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Weekly Mailing

Welcome to the Cotham School weekly mailing.

Page 1

  • Weekly Mailing - Monday 18 March 2019

    Published 18/03/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Playing Fields at Stoke Lodge update

    It was absolutely brilliant to see our students returning to our playing fields this week and there was an all-round 'thumbs- up' from them at the quality of the provision they are now able to access in the same as other students in the City are through their school playing fields.

    Disappointingly, it would seem that not everyone feels the same way and certain members of the public, not associated with the school, have displayed behaviour which can only be intended to make our students and staff feel at the very least, uncomfortable, and at the worst,  intimidated.

    I take the conduct of these individuals extremely seriously and have reported it to the Bristol Safeguarding Board and to the police who I fully trust will take appropriate action against any member of the public behaving in a manner in which they would not behave outside a school gate or a playing field attached to a school site.

    For added reassurance we currently have an extra staff presence at the playing fields to ensure that our students and PE staff feel safe and secure whilst they are taking part in lessons.  However, we also trust that swift police action will put an immediate stop to any more irresponsible and strange behaviour from the individuals who have caused us, and you, such concern.

    I will, as ever, keep you fully informed of any further developments in my weekly mailings home but in the interim if you have any further concerns please do contact us at the school.

    My sincere thanks for your ongoing support and tireless campaigning on behalf of our students and school.

    Please click here to view the updated FAQ document about our playing fields at Stoke Lodge.  FAQ 30 has been added and FAQ 1,2,4,1,17,22 and 26 have been amended in order to provide further clarity

    These questions have been put together to provide information concerning the future use of Stoke Lodge Playing Fields. This is not intended to be a definitive list, nor a legal document, but rather a place to share information. We hope you will find this helpful.  We will add to these as our projects develop further.

    Please also find below my usual updates on events that have taken place in school, information, letters etc.

    Best wishes for the week ahead,

    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

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  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 8 March 2019

    Published 08/03/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Please find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.

    Best wishes for the weekend,

    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 1 March 2019

    Published 01/03/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers
     
    An update on our playing fields at Stoke Lodge
    We are delighted to announce that there will be students back playing sport at Stoke Lodge this half term. The fence will be completed early next week, the pitches will be marked out and the sports posts put in place. We have made temporary arrangements for health and wellbeing facilities. We will not have any changing rooms on site.
     
    In preparation for school use we now ask that members of the public desist from taking dogs onto our playing fields.  There is now a circular walk around the edge of our fields which we hope members of the public out with their dogs will use. The walkway will be available to all during school hours be they dog walkers, joggers or people on their way to the shops, bus stops or school. We thank you for your cooperation.
     
    Members of the public will still be able to use our playing fields when not in use by the school, local sports clubs, or the University.
     
    Please click here to view the updated FAQ document (new FAQs from number 23). In these new FAQs we are hoping to answer questions that keep coming up and to ensure everyone understands the facts.
     
    These questions have been put together to provide information concerning the future use of Stoke Lodge Playing Fields. This is not intended to be a definitive list, nor a legal document, but rather a place to share information. We hope you will find this helpful. We will add to these as our projects develop further.
     
    Our sincere thanks for your ongoing support and tireless campaigning on behalf of the school.
     
    Please find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.
     
    Best wishes for the weekend,
     
    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 15 Feb 2019

    Published 15/02/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers
     
    Please find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.
    I’d like to thank you and your children and of course Cotham staff for a really positive Term 3.  What a lovely sunny day we’ve had today! Let’s hope this finer weather lasts into next week.
     
    Best wishes for the weekend and the holiday,
     
    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

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  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 8 Feb 2019

    Published 08/02/19, by Mark Shutter

    An update on our playing fields at Stoke Lodge

    Our playing fields at Stoke Lodge continue to be an exceptionally difficult environment for staff to operate in and I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank them for all of their hard work as we continue to make preparations to get back to using the site.  The fence installation is now progressing well, despite some very frustrating delays, and groundsmen are beginning work on preparing the ground so that pitches can be re-marked.

