Reflection and Anticipation
Message from Mr Clutterbuck, Headteacher
Well that’s it! The last Friday of term, 21 July 2023. A year has passed and we have reached the end of the academic year and my first year in post as Headteacher at Cirencester Deer Park School.
Plenty of ground has been covered since that first Monday in September 2022 when I stood in front of Deer Park staff and spoke of the year ahead.
I wonder what has lodged in people’s memories over the last 11 months? I invite all Deer Park pupils to reflect on what they have found memorable from this last school year. Was it making an amazing new friend, a brilliant Maths lesson, a superb piece of acting, a sporting achievement, a funny joke told on a ferry to Europe (“German sausage jokes are the Wurst…”), a burnt sausage in the woods during Enrichment Week, a snowball thrown on the field in January or...?
What are the earliest Deer Park memories for our (new) Year 8s and does Year 6 and Primary School seem but a distant memory? Having recently seen Year 6s around school at our two Induction Days, we suspect that our (new) Year 8s realise just how far they have come, how much they have changed and achieved since they joined Deer Park.
And for our Class of 2023, I wonder what memories they are taking with them into their futures. GCSE Results Day is Thursday 24 August and we look forward to sharing our Class of 2023's achievements when they come up to school, from 9.15am, to collect their results. Pupils in (new) Year 11 who wish to collect their (GCSE RP Short Course or Statistics) results are invited to come to school from 10am or they can wait until we return to school in September.
As ever, the world moves on at a great pace, and like many schools Deer Park is a reflection of life. As much as I would like to hold on to Deer Park staff, I have to accept that people will move on to bigger and better things, so it is with a heavy heart alongside the very best of wishes that we bid farewell to a number of staff. We thank them all for their teamwork and the great contributions they have made to the lives of pupils and staff at Deer Park:
- Miss Sherman and Mr Hopkins, two of our Graduate Intervention Tutors; Mr Hopkins is taking up an internship in the ‘big smoke’ of London, whilst Miss Sherman is training to be a History teacher.
- Huge thanks must go to Miss Towler who has taught ICT for the last year and I am so pleased that she has secured a post in a local specialist provision school.
- Year Leader Mrs Johnson, like Miss Sherman, is leaving us to train to be a teacher, of Religious Education, and our loss is the teaching profession’s gain.
- Mr Young, our Assistant Head of Ethics and Computing, is heading North to take up a post in a new specialist provision school. He will have to stop wearing his baseball cap backwards and switch to a woolly hat!
- Mrs Ireland is heading to our neighbour, Cirencester College, to join their SEND team; an opportunity too good to turn down. Mrs Ireland's work in our SEND department has positively impacted so many pupils.
- Mr Lawless, Languages teacher and Assistant Manager of our Duke of Edinburgh’s programme is joining Ribston Hall High School to lead their Languages department. And, just like his tent which blew away during DofE camping, he will be sorely missed.
- And last but not least, after 12 years at Deer Park, leaving a fabulous sporting legacy behind, Mr Cumming is moving out of the education sector and taking all of his well-honed teaching skills to work in Project Management.
Although some staff are leaving, I am excited for September - we are fully staffed and have people joining us next year to more than fill the gaps.
As you get older, your perspective changes as to what is memorable and important. For me, the memories I will take into the Summer holidays are the seemingly insignificant moments which happen in small snapshots of time across the school day: 'Good Morning' and ‘How are you?’ from pupils when I walk the corridors; doors being held open; overhearing pupils talking about being kind and building trust; seeing conversations at break and lunch, in stark relief to faces buried in phone screens; and the smiles and the laughter, always at appropriate times and places!
Deer Park is a wonderful place and I have been made to feel very welcome by the whole community. The school is a good place to be but we all want to make it an even better place to be. Why? Because we can and we should - for the smiles, the laughter, the success, the kindness and the safety which all people need to feel.
Have a good summer and see you all on Tuesday 5 September 2023.