The last time a school produced a series of results this disappointing, St Agnes’ Academy had broken out a bumper pack of Clear Blue, two months after accidentally ending up at a Chippendales Back-Stage party.
The result remains the same. Everyone’s feeling let down and more than a little screwed.
Whilst matching up to other schools in the Ivy League always provides us with a mountain to climb, I fear Mr Webber took this analogy too much to heart when preparing for the task ahead.
Hiring the wrong equipment turned a tricky Ben Nevis, into an unassailable K2, and unfortunately, we never made it more than a few paces out of base camp. A costly pointless trip that left everyone cold and miserable.
And so to the boys:
Krul, T [C-]
Some uncharacteristic errors towards the end of term from the usually reliable Krul. His grade would have been lower had the fate of the school not already been decided by the time he lost his way. Prior to then, he had been in relatively good form despite at times having less effective protection than the aforementioned Chippendales. It remains to be seen whether we see him back at school next year.
Gunn, A [B-]
Things have gone better than could have been hoped for Gunn personally. Expected to play an extremely limited role in class, he has been a source of calm effectiveness when he has been called upon, and by the end of term, he had managed to properly establish himself. A rare bright spot.
Aarons, M [D]
A year where progress has not only stalled but actually regressed. Aarons’ star is unfortunately now on the wane, with his early promise fading and he even lost his seat in class at one point. I would be surprised if Aarons did not seek a change of scenery, and at this point, it feels overdue. He has given us some great years of service.
Byram, S [C]
It has been good to see him return and he has been above average, albeit on an admittedly error-strewn bell curve of his classmates. Byram spent so long in sickbay that Matron enquired about adopting him at one point. Byram is a hard-working and versatile member of class. He has impressed Mr Smith with his leadership and mature approach. If he can remain healthy, next year could be big for Byram.
Giannoulis, D [D-]
Opinions are very much divided on the effectiveness of Giannoulis, and he has endured a very spasmodic year in class, with both Herr Farke and Mr Smith providing opportunities to him at times and then removing those opportunities again, sometimes even after he had done well. His abilities are there for all to see, however, and he should be more than prepared for next year.
Williams, B [D-]
Even more so than Giannoulis, Williams has a polarised set of either fans or detractors amongst the faculty. Some of his work has looked, at times, spectacular, although it can be claimed that it has to be to cover up for the errors he made initially on many occasions. As with Giannoulis, he was not called upon consistently, which helped neither boy nor the class overall. He worked hard and never hid.
Mumba, B [D-]
Just the one outing this term for Mumba where he fared badly in the hardest test of the year just like all of his classmates. He spent time at Peterborough Polytechnic to try and hone his skills in the latter part of the year, although it remains to be seen how effective that was. Will be hoping for opportunities to impress back with us next year.
Hanley, G [B]
The Head Boy emerged with that rarest of achievements from this car crash of a year: his reputation relatively intact. Whilst not error-free he has stuck manfully to his task whilst all around him lost their heads, and there were times that he managed to somehow stem the tide of poor scores from being even worse. Few would begrudge him staying with an Ivy League school if offered a scholarship but we hope very much that he returns.
Gibson, B [E]
All our worst fears for Gibson came true. We worried that at the highest level, the most difficult tests would prove beyond him and so it played out. His methodical, mature style, looked hesitant and dithery whilst under pressure and he made elementary errors that let both him and the class down. Whilst he may well recover to be a key member of the class again next year, we have definitely seen the limits of Gibson’s capabilities.
Zimmermann, C [C-]
Another protracted year with issues of health for Zimmermann, his brief appearances in class may not have sparkled in terms of results, but it was nice to see a boy that genuinely cares about the test scores and with whom we feel a genuine affinity. At a time when there has been a lack of leadership and identity, Zimmermann’s presence at least provides that connection.
Kabak, O [D-]
The occasional sparkling piece of magic from an undoubtedly talented student was unfortunately undermined by wasteful errors on too frequent an occasion. In fairness, Kabak has the potential to be a cherry on the top of a cake if you have a solid cake worth sharing with others. Unfortunately, when your cake tastes like the caretaker’s sock, the cherry is an extravagance that helps nobody.
Omobamidele, A [B]
One of the few students to have improved and shown himself capable of performing at Ivy League level. Whilst he has spent far less time than we would have liked in class, he performed like a student far more experienced and has established himself as the future of the school.
Sorensen, J [C-]
Sorensen can claim, justifiably, that he did well with limited opportunities. The lack of such opportunities is a mystery given that no other boy has the skill set that Sorensen does, and is one that we sorely needed all year. Whilst he still needs to do more, he let nobody down when called upon in class.
Normann, M [C+]
For the first half of the year, he was a standout student. Hitting the ground running, unlike many of his fellow exchange students, his eye-catching style and strength of character gave hope that his better qualities could rub off on his classmates and instill some much-needed confidence and vim. But a spell in sickbay appeared to rob him of momentum and form and his later showings were a pale imitation of his early promise. A pity.
Gilmour, B [F]
Rarely has so much been expected from a student who went on to produce so little. Everybody was delighted that Gilmour had elected to spend an exchange year at our school, and whilst he always worked hard, he provided worse results than the students who were already here, despite being given ample opportunities. A huge disappointment.
Lees-Melou, P [D]
The occasional flashes of promise have been all-too-rare this year, and we remain unable to see what Lees-Melou is actually good at as a student. Very few consistent results, he will do one good thing, three poor, and seven unmemorable for every ten questions asked of him. For an experienced student, more was hoped for.
Rupp, L [D+]
Whilst never hiding, he was unable to justify taking a more important role in class, and with regret he will not be returning to the school next year. Always industrious, his lack of creativity when most required was always a stumbling block but his enthusiastic buzzing made him a popular figure with his classmates.
McLean, K [E+]
Similar to Gibson, he has shown his inability to cope at the highest level. He may well be effective again with easier work, but his skill set is simply too unrefined to handle the most complex tests. No lack of hard work but so often disappears when the difficult questions are asked.
Dowell, K [D+]
With Buendia having changed schools there was a need for a creative student to step forward, but until the last half term, Dowell was not called on in class. Whilst his efforts were only sporadically effective then, there was at least sufficient productivity to suggest that he may have something to offer next year and was probably under-utilised in the first terms.
Cantwell, T [F]
Tied with Gilmour as the biggest disappointment for the school. Prodigiously talented, but provided nothing, and his reputation both at the school and in the wider education system, is severely diminished. An opportunity for both student and school not only missed but frittered away.
Rashica, M [D-]
At one stage Rashica looked like he’d settled well and was at home with the high level of testing. However, a spell in sickbay saw him lose momentum and since his return, his test scores have been poor indeed. Towards the end of the year, his effort noticeably dropped, and questions have to be raised as to whether he had simply given up. I would be surprised if he returned to the school next year.
Placheta, P [E]
Probably as surprised as anyone to have been given the opportunities he has this year, he has, less surprisingly, done nothing with them. Whilst he gives his best, he has yet to display sufficient aptitude at comprehensive level, let alone Ivy League, and little has underlined how short of options the class has been than Placheta being frequently asked questions he is unable to answer in the absence of a better option.
Rowe, J [B-]
A welcome glimpse of something positive, Rowe’s enthusiasm and drive in the brief opportunities he had were encouraging. Whilst still developing, he appears to be a strong and direct student who could be set for a very good year next time out.
Springett, T [B-]
See above! Hope for the future of the class.
Tzolis, C [F]
To be fair to him, given his age and experience, little should have been expected of Tzolis as he tried studying in a new country for the first time. However, such was Mr Webber’s investment in getting him to the school at the expense of recruiting other students, he can only be judged as a massive disappointment. We wait to see what the future holds.
Sargent, J [D+]
Despite his lack of technical ability, Sargent always works tremendously hard, and unlike many of his classmates, occasionally produced positive results. Whilst he cannot be seen as having had good results this year, he added something, however unorthodox, and in a year as poor as this, that at least should be applauded.
Idah, A [D]
One good test has done a lot of heavy-lifting for Idah in terms of reputation this year. Until then, sporadic opportunities had been spurned, and his performances had been clumsy and unconvincing. Hopes that this would kick-start his year were quickly dashed by an extended trip to sickbay shortly after. Still has plenty to prove.
Pukki, T [B+]
The only boy who could finish tests with any regularity, whilst he was far from perfect, he was at least, competitive at this level which puts him way ahead of his classmates. Woefully held back by the ineptitude around him, nobody could blame him if he chose to attend a better school next year.
And as for the teachers:
Herr Farke [D]
Whilst Mr Smith’s subsequent lack of ability to get any better results from the class has reflected favourably on his predecessor, it should be remembered how poor test results were under Herr Farke. And unlike Mr Smith, the class had all been brought to the school to fit the requirements of Herr Farke. A lovely man, he had reached the end of his road at the school, but we will always wish him well.
Mr Smith [D]
Mr Smith has been unable to make the changes to the class that he would like as yet, and so next year will be a big test as he shapes the class to his own requirements. However, he was unable to improve results to any great extent, and some tests have been failed dismally. Lots to prove.