The energy of Spring
Easter is about renewal and in school this Spring it definitely feels as if we may have turned a corner.
It was lovely to welcome parents of Year 7 pupils into school for their first face-to-face Parents’ Evening on Thursday 7 April 2022. It was a busy evening and parents reported that they appreciated the quality of feedback they received.
This term has definitely felt more normal. It opened with four amazing performances of Matilda the Musical Jr in front of live audiences. We have also seen the return of GCSE curriculum linked trips in Geography, Drama and PE, and it has been encouraging to see the progress of our sports teams in local tournaments. Our pupils have actively engaged in fundraising, participating in our World Book Day Readathons and a Non-Uniform Day for Comic Relief.
Next term we will be preparing our pupils and the school for important transitions.
Following Mrs Burfoot’s departure on Friday 8 April, to take up her new post in another setting, we will be introducing pupils in Year 10 to their new Year Leader, Ms Barnwell, who starts with us on Monday 25 April.
Following a final round of practice assessments over the last two weeks, pupils in Year 11 will commence their GCSEs in earnest. We recommend they respond to the feedback they receive and prioritise areas for revision. Staying focused and working hard in school and at home is critical at this stage and this investment in time will lead to positive outcomes this summer! While we have advised our pupils that their last day in school will be Friday 13 May, we will continue to support them through the exam period. After this date pupils will be able to revise in school under supervision by prior arrangement and we will be inviting them all to attend focused online revision sessions in MS Teams. Having shared the options with the year group, and taking it to a vote, we were pleased to confirm that there will be a Year 11 Leavers’ Ball this summer. This important milestone will take place on Friday 1 July. We look forward to seeing them arrive in all their finery!
We will be celebrating the achievements of our pupils in Year 9 on Wednesday 4 May. This event takes place as they prepare to move into Key Stage 4 in June. Mrs Lang, Deputy Head, has worked hard to accommodate as many of our pupils’ first option choices as she can and, while compromises have had to be made, the timetable is now under construction.
We will be preparing pupils for our new timetable in Term 6 and we will be looking forward to welcoming our new pupils in Year 7 from September. Mrs Ellison, currently our Year 11 Year Leader, will be our new Year 7 Year Leader.
All pupils will move into their new year groups on Tuesday 7 June. We are planning to strip out many of the contingencies put in place to help us manage our pupils during the pandemic, such as staggered breaks. We will be returning to one break and two lunch breaks, one for Key Stage 3 and one for Key Stage 4. Both will be 40 minutes in length, slightly shorter than before COVID, but 10 minutes longer than what we have now.
It is important that all pupils and staff rest and reflect over the two week holiday. On Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 April, Trustees and Governors will be interviewing candidates for the post of headteacher. The recruitment process also includes pupils and staff panels. This is another key transition for Cirencester Deer Park School.
As we move into the summer terms, all pupils are reminded to wear their school uniform correctly. We will continue to keep our school buildings well ventilated and should temperatures soar we will advise parents and pupils of any concessions we will make.