St Bonaventure's Catholic Comprehensive School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St Bonaventure's School
St Bon's Black Badge.jpg
Motto In Sanctitate et Doctrina
(In Holiness and Learning)
Established 1877 (in Forest Gate)
Type Voluntary aided comprehensive
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Mr Paul Halliwell
Chair Mr Timothy Campbell MBE
Founder Franciscans
Location Boleyn Road
Upton, Forest Gate
Greater London
E7 9QD
England Coordinates: 51°32′19″N 0°01′26″E / 51.5387°N 0.024°E / 51.5387; 0.024
Local authority Newham
DfE number 316/4601
DfE URN 102787 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 148 (approx.)
Students 1318 (approx.)
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Atkinson, Bell, Colman, Forest, Gregory, Heath, Kolbe, Wall
Colours Brown, Gold and Black
‹See Tfm›     ‹See Tfm›     ‹See Tfm›    
Diocese Brentwood
Former pupils Bon's Boys

St Bonaventure's, known informally as St Bon's, is a voluntary-aided Catholic comprehensive secondary school for boys aged 11–18 in Forest Gate, London Borough of Newham, England. It is under the trustee-ship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood. St Bonaventure's is the oldest Boy's 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.

St Bonaventure's has been judged as Outstanding by Ofsted since November 2000.[1] The school motto is In Sanctitate Et Doctrina, which means "In Holiness And Learning". The school also has a mission statement of "Live, Love & Learn In The Presence Of The Lord".[2]


Plaque honoring Old Bonaventurians killed in both world wars, St Antony's Church, Forest Gate.

St Bonaventure's was originally 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. 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 Grammar School (St Bonaventure's).

Following the Education Act 1944, the school reverted to full control by the Franciscan Order as a Grammar school and became a Comprehensive school in 1960 with a Tripartite nature (on the site there was Grammar, Secondary Modern and Technical lessons taught). 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.[2]

School patron[edit]

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.[3] He was made a Cardinal by Pope Gregory X in 1273.[3] 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.

Grammar school[edit]

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.[4]


The School was called a "Multilateral" in the Tripartite system of education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1960 & 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 is was also able to select a 3rd specialism and chose Applied Learning.[4] In the 2012 results St Bonaventure's was the highest performing school in Newham. The admissions criteria has shows that the school has a comprehensive intake, however due to over-subscription, priority is given to Year 6 students that are practicing Catholics.[4]

School prayers[edit]

St Bon's with the Pope at Hyde Park 2010
St Bon's students at Hyde Park for the Papal visit
St Bon's students present a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph in East Ham Central Park

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.
St Bonaventure,
Pray For Us

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.


Pupils at St Antony's Church, Forest Gate

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.[5]


Prior to 1969 the school's four houses were named Catherine, Clare, Francis and Mary after the four Saints on the school badge. The current houses are listed below; Kolbe was introduced in 2014.

  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[4]

School uniform and colours[edit]

Pupil wearing a St Bon's Black Blazer

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.[6] The schools coat is black with the school badge. A brown pullover V-necked jumper is also compulsory.[6]

Pupil wearing a St Bon's Brown Blazer

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.[6]

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).[6] In September 2011, a new tie for excellence in English and mathematics was awarded (an additional a pink stripe).[6] 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.

The boys in 6th Form wear a dark-coloured business suit with a formal shirt and tie. In September 2011, a new formal uniform for girls in the 6th Form was introduced.[6]

School Crest[edit]

St Bon's Crest

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 represents the fact that St Bonaventure was a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic church. The white Fleur De Lys symbolises St Mary, the Mother of God. Illustrating that the school and all Bonaventurians have a particular devotion to Our Lady.[6] The Jerusalem cross on a brown background symbolises the Franciscan heritage of the school. This is also demonstrated in the uniform for Year 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.[6]

The motto at the base of the coat of arms states In Sanctitate Et Doctrina, which translates as "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.[6] 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 Anime Et Fide (In Courage and Faith).


Mr. Paul Halliwell

Academic performance[edit]

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.[7][8]
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.[8]
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.

6th Form[edit]

St Bonaventure's: A Specialist College

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.[9]


St Bon's student at an athletics track

In 1967 the School team won the Thomas Lipton Trophy (London & S.E Schools Cup) winning the Final 7 -0 against Beaufoys at The Spotted Dog Ground.[clarification needed] 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.[4] 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 inaugural Indoor (winter) Simmons Cup with Dulwich College. In 2015 the Year 9 team won the Simmons Cup for their age group.


