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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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In School Learning

Although the school is closed to most pupils, a small group have been attending our emergency provision for children of key workers.

We are proud to be doing our bit to support those parents working in the NHS, other critical services and related businesses. We are also providing support for pupils who need the continuity that school offers them each day.

As we reach the end of our second week we have begun to settle into our new routines.

Each day members of a small staff team, based on a rota, welcome the pupils and set out their plans for the day. Pupils are based in our library, The Powell’s Learning Centre aka The PLC, and follow the same online learning their peers are accessing from home for three hours. The pupils, often from different year groups, are managing their independent learning well under supervision, but they also have the added bonus of being able to work together with appropriate social distancing.

To break up the online learning and provide some variety, each programme includes a further two hours of learning plus time for reading and maths five a day! These sessions vary. They reflect the skills and specialisms of the teachers on duty. So far they have included reflecting on the present situation, making animations, completing projects in Design Technology, baking and mindfulness. Everyone in school is provided with a lunch and there is time set aside for exercise and for being out in the fresh air! We are all reminded daily how fortunate we are to have such a beautiful school setting.

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Being in school with so few pupils and an altered curriculum is very strange, but the pupils coming in are developing their resilience and becoming more resourceful each day. We will be developing our emergency provision further after the Easter holidays and we are working closely with other schools in The Corinium Education Trust and Gloucestershire County Council to ensure that those who need to attend school can access our provision from Monday 20 April.  If you are a key worker, and are interested in a place at our emergency school provision for your son/daughter, please contact for a booking form.

With such a small number of pupils in school and very few members of staff the school feels a very strange place! It is a bit like the Mary Celeste. The corridors are silent and echoey. Classrooms have been left as they were and many areas of the school are securely locked up. We are all definitely missing the buzz and sense of excitement that we are all so accustomed to experiencing at Deer Park!

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher

‘Behind the scenes our Pastoral Team have been working endlessly to ensure pupils have all the support they need since school closed, supporting families with access to SMHW and dealing with a variety of concerns and issues which have been raised.’  Simon Bellamy, Associate Assistant Head.

If pupils or parents have a query or require some support please contact the relevant Year Leader via email and we hope they will be able to answer and resolve any issues you might have.

‘We are very proud of our staff who are working hard to adjust to the new way of working and are supporting each other in developing effective online resources for our pupils. Virtual Faculty meetings and face-to-face catch-ups are happening using Microsoft Teams. Staff are getting to grips with this system and have appreciated being able to talk to their colleagues who they normally spend so much time with during the working week.’ Helen Charlesworth, Assistant Head.

Pupil comments include: 'Very enjoyable experience. I've found it easy to focus on my school work and can relax when I get home.' 'It's been OK coming to school. I would like to do PE every day.' 'It's been fun doing a variety of activities. I've found it more relaxing here than at home. It's easier to do school work here at school as all the resources are available.' 'I've been doing lots: cooking biscuits, designing and making a pencil case, making hanging birds in art, learning other languages, playing badminton and doing Joe Wicks workouts.' 'It's hard to get up early every day, but it's good that the bus is quiet so I can sit down. I'm learning lots and getting all my school work done.