Our Catholic Ethos
"The mission of the school, “Auxilare Non Nocere,” encapsulates the holistic approach to excellence which permeates the life of the school. Pastoral care for pupils and staff is a significant strength of this distinctly Catholic school." 2018 Denominational Inspection Report.
Our values are alive in every aspect of College life as we celebrate the living Gospel and encourage our students to find God’s presence all around them. Religious education plays a central role in supporting our students’ moral and spiritual development. Within our college community, they have a unique opportunity to discover an adult understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and the role of religion in making sense of their lives.
Here at Bonus Pastor, encouraging and supporting the spiritual development of our students is a key part of life at the College; it is central to our Catholic ethos and our desire to educate the whole person. Members of the RE Team lead on spirituality to help deepen pupil’s relationship with God, particularly through the daily prayer life of the College and the Retreat Programme. In addition to this, the RE team provides additional opportunities for students to meet together in small groups for prayer, meditation and reflection, and for students and staff to gather for morning prayer in the Chapel before the College day begins.
Daily Acts of Worship
The College day begins with an act of worship, either in Tutor Groups or at Year Group and House assemblies. Prayer time in Tutor Groups will often be organised and led by the students themselves and all these times of prayer are related to our ‘theme of the week’ which links to the Catholic Liturgical Calender.
The key Feasts and Seasons of the Church’s year are celebrated at liturgies which the students helps to prepare, including our Christmas Carol Service, Ash Wednesday Service and Easter celebrations.
Each academic year begins with a Mass for our Year 7 and 11 students, and concludes with our Leavers Mass. Every Year Group will also celebrate Mass together once a year with one of our local priests, and students have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during both Advent and Lent.
Retreats & Pilgrimages
In 2018-19, the retreats varied from a three-day residential retreat for KS4 students to one-day away days for KS3 students. The one-day away days included visits to Aylesford Priory, with activities facilitated by the team from St. Vincent’s, our Diocesan Retreat Centre. Another highlight in the calendar last year was our annual pilgrimage to Rome.
Faith in Action
In the Autumn Term, all members of the college are invited to donate items for our Harvest Appeal. This year all donations were given to the local food back in Lewisham. During Lent, the College community raises money for one local, one national and one international charity. In Lent 2019, we are pleased to support CAFOD and the St Vincent De Paul Society.
The Pastoral system is the central nervous system of the school. It reflects three key facets of student life. Strong Tutor programmes, caring mentors and ‘buddy systems’ which guide and council younger members of the school. Students at Bonus Pastor are split into one of six houses on joining in Year 7. They stay in this house throughout their school life, and gain merit points towards Individual, Form and House wide prizes. Each house has its own identity, prayer, flag, colour and tie, and all students within the house get a chance to celebrate their house throughout the year though House assemblies, Sporting events including Sports Day and their own Feast day.
Student Chaplaincy plays a huge role at Bonus Pastor. Spiritual growth is at the heart of what pupils do. Student involvement in worship and Liturgy is a priority for the college. The Chaplaincy team aims to raise the profile of Spirituality while making sure it is relevant and engaging for all students. The core aims of student chaplaincy extends to contributing towards the spirituality of the school, leading prayer, fundraising and creative meaningful assemblies which reflect a Christian spirit.
Year of the ‘Word of God.’
'The God Who Speaks.' The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have designated 2020 as 'The God Who Speaks': A Year of the Word to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini. Therefore, 2020 will be a year of celebrating, living and sharing God's word.
Scripture, the Bible, the word of God is at the centre of everything we do at Bonus Pastor. It's in our prayer and worship, how we understand the world, how we are called to live and how we relate to each other as strong Catholic School community.