Primary Challenge Day
On Monday 13 June we welcomed over 70 Year 6 pupils to our annual Primary Challenge event. This day is aimed at pupils who will be joining Cirencester Deer Park School in September 2016 from the smaller and out of area primary schools where they are possibly the only children from their schools coming to Deer Park. As in previous years we have pupils joining us from over 40 different primary schools in September.
These Year 6s had the opportunity to meet other children and make friends before our two Induction Days on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 July. Some pupils arrived feeling anxious about coming to a secondary school where they knew noone, but it was not long before the hall was filled with talking as they started to get to know each other.
The theme for our Primary Challenge Day was ‘Superhero Bootcamp’. The pupils worked in six groups to complete different missions and prove they could be a superhero! Throughout the day our ‘new’ pupils were supported by our new Year 8 pupils who took the pupils to their different missions around the school. Several of our pupils commented how pleased they were to see the ‘new’ pupils making friends and getting involved so quickly.
Each mission is designed to help build the pupils’ learning power as well as getting them mixing with pupils from other schools. They had the opportunity to be creative and work collaboratively and needed to work effectively as members of a team to solve each of the missions. These missions included making a rocket in Mrs Sarna’s Space Race, completing the Superhero Sports with Mr Cumming and Mr Bellamy and developing superhero identities to Defeat Dr Evil with Miss Mulcahy.
Primary Challenge was a great day for everyone, the new pupils showed a mature understanding of the expectations of Deer Park School which created an amazing buzz around the School. I was also particularly impressed by the resilience the pupils showed during the day while they were working and socialising with pupils who came from different Primary Schools and by the time they went home they were naming them as friends.
Sue Cowley, Pastoral Manager
At the end of the day the pupils met back at ‘Headquarters’ to complete their final mission of identifying friends they had made and the learning powers they had developed during the day. Throughout the day photographs had been taken and these were used to make a video of the day that was shared with the pupils before they left. It was clear from the talking in the hall that new friendships had been formed and pupils were looking forward to seeing each other on the induction days. Franchesca said “I know my way around the school now” and many others told the staff that they had made lots of new friends.
Helen Charlesworth, Assistant Head, who oversaw the planning for the event, observed, "The pupils gained in confidence as the day progressed and by lunchtime many new friendships had been made. I was impressed with the engagement of the pupils in each mission. Several pupils left tired but happy that when they return in July they will not be as nervous about coming to secondary school."
My daughter has had a great day, she really enjoyed the different challenges and the chance to meet pupils who will be in her year group. She has made new friends too, thank you for organising it.
Year 6 Parent