FITZ FOCUS SPECIAL EDITION JULY 2010 EDITION No. 30 FAREWELL MR FULLER! We say a fond farewell to our Headteacher, Mr Fuller, at the end of this term. Mr Fuller - Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School for the East of England 2010 On 24 June Mr Fuller, along with his family, attended a ceremony held at Rhodes Arts Complex in Bishop’s Stortford where he was presented with a National Teaching Award - The National College Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, in the East of England. The Finals will be held in October. The school has achieved countless awards during Mr Fuller’s time here and standards have gone up and up! In July alone, two Year 8 pupils received the ’Friends of the Forces’ award for the East of England and are short listed for the National awards that take place on 13 July. Our pupils were also crowned National Athletics Champions at Gateshead. Thank you, Mr Fuller, for your commitment to the school. We wish you health and happiness and every success in future ventures. He’s been ready for a soaking - and ready for a shine! Ready for a chess match - and keeping staff in line! Since starting here on 1 April 1999, Mr Fuller’s vision has remained con- stant, leading FitzWimarc through two Ofsted inspections and always striving for excellence! Inspectors said, ‘The Fitzwimarc School provides its students with an outstanding education. It has an exceptional headteacher whose vision and the standards he expects of students and staff are understood and shared by all. This contributes directly towards an exceptional school ethos where the outstanding personal development and the outstanding care, guidance and support for students create an environment in which young people thrive.’ and ‘Outstanding leadership and management by the headteacher have created a school with many strengths and very few weaknesses.’ Mr Fuller joined The FitzWimarc School in April 1999 and helped to transform it from a good to a heavily over-subscribed, outstanding, High Performing Specialist School. In 2009, Ofsted described Jim as an “exceptional Headteacher” at a school with “many strengths and very few weaknesses”. Exam results have improved by 20% at GCSE in his 11 years in charge. In 2009, 82% of pupils gained 5+A*-C grades at GCSE with 67% 5 A*-C grades including maths and English. This is in the context of a broadly average prior attainment on entry and designated as a Language College in which 90% of KS4 pupils have had to sit an examination in a Modern Language. When Mr Fuller started his tenure as head the difference between boy/girl attainment at Fitz was 23%; the difference is now negligible and boys have broken the school’s 5+A*-C record for the past 6 consecutive years. This achievement has not been at the expense of girls who have also broken the school record twice in the last 3 years. Mr Fuller’s commitment to system leadership is manifest in his school’s 11 year membership of the CSI and his involvement with Graham Abel in a joint Trust School arrangement which now incorporates 22 other local primary and secondary schools as associate members. This is the largest collaboration of its kind in the country. In his time at FitzWimarc, Mr Fuller has been involved in a range of professional groups (School Improvement Partner, a LLE, an Ofsted inspector and a NPQH tutor/assessor. He has chaired CPR ASHE and the county’s Languages Strategy Group, been a member of the Essex ASHE Executive and its representative on the Connexions group and the ASHE/LSC/LA Curriculum Working Group). As a former PE teacher, he is particularly proud of his school’s sporting success: over 40 teams have, this year alone won district or regional trophies and 6 teams have reached national finals in athletics, cross country and gymnastics. On behalf of all the students at The FitzWimarc School I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Mr Fuller. He has been the face of FitzWimarc for a long time now and it’s a shame to have to see him leave. When starting in Year 7 he was there to welcome us to the school, and now that we are in year 11 he is here to say his goodbyes. Although the other years may not have known him for as long they can be assured that he has been a great Headteacher and looked out for each and every one of us. He has always come along to support us on trips and is there at sporting fixtures to cheer us on and congratulate us. So, from all FitzWimarc pupils, past and present, we would like to thank Mr Fuller for all his help and Mr Fuller with Head Boy care at The FitzWimarc Fraser Johns and Head Girl Emma Griffiths School. Emma Griffiths, Head Girl Fraser Johns, Head Boy. I am delighted to be allowed to contribute to this ‘special’ edition of Fitz Focus marking, as it does, the end of the Jim Fuller era at the School. Jim was appointed as Headteacher in early 1999 and I have known him from the time I joined the Governing Body in late 2001. Over the last 7 or so years, I have worked closely with him as Chair of Governors and this has enabled me to gain a greater insight into how both he and the School operate. The latest Ofsted Report very accurately reflects the effect he has had on the School and, whilst he did not achieve this result on his own, his leadership and drive ensured it happened. A lesser individual would have seriously considered ‘stepping down’ after having major surgery in May A successful partnership: 2008 but Jim’s desire to finish the job and Mr Ellis and Mr Fuller. to achieve his goal made him carry on. One of my many responsibilities as Chair is to monitor the work/life balance of the Headteacher and to do my best to ensure it is ‘healthy’. This was no easy task as far as Jim was concerned because he lives, eats and breathes education, even going as far as reviewing school policy documents whilst convalescing! Jim has immersed himself deeply in all aspects of education, is a life-long learner and set himself the highest standards and encouraged others to do similarly. He has always kept ‘up to date’ with new initiatives and has spread himself across many, many diverse educational committees, groupings, parties, associations etc. As a ‘Service Improvement Partner’ to a small number of other schools, he passed on his considerable experience in helping to raise standards and achievement. He has long been a convert of collaborative working and system leadership and has played a very major part in establishing the Rochford and District Schools Partnership Trust. He is a firm believer in discipline and standards, which he and the Governing Body, both acknowledge are essential to deliver high quality learning. These beliefs were applied equally to both pupils and staff in a sympathetic but firm manner but, when required, he did not flinch from taking the hard decisions necessary for the greater good of the School. He always maintained an ‘open door’ policy giving freely of his time to pupils, parents and staff on issues which he understood were very important to them as individuals. The school ethos, rigidly shared by Jim and his team with the Governing Body was, and still is, to develop pupils into ‘well rounded individuals ready to take the next step in their lives’. Neither party was ever willing to compromise what was in the best interests of the pupils. In conclusion, Jim has proven to be an exceptional and inspirational Headteacher who is thoroughly and well respected by all who come into contact with him. The world of education will be a poorer place without him! Tony Ellis, Chair of Governors Leading our pupil leaders: July 2007: Head Girl Laura Hembling and July 2008: Head Girl Corrie Thorn and Head Head Boy Jack Bloxham with Mr Fuller and Boy Matt Willis with Mr Fuller and deputies deputies Dulari Vyas and Mitchell Ward. Francesca Syrett and Ashley Carter.