it is hard to imagine how difficult it must be to arrive in another country without speaking the language and without knowing the culture adding that having compassion is great, having love and sympathy is great but  what migrants and refugees need is practical help.

Bishop Alan also thanked the ethnic chaplaincies, refugees and migrants for the great contribution they make to parishes.

The Communion Hymns were sung by our choir and St Antony’s Primary School.

Mr Lewis reported that it was a memorable day that made him feel very proud.C0DDDDAC-3173-4B24-AD62-6F3EF5E36984




Brentwood Cathedral was jam packed full of  brilliant schoolchildren from all across the Diocese for the annual Brentwood Citizenship Awards on  Friday, May 19.

Three of our students,  6th Former, Trey Kyeremeh, Year 10’s Rosen Bello and  Year 8’s Ethan Suppaya, were nominated for the awards  by Mr Halliwell for their work with various charities.

Bishop Allan presented the trophies to schoolchildren from Catholic Primary and Secondary  Schools from East London and Essex in a lovely ceremony attended by Headteachers, teachers and parents.

Mr Halliwell was there to support  our boys and afterwards Bishop Alan was happy to chat with the recipients and have his photo taken.

Well done.


Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario from Bangladesh visited our parish today and is seen here with six of our Year 7 boys who served for him on the altar at a special mass at St Antony’s Church this morning.

His eminence was visiting the parish and afterwards met with members of the community, schoolchildren and teachers from St Bonaventure’s.

Thanks to Mr Lewis for the photo.


Not many schools can say they have special blessings from three Popes over the past 120 years but that’s exactly what St Bonaventure’s can proudly claim.

The school has just received a personalised blessing from His Holiness Pope Francis to bless the Headteacher, staff, students and community on the occasion of our 140th  anniversary that begins this summer. 

This wonderful blessing has just been framed and has been added to the corridor outside Mr Halliwell’s office along with the blessing from Pope Paul VI that was bestowed on the school in 1977 for our centenary but never displayed until now. 

The blessing from Pope Leo Xlll, dated 1896, was discovered in a dusty corner of our cellar about a year ago and has now been restored and framed and added to the other two blessings outside the Head’s office for everyone to see.

Mr Halliwell said: “I am honoured to have three Papal blessings spanning over 120 years and knowing that three Holy Fathers have blessed and prayed for our school, it’s students and staff makes me feel very humble indeed.

“2017 is a very special year for us and although the school has changed dramatically in the 140 years since it was founded, the love and care our students receive has not changed and staff still strive to get the best out of them every single day in a bid to improve their life chances. Pope Francis’ special blessing will invigorate us all to “Live, Love and Learn in the Presence of the Lord” –  as our motto states – every single day.”




The newest craze to hit teenagers – fidget spinners – is proving to be incredibly distractive and annoying to teachers and students during lessons in school.

Boys who have the spinners are having them confiscated when they are playing with them in class so the advice is to leave them at home and not bring them into school.

Teachers have already taken a lot of them off students but parents are being asked to support the school on this issue and tell their sons to save playing with the toys until they get home.



April’s Jack Petchey Award winner was today named as 10 Wall’s Nathan Kobi.

Nathan is a very determined student who has shown resilience during his 4 years at St Bonaventure’s. He has impressed staff with his positive attitude and he never lets his Cerebral Palsy affect his attitude to his studies despite him being in constant pain. He regularly needs Botox injections into his legs to help him with his pain and in a bid to increase his mobility. He never complains nor lets this hinder his daily life.

He participates fully in all his lessons including PE and is a popular student.

It is for these reasons that he has been given the special  recognition.

Nathan, along with all this year’s winners,  will receive a medallion at a special ceremony at the O2  in September when his family will be invited to attend.

Nathan is thinking how he wants to spend his £250 prize money.


It’s hard to imagine that teachers and staff were ever cute little babies and toddlers I know, but that’s exactly what students are being asked to do and match up their baby photos with names in a competition to raise money for TELCO for refugee families in London.

The competition is the brainchild of 8 Forest’s Ethan Suppaya and he has been working extremely hard gathering the photos and putting them together.

12 year old Ethan asked Director of Religious Education, Mr Lewis, to help him out and put together entry forms.

Entry is 50p and all students and staff are encouraged to enter and put a name to the 25 faces.

First prize is a £20 Nando’s voucher with other prizes for the runners-up.

Forms have been given out to Year 7 and  8 and all other Years and staff can collect forms from the staff room or Mr Lewis.

The deadline for entries is May 19, 2017.

Mr Lewis went on the explain: “Ethan is heavily involved with raising awareness of the plight of Newham’s refugees and the Refugees Welcome campaign and when he approached me about how we could raise some money this seemed like a fantastic idea. He added: ” I’m sure it will be a popular competition but It’s not easy to match up the faces with the staff but I’m sure lots of people will want to have a go and submit answers.”

The big reveal will be before we finish for the Whit half term.

Good luck everybody.



Two of our Year 13 students, Nathan Vondee and Joseph Boateng, found out last week that they were successful in gaining internships with The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Mr Jarvis explained: “We sent up a series of employability and networking workshops with RBC for our Year 12 and Year 13 students. This culminated in students applying for internships that included a £2000 a year bursary for all three years they are at university plus periods of paid work experience throughout their time at university.”

This is a fantastic achievement for Nathan and Joseph especially as hundreds of students apply from schools across London.

Well done.



6th Form students Jack Gay and John Dawes are pictured here looking very smart and clean but all that will change next weekend when they will be caked in mud as they take place in the ‘Tough Mudder’ challenge which is described as “probably the toughest event on the planet.”

Rather them than me but these lads are really looking forward to the endurance race which features a series of hardcore obstacles over 10 – 12 miles and designed by British Special Forces to challenge the toughest of the tough.

The 17 year olds have been training hard and have never done anything like this before but they are both really looking forward it.

The race is being held in Henley-on-Thames in Oxford next Saturday, May 6, and John went on to explain: “Teamwork is very important and all participants look out for each other and encourage each other to keep going which is what I like. There’s undulating hills, thick mud, water and a range of mind-bending challenges to test your mental grit so it’s not going to be easy but we’re ready for it.” Jack added: “Some former Bon’s students will be taking part with us so we should have plenty of support.”

A Just Giving page has been set up for people to donate and support the students. The official charity partner is the ‘Help For Heroes’ charity and Jack and John need to raise as much money as possible for the cause which was set up in 2007 to help provide better facilities for British Servicemen/women who have been wounded in the line of duty.

The link is