19/12/2018

To all the Students, Staff, Governors and Parents

To all the Students, Staff, Governors and Parents of Forest,

I just wanted to write a few words to express my gratitude for all of your support over the past few months since I started at Forest.  For as long as I live, I will never forget the night of Sunday 02 September 2018, the night before my first Forest INSET day. The thought of having to come in and present my vision for Forest to a new staff team of what seemed like thousands! Having been in education for 20 years now, of course presenting to people was second nature, but there was something about doing it as the head that made it more daunting. As if that wasn't bad enough, I then had to do the same for 1100 boys. I look back now and wonder what I was so worried about. What I found at Forest was a student and staff body that are absolutely amazing, people that give me something to be proud about every single day. I am truly blessed and firmly believe that I have the best job in the world.

Since those first few days we have been on a bit of a journey together as I get to know the school and the school gets to know me. We have met each other through various parent's events such as the well attended Parent Partnership 'Come and meet the Head' event, our Drugs Information Evening led by the Police, the Year 10 Music Evening, Year 7 Settling in Evening or our Post 16 Education and Training Evening. We may have talked during a lovely warm summer's evening watching one of our school football teams or even during a miserable rainy and cold evening watching a school rugby fixture. I am pleased to say that the home fixtures that I have watched have seen Forest come out on top more times than we have lost and that includes Football, Rugby and Basketball. Perhaps you have spoken to me at the production of Joseph in the summer, at the Year 10 Music Evening or perhaps you said hello over a minced pie and some mulled wine at our Christmas Concert, which was fabulous by the way if you missed it, it was a real treat. In short, thank you to all of the Forest parents for all you are doing to support your sons, I really hope you are as proud of them as I am.

Talking of the students, we have watched them depart us on coaches, buses and minibuses to go far and wide this term. Some have gone for driving lessons, visiting Oxford University, rock climbing, Ypres, theatres, electronics club visits, Green Car races, watching England play at Wembley and most importantly watching Brighton and Hove Albion draw with Leicester! There is even more to come with Ski trips, a trip to Rhineland, Mathematics in Paris and Salou to name just a few of the major trips coming later this year. We also this month saw Sodexo providing Christmas Dinner for well over 400 people and what an amazing experience that was to sit and have Christmas Dinner with the children. A lovely atmosphere with great food and great company. Forest is an amazingly vibrant community with a seemingly unending capacity to do more for it's students and I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of the staff that work so tremendously hard to make sure that our students have the most unforgettable experience at our school and making sure that education remains at the heart of everything they do.

I believe that Forest is like a big family. With 1300 people here day in day out it is an amazing place to work. When we add in parents our Family grows to almost three times that number. I know that working together for the good of all we will do tremendous things. On behalf of all of the Staff and Governors of Forest can I just wish you all the most amazing Christmas and New Year. I hope you all enjoy the break so that we can return to enjoy a spectacular 2019, I am excited to be a part of this amazing school and cannot wait to see how we develop over the next two terms.

Kindest regards,

Mr Straw