Open Mornings Review
Delighted to welcome visitors
On Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 September 2021, we were delighted to welcome over 260 individual Year 6 pupils, with one parent each, to our first Open Mornings in nearly two years and we are now looking forward to hosting our Open Evening on Wednesday 29 September 2021 and receiving more visitors to our school.
As families arrived there was a great sense of excitement and anticipation. Some pupils in Year 6 were already familiar with our school site as a result of having siblings at the school, their participation in our primary sports programme or their engagement in one or more of the clubs that use our facilities out of hours. For many others, they were seeing Deer Park and a secondary school for the very first time.
Our pupils in Years 10 and 11 introduced themselves and chaperoned our guests. As guides, they provided insights into life and learning at Deer Park. They were all highly commended by those they accompanied when they met with senior staff at our information point. The brilliant sunshine on both mornings enabled these conversations to take place outside in the fresh air.
‘Thank you for a great Open Morning. We were really impressed with the organisation of it all and the student who showed us around. I feel like we got a really good understanding of what the school is like.’ Parent of a Year 6 pupil.
‘Thanks for today’s Open Morning. Please can you send on my thanks to the pupil who showed us around. He was incredibly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and articulate - and was a perfect fit for my son who loves his sport. He did the school proud!’ Parent of a Year 6 pupil.
Although we were only able to offer short tours this year, our guests were able to get a good feel for the school.
However, our Open Evening on Wednesday 29 September will provide a different experience. Having had the opportunity to see the school in session during a typical day, prospective Year 6 pupils accompanied by one parent/carer each will be able to engage in a range of activities across the school, talk to specialist subject teachers and senior staff and listen to Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, in a short presentation.
Many visitors to our Open Mornings were energised by their experience and several parents stated that they would like to come back to school here at Deer Park themselves or work for us!
What came across clearly from our pupil guides was their recognition of the passion with which our staff fulfil their roles. I am fortunate to have such a strong, resilient and committed staff team. Everyone endeavours to do their very best and we all continue to challenge ourselves and our pupils to achieve even more!
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
While we last opened our doors to prospective pupils and their families in September 2019, we have continued to welcome visitors in different ways. During the pandemic we moved to virtual open events and welcome evenings. We shared videos and our own Google Street view on our website. These are still available and we will soon be premiering a new film which was recorded on Wednesday 22 September.