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College principal’s farewell thanks

OUTGOING principal of Frome College, Gavin Ball, in his final address, has thanked the local community for its support and the school students and members of staff, saying that Frome College is a great place to be.

He writes, “In my last words as principal of Frome College, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our community for their support.

“Frome College is a dynamic school where we take a pride in developing our young people for tomorrow’s world.  Indeed it has been a privilege to work with such talented students and dedicated staff over the past five years.

“The key to success has been in developing a culture of self-belief, a can-do attitude whereby every student has the ability to succeed in life and also that they feel that they can succeed.  ‘Believe’ has been our motto and driving force in this past five years, believing that anything is possible.  We have such a richness of creativity, flair and energy in our student body, that is just simply breath-taking. It is our job as educators to tap into that talent and to develop it, even when a student is unaware of the skillset that they have. Everyone has something to offer.

“In creating the House system we opened up more opportunities for participation, team work and student leadership.  The competition between the Houses has been electrifying, pushing more young people to get involved to gain house points, pushing House teams to challenge themselves on those marginal gains to be even better so that they can win.  Of course the real winners are the students who have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, developing their personal attributes and skills.

“Our employability strategy has given purpose for studying and participation, focusing students on their next steps.  I would like to thank all those employers and organisations who have given up their time freely to attend career cafes, participate in mock interviews, be career mentors, judge enterprise competitions and offer work placements and internships for our young people.

“It’s been an exciting time working with so many forward-looking organisations that have offered our students so much.  The relationship with the University of Bath has been a real success story and no other school in Somerset has such strong links with a high-rating university.

“Working with students and staff on Frome FM has been magical.  We are so lucky to have our own radio station in Frome.  Our links with the sports clubs and the music, dance and performance venues in towns have been so beneficial to the development of students.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Board of the Merlin Theatre Company and wish them well for the future.

“Finally I would like to thank the staff at Frome College who have been so warm, hard working and inspiring. Working in a climate of harsh financial cut backs, coupled with continual educational change around the curriculum and assessment, has been difficult.  However the focus has always been around the student.  Our grades at GCSE, BTEC and A Level have all increased year on year over the past five years.

“We have a happy school with warm relationships that promote learning and development. Our students do more things, they achieve more things, they move onto greater things, they believe in themselves and they take a pride in their school and in their community.  Frome College is a great place to be and I’ll be sad to leave, but proud of what we have all achieved together.”