Posted on 13/05/2019
82. THANKS FOR FIVE INCREDIBLE YEARS. NOW GO AND BRING THOSE RESULTS HOME!
Last Friday Year 11 left school to begin their GCSE examinations. To mark the occasion we had an assembly, photo, BBQ and Zorb football. The boys will also be given a yearbook to commemorate their time at the school. This weeks’ Headmaster’s blog is my contribution to that book.
To think it nearly didn’t happen; that FBS almost never saw the light of day. In July 2014 I wrote, ‘I am saddened there is now a possibility I will not have the opportunity to get to know you and see you develop into self-disciplined, ‘gutsy’, well rounded young men…excelling academically, creatively and on the sports field’.
But it did, and I have. And it’s largely down to you and your parents. After that defining meeting in Studdridge Street where we fought with reason, sense and dignity to get our school open, I went on to write, ‘…the enterprising, ‘can do’, ‘won’t lie down’, ‘never known when you’re beaten’, spirit that we want in the very DNA of FBS was clear for all to see.’
Over the last five years you have had to show that same spirit many times. In lessons, school eisteddfods, assemblies, Going Solo concerts, on the water, on the football, cricket and rugby pitch, in debating, in co-curriculum clubs, during enterprise weeks, sports afternoons; by adapting to the site changes each year; on trips abroad, visits to Oxford and Cambridge University, Google headquarters, sleeping out to raise money for the homeless, cooking for the homeless, visiting the Calais Jungle. You have demonstrated it in the questions you have asked the many famous people that have visited FBS (England football captains, news readers, journalists, education secretaries, MPs, business people, authors, astronauts, Olympic medal winners). Ofsted saw it when they described FBS ethos as ‘incredible’, your behaviour as ‘exemplary’, and the way you ‘live and breathe good manners and courtesy’, at least for the two days they visited!
But the time has come when you will need to draw on that spirit more than ever. You’ll need it when you are tired, stressed, when the work is hard, the concepts are difficult and nothing seems to be going in; when you would rather play Fortnite, watch TV, play football, hang out, do anything other than revise! You’ll need to take it with you into every exam. You are the first boys to ever go out and bat for FBS in GCSE exams. To pull it off and do yourselves and your school proud, you sure will need the famous FBS spirit!
I am so pleased the vast majority of you are returning to the Sixth Form and that you will finally spend the last year of your schooling in our permanent home. However, I am also aware that for some of you your FBS journey is coming to an end. I will miss you and wish you all the very best. But you will always be Fulham Boys; the squadron never dies! So as well as encouraging you to draw on the famous FBS spirit, let me give all of you seven pieces of advice:
- Have high standards. Standards, standards, standards! Know how to behave appropriately in different settings; remember the most important kind of discipline is self-discipline.
- Be kind.
- Be brave. Always do the right thing not the easiest.
- Never use your upbringing or background as an excuse for not having high standards, big aspirations or as a barrier to achieve your ambitions. What matters is your character not your postcode.
- Be confident but not arrogant.
- ‘Carpe Diem’, seize the day make your life extraordinary.
- Think about the things you heard in assemblies at FBS.
As a Christian headmaster, the best advice I can give you though is not my advice at all but words from a book called Proverbs in the Bible. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.’ (Proverbs 3.5, 6)
I could not have imagined on that July evening in 2014 at Studdridge Street all that has happened and all that we have been through. Nor when I welcomed you at 8.20 am on Monday 15th September 2014 as nervous 11 year olds how much I would grow to love you boys. You’ve been great characters and lots of fun. You stuck with us, are pioneers and FBS will always remember you. Now go and do what you need to do and bring those results home!
Taken from What's Happening, Sports and the Students Blog