All Blog Posts and News

Storm Damage = new opportunities

It is clearly evidenced (below) that Storms of 2020: Brendan, Ciara and Dennis have left their mark on DMS’s adventure school – as well as more widely and destructively around the country, of course.

Can we fix it?

Over the year we have patched up the shelter with taps, extra canvas, branches and home-made industrial strength tent pegs and guys. But as can be seen, we’re getting to the point were we need to think of a replacement. And a replacement is definitely warranted (and needed) as the shelter, and the general area we have developed into our Adventure School, provides an important role in encouraging people into the outdoors (to enjoy the benefits that being outside brings).

Moving forwards

And so, as we move into the spring, the young people at Derrymount will be involved in a new Outdoor Learning Project called, Shelter 2.0.

And whilst plans are still a bit sketchy at the moment, the vision is for something initially like this (but bigger) …

That will ultimately be developed into something like this…

Well, OK… this might be a little ambitious (and too contained) but there’s no point in NOT dreaming big, is there… after all, that’s what dreaming is all about, isn’t it?

Churchmoor site building work

Dear Parents/Carers,

Over the next few weeks at our Churchmoor Lane site, we will be having some refurbishment works to our building.  This may cause some disruption and some classes may have to be temporarily re-located to other rooms whilst the work is being carried out. 

Workmen on site will be fully briefed to ensure that your child’s safety is paramount.  We will keep you informed of any further changes as the work progresses.

If you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the school.

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Clay
Head Teacher

Nominations for Parent Governors

The governing body of your school has one vacancy for a parent governor and is looking for parents who have children at the school. The term ‘parent’ relates to any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ as defined by the Section 576 of the Education Act 1996.  If you have any queries about your eligibility as a parent, please contact the Head Teacher for further advice.

We are looking for parents who have the skills required to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school. Your skills may include personal attributes, qualities and capabilities, such as the ability and willingness to learn and develop new skills.

Each nomination must be received at the school by 10.00 am on Tuesday 28th January 2020.

Nominations should be sealed in an envelope marked ‘Nomination for Parent Governor’ and may be delivered by hand, sent with your child, or by post to the school.  Electronic nominations must be returned to sbm@derrymount.notts.sch.uk.

The Parent Governor Letter was also posted home.

 

Nottinghamshire police cadet roadshow

Are you 11-16 years old? You are invited to the Cadet Roadshow on the 19th Feb 2020

Location: Queen’s Walk Community Centre

Each Roadshow will be action packed where you will:

  • Pick up new skills
  • Learn about policing & other emergency services
  • Make friends
  • Create opportunities to join us as a Cadet in the future
  • And much more!

It is FREE to take part!

You MUST apply via the online form. It must be completed by the parent/guardian of the young person wishing to take part.

See the Cadet Roadshow page for more information, and the consent form. 

Exam Contingency Day – Wednesday 24th June 2020

Although the Summer 2020 exams may still seem a long way off at the moment, we wish to share some important information with you to avoid any possible issues next summer. During the spring term students will be given their individual exam timetables which will highlight when their final exam is scheduled to take place. The summer written exam period will run from Monday 4th May to Friday 12th June 2020 (BTEC students must be available until Friday 26th June).

However for the Summer 2020 exam series a “contingency” exam day has been arranged by the examination awarding bodies which all students need to be aware of. This contingency day for GCSE  examinations has been put in place “in the event of widespread, sustained national or local disruption to examinations during the June 2020 examination series.”

The decision comes following the tragic events of last summer, namely the Manchester attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have decided that they need the option to postpone an exam (or exams) in the event of an incident and rearrange them for a later date to allow all students a fair and equal chance.

The date that has been set aside as the contingency day is Wednesday 24 June 2020. This means that all exam candidates must be available to sit exams from the date of their first exam until Wednesday 24th June 2020.

This decision is not a school decision and does apply to all candidates in all schools. Please can all students/parents/carers make a note of the contingency exam date in the event that an awarding body needs to invoke its contingency plan.

Yours faithfully

Cathy Clay

Cathy Clay

Head Teacher

Forest School supported by Alpkit

Forest School is alive and thriving at our Churchmoor Site. In our newly fenced off area at the top of site things are developing well despite the constant downpour creating some lovely mud baths for the young people.

