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Cirencester Deer Park School

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What Inspires You?

Inspiration in the Time of Coronavirus

During this time of uncertainty and lockdown, we have all had to adjust our mindsets and plans and use our time differently. Despite the challenges, there have been many positives, with heart-warming acts of kindness between neighbours, and individuals working separately but together for a common goal, sewing scrubs for example. People have been spending more time with immediate family, learning new skills and exercising more or differently, for our physical and mental health. And most of us have probably spent more time online than ever before, whether for work, school or leisure.

Deer Park pupils have been working online since lockdown started on Monday 23 March, with work set on Show My Homework, and more recently with live lessons in MS Teams for all year groups.

In addition to school work, we would like to share what else some of our pupils have been doing.


Congratulations to Sam G in Year 11 who, on 29 June 2020, received a phone call informing him that he had won the Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking Challenge category in The Cotswold Challenge with his ergonomically designed bird boxes! Fantastic news!

Sam, like peers across the country, had his GCSE exams cancelled this summer. Like 500 other local young people in Years 11, 12 and 13, he entered a creative and innovative challenge set specifically at this time to encourage young people to express their creativity and pursue their innovative ideas.

BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson commented about Sam's entry: 'A really well thought through innovative idea that is well worth recognition.'

From starting a mowing business at the age of 12, through to choosing GCSE Business Studies as one of his options and then entering this competition, Sam has clearly shown he has a practical and entrepreneurial head! We look forward to hearing where his ideas go next!

Anyone interested in buying one of Sam's bird boxes, they are currently being sold at Austins (online or on Love Lane) or you can email family direct.

the cotswold challenge logo

Find out more about
The Cotswold Challenge...

sam bird box cotswold challenge entrepreneur

bird box sam



GCSE exams cancelled, Tanwen in Year 11, who is known in school as much for her musical talents as her academic prowess, has created a YouTube Channel for anyone looking for AQA GCSE History revision resources.

Tanwen says that when she was revising different subjects, she would use videos to aid her revision, but she found it particularly difficult to find videos directly specific to the AQA exam board and so, with time on her hands, decided to consolidate her knowledge and to help other students.

'The videos have been really fun to make, and it's really exciting when you see people are actually watching them!'

There are resources for each of the topic areas:

  • Medicine Revision Series
  • Germany Revision Series
  • Elizabeth I Revision Series
Her History teacher comments: 'Tanwen's History revision videos really are brilliant - they are very detailed and well presented. I recommend that our Year 10 and Year 11 pupils use these resources.'

Unfortunately for A level History students, Tanwen will be studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths!



Another of our Class of 2020, GCSE Art pupil Jenna, created a piece for the Art and Design Challenge category of The Cotswold Challenge and although not selected by the judges, we want to share her powerful and political piece, ANTidote. 

The synopsis that accompanied her art was a well thought out and articulate explanation of both her art and how she feels, as a 16-year-old whose exams have been cancelled and who is living in a world that has halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

'I completed a piece that reflects, in my opinion, how society is prioritising building up the economy over human welfare.'

We are pleased to know that Jenna plans to continue studying Art at A level and our Design Faculty in particular wish her all the best in the future.

class of 2020 jenna oronavirus



Do you know how high Mount Everest is? Jenny in Year 7 certainly does. Her original plan to raise money for the British Heart Foundation this summer by climbing the Three Peaks (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis) was scuppered by coronavirus, so during the month of June 2020 she has been climbing (and descending) the stairs at home to the height of Mount Everest, ie 8,848m.

We are really pleased to share with you that on Tuesday 30 June she made it to the summit - although apparently the view from the top was a little limited!

"Jenny is exhausted but thrilled to have completed the task! We calculated that she has climbed 97,088 individual steps to ascend and descend Everest." Wow. Just wow! 

You can find out more on her GoFundMe page.

This is the 3rd summer that Jenny has  undertaken a challenge to raise money for charity. Previously she has had her head shaved for Cancer Research and slept outside on the street to raise money for Railway Children.  What a compassionate and determined individual! Well done Jenny.

british heart foundation


jenny everest summit

You can listen to an interview with Radio Gloucestershire at the bottom of this page.


I have been really impressed by the readiness of our pupils to have a go. Many of them dare to be different and rise to new challenges. It is an absolute joy to learn of their successes in lockdown. They definitely exemplify our school’s can do ethos and have achieved more than we all thought was first possible! I congratulate them on their creativity, leadership and kindness.

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher


As a school we are so proud of our pupils' achievements, in whatever field inspires them. What inspires you?

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." – Neil Gaiman

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking

"Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong." – Ella Fitzgerald

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs