New academic year, new building.
On Tuesday 5 June 2018, and with great excitement, all pupils at Deer Park moved up a year and began their new timetables. This tradition is well established within the school and maintains the momentum of learning across the academic year. Over the last 10 years we have seen much higher levels of engagement throughout the year and positive outcomes for our pupils. Our teachers and support staff are to be commended for preparing for this turn around within a week when in other schools they have the long summer break to do so. This reflects the ‘can do’ culture and the commitment we are so proud of at Deer Park.
Consequently, pupils in Year 9 have moved into Year 10 and this extra time gives them a head start on their examination courses in Key Stage 4. Similarly, our Year 7s and 8s have moved into their new groups in Year 8 and 9 respectively, leaving us space in the school to accommodate our new Year 7s when they join us for their two Induction Days on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 July. They will have the opportunity to follow their own timetables and meet the teachers who will actually be teaching from September 2018.
This term the change was made very special, as our new timetable coincided with the opening of our new flagship building. This blue cube situated prominently at the front of the school is deceiving. Like the TARDIS it is definitely larger on the inside than it looks from the outside as it wraps around the side of the building! This extension to our main block houses our English Faculty on the ground floor in a suite of 6 spacious classrooms and Religious Philosophy, Citizenship and PSHEe and Computer Science on the first floor. These new teaching spaces are exceptionally light, some with dual aspect, and each is equipped with a ‘teaching wall’, providing storage and digital projection.
Additionally the new building includes a wide staircase and this will help ease the congestion on our existing staircases during lesson change overs.
“The English Faculty are absolutely thrilled to move into their wonderful new building. It seems no time at all since we evacuated to Monkscroft and although we were comfortable there, having so much space and light feels incredible. It has been exciting following the progress of the build and being involved in decisions, like choosing the design of the new purpose-built classroom walls, as well as the colour - English teachers were unanimous in their choice of a vibrant red!
Currently, the building is a blank canvas – some of the pupils have said ‘it looks like a hospital’; this means that we have the exciting prospect of choosing how to use the walls for display. This week we asked pupils what they would like to see. Many of these were ideas were very apt and included things like: quotes from books, displays of high quality writing and information about authors. The Faculty are very keen on the suggestion that each teacher’s classroom should be embellished with their photograph, together with details of a favourite book and a quote from this.
We have been offered the opportunity of choosing an inspirational quote to be painted on one of the walls. Although there has been some discussion and the compilation of a shortlist, it has been difficult to reach a final decision. This is something we are hoping pupils can help with; we will be inviting them to vote for their choice in the near future."
Mrs Davies, Head of English
"What an amazing week I have had in the new building with my room, office and my lovely classes. I think the new classrooms are super. This week I have taught almost all my classes and they have been so focused. The pupils love my new classroom; it is spacious and airy. Most pupils have positively commented on my choice of blue cupboards! Furthermore, the huge corridor has allowed me to keep the door open and I believe that is the same in English. So no complaints at all, but a massive thank you for moving me out of my old classroom!"
Miss Hope, Head of RP, Citizenship and PSHEe.
"The new block takes advantage of our beautiful surroundings with some lovely views. The new teaching walls are a fantastic asset, giving all pupils a really good view of the board and providing ample storage, keeping the rest of the classroom free for learning activities."
Miss Rubringer, Computing Teacher
The project also opened up our Reception area, both inside and out, improving the welcome to the school and has enabled us to create a new suite of Pastoral Offices at the heart of the school, which will be opening soon.
The building work was achieved as a result of a successful bid for capital funding (CIF) from the Department For Education. The new wing replaces a temporary building that has been on site for 40 years and its replacement has been long overdue!
We are extremely grateful to Roberts Limbrick, consultant architects, Feltham Construction, building contractors, and Simon Large, consultant, for completing the project on time. Staff and pupils have been involved throughout the build. Pupils had the opportunity to tour the new building at various stages as a part of our Maths Faculty in Focus in January which took construction as its theme and as students of Design, Engineer and Construct in Key Stage 4.
It was a very proud moment for me when the school’s logo, our leaping deers, was finally hoisted into position on Wednesday 6 June. They, and the new building give the school a strong identity and I am thrilled to see the new areas occupied and I look forward to seeing how the faculties within the new building customise their areas through the use of vibrant display and furnishing.
Chiquita Henson, Cirencester Deer Park School Headteacher and Corinium Education Trust CEO