    The school has continued to make every effort possible to ensure that all of the works to install the fence are completely compliant.  In the spirit of this, we originally submitted an Arboricultural Method Statement and landscape architect plans to Bristol City Council (BCC) at their request  last Autumn when we met with them to take our plans forward.  Despite this we have been asked by BCC to make last minute adjustments to our plans and methods very late in the day, after works had started.  This has been very frustrating as we have always sought to follow due process and supply BCC with our plans well in advance.  However, despite the delays this has caused we have willingly done everything asked of us to BCC's satisfaction and I am pleased to say they have now confirmed this in a letter that we received yesterday morning.

    We continue to be grateful for all of your kind messages of support and offers of help. We hope to get a 'user group' up and running as soon as we have the time and capacity to do so and look forward to seeing some of you there.

    As always, we'll keep you accurately informed of our progress.  We will continue to update the Frequently Asked Questions that have been put together to provide information concerning the future use of Stoke Lodge Playing Fields. This is not intended to be a definitive list, nor a legal document, but rather a place to share information. We hope you will find this helpful.

    Although the process of erecting the fences has now begun, we are still in the position of needing to justify the need for fencing, rather than some of the alternatives that have been presented,  to ensure the safeguarding of our students during the time that they are off-site.   We still need your support, so if you haven't already,  please sign our petition and view,  'like' and share the accompanying film made by friends and supporters of the School.

    This campaign means a lot to our school and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-cotham-school

    Watch our film "Justice for Cotham School here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqaKY5ELNhQ&feature=youtu.be

    Please also find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.

    Best wishes for the weekend

    Ms J Butler
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 25 January 2019

    Published 25/01/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and carers

    Statement from Cotham School on Stoke Lodge Playing Fields

    I am delighted to say that we are now in the process of getting back to using our playing fields at Stoke Lodge and I am now able to let you have more details about how we plan to manage and share our playing fields.
    It has always been our intention to share the playing fields with local sports groups, the University and members of the public when not in use by the school. This is how we plan to do this:

    • There will be no public access to the playing fields during school or agreed sports club/group use.
    • We will have remote controlled gates, and other gates that are locked and unlocked by staff and users.
    • There will be CCTV on site.
    • Outside of these times members of the public will be able to use the playing fields area for appropriate activities.
    • Dogs will not be allowed onto the playing field area.
    • The plan is to improve the standard of the pitches and there may be times when some areas cannot be used by anyone (including the school).
    • Once the site is ready for school and sports group use we will establish a user group including sports clubs, the University and community groups.

    The success of our vision of sharing our playing fields will depend on us trusting members of the public who will use the playing fields. We hope that we will not be proved wrong in having this level of trust and optimism.

    For more information click here to access the Frequently Asked Questions that are also published on the school website.
     
    Please accept our apologies for the technical difficulties that have delayed the sharing of this week's mailing until today.
     
    Kind regards
     
    Jo Butler
    Headteacher

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  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 18 January 2019 ​​​​​​​

    Published 18/01/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and carers
     
    Safeguarding and toilet use during lesson time
    Thank you for the concerns that a few of you have raised this week regarding the recent news coverage of the school. Please let me reassure you that our staff care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our students, and we are saddened that a student of ours has had this experience which is under investigation.
     
    Like most secondary schools in Bristol, and across the country, we have a general procedure of discouraging students from being out of lessons during lesson time, in large part due to multiple Safeguarding concerns; although staff have always been supported in exercising their professional judgement over this and students do often leave the lesson for multiple reasons, including accessing the toilet. However, taking the concerns that a small number of parents have contacted us about into consideration, in order to create more consistency we will be formalising our current procedures by issuing staff with a green toilet pass card to give to students if they request to use the toilet during lesson time.
     
    Some students, e.g. those with a medical condition such as IBS, will still retain their own toilet pass as well in case they feel the need to use it. Equally, some students, in agreement with their parents, may have more regulated access to toilets in order to best safeguard them.
     
