Temperature dropping, John Muir Award

The second half of the Autumn Term has begun. The environment, our youngsters, staff and animals at Running Deer, have all adapted really well to the changes at school, in the first half of the Autumn Term.


Change is the one constant in our lives. Some changes we can look forward to but some change we fear. However, one thing is for sure. Things will not stay the same no matter how much we would like them too and so we begin adapting in Autumn.

Mornings are definitely getting darker, the ground is definitely getting muddier and the temperature is definitely getting cooler! Whether I’m enjoying hearing the rain dancing on the classroom roof during lessons or I’m watching different project based creations happening amongst the mighty Running Deer trees, our youngsters always maintain their enthusiasm for learning in ways that they relate to the most. Whether they realise it or not, these are all changes that are helping them to get to know themselves and be more accepting of others.

Not only are the staff and animals here at Running Deer, very welcoming, as are our youngsters, always bearing in mind, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” William Butler Yeats. Whether it be encouraging a new member of staff with their ideas or helping a new youngster develop their skills, it’s a real team effort.

Life at Running Deer is full of challenges for our youngsters, on a daily basis. How each youngster tackles each challenge that comes their way however, says much about their character and more about who they are on the inside. Some youngsters draw strength and inspiration from the experiences of others so as they grow, they realise that they are not alone, they can positively change as they grow and that it is possible to overcome their problems.

Our youngsters here at Running Deer appreciate that each day, is a new day, with opportunities for learning new skills with one of their Case Workers and potential to achieve specific learning goals with one of their teachers. Our youngsters have definitely learned the skills necessary to adapt to different adults and how to perhaps modify their behaviour, when in the company of particular species of animal at Running Deer, fundamental to being part of the Running Deer family.

When a life change occurs, there are two choices in how to respond. Perhaps we could despair that a change has come and assume that things will be worse or we can look with excitement, at the new possibilities for personal growth and change in oneself that the change presents, which I think, epitomises what our Running Dear family is all about.


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