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.[4] It repeated the feat in 2015, beating Holy Trinity and City of Leicester in the finals.[10]


In 2013 the Year 10 team won the prestigious Dewar Shield.[11] In 2015 the Year 9 football team became the under-14 Essex FA Jubilee Cup Champions[12] 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.[13]

Notable Bon's Boys[edit]

The following list consist of notable former pupils of St Bonaventure's Catholic Comprehensive School, who are known as Bon's Boys:

Name Birth Death Achievements
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.[14][clarification needed]
1995 Current Arsenal F.C. striker.[15]

1952 British Conservative Member of Parliament.[16]
1993 Current Arsenal F.C. footballer[17] on loan to Crewe Alexandra playing in the midfield position.
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.
1990 Actor.[18] Winner of the prestigious Alan Bates Bursary in 2014.[19][20]
1989 Represented Great Britain in the men's volleyball tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[21][22]
1994 Youngest Commercial Pilot to gain a licence.[citation needed] Currently flying for flybe.[23]

1980 The Apprentice 2005 series winner and businessman. Current Chair of the Governing Body of St Bonaventure's.[24]
Voltaire Taiwo
de Campos
1996 Social campaigner, charity worker and winner of Youth Compassion Award from the Dalai Lama[25]
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).[26] He was Chair of BAFTA from 1993 to 1995.[27]
Ted Childs on IMDB.[28] Ted Childs' Nottingham Alumni video[29]
1988 Former England footballer,[30] current Sports Community Officer for West Ham, star of film made by[31] and honoured for his work with 'Grass Roots' football.[32]
George on 1000Londoners
1984 Labour Councillor for Beckton, Newham[33]
1917 2008 Franciscan priest and teacher.[34]
1990 Twice British Universities Boxing Champion.[35]
1982 Current Toronto,[36] former Spurs and England, Portsmouth and West Ham footballer.
1968 Actor, Director, Producer[37] including Sus (film)
Clint Dyer on IMDB.
1990 Current Dagenham & Redbridge,[38] Former Barnet, Yeovil, and West Ham footballer.

1959 Chief Constable Of Greater Manchester Police (GMP)[39]
Edward (Ned)
1912 2009 Electronics Engineer, developer of radar & Deputy Chair of the General Post Office[40][41]
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)[42]
1986 Nanotechnology Scientist. Winner of the UK Government ICT Pioneers 2011
1989 Stage, film and television actor.[43]
Darren Hart profile,; accessed 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.[44]
1986 First Black President of the Oxford Student Union.[45] World University debating champion[46] and winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace.[47]
1930 2006 Film, television and radio actor.[48]
1975 Sinn Féin Councillor on Dublin City Council.
1937 2012 Priest at Our Lady of Compassion, Upton Park.[49]
1933 2009 World famous boxing promoter/manager.[50]
Funeral on Sky TV.
1966 Current Torquay manager and former Leyton Orient manager and footballer.
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.[51]
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.[52]
1937 2014 Boxing Coach at West Ham Boxing Club. ABA coach of the year 2012.[53]
Mickey on the opening day of UEL SportsDock
1997 Represents Team GB for Taekwondo, previous WAKO Junior European & World Champion.[54] 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[55][56]
1941 Actor (The Bill, EastEnders, Call Of Duty)[57][58]
1956 Acting CEO of the Health and Safety Executive since August 2013.[59][60]
1989 Current Portsmouth, former Yeovil, Plymouth Argyle and West Ham footballer.
1989 Actor[61]
Known professionally as T-Boy and Don't Jealous Me.
1988 Current Maidenhead United, former Arsenal F.C, Bolton Wanderers, Stockport County and Torquay United footballer.
1992 Current Rider Broncs[62] basketballer, previously with VCU Rams.[63] While at St Bon's he was part of the England Under 18 team, he moved to USA to pursue a career in basketball.[64]
1968 Current RBA Global Executive headhunter and sports agent.[citation needed]
1972 Currently at the Potters House Christian Church, Croydon (theologian, senior founding pastor and social commentator) [clarification needed][citation needed]
1967 Labour Councillor for Stratford, Newham[65]
1994 Won Scholarship to study A Levels at Eton, winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace 2012[66]
Winning The Times Advocacy Competition 2013
1989 Actor.[67]
1990 Current Cray Wanderers, former Ebsfleet, Charlton and Cyprus footballer.[68]
Danquah III
1986 Musician, business manager (known professionally as Tinchy Stryder)


