Posted on 05/12/2016
Living Up to All the Hype
This is a guest blog by a member of the teaching staff who joined us in September.
This September I made the move away from my school in Hayes to join the Fulham Boys team. I was first drawn to FBS by the ambitious statement that it ‘will be the best school in the country’. Not, ‘could’ not ‘might’ but, ’will’. This claim, passionately announced by Mr Ebenezer in the promotional video, sums up the school nicely. Forward thinking, ambitious and – on the face of it – a bit mad.
On entering FBS on my first day it soon became clear that this claim was more than just a sound-bite. The boys, teachers and support staff didn’t ever seem to stop moving, tirelessly busying themselves in the pursuit of this goal. I felt like I was moving in slow motion; students and staff whizzing around me whilst ‘flight of the bumblebee’ blared in my head. Eventually, my eyes accustomed to the speed of movement and the blurred faces turned into smiling boys and the flying laptops into friendly teachers ( the ‘flight of the bumblebee’ music is still playing in my head but it’s becoming quieter by the day).
What was left after the blurs settled was a school like any other and yet very different in some subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways. I will list here some of my findings from my first (nearly) term, and like any good Fulham boy, who is unsure how to best present their work, I will do so in an acrostic.
Future- There is a plan. For the school, for the staff and, most importantly, for the boys. Everything we do here is geared towards creating well-rounded, successful humans that will make the world better. Like many people, I had no idea what enterprise meant before coming here. I had put the word on a ‘business jargon’ scrapheap in my brain along with ‘mindshare’ and ‘synergy’. However, I actually now understand what it means and, even more amazingly, so do the boys!
Boys- Having taught boys in a mixed environment (where the tactic was normally to dilute their machismo by sitting them with sensible girls) I had strong preconceptions of what a whole school of boys would be like. I was, of course, completely wrong on this front. The boys are incredibly friendly and love to get stuck in. Last week I was shocked that almost every boy in my y7 History class wanted to sing the songs they wrote about who should be king after the death of Edward the Confessor -Kai Rodriquez-McDuffus’s rendition of ‘Hotline King’ being my personal favourite.
Structure – I think the biggest difference that I have encountered at this school is the way ‘hierarchy’ is perceived and acted out. Unlike in previous schools where the words ‘Senior Leadership Team’ carried with them as much stigma as ‘he-who-must-not-be-named’ and ‘governors’ as rarely seen as Thestrals (I’m re-reading Harry Potter at the moment) there is an incredible transparency and openness at FBS. Everybody knows their role and it feels as if line-managers are there to help those below them, not the other way round.
All in all it has been a knackering, exhilarating, educational (nearly) term and I look forward to the next two eagerly- but not before a good long sleep and a few more Harry Potter novels this Christmas break.
Morgan Browne (English, History & Drama teacher)