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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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End of Term July 2020

End of the Summer 2020 Term

As we officially close Cirencester Deer Park School for the annual summer holiday, we do so in very strange times with only a skeleton staff and handful of pupils in school. We have been pleased to be able to accommodate children of key workers during the period of lockdown and to have been able to continue with our core purpose - teaching and learning – by engaging so many of our pupils remotely by assigning tasks and providing direction in Show My Homework and leading live virtual lessons in MS Teams. We have also been delighted to meet up again with pupils in Year 10, albeit for precisely focused face to face lessons in much smaller groups.

However, generally throughout Terms 5 and 6, the school itself has been eerily quiet without its usual buzz and the shared sense of excitement about learning that characterises so much of what we do and underpins our relationships with each other. While many of the precious milestones in our pupils’ learning journeys have not been able to happen, such as Sports Day (but read about this year's Summer Sport) or our annual Party in the Park, we are a very resilient school and I am immensely grateful to all members of staff, our pupils and their parents who have worked tirelessly to stay connected!

Furthermore, our shared readiness to try new ideas and do things differently reflects our ‘can do’ ethos. Not only has this been seen on our virtual events online such as our annual  Year 9 Key Stage 3 Celebration of Achievement, Welcome Evenings for our new Year 7 pupils and their parents and our Young Singer and Young Musician Competitions, it is also reflected in the high levels of engagement we have consistently seen in our online learning provision in Show My Homework and MS Teams.

As we all embarked on steep learning curves, we purposefully phased in the delivery of ‘live’ lessons online, initially for pupils in Key Stage 4 from Monday 23 March, the beginning of lockdown. Once routines had been established, this was then extended to pupils in Year 9 in May and then finally, in June, to all pupils. As the school terms ends on Friday 17 July 2020, our 2,900th live lesson in MS Teams will have been taught!

Friday 17 July also marks the last day at Deer Park for five members of staff, who either before or during lockdown shared their decision to move on. This year we say goodbye and thank you to:

  • Mrs Brunt who has been teaching Maths part time for the last two years;
  • Mr Morgan, who joined us as a newly qualified teacher in our English Faculty in September 2017 is now moving on to Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School in Wotton-Under-Edge;
  • Mrs Mackew, a former pupil, who initially re-joined the school in January 2017 as one of our Year Leaders leaves us to join the police force. Because Mrs Mackew had worked previously as a qualified teacher, she has taught Child Development, Business Studies and Horticulture;

Click here to read what Mrs Mackew has to say...

‘If someone had told me on GCSE Results Day, back in August 2001, that I would be giving my leaving speech as a member of staff at Deer Park School, I would have scoffed in their face like any other teenager we come across in our careers.

Back then I disliked school and all it represented but this was from the perspective of an angry and scared teenager who had lost her way and had no true direction. But after school, came college and then university (and a bit of growing up along the way) I discovered a career that would become my true vocation.

Over the 13 or so years I have worked in education I have seen and heard a lot. I have been blessed with being able to work in schools and colleges where the pupils have been amazing and changed not only my practice but also my life. However, no place will ever feel quite as special or hold quite as much of a place in my heart as Deer Park.

There are so many people at Deer Park who have impacted on my life in more ways than one (too many to list now) and it makes it truly difficult to say farewell. Thank you to each member of staff I have worked with over the past few years. From the canteen and site staff all the way through to the leadership team, you are all wonderful, kind, generous and inspirational people who I am going to miss working with deeply.

A.A. Milne once wrote “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. Never have these words felt truer as they do to me now in 2020. I don’t think there has there been a more difficult time to say farewell to pupils or to colleagues. I am so proud to have worked at Deer Park and to have been part of something so amazing and phenomenal as what has been achieved by the school during this pandemic.’

  • Mrs Sarna, who joined our Science Faculty in September 2013 having moved to Gloucestershire from London takes up her new post at Winchcombe School as Head of Science;
  • And finally, Mr Green, our longest serving Maths Teacher and member of staff, retires this summer after 35 years of dedicated service to pupils, our Maths Faculty and pupil-focused leadership development programmes, most recently the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. He has been a constant stalwart and anchor. During his time at Deer Park, he has worked for four different Headteachers and seven consecutive Heads of Faculty. He has been a tutor for at least 7 tutor groups and has taught over 30,000 Maths lessons to approximately 7,350 pupils!

We wish all of our colleagues above the very best in their futures away from Cirencester Deer Park School.

We look forward to welcoming new teachers to the school in September 2020:

  • Miss Blacker joins our PE Faculty
  • Mrs Chaplin joins our English team
  • Mrs Guy and Mrs Brand join our Maths Faculty
  • Mrs Clark joins our Science team
  • Mr Clutterbuck joins our Strategic Leadership Team as Deputy Head, a role he will share with Mrs Lang. Both will work part time, 3 days a week.

We are grateful to everyone in our learning community for helping us stay connected over the last 4-5 months. We have all learnt a lot; we have challenged and supported each other. Thank you.

We are looking forward to reopening the school to all pupils in September and adjusting to our new routines. While there will be differences in how we manage and operate the school day, it is important that we continue to work together cooperatively to ensure everyone feels safe and can confidently resume their learning journeys.  Read more...

We hope that our pupils and staff will be able to find ways to rest and relax over the summer holiday and prepare for the fresh start in September: Pupils in Years 7 and 11 will return to school on Thursday 3 September and all pupils in all year groups are expected to be in school on Friday 4 September.