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St Bonaventure's, known informally as St Bon's, is a voluntary-aided Catholic secondary school for boys aged 11–16 in Forest Gate, London Borough of Newham, England, with a mixed gender 6th Form for 16–18-year-old students It is under the trustee-ship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood. St Bonaventure's is the oldest boys' school in Newham, having been established in the West Ham area of Essex by the Franciscan order in 1875, following the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. The school was established in its current location in 1877.
Upton, Forest Gate,
|Motto||In Sanctitate et Doctrina|
(In Holiness and Learning)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Established||1877 (in Forest Gate)|
|Department for Education URN||102787 Tables|
|Chair||Mr Timothy Campbell MBE|
|Head teacher||Mr Christopher McCormack|
|Gender||Boys (Girls in the 6th Form)|
|Age||11 to 18|
|Enrolment||1,258 as of April 2016[update]|
|Houses||Atkinson, Bell, Colman, Forest, Gregory, Heath, Kolbe, Wall|
|Colour(s)||Brown, Gold, Red and Black|
|Former pupils||Bon's Boys|
St Bonaventure's has been judged as Outstanding by Ofsted since November 2000. In March 2016, St Bonaventure's was designated as a Teaching School and the headteacher Paul Halliwell was designated as a National Leader of Education by the Department for Education and the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
The school motto is In Sanctitate Et Doctrina, "In Holiness And Learning". The school also has a mission statement of "Live, Love & Learn in the Presence of the Lord".
- 1 History
- 2 School prayers
- 3 Admissions
- 4 Forms
- 5 School uniform and colours
- 6 School crest
- 7 Headteachers
- 8 Academic performance
- 9 6th Form
- 10 Sport
- 11 Bon's Boys
- 12 References
- 13 External links
St Bonaventure's was founded as a private Roman Catholic school in 1875 by members of the Franciscan order based in the Stratford area of London. They moved to the St Antony's parish of Forest Gate in 1877, when they needed more space to build a larger school. Before the outbreak of the Second World War and for some years thereafter pupils were drawn from a large part of the County of Essex as well as the whole of the County Borough of West Ham Following the Education Act 1918 control of the school was taken over by the newly formed West Ham Education Authority and the school changed its name to West Ham (St Bonaventure's) Grammar School.
Following the Education Act 1944, the school reverted to full control by the Franciscan Order as a Grammar school and soon after that became a Comprehensive school with a Tripartite nature (on the site there were Grammar, Secondary Modern and Technical streams). At this time the title of the school changed to St Bonaventure's. The current school jumper reflects this past, as the three stripes of colour were initially used to identify the three types of student in the school.
The school is named for St Bonaventure, a Doctor of the Church. Aged 22, he joined the Order of St Francis and promised to lead a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. He was made a cardinal by Pope Gregory X in 1273. The feast day of the patron is 15 July. This day is always cause for celebration in the school and is often used as an opportunity to give thanks to long serving members of staff.
It became a state secondary school following the Education Act 1902 in 1904, when schools with a religious nature could gain access to public funding, then in 1918 changed its name to West Ham Grammar School. In 1944, it became St Bonaventure's Grammar School again. The school has a strong relationship with St Antony's Church, which is adjacent to the site, and whole school masses are held there on a regular basis. It is governed by the Diocese of Brentwood and strongly encourages and incorporates liturgical worship in all aspects of school life.
The School was called a "Multilateral" in the Tripartite system of education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1960 and became a boys' comprehensive for ages 11–19. The change to a comprehensive school was very successful, as illustrated by the Ofsted reports and the position of the school in the annual Attainment and Achievement Tables. The school gained Technology College status in 1994 and later it gained Language College status. As a High Attaining school it was also able to select a 3rd specialism and chose Applied Learning. In the 2012 results St Bonaventure's was the highest performing school in Newham. The admissions criteria show that the school has a comprehensive intake, however due to over-subscription, priority is given to Year 6 students that are practising Catholics.
The school was designated as a Teaching School in February 2016. This means that the school has been judged as high performing and can take a lead role in training the next generation of school teachers, providing school to school support and supporting other teachers with their professional development.
