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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Farewell Year 11, for now

Year 11 start study leave

Friday 13 May 2022 was our Year 11 pupils' last formal day in school before they start study leave and their GCSEs on Monday 16 May.

Mr Bellamy, Assistant Head and organiser of the Leavers' Day, writes:

Friday 13, for those of you who are superstitious, might not have been the best date to select for a Year 11 Leavers' Day. However, with such an excellent year group we were confident that they would limit their pranks and their final formal day in school ran smoothly. The only temporary hiccup was the kidnap of and ransom demand for my orange Hippo; we are pleased to report that the Hippo was returned safely.

As pupils arrived to school at the start of the day there was a tangible air of excitement, not just amongst our Class of 2022 but also in other year groups. The Year 11s spent their first two hours in lessons, taking the opportunity to sign books and say thank you to their teachers and support staff.

At break, some pupils changed into white shirts and they all made their way out on to the front field for the traditional shirt signing. Pupils were treated to a BBQ cooked by myself and my lovely helpers, as well as an ice cream from the visiting Winstones' van. This was an lovely opportunity for pupils to say their farewells to staff and visa versa.

Not only was it Year 11's last day, it was also Headteacher Ms Henson’s last leaving event after 19 years of headship and she took the opportunity to reciprocally sign shirts with pupils.

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

class 0f 2022 shirt signing

Pupils gathered in the Sports Hall for their Leavers' Assembly, which was an opportunity for us all to reflect on their time at Deer Park. We started by looking back at their very first day at Deer Park, their Induction Day... how they have changed over their 5 years! Tutors had prepared messages for the pupils and bid them farewell. We also paid tribute to the amazing work of Mrs Ellison, who has had to deal with all the challenges that come with being a Year 11 Year Leader.

We hope that our Year 11s had an enjoyable day and one they will remember. We wish them luck, but as we sent them on their way, we reminded them that exams start this week.  

I was especially pleased to be a part of our Year 11 Leaver’s Day, my last one, and to reflect on our shared memories of Deer Park. I was touched so many offered to sign my shirt too and this gave me an opportunity to learn about their personal aspirations. We have some very ambitious young people who are keen to make positive contributions to the communities in which they will live, learn and work whether it is by providing a service or developing a trade, or engaging in research and international relations. I wish them all every success in the future.

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher

The GCSE exam season starts on Monday 16 May. Good luck to all our Year 11s and Year 10s who are sitting exams this summer. Parents/carers may find this article about exam stress of interest: Exam stress: how to help children cope with GCSEs and A-levels.

We are running a number of one-hour online revision sessions for Year 11s (see Letters) throughout the day over the next fortnight (Monday 16 to Friday 27 May) for various subjects. Whilst these sessions are optional, we strongly recommend that pupils attend. Pupils have been told about this by email and invitations will show in their MS Teams calendar closer to the date of the sessions. 

Some words for our young people:

  • Breathe.
  • Read all the questions.
  • Breathe again.
  • Do your best.
  • Eat well.
  • Take breaks.
  • Sleep.
  • You will not be defined by your results.
  • This is the start of your journey.

Once the exams have finished, we look forward to seeing our Class of 2022 back in school for their Leavers' Ball on Friday 1 July. Tickets are still on sale for £12 via WisePay. Tickets must be purchased in advance.