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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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How We Talk

How we talk at Deer Park School

Message from Richard Clutterbuck, Headteacher

‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’ - Peter Drucker circa 2006

Any organisation is likely to be judged on its culture rather than its strategy, simply because without the right culture, any strategy - no matter how inventive, brilliant or revolutionary - will fall flat if the culture is not right. When the right culture is fully embedded in an organisation it feels organic, natural; the behaviours of the people, their norms and routines appear automatic and unconscious.

Building and then sustaining a culture is hard but absolutely vital. To do so, the culture needs to be broken down into identifiable norms and routines of behaviour, and these need to be deliberately modelled and taught.

At Deer Park we are focused on building and sustaining the right culture for all members of the school community, with our aim for people to be safe, happy and successful. A significant part of the culture is embedded but it will always need nurturing. We are mindful that pupils at Deer Park, new and old need to be reminded of the importance of being part of the right culture through our expectations around behaviour. These need to be modelled and taught.

This brings me to my latest round of assemblies which have been focused on how we should talk. The work on how we should talk started in earnest in January 2022, prompted by the voices of a number of pupils who wanted to see a shift in the way some of their peers spoke to one another. My assemblies are part of the modelling and teaching process mentioned above, through which we can sustain the right culture at Deer Park and respond to the needs of the pupils.

This How We Talk poster - central to my assembly - is a product of the pupils’ voices from January and the work of our staff to identify the ways in which we should and should not talk to each other.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

My role in the assemblies has been to explain the Why’s and How’s of each section of the poster, with the whole school community, led by our staff, tasked to model and teach the norms and routines derived from the poster.

How we talk at Deer Park

I am sure you will agree with me how important it is for our young people, indeed the whole school community, to follow the guidance on the poster and to help sustain the right culture at Deer Park. This is one example of our mission to be the best we can be every day.