St Bonaventure's shines bright on GCSE results day
PUBLISHED: 15:55 25 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:29 26 August 2016
An all-boys Catholic school in Forest Gate is celebrating another good year of GCSE results, and is even sending a pupil on to public school.
Star pupil Alton Mathew-Moghan, who learned English as his second language and came to the UK from India when he was nine, got nine A*s and two As today.
At St Bonaventure’s School on Boleyn Road today, he appeared relaxed about his outstanding grades.
“I’m quite happy, the work has paid off and I’m quite pleased with myself.”
However, he wasn’t always so nonchalant. “I was really scared and nervous and couldn’t sleep last night, but I did better than I thought. It’s gone surprisingly well.”
Alton, of Altmore Avenue, East Ham, said his mother and his grandmother cried when they found out how well he had done.
Headmaster Mr Halliwell said that Alton’s work is “always done impeccably” but that there was more to the teen’s success than academia. “He has got the mix correct with study and enrichment. He has worked hard being a good mentor and role-model.”
So what next for the bright teen? “I’m hoping to do medicine. It’s going to be difficult but if I work hard I can do it.”
Another high-achiever at the school is head boy Raphael Njoku, who needed to get all As and A*s to win a scholarship to prestigious Winchester College and is “really ecstatic” with his results.
The 16-year-old, from Sixth Avenue in Manor Park said he was “very nervous” before results day because “I had high hopes for myself but at the same time I was worried that maybe I hadn’t put enough work in for those results. It’s a big burden of my shoulders.”
“Most of all I’m happy to impress my family and pay them back for all the help and support they have given me.”
He was awarded A* in maths, English literature, English language, two sciences, religious education and history. He was one mark away from A*s in French, computing and design technology, and is hoping that with a re-mark he might be able to sweep the board with 10 A*s.
As for going to Winchester, the high-flying teen said he’s “slightly nervous” but also “excited to meet new people and have new experiences.”
“I feel very privileged and as if I am representing Newham and my school.”
Although he is going on to pastures new, he has high praise for St Bon’s. “The school have really supported me and gave me opportunities to realise the potential that they saw lay deep within me.”
The thoughtful teenager thanked his mentor Mr Halliwell and all the teachers for their support, saying “they gave me a good community to learn and achieve”
As well as the scholarship to Winchester College, Raphael has an Arkwright Scholarship for his excelling in design technology and engineering. he hopes to go into robotic engineering and artificial intelligence development “because I want to see how humanity can take part in the new things we can create. It’s always good to innovate.”
To celebrate, Raphael and his family have plans to go to the countryside and the beach to relax.
Paul Halliwell, who has been the headteacher at St Bonaventure’s since 2010 and said: “This is never a day when you feel really happy - relief comes into it a lot. Today I have will be spending my time helping the boys who haven’t done as well as they hoped, because the school wants to support all of its pupils.
“67 percent have got the national standard and we are really pleased for them, but we have a lot of staff in today to make sure that all the boys are supported in progressing onto the nest stage of their education.”
Overall, Mr Halliwell said “we haven’t been able to prove on last year’s figures but we have maintained them”, and explained that the government had changed its criteria: “This is the first year that the new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 figures have come out rather than A*-C figures. The children this year have higher Progress 8 figures than last year.”