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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Coronavirus: Learning will continue

Friday 20 March 2020. Last day of school for now.

We are exceptionally proud of everyone in our school community and extremely grateful for the support and feedback we have received from parents over the last few days. Thank you.

While we understand the need to close our doors to the majority of our pupils this afternoon, we did so this afternoon with great sadness and we were very sorry to see them all go.

However, their learning will continue! We plan to keep in touch with all of our pupils and we will continue to provide news updates and share information with parents through our newsletters. Please regularly read the Latest News on our website and check Twitter @CDPStoday. You can find our draft timetable on Coronavirus: Remote Learning.

Sadly, owing to the current situation, we have had to cancel so many of the activities that we value at Deer Park. These include a number of school trips, Work Experience and our annual Enrichment Week. There is more information about this in this week's newsletter to parents.

Our pupils have been absolutely amazing. They have coped well with uncertainty. Their energy and commitment to their studies have kept us all going. They have demonstrated so many of the traits we seek to instil in them. They have remained good humoured and supportive of each other and we have every confidence that they will continue to develop their resilience and resourcefulness as we move into, and through, this period of increased social distancing and self-isolation.

I have been impressed by the readiness of pupils and staff to move towards virtual classrooms. This has been a steep learning curve for all of us. However, we are looking forward to engaging with them, initially through Show My Homework, and providing them all with both the challenge, encouragement and support they will need to become confident independent learners.

It is important that all children remain active and curious about the world around us. We want them to continue to engage in rich learning opportunities such as reading, research and self-support study. This can be achieved at home through discrete tasks or creative projects. Our staff are committed to providing both inspiration and direction and our provision for children of key workers and others who have been invited to attend school will reflect this too.

We are determined that Deer Park will remain the beating heart of our learning community and we will supply our pupils’ with the oxygen they all need to thrive. We will try to ensure that they are all able to make progress, expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding.

We were very pleased to be able to spend some time with our Year 11s before they left this afternoon. We allowed them time to sign each others' shirts and we shared their memories of their Induction Day with them. It is important that they all stay connected with us. We do not see this as their last day and we are very keen that they participate in the lessons and complete the tasks their teachers assign them.

Unfortunately the news about how GCSE grades will be awarded this year came in today after our pupils had left and we are currently making sense of it all. We will reflect on this over the weekend we will of course advise pupils in Year 11 and their parents of the next steps at the earliest opportunity.

When we reviewed the events in our school calendar, the one event we couldn’t bring ourselves to strike through was our Year 11 Leavers’ Ball and, while this provisionally remains in our school calendar for Friday 26 June, we advised the year group that it is highly likely that it will not go ahead as planned. If this is the case, we will try to rearrange something for them in September.

I hope you and your families stay well. Take care.

Chiquita Henson

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