    We still believe that there are safeguarding concerns around toilet use during lesson time in schools; however, having taken advice from the Bristol Safeguarding in Education team, we have been advised that children accessing toilets at any time outweighs the multiple safeguarding risks. We have strongly requested of the Safeguarding in Education team that this advice is therefore also given to all schools in Bristol to follow. We will also be writing to the Bristol Post regarding the misrepresentation of the school in some of their articles; for example, all schools were already invited to the Period Poverty summit at City Hall on Monday which, as an advocate of the Red Box Project that we launched in September, the school has always been keen to attend to share the good practice that we already have in place. As with all of our policies and procedures we will continue to keep this one under review to ensure that it is working effectively.
     
    An update on our playing field at Stoke Lodge.
    You will have no doubt seen lots of information in the press and on social media concerning the playing fields at Stoke Lodge over the last week. It has been a particularly difficult environment for staff to operate in and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them. Special thanks in particular to Mrs Crossland, Mr Allen and Mr Carpenter.
     
    Following support from Officers at Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary the fence installation Is now ready to begin.  However, the nature of the site,  consideration of access for contractor vehicles, our obvious need to be compliant in managing the protected trees on site along with the risk of new vandalism have resulted in preparatory works which have had to be meticulously planned and carefully orchestrated.  This has taken a little longer than anticipated.
     
    Works to begin the actual installation of the fence will now start imminently. The fence will be installed broadly in keeping with the plan that we have already published with a small amendment to the fence line near the Luckham Oak.  The tree will now be located outside of the fenced sports fields allowing a larger area of free access. Following feedback about the colour of the fence, including comments from some local community members, the fence is now to be green in colour which is in keeping with those on our main site.
     
    Our works are compliant to install the fence and have been completely funded by our Condition Improvement Funding Grant (CIF) from the DfE.  It should be noted that the fence is the first part  of the project. Part two is the replacement of a new pavitlion building. The majority of the CIF grant was paid to the school some time ago when the project first began to roll out. There are only two phased payments left to be made, one a completion payment and the second in line with progress on the building of the pavilion.

    We continue to be grateful for all of your kind messages of support and offers of help.  I will, as always, keep you accurately informed of our progress.
     
    Please also find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.
     
    Best wishes for the weekend.
     
    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 11 January 2019

    Published 11/01/19, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers
     
    Thank you for all your continued efforts to support us on our fight to ensure that current this and future generations of Cotham School students have safe and secure access to our dedicated school playing fields at Stoke Lodge.  For your reference please click here to view the proposed plan for fencing, including gates and (indicative) pitches.
     
    It is with some disappointment that I have to tell you that a body called the Commons Registration Authority has decided that a second application by Emma Burgess of the We Love Stoke Lodge group to register our school playing fields as a Town and Village Green (TVG) has been 'duly made'.  This does not mean that the land has been registered as a TVG.  Bristol City Council and Cotham  both opposed this application on the same or very similar grounds and now have the opportunity to submit objections which the applicant must respond to.  We'll be submitting objections and fully expect that Bristol City Council will also continue to object to the registration of this land and support our school.   I will keep you updated on our progress on this matter. 
     
    None of this affects our mobilisation plans to get back onto our playing fields and we'll continue to roll these out as planned.
     
    We still need your support, so if you haven't already,  please sign our petition and view,  'like' and share the accompanying film made by friends and supporters of the School.
     
    This campaign means a lot to our school and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:
     
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-cotham-school
     
    Watch our film "Justice for Cotham School here:
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqaKY5ELNhQ&feature=youtu.be
     
    Lots of lively discussion about Stoke Lodge can be found on the 'Cotham Parent Discussion Group - all years’ Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/128780160913396/
    Topics include how to support the school ensuring safe and secure access to our playing fields. The group is open to all parents and carers with children at the school. Please note that the page is run by parents and is not an official school Facebook Page.
     
    Please also find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.
     
    Best wishes for the weekend.
     
    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

    Read More
  • Weekly Mailing - Friday 21 December 2018

    Published 21/12/18, by Mark Shutter

    Dear Parents and Carers
     
    Please find below my usual updates on events that have taken place this week, information, letters etc.
     
    I am sure you will join with me in thanking all Cotham staff for their hard work during Term 2 but I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you and your children too.  I wish all our families a restful seasonal break and a Happy New Year.
     
    Ms Jo Butler
    Headteacher

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