Message from Headteacher Chiquita Henson
This summer we are sorry to say goodbye to several members of staff. We hope they will take fond memories of the school and our pupils with them and we wish them all every success in the future.
Miss Laws (History) leaves us to take up a new post closer to her family home in Norwich and Miss Hughes (Languages) is returning to Spain where she will teach English. Mrs Polgrean (Science) is leaving us to take up a new post at Churchdown School, and we also say goodbye to Mrs Moore (English) who has been with us temporarily covering a period of maternity leave.
I am grateful to Mr Germaine, who over the 15 years he has been at Deer Park, has made a significant contribution to Applied Learning and Business Studies. He takes up a new post at The Crypt School in Gloucester, which, in addition to being closer to home, will also give him the opportunity to teach Business and Economics post-16.
I also appreciate the commitment Mr Johnson, who is currently covering Mrs Lang’s maternity leave as Head of School, has made to the school since joining us in 2010. He has fulfilled a number of key roles. He is leaving us because he has been appointed to a strategic leadership post at The British School in Brussels and he and his family will be starting their new lives in Belgium in August.
Regrettably, as he is Mr Johnson’s family pet, Cosmo, one of our school dogs, is also leaving us after three years of excellent service. As a puppy he learnt a lot from Denzil and both have made a difference to so many of our pupils’ experience of school by ‘listening’ to them in a range of contexts.
However, I am delighted to confirm that Mr Lay, Assistant Head of English, will be introducing us to our new school puppy (currently known to the breeder as ‘Mr Pink’, but yet to be officially named) in September. Mr Lay and his family are excited by the puppy’s arrival and are looking forward to introducing him to our school community. He will initially be bringing him into school on Thursday 22 August, when we share our pupils’ exam results with them.
Also leaving this year are Mr Blomfield, one of our cover supervisors, and Mrs Burgess (Teaching Assistant). Both have supported our pupils’ learning and they will be taking up new posts in schools in Stroud and Swindon respectively in September. We wish them well in their new roles.
While we reflect on these departures, we are also delighted to welcome back Mrs Quinn (RP and Citizenship), Miss Hickey (History), Mrs Buckley (Geography) and Mrs Voss (English) who return after periods of maternity leave.
We are also looking forward to introducing our pupils to the following teachers who join us in September: Mrs Stockwell (English), Mr Lawless (Languages) and Mrs Lynch and Mrs George (both Science). Fortunately, as a part of their induction, most of our new colleagues have already met with some of their new classes and our new Year 7 tutor groups.
As a result of these and other changes, Mrs Mackew, currently one of our Year Leaders, is returning to a teaching post at the school and Mrs Ellison, who has worked closely with our Pastoral team, will take responsibility for Year 9 as their Year Leader from September. Mr Bellamy will join the school’s Strategic Leadership Team for one year as Associate Assistant Head. He will continue to lead our Pastoral team. Miss Charlesworth, Assistant Head, will step up to the post of Head of School temporarily in Term 1 until Mrs Lang returns from maternity leave.
We congratulate Mr Bellamy, Miss Smith, Miss Hickey and Mr Ferne who are all getting married over the summer break.
As we close for the summer holiday, I remind you that school reopens for pupils on Tuesday 3 September 2019.
We always say that our pupils and parents are our best advocates and this parent comment received at the end of the term reflects this:
‘Thank you so much for making me feel part of the team at Deer Park and inviting me to your staff leavers’ event. It was a fun evening and I really enjoyed it.
I realised as a parent, but even more so as a volunteer over the last 6 years, what makes Deer Park so special and it made me feel quite emotional. Listening to Chris Germaine and James Johnson it was obvious how genuinely sad they will be to leave such a warm and dedicated staff where you all get on well and put the children at the heart of everything you do. You acknowledge that not all children fit the mould and many find school a struggle, however, you never stop trying to find ways to make them succeed. You should feel really proud that your help and dedication and the fact that you don't give up on your pupils enables them to grow and gain in confidence.
I know from my own experience with my son, had you and your team given up, his life could have gone a very different way. The skills you taught him have made him grow into the happy and successful person he now is and for that I will be forever grateful. ‘