End of Term
Message from Mr Clutterbuck, Headteacher
From the balmy start in September 2023, with pupils in PE kit due to the unusually high temperatures, to the Autumnal feel at the end of this eight-week term, I think our young people (and staff) deserve their half term break.
Speaking of ‘eight’, the Department for Education has recently published the latest performance tables for all secondary schools, showing overall performance at the end of Key Stage 4 in 2023. I am pleased to say that the hard work of pupils, staff and parents has paid off. The headline figures show that the progress made by our Class of 2023 was above average and in terms of 'Progress 8' we are well-placed in the county. See performance tables for all secondary schools in Gloucestershire.
Cirencester Deer Park is an inclusive school with high expectations for all. These principles are echoed in our values of Trust, Kindness, and Determination. I cannot fault the determination of our Class of 2023 to overcome the hurdles of the last few years and make such good progress as a whole year group. In advance of welcoming the Class of 2023 back to Deer Park on Thursday 16 November for their Celebration of Achievement Evening, I say ‘Chapeau!’
For our current Year 11s, the important number right now is not ‘eight’ but ‘four’. That is the number of weeks remaining until the start of the written Mock GCSE Exams on Monday 27 November 2023.
The mocks will be this year group’s first measure in Year 11 as to where they are and what they need to do to get to where they want to be next summer. Following their Learning Conference in early October, all pupils in Year 11 were issued with a revision timetable - hopefully they have been using this and ticking off each successful day of revision.
Whilst the mock exams are an important stage of the journey to success in the summer, they are not an end in themselves. Pupils should use the mocks to make sure that they hone in on areas of the curriculum which they need to revisit or sharpen up on. We have found from previous years that pupils who embrace the mock exams experience positively - treating the revision and the exams as a stepping stone (albeit a very intense step) and part of preparation for the summer - are able to move on in January in leaps and bounds. The Year 11 Mock GCSEs timetable has been released to pupils and is available in Satchel:One Show My Homework and on our Exams page.
Many of our Year 10s will be sitting GCSE Religious Studies Short Course next summer and they have two mock exams in December. Not only is this good preparation for the summer exams but also the discipline of revising for the exams alongside other homework and study is a useful rehearsal for this time next year when they will be wearing Year 11’s shoes. To this end, a revision timetable put together by our Ethics and Computing team will be given to the Year 10 pupils at their Year 10 Learning Conference on Wednesday 8 November. The main theme of the Learning Conference will be how to revise and will give the pupils practical and effective techniques to help them with their Religious Studies’ mock exam and revision throughout the year. We encourage all Year 10 parents and carers to attend the Year 10 Learning and Curriculum Evening, 6.30-8.00pm on Wednesday 8 November.
Over half term we will be swapping our online payments system from WisePay to MyChildAtSchool - from week commencing Monday 6 November 2023 all online payments will be via MyChildAtSchool.
Years 7, 8 and 9 have all made a strong start to the year. It is particularly pleasing to see how well Year 7 have settled in to their first term. In the last few weeks of term, we have been delighted to see pupils from each of the three year groups representing their tutor groups in the Key Stage 3 Inter Tutor Group Rugby and Netball Tournaments.
Following half term, Mr Bellamy, Assistant Head, will be launching Enrichment Week 2024 (Monday 1 to Friday 5 July) to pupils in Key Stage 3; pupils in Year 10 will be doing Work Experience and Year 11s will have finished their GCSEs and left Deer Park. The Enrichment Week programme will feature a blend of on- and off-site provision, as well as a number of residential trips in the UK and Europe.
Our Expressive Arts Faculty are holding a High School Musical Taster Evening on Thursday 9 November in the Main Hall. The evening involves the whole cast, who are from Year 7-11, and is a great opportunity to find out what everyone has been up to so far, in advance of the show which will be on stage in February 2024.
As the weather eventually turns colder, we remind parents and pupils of our uniform guidelines (see Uniform):
- Hoodies are not items of school uniform and should not be worn on the school site. A school jumper or 1/4 zip top on top of a school shirt should provide sufficient warmth inside; coats should not be worn in classrooms or offices or when seated or eating in the Hall or Atrium, unless there are exceptional circumstances, in which case staff will inform pupils.
- If wearing socks with a skirt, girls should wear black socks.
We hope that you have a recuperative half term break and enjoy the arrival of Autumn. We will all be back to school on Monday 6 November, which is a Week 1.