Last school year was a collective disappointment as our boys huffed and puffed but ultimately failed in the end of term examination to make the grades we knew they were capable of. The school have made a lot of changes to ensure that this disappointment is not repeated and the teaching staff has been replaced by a very promising team of educators from Germany headed by Herr Farke. We hope that they can instill the discipline and organisation that prevented our boys from reaching their true potential thus far.
It always does my heart proud to see the son of a former alumnus following in his father’s footsteps. We must take care not to burden the son with the expectations of emulating his father’s excellent record at our school, particularly as he is only here as an exchange student for one year. Herr Farke believes strongly in young Gunn though and the control he exhibits in his work can help this class with their new methodology. Solid, quiet and unspectacular would meet with a passing grade for this boy and help the class tremendously.
Having returned from his exchange visit abroad, young Matthews has grown in confidence and seems ready to compete with the bigger boys. Will face a battle with McGovern for a desk on the second row behind Gunn.
After a disappointing year, McGovern will hope to bounce back this term and put those elementary errors behind him. Herr Farke has kept him involved with class activities over the summer and efforts to find him a new school have proved unsuccessful. He will hope for a chance to challenge young Gunn.
Whilst obviously a very popular boy, and one who has never let us down, he remains low in the pecking order and will make up the numbers again this term.
Whilst Pinto has found himself unavailable for much of Summer Prep, he is one who is likely to thrive under Herr Farke’s new system and it shouldn’t be long before he returns to class to cause all kinds of mischief on the right hand side of the class, which is shaping up to be an area to watch.
Last years Head Boy was not without his critics but has been given a vote of confidence from Herr Farke and renamed Head Boy once more. Already, he looks more comfortable with his assignments this term and we hope that this year produces the results that his persistence deserves and that previous years have not.
One of the boys Herr Farke has recruited from his old school district to replace those that have left. Early signs suggest that he’ll be the solid, dependable student that gets a passing grade in each test. Exactly what was required but sadly absent last term.
Herr Farke wisely brought his former Head Boy with him and, positioned as he is at the Centre Back of the class room, he has been able to root out any trouble and model the behaviour Herr Farke expects from his students. Expectations were not great when Zimmerman arrived as he had studied at a much lower level previously. However, he has adapted well to his new school and his ability to communicate has been an added bonus.
Klose has missed a portion of summer prep activities after being a victim of assault on a day trip to Cambridge. Another who did not meet expectations last year, but for whom a change in tuition could be beneficial. His first battle will be to regain his health and then make his way back into class. Sitting on a bank of three desks may suit him more than a bank of four.
Whilst he has made mistakes already during summer prep, Herr Farke clearly retains faith in the undoubted abilities of this underclassman. Whilst his most convincing results have come when we’ve sat him in the middle of the class, Herr Farke tends to move him around, trusting him to be able to sit at the back without messing around. With the added opportunities that this versatility brings, this could be a big year for young Godfrey.
This boy was largely untested at his previous school and it will be interesting to see how he progresses given the chance. He will be sitting on the left hand side of the room, which traditionally has been a strength for a number of years with former pupils like Olsson, Brady and Dijks having maintained high standards. This year will see different pupils stationed there and it will be a test for Husband to prove his worth. We are optimistic based on early showings.
One of the last remaining members of our glorious kindergarten class of a few years ago, it’s now or never for Toffolo. Another who appears to be fighting for his place in the pecking order, he appears to be suited to Herr Farke’s positional sensibilities. Time will tell but Toffolo needs to prove he can compete in a classroom where much is expected.
One of the junior boys who helped us out when we were short of bodies for summer prep he impressed everyone with his ability. Has fitted in seamlessly with much older boys, he has been an unexpected delight and will hope, in a smaller class this year, that he may at some point be afforded an opportunity to shine.
An exchange student with us for the year, he will undoubtedly improve the grade average. He has benefitted from a high level of education at an early age and is already showing exactly what he is capable of. Has proved his toughness from an early age by surviving the school system as a ginger too.
An old boy who is very popular but who doesn’t fit in particularly well with Herr Farke’s style of learning. He will remain a good influence around the class however and will work hard when called upon. That’s expected to be less often than in previous terms though.
It’s another year in sick bay for this luckless young man. While Matron is trying to put a brave face on things, his future looks bleak at this time. We wish him all the best and hope to see him back in the class sooner rather than later.
It’s important to note that Herr Farke was so keen to bring Vrancic to the school that he persuaded the school board to provide extra funds to help with Vrancic’s travel expenses before we had secured extra funds from the north-east jumble sale. (One item had seen better days but I rue the loss of that twin set, although the remuneration was good). Vrancic is a classical student who has established himself in the class from the first minute. A lot is expected from this young man.
Whilst this student always tries his best, his results last year were poor and many predicted, if not expulsion, then a transfer to another school at least. However, few schools have the funding required to compete with what ours offers and so here he remains. Naismith has had a very promising summer and Herr Farke clearly values his leadership and vocal input, placing him in the middle of class where he has thus far led by example. He needs to maintain this when it comes to the real tests however.
The little scamp of last year has added muscle and determination and truly looks ready to take his place among the big boys. All the ability in the world, he also looks to have a strong work ethic and willingness to learn which sets him apart from peers of his age. He has an opportunity now to take the next step in his academic career and few would bet against him from what we have seen so far, although we must remember his tender years and not expect too much too soon.
