An International School
We are pleased to announce that we have been successful in our reaccreditation for the British Council’s International School Award from September 2017 to August 2020.
At Cirencester Deer Park School we have a long history of international school work. We pride ourselves on our global dimension which permeates the school curriculum and is part of our day to day business.
We run, and are developing, very successful international visits and exchanges which support curriculum development, accelerate our pupils' progress, knowledge and understanding and give our pupils a wider cultural experience. We aim to involve all pupils at some level with our International Schools work and enrich their learning and life chances. A global outlook is at the core of Cirencester Deer Park School.
The achievement of the prestigious International School Award for a further period of three years is a great credit to our teachers who try wherever possible to draw in international parallels. It recognises the global dimension within our curriculum and the ambassadorial role staff and pupils play through our local, national and international networks.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
The international dimensions at Deer Park include the following:
Cultural Exchange and school visits
We run cultural exchange and school visit programmes which involve, or have recently involved, schools in Spain (exchange), Italy (exchange), Germany (visitors) and Japan (visitors). These aim to broaden our pupils' views of the world, exposing them to new languages and celebrating different cultural experiences.
On Tuesday 12 September 2017 we welcomed a group of students from our twin town Itzehoe in Germany (read more...) to Deer Park for the day and on Tuesday 26 September a group of Year 9/10 pupils will be travelling to Colegio Argantonio, Cádiz on the return leg of their Spanish Exchange exchange, immersing themselves in another language and culture, following the Spanish students' visit to us in June (read more...).
MUNA and ‘Mini’ MUNA
We have a long-running partnership with Alfrink College in the Netherlands; this link was established in 2007 through the Global Gateway and we continue to work with them via their annual simulation of the United Nations, Model United Nations Alfrink (MUNA).
Pupils at Deer Park are given the opportunity to experience and take part in a mini Model United Nations style event with their peers from two neighbouring secondary schools (read about our 2016 event...). This annual event is hosted by Deer Park and facilitated by the GITEP Geography trainee teachers through the subject coordinator role in our Geography department. Additionally this Autumn, we hope to be involved in a new MUNA style event in Oxford.
Each February Alfrink College hosts an annual Model United Nations Alfrink (MUNA) conference. We send a delegation of Year 9 and Year 10 pupils to the Netherlands to participate alongside peers from countries across Europe and further afield. Pupils are able to develop both cross-curricular knowledge and skills such as teamwork, self confidence, debating and presentation.
Active Citizenship Charity programme
Our charities programme, which runs throughout the year, supports a variety of local, national and international charities. We use many means to support these charities, including our online rewards system, Vivo, where pupils can choose to donate the value of their Vivo points to charity, and a substantial number do so. We hold numerous additional fundraising events across the year that pupils are encouraged to take an active role in. Last year for example we supported SCWAD, Children in Need, Crisis at Christmas, the Christmas Shoebox Appeal and World AIDs day, to name a few.
As part of our charitable work, we are involved in world challenges. Following our initial and very successful African Adventures Ghana 2017 expedition at Easter with pupils who are now in Year 11, we are running trips in July 2018 (for current Year 10) and Easter 2019 (for current Year 9). These life changing experiences for our pupils involve being immersed in projects that make a real difference to the lives of local children and families.
The History and Geography curriculums for all pupils in Key Stage 3 and for the very popular GCSE courses have subject content and themes rooted in international events. Pupils study other countries both in a modern and historical context and learn about the cultural, religious and socio-economic themes and issues of those countries. The work from both departments compliments each other. We support and enrich the classroom learning with appropriate trips, for example the Year 7 Town Trip has themes that cross both history and geography as well as incorporating a wider subject base.
Our English curriculum embraces literacy text from around the world and links them into the wider context of that country and the modern and historical issues associated. For example, Year 9 study poetry from other cultures and also study 1930s America including the American Dream, the Great Depression and racism and discrimination as preliminary work and context to help them have a deeper understanding for John Steinbeck's ‘Of Mice and Men’.
The Citizenship curriculum is full of internationalism and national issues and themes. We look at themes such as tolerance and diversity, poverty and wealth, injustice and discrimination etc as part of every scheme of learning. We use current topical events and news to enrich and enhance the work.
In addition to our language exchange programmes, our Languages faculty organises and runs a series of school-wide activities during their Faculty in Focus, which enriches the existing curriculum content as well as giving pupils the opportunity to experience different aspects of language and culture (read more...).
Primary Transition Day
As part of our outreach work in the 2016-2017 academic year, Deer Park hosted a Primary Transition day funded by the Geographical Association. A number of our Key Stage 3 pupils worked with pupils from three primary schools on issues linked to Global Learning. We were visited on the day by Jess McQuail in her role as CEO of Think Global. Read about the Arctic Explorers...
As part of our health and wellbeing work with the Class of 2017 in the build up to their GCSE exams, we ran a series of Laughter Yoga sessions for pupils in small groups. The project was funded by the Friends of Deer Park. The process of Laughter Yoga works on the theories of Eastern culture and has many links in globalism and internationalism.
Head of Humanities, Miss Lillington, is a key figure at Deer Park in leading and inspiring others to spread the international word. In August 2017 Miss Lillington embarked on a 5 month sabbatical, travelling around the world and working with charities in different countries.
You can follow Miss Lillington’s journey on her website www.lessonsfromaroundtheworld.com
The Assessors Report (July 2017) stated 'This is an excellent and comprehensive Reaccreditation Impact Evaluation. It is clear to see that Cirencester Deer Park School continues to embed an ethos which sits at the heart of teaching and learning across the school and is informing long-term and sustained planning and policy.'
Miss Brace, Assistant Head, says "It is a real achievement for the school to be reaccredited with this award. It builds on the long-running history we have with the British Council. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the school for their hard work and commitment. The international dimension permeates throughout the school."