There are other schools within a St Bonaventure's Teaching School Alliance and these are a range of Secondary schools from across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood, these include;
- St John's Special school, Chigwell
- St Angela's Ursuline School, Forest Gate
- St John Payne, Chelmsford
- St Thomas More, Westcliffe-On-Sea
- Campion School, Hornchurch
- New Hall independent school, Chelmsford
- The Palmer Catholic Academy, Seven Kings
- St Benedict's School, Colchester
- De La Salle School, Basildon
- Holy Family Catholic School, Walthamstow
The schools have formed a Teaching School Alliance that is called the Agnus Dei Teaching School Alliance and St Mary's University, Twickenham is the Higher Education Institute partner.
Prayer before lessons
O God, grant me a calm mind,
a quiet disposition
and an attentive ear.
So that through this lesson
I may learn to come to your truth.
Pray For Us Amen
The Peace Prayer Of St Francis
Lord, Make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be
consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The vast majority of pupils are Roman Catholic; ethnic minorities represent the socio-economically deprived local catchment area. It is traditionally heavily oversubscribed for entry to Year 7 and accepts 186 students each year.
Prior to 1969 the school's four houses were named Catherine, Clare, Francis and Mary after the four Saints on the school badge. For most of the sixties and seventies, the houses existed in name only. The current houses are listed below; Kolbe was introduced in 2014.
- Atkinson – Venerable Paul Atkinson (confessor), died 1699. A Franciscan, ordained in Douai Abbey and imprisoned in Hurst Castle for 30 years for being a Priest.
- Bell – Blessed Arthur Bell (martyr), died in London on 11 December 1643. He became a Franciscan in Segovia, Spain, then founded the Franciscan order in Douai Abbey. Convicted for being a Roman Catholic, he was held in Newgate Prison and later hanged, drawn and quartered.
- Colman – St Walter Colman, died 1645. A Franciscan friar convicted of being a Roman Catholic and held in Newgate Prison, he was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered, but died of starvation before the sentence could be carried out.
- Forest – Blessed John Forest, died 22 May 1548. Franciscan friar held in Newgate Prison. He was tortured and burned over a fire while being hung by a chain around his waist.
- Gregory – Pope Gregory X, Cardinal Protector of the Franciscan Order, he made St Bonaventure a Cardinal.
- Kolbe – Maximillian Kolbe O.F.M. died 14 August 1941. Franciscan Friar that gave up his life in Auschwitz for a stranger. He was trapped underground, starved and dehydrated. He was given a lethal injection of carbolic acid by Nazi guards.
- Heath – Blessed Henry Heath (martyr), died 1643. He was convicted of being a Priest and a Roman Catholic, held at Newgate Prison and hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
- Wall – St John Wall (priest), died 1679. A Franciscan friar ordained in Douai Abbey, and convicted for being a Priest and a Roman Catholic. He was beheaded on 22 August.
School uniform and coloursEdit
The students in Year 7 & 8 wear a brown blazer to retain the old link with the Franciscan order. Students wear a white, collared formal shirt with the school tie. The trousers are black and black leather shoes are worn. The schools coat is black with the school badge. A brown pullover V-necked jumper is also compulsory.
The students in Years 9–11 wear a black blazer with gold edging to the lapels. Students wear a white, collared formal shirt with the school tie. The trousers are black with black leather shoes worn. A black pullover V-necked jumper is compulsory for Year 9 but is optional for Year 10 and 11.
The standard tie is a solid gold colour with a black diagonal stripe going down from right to left. A selection of ties are available to be awarded to boys that excel in particular subjects. These are given following excellence shown in the areas of sport (an additional green stripe), technology (an additional red stripe), languages (an additional blue stripe) and art (an additional purple stripe). In September 2011, a new tie for excellence in English and mathematics was awarded (an additional a pink stripe). In 2013 a new RE tie was introduced, this will have an additional white stripe. In 2014, ties have been awarded for excellence in Science and Humanities. From 2015 the school has also awarded colours for success in Social Sciences and Computing.
The students in 6th Form wear a dark-coloured business suit with a formal shirt. Boys must also wear a neck-tie. Students on the Sports Science course must wear the designated black PE kit when having practical sports sessions.
The school badge and crest has existed in the present format since the school was founded by the Franciscan Order in the 19th century.
