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Pupils hand over sponsor money to Framework

Sleep out for the homeless

After a very successful Big Sleep Out for the homeless a couple of weeks ago, some of the hardy group that braved a cold night under the stars headed over to Elizabeth House ( a local Framework provision for the homeless) to hand over the money and items the students had collected as part of their Big Sleep Out.

All in all, they handed over:

  • £460 in sponsorship
  • several bags (and a suitcase) of clothes and shoes
  • a Christmas hamper full of chocolate and other goodies

During the handover (at which the Nottingham Post sent a reporter/photographer attended) the students chatted to the Framework staff to learn more about homelessness (causes and ways to support homeless people) and got to see a little glimpse of the accommodation and services Framework provide. It’s clear that Framework provide valuable resources to some of the most vulnerable in society, so it was a real pleasure to do our little bit to help them. We’re hoping that this is just the start of something longer term i.e. we hope to make the Sleep Out for Framework an annual event at our school.

Students and staff from DMS and Framework pose for the Notts Post photographer

So, once again, I’d like to say a BIG well done to the students who took part in the sleep out and visited Elizabeth House, and of course… a BIG thank you to everyone who sponsored the students or sent in clothes / shoes.

Parents Open Evening December 2017

Your child’s termly open evening will be held at Derrymount on Wednesday 6th December 2017 (Lower School, Churchmoor Lane) or Wednesday 13th December 2017 (Upper School, Sherbrook Road)

The time will be dedicated to giving you an opportunity to look at your child’s work.
This is an important evening and I would urge as many of you as possible to come into school to discuss your child’s progress. The evening will start at 3.45pm and finish at 5.15pm so you can just drop in at a time convenient to you. Please complete the reply slip below indicating whether you will be attending or not. If you will be attending at 3.45pm, you have the option for your child to stay in school until you arrive or we can send them home on transport as usual. Please indicate below as soon as possible.
Looking forward to seeing you on the 6th/13th December 2017.
Yours sincerely,
Cathy Clay
Head Teacher

Which site does your child attend?
Lower School, Churchmoor Lane Site, Wednesday 6th December 2017Upper School, Sherbrook Road Site, Wednesday 13th December 2017

I/We will be attending the Parents Open EveningI/We are unable to attend

I will be attending at 3.45pm and wish my child to stay in schoolI will be attending later and wish my child to go home on transport as usual

Adventure School Sleep Out for the Homeless

There has been quite a lot going on in Adventure School over the last week or so as we work hard to carry on clearing brambles, dead wood and general mess from the area we are hoping to move into over the next few weeks.

But one special event worthy of a mention was our ‘sleep out’ event which took place last Thursday.

The Big Sleep Out

Each year Framework (a housing charity looking to raise money for local homeless and vulnerable people) holds a Big Sleep Out event which gives people the chance to give up their warm beds for the night and sleep outside and be encouraged to reflect on what it is like for homeless people to sleep rough each night – and at the same time, raising money for the Framework charity.

As quite a few of the Adventure School Students had asked to camp out this term, we thought a Derrymount Big Sleep Out was the perfect solution. So, here was the plan:

  • At the end of school head down to the Adventure School area
  • Cook some food on the camp fire
  • Sleep around the fire, in a hammock or on flattened cardboard boxes inside a communal tent
  • Raise sponsor money for Framework from friends and family
  • Wake and enjoy breakfast in school before the start of the next school day
  • Try not to annoy the neighbours (we had pre-warned them via hand-delivered letters)

The best way to describe how things went, is through a few photographs:

It was  a very chilly night, and very little in the way of sleeping actually took place. Why? Well, it’s hard to say which factor was responsible for keeping everyone awake: the cold autumnal temperature, or Mr Tuckwood’s very loud snoring! Hmmm, there may be strong views on this. To be fair though, anyone disgruntled with Mr T’s snoring was probably being so out of envy of the fact he actually got some sleep more than anything else.

But more seriously, one thing that is clear from this experience is that everyone (students and staff) managed to see the night out and in doing so had a lot of fun and food for thought for the lives and conditions that other people have to endure.

The morning after

When the morning came and everyone headed inside school for a nice cooked breakfast, Mr Tuckwood and I had the unenviable task of breaking camp and getting tidied up (before a full day’s teaching ahead).

But as we took the camp down we were thankful that all of the students had managed to stick it out for the night and in doing so, raised a fair bit of cash for Framework.

We were also grateful that the new Adventure School ‘uniforms’ Mr Tuckwood and I wore  – kindly provided by Dickies – had kept us nice and warm. OK, so we may get teased a bit from the students for looking a bit like Arnie and Danny DeVito (in the film Twins), but we love our work trousers, softshell jackets and gilets – maybe one day all of our Adventure School students will look equally well dressed.

Comments from the students about the Big Sleep Out experience:

Outside it was pretty damn cold, so I was in me sleeping bag for most of it. When I actually went to bed, MY GOD, my back was stinging, so of course I got back up and went to the fire to chop some wood. Later I went to sit in my sleeping bag, then accidentally fell asleep. Long story short: It was cold and hurt a lot. It made me realise that homeless people are in a much worse condition than I am, so I’m pretty thankful for not being them. I joined on a whim, having no reason to join, other than just feeling like it. I was sort of glad that I joined it, despite the back pain I experienced the next day.


At the end of the night my eyes felt like I came back from a war zone, and my face felt like I just tore it away from the back of an active rocket booster. However, it was mostly fine due to the fact I was able to just sit around all night next to the fire and stuff my face with biscuits and other sweets, but yet, I went home smelling like ash and smoke


The was fire hot and my goggles were not that useful in what i got them for. I got them for protecting my eyes from the smoke but it did not keep all the smoke out.


For more information on Dickies work gear, see their website

Adventure School – preparing for expansion

Battling through the undergrowth

Adventure School is going from strength to strength – it’s really popular with the students and staff, and we are always looking to see how we can improve it and make it better.

So, for the first session this week we put some time (and effort) into expanding the workable area we currently have. You see, in the long term we have plans have a main hub, a shelter building and camping area, as well as soft archery ranges, a slackline area, as well as permanent shelter / classroom and a designated all-year-round hammock area.

All of the students worked really hard, awing, cutting and removing dead wood and lots of brambles. We have a long way to go, but it was good progress. The students enjoyed some popcorn and s’mores around the camp fire later that morning as a ‘thank you’ treat.

Onward and upward!

School Nurse drop in sessions for parents and carers

The school nurses are holding drop in sessions for parents/carers on the following dates, if any want to come in.

Friday 22nd September: Sherbrook 9-12
Monday 16th October: Churchmoor 9-12
Thursday 16th November: Sherbrook 12:30 to 14:45 *updated*
Monday 18th December: Churchmoor 9-12

Derrymount School