Half-Term – December 2018
I must confess, when I first took a look at the pupils at the beginning of term, I was anticipating a very different set of half-term grades. A more unassuming low-key group of boys I had yet to see. Yet through the efforts of Herr Farke in identifying ways to motivate his pupils, and some outstanding work from our young underclassman, this class of misfits, and bright boys who went astray and needed a second chance, have exceeded all our expectations.
Krul, T. [B-]
I have privately nicknamed this boy “Brexit” as he appears to provoke ridiculously extreme reactions in everyone he meets. However, I think the consensus is finally coming to the conclusion that he deserves to remain. Whilst never a problem child, he made some errors of judgement when he first joined us. However, as he has settled in, his mistakes have lessened, and his confidence visibly increased. He still has it in him to err, but he has given himself a much more solid base to build on for the rest of the year.
Aarons, M. [A+]
In all my 30+ years at this school I have never seen a young man step up a year and fit in so effortlessly. Having seen him in the juniors I was impressed but not blown away. However, the bigger the challenge, the more comfortable this boy looks. He is certainly destined for big things. Other school’s are undoubtedly monitoring his rapid progress and will be ready to dangle scholarships in January. I feel completing his first year here will benefit him more in the long-term though.
Lewis, J. [A-]
Last year was a breakthrough for Lewis in much the same way as this year was for Aarons. However, Lewis did not enjoy the consistency that underpins Aarons’s work. Good early results were followed by a poor end to the term. This term, Lewis has matured and smoothed many of the rough edges he previously displayed. He still has work to do to become the scholar we all know he can be, but his star is very much in the ascendancy.
Pinto, I. [C+]
Curious to see our former Head Boy playing such a limited role in class. To be fair he’s done everything asked of him whenever called upon, even excelling in unfamiliar roles. He does appear to be ready to graduate and move onto further opportunities now, particularly with Aarons having taken his seat in class so resolutely. We would see him go with a heavy heart though.
Passlack, F. [C-]
When Young Passlack first arrived I mistook him for a Primary Schooler who’d gotten lost! His small stature may contribute to the reasons why he has failed to make the impact expected. Whilst he’s clearly a bright boy, he’s in a very competitive environment with some much bigger boys and could easily be targeted for rough treatment. Another who would have certainly had more opportunities but for the incredible strides taken by Aarons, and unless he moves on in January it may be more of the same in 2019 for Passlack.
Hanley, G. [C]
Our Head Boy started term poorly by his own high standards, and before he really hit his stride he was struck down by a malady that left him in sick bay for a considerable spell. Whilst we are delighted to see him back now he will have to work extremely hard to regain his place in the class, as the boys have moved on and made great strides in his absence.
Klose, T. [A]
Klose, whilst always a joker, has taken on a leadership role in class, and has grown with the responsibility. A calming influence, he is key to the morale of the students, and offers technical abilities that none of his peers can match. A fantastic start to the year for Klose.
Zimmermann, C. [A]
With Hanley and Klose comfortably ensconced at the back of the class, and Godfrey looking like their heir apparent, it was difficult to see whether Zimmermann would even have a desk this year. However, cometh the hour and cometh the man. Zimmermann has been a rock, and whenever the class has been under pressure, Zimmermann’s big head has been a lightning rod at the back of the class, getting them out of trouble with the right answers time and time again.
Godfrey, B. [B]
After impressing greatly at his finishing school last year ahead of joining the senior class, Godfrey has had to be exceptionally patient to earn his time to shine, and only very recently has he come out of his shell and been able to show us what he can do. Quicker than any of his direct peers, he has to fight for every chance in one of the most competitive areas of the class. The competition will serve him well though, and will probably make a man of him. Keep up the good work.
Tettey, A. [A-]
Despite earning an instant demerit for some extremely bad language to describe his own poor showing in one particular test, Tettey has had another extremely good year so far. Whilst we feared his health conditions would keep him in sick bay every few days, matron has obviously provided a poultice strong enough to prop up a wheezy rhino, and kept Tettey in class for the vast majority of time. So experienced now, he knows what he can and can’t do well, and does the simple group work brilliantly, allowing his classmates to shine with more creative tasks.
Leitner, M. [A-]
One of the reasons that this year’s test scores are so high is that the class is now balanced in a way that it wasn’t previously. Every class needs a Leitner. At times when the class seems unsure, Leitner is the one they rely upon to prompt them with the right answer, and he does so solidly and methodically time and time again. A vital influence.
