At Deer Park we actively prepare our pupils for the world beyond school.
In May 2017, Ofsted noted ‘there is a strong culture of safeguarding pupils throughout the school' and that ‘pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe from threats online via a comprehensive series of assemblies and lessons.’ We aim to give our pupils the skills and confidence to manage the challenges we face in the 21st Century, such as those highlighted by Anne Longfield, The Children’s Commissioner, in her report ‘Life in Likes’ which was published on Thursday 4 January 2018.
Members of our Computing, ICT and Business Team are currently planning to focus on countering ‘nomophobia’ in preparation for Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 6 February and, in the same week, Miss Charlesworth, Assistant Head and our Designated Safeguarding lead will be leading assemblies with the aid of the police on ‘sextortion’. This will complement ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ – a short piece of live theatre performed in schools which explores the very serious and emotional topic of child sexual exploitation. We ensure that our pupils in Year 8 have the opportunity to see it and reflect on its core message. In November 2017 the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Reverend Rachel Treweek visited Deer Park and engaged our pupils in a discussion about social media, body image and emotional wellbeing. Our pupils’ thoughts will be shared at the ‘#Liedentity’ conference in Gloucester on Tuesday 20 February 2018.
We take our duty of care very seriously and through our assemblies and PSHEe programme we aim to help our pupils develop the life skills that will enable them to stay safe in a variety of different situations. This was the focus for our in-service training day on Friday 17 November 2017. We regularly hold fire drills to ensure we can evacuate the school in the event of an emergency and, in preparation for some school trips, we have begun to practice safety procedures based on the government guidance ‘Run, Hide, Tell’.
This term we will be sharing two key messages; how to stay safe in crowded places and what to do in a lockdown drill. Our aim will be to alert rather than alarm our pupils.
We will be using resources which were circulated to schools in November 2017 as a part of the launch of Phase II of ACT for Youth campaign by Counter Terrorism Policing. These are designed to help educate young people on how to stay safe in the rare event of a firearms or weapon attack. These are age appropriate. However, to avoid any feelings of panic or distress, we have shared the link to the short animated film ‘What to do in a Weapons Attack’ and encourage parents and carers to talk to their children about its content before we show it in our assemblies.
In the week beginning Monday 15 January 18 we plan to practice a new lockdown drill and we will be talking to our pupils about how we will manage this. This will require their cooperation. We were impressed by the way in which pupils participating in our Enrichment Week trip to London in July 2017 responded to similar drills. While we recognise incidents requiring this type of response are extremely rare we feel it is important that our pupils are given the skills to cope in dramatic situations.
In January 2018 pupils in Year 7 will also be learning more about the History, Geography and RP of our local community as a part of their cross curricular field trip and pupils in Year 9 will be participating in a Personal Finance Standstill Conference, which is jointly led by our staff and colleagues from St James’s Place.