Being a Leading School
"Cirencester Deer Park School is a remarkable school" says Graham Russell, Chair of Governors.
Our Chair writes: When talking to the parents of Year 7 pupils at a recent Parents' Evening I was struck by the positive enthusiasm which everyone has for the school. Parents were very clear why they had chosen the school for their son or daughter and were also very pleased at how well their children had settled in and were stepping up to be active members of the school.
It will probably come as no surprise that the majority of Governors on the Academy Board are parents of pupils (or former pupils) at the school. Quite rightly the Board of Governors looks to parents to bring their skills and experience to help shape the future plans for the school. I myself became a Governor in 2013 when my son joined the school – I was one of those Year 7 parents not so long ago!
Notwithstanding the very difficult financial, political and curriculum challenges faced by comprehensive education nationally, the Governing Body is driven by the ambition for us to be a school which leads from the front in terms of what it does and how it does it. We are also clear in our passion to work with others in order to realise positive opportunities for our young people. Working together rather than working apart.
Some key points:
- Cirencester Deer Park School is now in the top 15% of schools nationally in terms of the progress made by pupils during their time at the school.
- We are now in active discussions with both Cirencester College and the Royal Agricultural University to consider how we can work effectively together in order to provide more opportunities for students, staff, and the wider community across a new ‘education quarter’. See the Cirencester Youth Market as one example.
- We are also in detailed discussions with a number of other schools about how we can best come together for mutual advantage through the creation of a Multi Academy Trust.
- We have been granted planning permission for a new school extension to replace a temporary building and recently learnt that our funding application for £1.6m to the Department for Education has been successful. Work will commence in the very near future.
- In addition we intend to renew the all weather astro turf pitches this summer at a cost of £240,000. The pitches are much used by the school and by sports clubs and need a complete renewal. We are leading in the provision of sports facilities for young people and hence such a significant investment.
- We are shortly to become the lead school in the provision of school centred secondary initial teacher training in Gloucestershire.
- The Governing Body has held the ‘Governor Mark’ quality accreditation since 2014 and we met with external assessors from Governor Mark as part of our 2017 re-accreditation recently. We hope to hear that we remain accredited very shortly.
- Our school is about creating futures for young people and developing their leadership and over the next few weeks and months some of our pupils will be journeying to Ghana, France, Germany, London and Cornwall to live and learn alongside others.
- 40 of our pupils will be performing at Wembley Stadium as part of our work in Expressive Arts.
- A group of our pupils took part in the annual Model United Nations in the Netherlands, learning how to shape debate between nations.
Cirencester Deer Park School celebrated 50 years as a Comprehensive School in 2016 and, as a leader in the values of comprehensive education, it is important to us that we do not select our parents and pupils – you select the school because of its ethos and success. From the feedback at the recent Year 7 Parents’ Evening it was clear that so far we are living up to your expectations.
Chair of Governors