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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Ready to Learn

What are our expectations? 

As our pupils are now back in school it is important to share our expectations of each other.

Our School Standards, which are reviewed every three years by and for our pupils and our wider school community, underpin our ethos and the principles of respect, kindness and determination have never been more important to us as we all adapt to the preventative measures we have had to put in place.

  • Welcome: We welcome everyone to our school community;
  • Respect: We respect and cooperate with each other;
  • Value: We value difference; we celebrate others’ talents and achievements;
  • Kindness: We are kind to each other and we prevent bullying in all its forms;
  • Pride: We take pride in our uniform and look after our school;
  • Effort: We apply our best efforts in all we do; we work hard;
  • Determination: We are determined and challenge ourselves to achieve more than we first thought possible;
  • Achieve: We grasp all opportunities for learning so we can achieve our best.

We expect our pupils to be fully prepared and ready to learn. They must make sure they bring all of their equipment and a positive mindset to school each day. We will continue with our learning powered approach and we will support our pupils as they become more reflective, strengthen their resilience, develop their resourcefulness and appreciate the value of reciprocity.

There is no doubt that being back in school will be tiring for everyone. Most teachers will be moving around the school and we have built in a bit of movement time to allow them to do so. We expect all pupils to bring a book to read in school, especially during these transitions.

Pupils will spend most of the day within their home bases and, because of the need to minimise movement and reduce contacts around the school, our staggered day with shorter breaks and lunch times will feel more intense.

Owing to the preventative measures we have put in place, pupils and staff need to adjust to a new way of teaching and learning; our pupils will need to listen more and make notes. To support pupils and teachers, new Deputy Head, Richard Clutterbuck, has introduced us all to the Cornell Method:

The Cornell Note Taking Method

Cornell Note Taking is a very efficient way of taking notes and supports the new ways of teaching and learning we have introduced at Deer Park. It works in the following way:

Pupils divide a page in their exercise book into 3 sections: a notes section, a cues/questions section, and a summary section. Notes from the lesson are written in the notes section. At home pupils review their notes and write questions and key points in the cues/questions section in response to the notes from the lesson. Finally, pupils write a short summary of the lesson in the summary section of the page. The system encourages pupils to reflect on their learning by actively summarising their notes in their own words. Reviewing the notes after each lesson, helps pupils retain crucial information in their long-term memories.

For the first fortnight of this September term homework tasks will take the form of the following activities:

  • Reviewing classwork;
  • Creating and using revision resources;
  • Completing short tests or quizzes;
  • Researching topics in preparation for learning.

These tasks are designed to support the learning in school, ease pupils back in to strong study habits and help pupils and staff identify gaps in knowledge and understanding. Meanwhile lessons in school will follow our planned curriculum, but will be supported by the homework tasks listed above. We will review the impact of these changes after the first two weeks and, following the review, faculties and subjects will phase in a wider range of homework tasks which will demand more time and effort over the remainder of the term.

Pupils and parents have individual logins for Show My Homework. SMHW allows pupils to see their homework online and the system will notify them when tasks are set and due for submission. Parents can support their son or daughter with their work outside of school.

We recognise that having been away from the school classroom for a period of five months many of our pupils will find the return to school very tiring. Therefore, it is important that they re-establish routines and get back into good sleeping habits. It is important that they have breakfast before school and remain hydrated throughout the school day.