Crystal Palace, it is probably fair to say, have had a mixed first half of term. The team did not have a very happy start and endured a particularly miserable time between late August until early November when their conduct was pointless. A major contributory factor in this PPP ‘Piss Poor Performance’, was a distinct lack of preparation and this needs to be addressed as early as possible in 2014. During the crucial September period, aka The Transfer Window, the behaviour under Head Boy Holloway was akin to a crazed man let loose on a supermarket trolley dash with no thought for quality and only quantity. I do not wish to go on about this negative time any more than I have to and all I need to say is Florian Manage. Enough said.
I am glad to report that since Pulis replaced Holloway as Head Boy there has been a distinct improvement across all subjects. Green shoots of recovery have started poking through but these are just shoots, which need to be nurtured and cared for if all the good work of the last few weeks is not to be wasted. If Palace are successful in maintaining this momentum, then the ultimate goal of a glorious 17th place is not beyond The Eagles but this is the time to push on and not sit back and think that we are on Easy Street because we are still on a long and winding road and where it ends who knows.
ENGLISH Effort 3/5 Attainment 2/5
As we all know the Premier League School has been through a lot of changes recently, not least the welcome influx of lots of pupils from outside the UK. But we are still very keen to see ‘home’ boys doing well and am glad to say that the back four which is made up of a couple of Englishmen, a Welshman and an Irishman (insert own joke) have been performing so much better in the last month after a rather shaky start. All four still need to concentrate and not allow anything to distract them from the essential task in hand, but we all look forward to continuing improvement.
MATHS Effort 4/5 Attainment 2/5
Maths is a core topic and everyone understands the significance of the Magic 40 as far as end of term exams are concerned. The fact that there are only 13 points on the table means quite simply that we have to double this over the coming months. The current average points per game ratio of 0.8125 must be improved to 1.227 to ensure a happy summer. It does not matter how these points are gained whether it is nine wins or six wins and nine draws, but 27 points must be achieved by May. As Mr. Parish the teacher is fond of saying “Do the Maths”.
GEOGRAPHY Effort 3/5 Attainment 1/5
Apart from a very successful field trip to future City of Culture, Kingston-Upon-Hull, there have been some pretty poor Geography outings. Whilst appreciating there has been some misfortune, including that infamous shameless Manchester simulator Young, the boys need to dust themselves down and apply themselves to right any perceived injustices. As Head Prefect Jedinak said so eloquently “Sh*t happens”, indeed it does Mile, indeed it does.
MODERN LANGUAGES Effort 3/5 Attainment 3/5
We have a veritable Tower of Babel down at Selhurst Park this term and that is a healthy environment as already indicated in the English report. Spanish has been a core part of the club for a decade now with our longest-serving pupil, Speroni who is now in his 11th year and is a credit to Argentina and South America. ‘Jules’ has welcomed new boy Campana and helped him settle in during a difficult period, and we hope Jose will soon be happy at Palace. French has been a bit more chequered with Chamakh leading the way after a stuttering start, Marouane now is finally showing signs of fulfilling his ‘grand potentiel’ but boy does he need a haircut.
SCIENCE Effort 2/5 Attainment 3/5
Physics is a challenge and this term’s project Defying Gravity has been tricky but there are signs that lessons have been learned. Biology has been dropped as there was too long spent dissecting the corpses of numerous defeats and became a negative process, hence the decision to focus on more positive aspects of the curriculum. Chemistry has been the real star of the show as under Head Boy Pulis, there is often a whiff of cordite in the air at matches and that is a good thing.
HISTORY Effort 4/5 Attainment 3/5
History is against us they all say. The facts are that each of the previous four Premier League examinations have ended in failure and this needs to be redressed. Not many would have given the boys a cat in hell’s chance of passing the final exam in May next year until the recent uplift in fortunes which are related directly to the efforts spent. So every effort needs to be made in every subject if we are to make this term a success. Some will point to the fact that at this stage last year the three sides that occupied the last three places were relegated.
I have been suitably impressed by the change in attitude since the dark ages of Holloway’s regime. I have also been delighted by the determination of the boys’ energetic approach to extra curricular activities especially helping The Crystals cheerleaders with their studies late in to the night. Well done. So in conclusion it has been a curate’s egg of a ½ term but there have been distinct signs of improvement that augur well for the future. Generally the boys can do better; in fact they must do better if they are not to end up at Barnsley Technology College rather than the Arsenal Academy next year. It is essential that Palace spend this January preparing properly for the second half of term and there needs to be some good additions to the current crop. Finally, hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and look forward to a successful New Year and do remember the Equation of Life – Performance + Points = PRIZES.