Posted on 21/04/2015

Half Time Team Talk

After a lovely long Easter break, here we go again! Today marks the start of the third full term at FBS and with Ofsted due to visit at the start of our fifth term, we are two terms down and two to go. If it was a football match, it would be half time. And so this holiday provided the perfect time to go back into the ‘dressing room’, analyse the ‘first half’ and think about what we need to do in the ‘second half’.

In the first half we showed our determination and commitment to be a major league player. We set up as an attack minded team from the off. Playing for a draw or a 1-0 win has never been, and never will be, our intention. Neither are we content to be the best locally , or against other state schools, but nationally, on the biggest stage there is. We are out to be Champions League winners!

We have got where we are by creating an exceptional ethos. We constantly demand the highest standards of behaviour, uniform and attendance. We have a lot of visitors, dignitaries, inspectors, prospective parents coming into FBS almost daily. They all say how impressive our boys are and that they know how to conduct themselves. They are all proud to be Fulham Boys and demonstrate a ‘can do’, ‘never lie down’, ‘have a go’ attitude in everything they do – on the sports field, performing on stage and in the classroom. They have bought into the idea of being the best and are not satisfied with anything less. They saw what was achieved over the summer in getting the school open and now believe that anything is possible with the right attitude and commitment.

The provision they get is outstanding. Their lessons are geared towards boys and engaging. Even lessons that they find hard, and when the demands put on them by staff are rigorous, they rise to it because they see the point and the progress they are making. The curriculum for next year is so exciting; tailored to the needs of individual boys in a way that is almost unheard of in Years 7 and 8. They have a wide range of clubs on offer – sport, languages, music, drama, business and academic. They have had first class coaching in rugby, football and indoor rowing, and this term will have cricket coaching and rowing at Barn Elms, with some going to Eton to row.

Our knowledge of our boys is first class. We have robust data on all of them and know exactly what we need to do to get them to where they need to be. And most importantly, they are safe and happy.

All of this is outstanding. In some ways the half time team talk is go out second half and have more of the same. We need to make sure the culture, ethos and standards we have worked so hard to get to are maintained. But there are also things need to sort out and tighten up.

  1. Our boys are involved in a lot of enterprise activities – business and social – and enterprise skills are developed in all lessons. And this term we are pulling all of this together so that by September our Enterprise diploma will be set up in collaboration with top universities and businesses.
  2. We want to ensure behaviour is about more than avoiding misdemeanours, and ensure boys actively show the Christian characteristics the school is built upon wherever they are – lessons, corridors, sports field, buses, tube, walking home. We want them to stand out. So this term, we are focussing on a Christian characteristic every week – kindness, self-control, standing up for justice, patience, truthfulness, hard work etc. We don’t want our boys to ‘do’ good behaviour; we want them to have strong characters and good manners. We want them to really stand out and be exceptional.
  3. We want to introduce new clubs – make even more of Art, further develop computing, push drama on, introduce touch-typing, cooking and technology.
  4. We will continue to review our teaching and learning. All teachers have been given an individual action plan from our last review to work on this term and our final review of the year takes place next month. We have ongoing learning walks and book looks to ensure we can identify outstanding practice and work on areas that need improving.
  5. We have to be ready for 140 Year 7 boys starting in September and our new staff. We need to make these boys and staff feel welcome and part of FBS straight away. We can’t afford to have a divided dressing room. There’s no place for ‘we were the first ones here, this is our school mentality’. Once you put on that blazer and tie, you become a Fulham Boy and lifelong member of this great club. So we need to make sure that our newest ‘transfers’ quickly learn the way we play the game and have the right attitude, desire and commitment.

The half time team talk is over. The whistle has gone for the second half. With the talent we have got, if we play with the same energy and commitment we did in the first half, FBS will be a match for anyone.

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