After all, I’ll miss you all!

Issue 59: 28/3/2024 Strategic Objective: , ,

All good things come to an end and so it is with my stay at FIS. This is my last day at FIS.  I fly to Tokyo on April 8th with the term starting on April 15th.

I walked into the job here on August 15th 2014 with no one here. No one was expecting me and in August as you know, it all shuts down. So, for 2 weeks I didn’t have a computer or email address. My handover pack was 10 sheets of paper, two of which were the fire drill instructions! I felt that there was a lot of work to be done to build on what existed to modernise and professionalise the school. So began a long but hopefully positive journey. When I think of how far we have come, it makes me proud of the whole community. We have made it through the umbrella revolution, the protests, the discussions around partnership  and of course Covid. We have introduced brand new curricula in both primary and secondary. We opened a brand new campus at TKO. We have focused more on student welfare and been through accreditations and reviews. We have increased our student numbers from around 540 to 1250 and our teacher numbers from 45 to 108.  

I could go on but the key parts of any school are the students. Whatever we have done has always been with improving the experience for students as much as we could in mind. Our students are spirited and confident and are a delight to be with. We should feel privileged but never entitled. FIS is a world class school in a world class city with world class colleagues and students. We are fortunate to be living and working in such an environment, let’s never forget that.

None of what I outlined above could have been possible without the support, passion and determination exhibited by all of you, all the teachers, teaching assistants, Marina and Crystal, the talented and supportive team.  If I have left the school in a better place than I found it then it is because of this team.. The quality of people and their relationships make any organisation successful or not. So I want to give my heartfelt thanks to my SLT, Mark, Ross, Jane, Melissa, Helen and Pauline. I cannot name check everyone who works every day to make FIS the unique school that it is. It was Maya Angelou who said, ‘people forget what you said, people forget what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.’ I hope that above all, I have made people feel valued, supported, trusted and respected.

My new life beckons in Tokyo. It is a great school with impressive facilities, high achieving and wonderful students, and a happy and united teaching and support staff. I hope I can do it justice!

There is nothing much else to say, apart from thanks, good luck and be good! Goodbye, au revoir and sayonara!

Ian Clayton
Deputy Head of School - Head of International Stream