1986 Winner of the English Speaking Union School Mace with Lewis Iwu[69]
Steve John
1973 Actor[70]
1954 2001 Head boy, teacher.[71]
1980 Footballer (Spurs, Hull City and others).[72]
1968 Managing Director & CEO of GT Law Solicitors[73]
1986 Actor, director, producer.[74]


  1. ^ St Bon's Ofsted Information
  2. ^ a b St Bon's Website, Headmaster's Introduction,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "St Bons - Headteachers Introduction". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "St. Bons -Prospectus" (PDF). St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "St Bons - GCSE Admissions". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "St Bons - School uniform". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "St Bons - GCSE Result". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Curriculum Overview". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "St Bons - Welcome to the Sixth Form". St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (London, UK). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  10. ^ England Final Results 2015
  11. ^ Year 10, Dewar Shield Winners.
  12. ^ FA News May 2015
  13. ^ Ham United FC Website
  14. ^ Biography on The Kroto Group Website
  15. ^ Chuba Visits His Old School Chuba Visits St Bon's, Bon's Boy.
  16. ^ a b "Why do some schools produce clusters of celebrities?". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Chuk's Arsenal Profile
  18. ^ Biography
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Interview following announcement of Charles winning the Alan Bates Bursary 2014
  21. ^ "Peter Bakare". London 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  22. ^ Peter Bakare, Team GB.
  23. ^ Aaron Black In The Newham Recorder, Bon's Boy.
  24. ^ School Magazine, New Year 2014; accessed 6 May 2014.
  25. ^ Voltaire awarded a Compassion Award, 2012
  26. ^ Profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  27. ^ BAFTA Chair List profile; accessed 6 May 2014.
  28. ^ Ted Childs profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  29. ^ Ted Childs' Nottingham Alumni; accessed 6 May 2014.
  30. ^ Gerge plays for England; accessed 6 May 2014.
  31. ^ Film Star George, Bon's Boy.
  32. ^ George honoured at The Palace,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  33. ^ David Christie, Newham Labour Party; accessed 6 May 2014.
  34. ^ Fr Andrew Cloonan obituary,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  35. ^ Patrick's Website
  36. ^ Toronto FC Team; accessed 6 May 2014.
  37. ^ Clint Dyer profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  38. ^ Anthony Signs For Daggers; accessed 6 May 2014.
  39. ^ Peter Fahey in MEN
  40. ^ Sir Edward Fennessy obituary,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  41. ^ Sir Edward Fennessy obituary,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  42. ^ Aron Galabuzi profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  43. ^ Darren Hart profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  44. ^ national Strategies Archive
  45. ^ Lewis Iwu Guardian Interview; accessed 6 May 2014.
  46. ^ Lewis Iwu profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  47. ^ Mace Winner ESU School Mace Winners; accessed 6 May 2014.
  48. ^ John Junkin IMDb profile; accessed 6 March 2014.
  49. ^ Funeral For Fr John,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  50. ^ Terry's Obituary in The Guardian, Bon's Boy.
  51. ^ Bill March Obituary, Bon's Boy.
  52. ^ Ordination of Fr James Mackay, Bon's Boy.
  53. ^ Mickey wins ABA coach of the year
  54. ^ Christian McNeish - TeamGB; accessed 6 May 2014.
  55. ^ Glenn Murphy profile, SupportLine,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  56. ^ Glenn Murphy profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  57. ^ Billy Murray profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  58. ^ Billy Murray profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  59. ^ Kevin Myers profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  60. ^ Kevin Myers on YouTube; accessed 6 May 2014.
  61. ^ IMDB
  62. ^ Teddy's Rider profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  63. ^ Teddy's VCU profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  64. ^ [2]
  65. ^ Terry Paul, Newham Labour Party,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  66. ^ Profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  67. ^ Kiell Smith-Bynoe profile
  68. ^ Alex On Wiki
  69. ^ ESU School Mace Winners; accessed 6 May 2014.
  70. ^ Steve John Shepherd profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  71. ^ Pat Stack obituary,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  72. ^ Alton on Wiki
  73. ^ Gordon Tucker profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.
  74. ^ Jonathan Woodhouse profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.

External links[edit]

  • Profile,; accessed 6 May 2014.