The red hat (Galero) represents the fact that St Bonaventure was a cardinal in the Roman Catholic church.
The white fleur-de-lis symbolises St Mary, the Mother of God, illustrating that the school and all Bonaventurians have a particular devotion to Our Lady.
The Jerusalem cross on a brown background symbolises the Franciscan heritage of the school. This is also demonstrated in the uniform for Years 7 and 8 and the names used for the school Houses.
The wheel symbolises St Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel. Even in Medieval times she was the patron saint of educators.
The yellow shield on black background symbolises St Clare of Assisi. She was greatly influenced by the teachings of St Francis of Assisi. She eventually started the order of Poor Clares.
The motto at the base of the coat of arms states In Sanctitate Et Doctrina, "In Holiness and Learning", showing that all "Bon's Boys" should be faithful at all times and always try to discover something new each day throughout their lives. The motto has changed in the past; during the period as West Ham Grammar School through to the end of the Second World War the motto was Animo Et Fide (In Courage and Faith).
- Christopher McCormack (2019–present)
- Paul Halliwell, (2010–2019)
- Paul C. Doherty (interim; 2010)
- Stephen Foster (2003–09)
- Sir Michael Wilshaw (1985–2003)
- Owen Craddy (1974–85)
- Fr Howard Docherty (1957–1974)
- Hugh Lawrence O'Connor (1949–1957)
- Charles Edward Gourley (1919–49)
- A. W. L. Harrison 1907–1920
- Fr David Fleming 1885–
- Fr Germain Verleyen 1873–
The school does very well in the local and national league tables at GCSE level, and in 2012 over 99% of Year 11 Pupils achieved five or more A*–C passes, well above the national average.
As a Roman Catholic school, all pupils are entered for a compulsory GCSE in religious studies as well as English, Maths and Science. In 2005, the school became a Language College, meaning that all pupils are also entered for a GCSE in a modern foreign language in French, Spanish or German.
At the end of Year 9 students choose their options from a wide range of different GCSE subjects, including History, Geography, PE, Business Studies, Sociology, Art, Music and a selection of Design Technology subjects.
St Bonaventure's has a 6th Form which gives access as a preference to the boys in Year 11, as long as boys meet the entry requirements for the courses that they choose. All other places are filled by students that apply from other Secondary schools.
The 6th form offers various qualifications, from the traditional GCE A-levels to BTEC courses, and has a tradition of preparing students for admission to prestigious UK higher education institutions such as Oxbridge, Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Economics and other Russell Group Universities. Many of these students go on to read subjects such as medicine, law, engineering and economics.
In 1965 the School soccer team won the Thomas Lipton Trophy (London & S.E Schools Cup) winning the Final 7 -0 against Beaufoys at The Spotted Dog Ground. Over the past few years the school's football and basketball teams have reached numerous national finals, such as the London Cup Final in football and the Essex Cup Final in both football and basketball. The school's cricket team have also won the Newham Cup several times. Many representatives of the school's football team have gone on to forge careers as professional footballers.
In 2014, the school was the overall winners of the Simmons Cup, an elite athletic invitational featuring the best schools across London. The school was also joint athletics champions of the 2015 inaugural Indoor (winter) Simmons Cup with Dulwich College. In 2015, the Year 9 team won the summer Simmons Cup and went on to win the indoor Simmons Cup in January 2016 as a Year 10 group. In May 2016, all competing Year groups won in the Newham Athletics finals, meaning that St Bon's will represent Newham for Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10.
In 2008 St Bonaventure's became English Schools Basketball Association Under 14 boys National Champions, and in doing so became the first team to achieve such a feat in the school's history. It repeated the feat in 2015, with the Under 15 beating Holy Trinity and City of Leicester in the finals.
In 2016, St Bon's beat all previous English Basketball records by all five Year groups becoming Basketball England National Champions. The Year 7 competed in the Junior NBA winning the final on 22 March 2016. On the weekend of Friday 6 May 2016 to Sunday 8 May 2016, Year 11 won, then Year 10, followed by Year 9 on Saturday then Year 8 on Sunday. This has never been achieved by any school before. In September 2016, the school was accepted onto the elite Academy Basketball League (ABL) for post 16 due to the success of the school in all Year groups below the 6th Form.
