Wishing you a happy 2019.
The new term for our pupils started on Tuesday 8 January 2019. We were very pleased to welcome our pupils back and look forward to supporting their learning and seeing the progress they all make in 2019. The New Year is an ideal opportunity to make resolutions and plan ahead. The challenge is always sticking to them!
This term is particularly important for our Year 9. Following our Key Stage 4 Curriculum Evening on Thursday 24 January 2019 they will have the opportunity to state a preference for what they would like to study in Years 10 and 11.
While Year 9s are preparing to begin their GCSEs, the countdown towards their final exams begins for our pupils in Year 11. They collected their mock exam results on Friday 11 January. These indicative grades and the feedback pupils have received will help them and their teachers identify gaps in their learning and prioritise their revision.
To help Year 11s prepare for the next stage in their learning, our pupils can access careers information and guidance. Following our Post 16 Information Evening in September, which raised an awareness of the next steps and shared information about college and sixth form Open Days and application deadlines, and the Careers Convention in October, pupils in Year 11 are making informed decisions about the paths they wish to take after Deer Park. Read more...
We actively encourage all of our pupils to take advantage of opportunities offered at Deer Park. Next week a group of Year 10 pupils are off to Swansea to participate in STEM activities at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David and pupils in Year 9, as members of The Brilliant Club, will be learning more about their research projects at The University of Bristol. Other pupils will soon be preparing for the Magistrates' Court Trial Competition. Internationally, GCSE History pupils will be visiting Berlin, others will be welcoming their Spanish exchange partners from Cádiz and the Year 10 Ghana 2019 team are preparing to volunteer in Ghana at Easter. This year, two groups of pupils will be travelling to our partner school, Alfrink College in the Netherlands; a delegation will be attending the Model United Nations (MUNA) Conference in February and a team will be taking part in a Toothpaste Challenge in July!
Over the last two years, Cosmo and Denzil, our school dogs, have had a very positive impact on our school community, pupil and staff wellbeing. They have even inspired other schools to invest in canine companions. Cosmo and Denzil help our pupils in a variety of ways: they accompany specific pupils to lessons, listen to pupils read, provide comfort and rewards. You can follow Denzil and Cosmo on their Twitter feed @CDPSdogs.
If you find January a challenging month, have a look at the lists below from National Citizen Service (NCS) and Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) which have some positive suggestions, relevant to both young people and adults, such as spending more time outside (either alone or with friends and family), taking time off social media and being kind to yourself.
We always like the Action for Happiness monthly calendars:
In the last couple of years we have worked successfully using Laughter Yoga with Key Stage 4 pupils to provide strategies which support them during busy exam periods. The wellbeing of our pupils is fundamental to their success and we will be running a series of Laughter Yoga classes after school this term, enabling pupils to gain confidence, build social skills and learn how to manage their stress levels more independently. Based on breathing exercises, games, playfulness and relaxation, the hour-long sessions aim to offer ways to exercise, combat stress, socialise, have fun as well as develop a positive mental attitude.
Mental wellbeing is important to us all. During our Inset Day on Monday 7 January, members of staff from across The Corinium Education Trust came together for a joint in-service training day that focused exclusively on teaching and learning. The final session focused on the importance of looking after ourselves and the facilitator encouraged us to reflect on happiness and contentment.