Aim for the Stars
Our (new) Year 8 pupils were amazing during Enrichment Week 2019 (1-5 July) and they rose to the challenges of the 'Aim for the Stars' activities. The weather was great and pupils demonstrated resilience, team work and creativity over the whole week.
On Monday the whole year group rotated around three different activities, including a walking trip to Cirencester to learn about local History and Geography. They also attended a session by Schoolbeat officer Leah Davis on Cyberbullying and how they can keep themselves safe online. The Personal Safety theme continued with Alexcars providing a member of staff and a coach to look at evacuation procedures from a coach should there be a problem. It was great to hear pupils talking about what they had learnt as they left the sessions.
From Tuesday to Friday each tutor group completed four different activities, accompanied by a tutor and other Deer Park staff. In many cases the pupils achieved more than they thought possible! Eliza said “It was a really nice change and I was able to push myself to my limits.”
As in previous years, the Survival Skills on the Bathurst Estate proved very popular and you could certainly smell the pupils on their return! Pupils were shown how to create and light a fire safely and used their whittled sticks to cook their sausages, before enjoying a dessert cooked on their fire. Fergus said “Learning survival skills was fun - I loved cooking sausages over a fire!"
The day at Waterland involved pupils choosing three different activities, such as canoeing, windsurfing or rafting, or land-based activities for those less keen on the water. In many cases they had to use their communication skills and teamwork to complete the tasks successfully. Jo, from Waterland, said “What a fabulous week we are having with the pupils from your school.” Wilf said “I have a really fun time, especially when we capsized!”
Our pupils spent a day at Cotswold Country Park, where they spent half of their day climbing (and, in many cases, facing their fears) at Vertigo Adventures and the other half of the day enjoying the sunshine at the beach and swimming in the lake. This was another popular day. Chloe commented “I really enjoyed jumping off the platform at the ropes.” This was supported by Jasper: “My favourite part of the week was the high ropes and the free fall and the adrenaline of it all.” Mrs Hannis, Senior Year Leader (Year 7), demonstrated Deer Park spirit by having a go at the high ropes and leading by example.
Miss Hope commented, "It was a fantastic week with the pupils. They were incredibly resilient and overcame their fears with the different challenges.”
The final activity was run at school by STEMWorks. This creative challenge was a little like Dragons Den and our teams had to came up with ideas for products, then create prototypes and present these to the other teams. Each member of the team had specific responsibility for either Production, ICT, Marketing or Buying, and they were led by a Managing Director.
Lottie said "The week was really good and we learnt how to play to our strengths." Lydia supported this when she said "It got better everyday!" History Teacher Mr Ferne summed up the week by saying, "The pupils have had an amazing week. It was great to see the pupils engaging in all the activities. I wish they could do it every year!"