In 2013, the Year 10 team won the prestigious Dewar Shield. In 2015, the Year 9 football team became the under-14 Essex FA Jubilee Cup Champions and the Year 7 Football Team won the Lyca Mobile WHUFC Community Cup. The finals were held in the Boleyn Ground and St Bon's beat WHUFC under-12's 2-1.
The following list consist of notable and successful students of St Bonaventure's, the alumni of St Bonaventure's are known as Bonaventurians and informally as Bon's Boys:
|1980||Chemistry Doctorate working in Florida State University with Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto, with whom he founded Geoset, and Bill Nye The Science Guy.[clarification needed]|
|1988||Music Producer and Performer. Known professionally as Gracious K.|
|1995||Current PAOK F.C. player.|
|1952||British Conservative Member of Parliament.|
|1993||Current Charlton Athletic Footballer. Formally with Arsenal,Crewe Alexandra and Zulte Waragem playing in the Winger position. He helped MK Dons secure promotion in 2019, earning him a career boosting transfer to Charlton.|
|1990||Actor. Winner of the prestigious Alan Bates Bursary in 2014.|
|1983||Winner of the FA Youth Cup with Arsenal F.C. in 2001, then went on to play for Chesterfield, Halifax Town and St Albans City.|
|1989||Represented Great Britain in the men's volleyball tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics.|
|1984||Graduate of University of Oxford and Journalist. Currently a Producer on BBC news.|
|1994||Youngest Commercial Pilot to gain a licence.|
|1995||Playing American Football for East Los Angeles College 'Huskies'.|
|1993||Multi-Platinum Selling Music Producer called JayVades working with his Brother Nana-Kofi under the name Dr. Vades|
|1989||Multi-Platinum Selling Music Producer called Dr. Kane, part of Dr. Vades with his younger brother Junior|
|1980||The Apprentice 2005 series winner and businessman. Current Chair of the Governing Body of St Bonaventure's.|
|1996||Social campaigner, charity worker and winner of Youth Compassion Award from the Dalai Lama|
|1960||Former footballer with a distinguished career playing for Spurs and Nigeria amongst others.|
|1934||Film and television producer (The Sweeney, Inspector Morse, Sharpe and Soldier Soldier). He was Chair of BAFTA from 1993 to 1995.|
Ted Childs on IMDB. Ted Childs' Nottingham Alumni video
|1986||Labour Councillor for Beckton, Newham|
|1988||Former England footballer, current Sports Community Officer for West Ham, star of film made by 1000londoners.com and honoured for his work with 'Grass Roots' football.|
George on 1000Londoners
|1917||2008||Franciscan priest and teacher.|
|1990||Twice British Universities Boxing Champion.|
|1982||Current Sunderland former Toronto, Spurs and England, Portsmouth and West Ham footballer.|
|1968||Actor, director, producer including Sus|
Clint Dyer on IMDB.
|1990||Current Braintree Town formerly Dagenham & Redbridge, Barnet, Yeovil, and West Ham footballer.|
|1959||Chief Constable Of Greater Manchester Police (GMP)|
|1912||2009||Electronics Engineer, developer of radar & Deputy Chair of the General Post Office|
|1888||1947||Irish Nationalist Politician. Father of Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald.|
|1982||Footballer. Currently with Weston Super Mare.|
|1986||Visual effects artist and Creative Director for films such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Men in Black 3 and BAFTA and Academy award winning Gravity (film)|
|1986||Nanotechnology Scientist. Winner of the UK Government ICT PioneersMedalist
Gray, Shaun 1974 National Junior Boxing Champion 7 times and Junior Olympic Silver Medalist
|1989||Stage, film and television actor.|
Darren Hart profile, IMDb.com. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
|1958||Current manager of Brighton And Hove Albion. Former Norwich, Newcastle and Birmingham manager and former Spurs, West Ham and Ireland footballer and coach.|
|1962||Lecturer of Educational Technology, first independent CD-ROM publisher in the UK in 1993, co-author of the ICT exemplar schemes of work for the National Curriculum and lead education consultant on the National Strategies. Now a professional Stamp Dealer and owner of Postal Pursuits.|
|1986||First Black President of the Oxford Student Union. World University debating champion and winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace.|
|1988||Actor, Dancer, Performer.|
|1930||2006||Film, television and radio actor.|
|1975||Sinn Féin Councillor on Dublin City Council.|
|1939||Double Ivor Novello Award-winning composer, musician and singer.|
|1937||2012||Priest at Our Lady of Compassion, Upton Park.|
|1933||2009||World-famous boxing promoter/manager.|
Funeral on Sky TV.