We are incredibly thankful to the Alpkit Foundation for their support of our growing project in helping us to buy a new set of knives and flint and steels, a tree saw, some hammocks and our well-loved Kelly kettle. A lot of what we do with our young people wouldn’t be possible without the support charitable organisations that share our share vision.

Being outside in ALL WEATHERS is so good for our young people who face so many challenges in their lives, as it helps them to learn to cope in potentially uncomfortable environments trying new activities and learning new skills. Some of these young people would never be expected to take part in some of the activities that we provide and it is incredibly rewarding to see them grow and thrive in this very unique and unusual environment.

Climbing as Mindfulness

Being in the moment

When people talk about mindfulness as being ‘in the moment’, it all seems rather straight forward and therefore easy to achieve – doesn’t it? But truly being in the moment can be much harder to achieve than one might think. But why? Well, probably without out us each realising, our mind, or should I say our attention, is in high demand – largely due to our 24/7 technologically-connected lives. Modern living is taking its toll and it’s making it difficult for us to switch off, find calm and be in the moment. And the evidence to support the belief that our lack of awareness of, or attention to, the present is a major cause of poor well-being that can negatively impact on our mental health.

So where does climbing come in?

Well, anyone who has climbed before – indoors or outdoors – will probably agree that when you are on the wall, working out your feet and hand placements, navigating a route, you tend to be pretty focused (for obvious reasons). Often time at the climbing centre flies by. You become more aware of your body: which muscles you are using (are getting tired), your breathing and level of sweat, which part of your feet or fingers you are using to gain grip and purchase. Very rarely, when on the wall, do you think about checking your phone or wondering what to buy from the supermarket for dinner. Some people describe this lack of attention to things other than the act of climbing itself as being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in flow’. Others call it a heightened state of ‘mindfulness’. They all pretty much mean the same thing, I think: being completely in the moment … consciously in the present.

So, with this in mind, it became more apparent to a colleague and myself at Derrymount – responsible for our Adventure School provision – that climbing might be a fantastic activity to help our students to not only develop their physical skills, overcome fears and barriers, develop self esteem through the effort and determination etc etc (and the list could go on for a long time) BUT the act of climbing could also (maybe?) have positive outcomes on mental health and well-being – if developed, deliberately, as a mindfulness exercise.

Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?

Anyway, it’s on a bit of a hunch and a ‘well we can at least try it’ attitude that prompted us to try and look into this a bit further. So, the plan …

The plan

In the second week in January 2020, we will be taking a group of young people on a weekly visit to Nottingham Climbing Centre where they will be introduced to climbing and receive a 1.5hr a week (for 7 weeks) period of instruction and opportunity to climb. We’ll encourage the students to be body aware, help them focus on the moment and try and gauge their thoughts, attitudes and awareness of themselves both before, during and at the end of the 7 weeks.

It’s going to interesting to see what impact climbing as mindfulness can have.

Thank you to Alpkit!

We are very grateful to the wonderful people at Alpkit for supporting our 7-week project. The Alpkit Foundation generously donated some money towards the costs of setting up this project, and for that we are very grateful.

NB. Anyone is free to make an application to the Alpkit Foundation, so perhaps a project idea you have might receive their support.

Related post:

Developing Through Climbing

M4 demonstrate team work and determination at Walesby

Students from M4 recently tested their fitness skills at Walesby Forest and took part in an assault course and laser quest activity.  A great day was had by all, with students demonstrating excellent perseverance and determination when faced with some challenging obstacles and working well together during laser quest, deciding as a team what tactics they would employ.

Big sleep out 2019

As part of our Adventure School activities we are planning to have a Big Sleep Out event in our outdoor classroom on Thursday 28th November 2019 (weather permitting) to support FRAMEWORK’s Big Sleep Out event. During this event a few selected young people who have agrees to participate will stay at school on the Thursday night and will take part in a variety of activities. By taking part in this event the young person will get an insight into how a homeless person sleeps in the evenings, as well as getting to experience some outdoor fun and learn new skills.

The young people would appreciate sponsors to help support them. This would also help boost their confidence during the event when it will be cold and wet outside. Please encourage family and friends to sponsor as well. Sponsor money can be sent to school.

Thank you for all your support

Big sleep out previous years

 

Big sleep out 2019 forms

Derrymount School