Expected to produce the highest grades in the class this season, he too was part of the sustained attack in Cambridge and is expected to remain in sick bay for the foreseeable future. Fortunately the reorganisation of the class means that it is more easy to allow for his absence than it would have been last term. However we will still miss him hugely and we eagerly await his return.
Our most senior student, he has had a protracted summer, and is yet to join in with the majority of class learning activities. Early reports of his first forays back into work suggest that Herr Farke is impressed however and you would expect him to once again be a major part of our successes.
Last term, Mr Neil worked hard to bring Wildschut to the school before largely ignoring him after a quiet start. Wildschut has since worked very hard over the summer and looks determined to adapt to what Herr Farke has asked of him, despite it being largely different to the work he has done before. This fresh start looks to be just what Wildschut needed.
Has spent more time in sick bay than Matron. At this juncture he even has his own permanent bed. With two years to go until he graduates, Jarvis’s continued presence at the school, without attending class, adds little at this stage, although he is unlikely to seek a fresh start at a school with less funding. A damning indictment of our previous admissions policy. Will hope to finally reach fitness this year and if he does he still has the ability to make a real contribution.
Whilst he will understandably feel the loss of his brother’s transfer to a school in The North, Murphy eclipsed him at the end of last term and we expect great things from him this year. Another who appears to be finally ready to fulfil his promise, he’ll likely be at a Premier Level University next year, one way or another.
A flexible and hard-working young man, he has had a stop-start summer but appears to be ready now for the tests ahead. Clearly at a stage in his education where he was ready for a step-up, this school should provide the platform he requires to become even better.
Whilst not universally popular, his work-rate is unquestioned and he always gives his all in class. Has been known to blow an easy test only to ace something far trickier. His overall contribution to class scores over the past years should not be underestimated however. Whilst he won’t necessarily be the first to be called on this year, he will undoubtedly remain very involved in class matters.
Unfortunately Herr Farke had to send this boy to my office on the first day of term. Even a talented student has to follow the rules, and realise that no student is more important than the school. I trust he will learn his lesson and strive to improve his attitude. The problem with being at the front of the class is that when you do well everybody notices, and it is clear that other schools are paying close attention to Oliviera. Whilst he can appear selfish in pursuit of grades, this single-minded determination can often benefit the class regardless. His decision-making in this regard will be closely monitored by Herr Farke but he has had a very good summer and looks to be an essential member of the class this year.
Alex B says
An excellent read and a great breakdown on the pkayers potential, will there be a follow up on the fringe players and loanees that would also be a good read.
Lets hope all live up to what they can achieve this season and for the good of city.
Excellent stuff from our Headmaster. Maybe a tad generous to the insolent boy at the front. he may well find himself expelled!
ABC (A Basingstoke Canary) says
Absolutely excellent article! Very positive approach to the class (unlike my report card which invariably read “could do better”!)
Stewart Lewis says
Brilliant – brought plenty of smiles to my face, and the odd guffaw.
In my day, the cane might have come out for Oliveira N.
martin penney says
Well done Andy – a great read. Go to the top of the class and give out the pencils:-)
Sadly young Head must do better with his grammar. “The school has made a lot of changes …”. The subject of the sentence is ‘the school’ (singular) not ‘changes’ (plural). Must do better!
Cyprus Canary says
Sorry but the changes are the object and plural surely.
Not in this case .. the school is …!
Pedant Slayer says
Would you say “Chelsea has won the Premier League”? If so, you’d sound like an American sports journalist.
There’s nothing wrong, or even unusual, about using a plural verb with a singular noun where the reference is to the individuals who make up the institution rather than to the institution itself.
There is only one Chelsea – thankfully, so singular it is! (not they are).
Cyprus canary says
Mary has made lots of cakes. Would you say “Mary has made lots of cake”. ????
Pedant Slayer says
MGW isn’t saying “changes” should be “change”. He/she is saying “have” should be “has”. (The point about “changes” is a red herring,)
Pedant Slayer says
Are you American? If so, I’m flogging a dead horse.
Would you say “Chelsea has won the Premier League and it is hoping to win it again next season”?
Anymore than you would write “The BBC have ..” instead of “The BBC has …” it is a singular entity! And NO I am not American, English by birth and UK by lifelong residence, making a living in large part from writing!
This started as a gentle leg-pull but unbelievably some have taken it seriously.
Andy Head says
Somebody needs to decide this one way or another. I don’t know whether to feel bad or not…
Andy, … you certainly do not need to feel bad …
As above, this started as a gentle leg-pull in response to your wonderfully amusing article.
Some seem to have taken this seriously … And failed to discriminate between the way in which we speak and the way we write – the former can be much more relaxed wrt grammar.
Apropos of Pedant Slayer’s comment:
1) “The school has made lots of changes …” or
2) “Lots of changes have been made by the school ..,”.
Both are correct – in (1) the ‘school’ is the subject and in (2) the ‘changes’ are the subject.
Incidentally, in terms of the object (which someone raised) that is acted on by the subject, in grammatical terms ‘changes’ is the object in (1) and the ‘school’ in (2).
Perhaps it is time to stop now!?!
Alex B says
Hi Andy seems like you have started a mini gramma possibly some one will pick up on mine.
If they do answer this is a player a France international for instance as that seems the popular way of addressing an international for which ever country he plays for or as I was taught at school a French international.
From France your nationality is French
From Germany you would be German
Any insight to the German CB from Berlin we are supposed to be negotiating for.