|1966||Current Swindon Town and former Torquay and Leyton Orient manager and footballer.|
|1988||Rapper, Songwriter. As heard on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Known professionally as Terry Trill.|
|1941||1990||Mountaineer, adventurer and educator. He led the successful Canadian 1982 ascent of Mount Everest, Director of Plas-y-Brenin and academic at Calgary University.|
|1979||Parish Priest for the new parish of Our Lady of Walsingham in Royal Docks. Youth coordinator for the Diocese of Brentwood; St John Bosco Camp Brother and chaplain.|
|1937||2014||Boxing Coach at West Ham Boxing Club. ABA coach of the year 2012.|
Mickey on the opening day of UEL SportsDock
|1997||Represents Team GB for Taekwondo, previous WAKO Junior European & World Champion. Has since transferred from Kick Boxing to Taekwondo to compete for Gold in Rio 2016.|
|1977||British television presenter, entertainer, and former magician.|
|1957||Film and television actor|
|1941||Actor (The Bill, EastEnders, Call of Duty)|
|1956||Acting CEO of the Health and Safety Executive since August 2013.|
|1989||Current Portsmouth, former Yeovil, Plymouth Argyle and West Ham footballer.|
|1992||Current Rider Broncs basketballer, previously with VCU Rams. While at St Bon's he was part of the England Under 18 team, he moved to United States to pursue a career in basketball.|
|1968||Current RBA Global Executive headhunter and sports agent.|
|1972||Currently at the Potters House Christian Church, Croydon (theologian, senior founding pastor and social commentator)[clarification needed]|
|A Doctor of both Medicine and Philosophy from Imperial College London, practising as a NHS Consultant specialised in Stem cell transplantation and Cellular Therapy, mainly treating patients with leukaemia and other blood cancers.|
|1967||Labour Councillor for Stratford, Newham|
|Member of successful University Challenge team in 2016 for Emmanuel College, Cambridge|
|1994||Won Scholarship to study A Levels at Eton, winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace 2012|
Winning The Times Advocacy Competition 2013
|1990||Current Cray Wanderers, former Ebsfleet, Charlton and Cyprus footballer.|
|1986||Musician, business manager (known professionally as Tinchy Stryder)|
|1986||Winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace with Lewis Iwu|
|1954||2001||Head boy, teacher.|
|1980||Footballer (Spurs, Hull City and others).|
|1989||Current Assistant Manager & Coach for Clapton Football Club|
|1988||Current Maidenhead United, former Arsenal F.C, Bolton Wanderers, Stockport County and Torquay United footballer.|
|1968||managing director & CEO of GT Law Solicitors.|
|1986 | |Actor, director, producer. |}
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- Biography Archived 12 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Interview following announcement of Charles winning the Alan Bates Bursary 2014
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- Peter Bakare, Team GB.
- Career Statistics
-  Performing with Stormzy
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- Voltaire awarded a Compassion Award, 2012
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- Gerge plays for England. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- George honoured at The Palace, West Ham United F.C.. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- Patrick's Website
- Toronto FC Team Archived 30 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- Peter Fahey in MEN
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- national Strategies Archive
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- Mace Winner ESU School Mace Winners. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
-  Professional Profil
- John Junkin IMDb profile. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- List of Ivor Novello Award winners
- Funeral For Fr John, newhamrecorder.co.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- Terry's Obituary in The Guardian, Bon's Boy.
- Bill March Obituary Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Bon's Boy.
- Ordination of Fr James Mackay, Bon's Boy.
- Mickey wins ABA coach of the year
- Christian McNeish – TeamGB Archived 26 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- Glenn Murphy profile, SupportLine,org.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- Clapton FC website