THE WEEK IT SNOWED
Every Saturday morning I look back over the week that has just gone and look ahead to the week to come. I think about parents I have dealt with, meetings I’ve attended, things that have happened, staffing issues, and of course the boys. I think about ways I could have approached things better, situations I should have handled differently; how I would do things in a different way next time. I make a list of staff I need to catch up with, boys I need to sort out or put my arm around. Parents I must meet or get back to. Important meetings I have to attend. On my mind one week might be the quality of teaching and learning, another week how good our data is and the progress our boys are making; Enterprise, the school’s communication, site, recruitment and retention of staff. Every week I think about standards!
On my mind recently is ethos. Is it really as strong as it was? Do the boys still feel proud to be Fulham Boys? Are the parents still as committed as they were? Is it all still worth all the effort and hard work? Well this past week has allayed many of my fears, thanks by and large to snowmageddon. While ‘the Beast from the East’ caused havoc and disruption, forcing closures and knocking many off kilter, Fulham Boys showed their mettle. In icy cold, slushy, wet and slippery conditions our boys and staff just got on with it.
On Thursday our boys embraced World Book Day with the same enthusiasm they always do. The battle of the books reached a royal rumble in front of a packed audience in the library at breaktime and Mr Long took advantage of the snowy conditions during his PE lesson to get the boys to re-enact a quite incredible extract from Chapter 17 of Tom Palmer’s ‘Over the Line’. https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/968892922556043264 . While all this was going on, four Year 10 boys were over the road in the Queens Tennis Club playing real tennis with HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, followed by lunch.
On Friday as the snow fell heavily outside, boys sung, played their instruments, acted, danced, laughed and cheered during our annual school eisteddfod. It was great to see so many parents brave the elements and join us on what is one of the high days of the FBS year. It was a brilliant afternoon and the quality of the house choirs gets better every year. What was really thrilling was to see just how much it means to the houses to win. Wilberforce went wild!
The week was topped off with some of our Year 10 boys graduating from the Brilliant Club.
But it’s not just the boys in the Brilliant club nor was it just in the eisteddfod, at Queens or on World Book day that our boys impressed me this week. It was the way they conducted themselves in lessons, at breaktime and at lunchtimes in pretty bleak conditions (particularly for the three boys who turned up every day on crutches; much respect!). It was business as usual, just with snow. Year 9 even went rowing when it was snowing! I remember when I taught in a school in Pontypool and there was lots of snow on the ground. I asked one of the boys why he was throwing snow balls. He looked at me as if to say, “Sir, why wouldn’t I be throwing snow balls?” So we let our boys be boys and throw snow balls. They had great fun. So did we.
All in all it’s been a brilliant week and as I reflected on Saturday and look forward to another week I am as convinced as ever that FBS is special. So parents, boys, staff and governors, please keep putting the effort in. Keep supporting. Keep buying into the vision. Keep embracing the ethos. Never stop believing. FBS really is more than just a school. The week it snowed brought that home.