We were very pleased to welcome our pupils back to school on Tuesday 5 September 2017 after the long holiday.
Over the summer, we were delighted to learn that we have achieved the British Council’s International School Award.
This re-accreditation, for a further three years, reflects the global dimension embedded within our rich and diverse curriculum. Following the work of our first group of volunteers in April 2017, we are developing our links with Ghana with new teams of volunteers preparing to go to Woe in 2018 and 2019, and, following a meeting with Lord Bathurst, we are excited about establishing new community partnerships with schools in Bathurst, Australia.
During her six month sabbatical, Head of Humanities, Rebecca Lillington, is keeping a fascinating blog on her website www.lessonsfromaroundtheworld.com and, while she is travelling, and volunteering with refugees in Southern Italy and women and children in Cambodia, she is gathering resources to share with her team and on her return, these will enrich our curriculum.
With 100% attendance on their first day, our new Year 7s have quickly settled in. They have adjusted well to their new timetables and coped with the movement between being in their tutor groups and in those lessons where they are set by ability. These groups will ensure all pupils are challenged to achieve more and receive the support they require.
Even though pupils in Years 8-11 are very familiar with the school and their timetables, which changed in June when we moved each year group up, they returned full of curiosity owing to the changes that have taken place on site over the summer. It has been interesting to watch and listen to them as they explored and noticed the differences.
- We have refurbished our Reception area to improve the welcome to the school and opened up the corridor behind it to create more space and new offices;
- A part of the main building, including E5, has been demolished and the foundations have been laid for our new 8 classroom suite which will be built over the next 10 months. This will replace a temporary building that has been on site since the 1980s;
- With the assistance of our Maintenance team our English Faculty have transformed their temporary accommodation to ensure it is welcoming and fit for learning;
- New shock pads have been laid and we have taken delivery of our new Astroturf which is now being laid and weather permitting should soon be ready for use;
- Our computer operating systems have been upgraded to Windows 10 and we have moved our email to Office 365;
- Eight new teachers have joined our English, Science, Languages and Computing faculties;
- And, regrettably, a group of larch trees have been removed for safety, owing to butt rot, but we will soon be planting some new trees to replace them.
We are very pleased with the outcomes our pupils achieved in their public examinations this summer (read more...), but owing to the differences between the new exams graded 9-1 and the legacy GCSEs graded A*-G, it has been difficult to know how best to communicate our outcomes. The Department for Education will use Progress 8 as the measure of a school’s performance and this information has yet to be published for 2017. However, we note that other schools have published the percentage of 5 or more ‘standard passes’ (A*-C and/or 9-4) including English and Maths. For comparison, at Cirencester Deer Park School, 67% of pupils in our ‘Class of 2017’ achieved 5 or more ‘standard passes’, including English and Maths. Over the last three years 25% of all grades awarded have been at A*-A/9-7.
We were absolutely delighted by the results attained by pupils in our new Year 11 who took their GCSEs in Religious Philosophy and Statistics a year early. 80% of pupils achieved A*-Cs in RP Short Course; 36% A*-A grades and 18% A* grades. While a smaller targeted group of keen mathematicians who attended lessons after school, the results in GCSE Statistics were equally impressive: 80% A*-C grades and 21% A*-A grades.
We are looking forward to sharing these outcomes and developments, and the quality of our teaching and pupils’ learning, with prospective pupils and their parents at our 2017 Open Mornings and Open Evening this month.