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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Revisit, Refresh & Reset

Message from Mr Clutterbuck, Headteacher

As Term 5 draws to a close on Friday 24 May 2024 and the school takes a well-earned half term break, I want to look forwards to Term 6. Here at Deer Park we offer the rare (if not unique) opportunity for all of our pupils to move up into the next academic year early, rather than in September. Ensuring this can happen in the middle of an academic year is an enormous undertaking, with the whole school structure shifting up a year: from every cohort, from tutor groups, to timetables, to class groups and sets. It is a time of change for all pupils and staff.

Yet around these changes, our mission, values and aims remain the same (read more). The shift in the school and the early start to the new academic year, affords us the opportunity to revisit our mission to be the best we can be every day, to refresh our values of Trust, Kindness and Determination, and to reset our aim for all pupils to be safe, happy and successful.

Deer Park mission

How we achieve this is by 'sweating the small stuff'.

Pupils are familiar with this phrase since I used it in an assembly in January and, to prepare the pupils for the changes in Term 6 and our full reset, we have been running assemblies during this last week of term to remind pupils about our expectations, principally around behaviour. From uniform to litter, from attitudes to learning to how we treat one another. This will continue into Term 6 when I pick up the assemblies on the theme of Revisit, Refresh and Reset. Our expectations of pupils are reasonable and designed to instil a sense of community, of positivity and kindness. Principles which will serve the pupils well after they have left us here at Deer Park.

OUR EXPECTACTIONS to help meet our Mission are routed in rules and routines; the stuff of the everyday. This is what we will be sweating over:

Uniform and Equipment:
Wearing uniform correctly and having the right equipment to learn. Not, for example, coming to school without a pen, or wearing a rolled up skirt.

Environment and Interactions
Treating the school and wider environment with respect, from litter in bins to lids on glue sticks. Communicating with kindness through words and actions. Not, for example, play fighting. I do not accept that 'boys will be boys' and this is what boys do. It is a pernicious phrase and lowers expectations of our pupils. Not using the language of hate, there is no place for people at Deer Park who believe this is acceptable behaviour.

Learning and Achievement
Pupils leaning into their learning and embracing the difficult challenges, accepting mistakes are part of the process and celebrating their and other's achievements. Not, for example, being physically present in the lesson but not engaged. Desktop truancy is as harmful and unhelpful as truancy from school itself.

sweat the small stuff

expectations : uniform and equipment

expectations : environment and interactions

expectations : learning and achievement

If, over half term, families could support us in revisiting, refreshing and resetting these six expectations (grouped into 3 sets of pairs) over the 'stuff of everyday' with your children, our pupils, then we can look ahead to next term and beyond with a renewed sense of purpose ready for the challenges which lie ahead.

Happy half term.

Richard Clutterbuck, Headteacher