Trybull, T. [B-]
It’s a sign of how well the class has been doing that an individual as talented as Trybull has found himself on the fringes of the class. Whilst he still provides the right answers when called upon he’s a victim of others success and will need to remain patient. His chance will come again but right now his light is rather hidden through no fault of his own.
Vrancic, M. [B+]
Difficult to grade as he was with Matron for so long at the start of the year, but now he is fit and well, he’s much more involved in class activities. One of the most creative students, he punctuates all of his work with an underlying style and panache that can make the difference between good results and exceptional ones. With so many students performing well there was a danger Vrancic might have been reduced to a lesser role in lessons, but he has made himself impossible to ignore, which is impressive given the competition around him.
Marshall, B. [C-]
Of all the new arrivals to the school this year, Marshall looked the safest bet to settle in straight away, but ironically he appears to be the one that has struggled the most. Whilst clearly very talented, he has yet to find his real position within the group. Whilst he obviously needs an opportunity to shine, he also needs to make sure he takes that chance when it comes along. His journey throughout the second half of the year will be interesting to watch.
McLean, K. [C+]
A promising, if inconsistent start to his time at the school was curtailed by health concerns and McLean has yet to return to class properly. Another who will find opportunities difficult to come by due to the success of classmates, although with his skill set he may just become an unexpected success story in the latter stages of the year.
Stiepermann, M. [A-]
One who, based on last year’s results, I was not expecting great things from this term, and assumed he would be on the fringes of class. However, Herr Farke worked tirelessly with Stiepermann and they gained consensus as to how he could work best, changed his position in class and moved him further forward, and Stiepermann hasn’t looked back since. Whilst not always as elegant as his creative peers, he works tremendously hard, and his blunt, belligerent, ultra-competitive style oftens acts as the perfect counterpoint to some of his friend’s over-elaborate artistic tendencies in terms of getting the work done.
Jarvis, M. [U]
After a torrid few years health-wise, Jarvis is finally taking his first tentative steps back into class. Another, like McLean who could provide a boost to class numbers as the year moves along.
Cantwell, T. [A-]
Another junior who has stepped up into the senior’s without difficulty, Cantwell has been a somewhat surprisingly effective addition to the class. His work, whilst a little elaborate at times for some tastes, is underpinned by an exceptionally strong work ethic, and a fight and determination that is rare to find. The sky is the limit for this young man, and long may he continue making us all pleasantly surprised.
Buendia, E. [A-]
Unfamiliar surroundings meant that Buendia took a little time to settle at his new school, but once established in class he hasn’t looked back. Whilst heralded for his creative abilities, it has been his desire to work hard, and take on physical tasks that others often shirk that has endeared him to everyone. Fiercely competitive, Buendia has grown in confidence and influence as the year has progressed.
Hernandez, O. [A]
Our brightest light at the start of the school year, Hernandez has been dogged by health concerns that have meant he has struggled to retain a settled place in class since. When he has been fit, he has often been incredible, and remains a constant source of potential success. Once again, it is a sign of the success of others that he is not always the first name called upon in class. Hopefully next term will see him able to contribute even more.
Srbeny, D. [B-]
Whilst he has found chances to shine few and far between, he remains involves more often than not by making the most of opportunities when they arrive. A hard worker, his strength and tenacity have become an asset this year, and whilst he is afforded fewer chances than his peers he is establishing himself as a safe pair of hands to finish work well when called upon.
Rhodes, J. [B+]
There is a real skill to being a positive contributor to a group whilst not being the centre of attention. Rhodes arrived at the school with a big reputation as was expected to be the main man in class. However, as circumstances evolved, he was overshadowed by the test results of Pukki, and relegated to a lesser role. That has not prevented him from working and preparing just as hard, and making key contributions when he has been called upon.
Pukki, T. [A]
Whilst Pukki has garnered all the attention this term for the quality of homework he has produced (albeit mostly handed in at the last minute), there are times when he can go very quiet in class and not contribute as fully as you would like, hence why he was only awarded an A and not an A-Plus. However, if there’s an answer to be found to a difficult problem, he’s usually Johnny-on-the-spot to provide that answer. Has adapted extremely well to his new school.
Herr Farke. [A+]
Oh we of little faith. Herr Farke has transformed last year’s also-rans into one of the most productive classes in Europe with a record that stands up against anyone. That this change came after such a poor start to the year is testament to the work of Herr Farke in subtly tweaking a system that was not working, and finding a way to evolve the class and bring in the younger students.