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Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Friday 22 March 2019

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

Good News

Little Shop of Horrors

Last week saw a cast of students from Year 7 to Year 13 perform to approximately 600 people over 4 nights in this year's whole school musical, Little Shop of Horrors. It was a great week with the students upping their game night after night. It would be wrong to mention any individual performer as they were all ace but a special mention must go to Esther Weisselberg and Peggy Edwards from Year 13 who both assistant directed/produced. The performance would not have happened without them.
The performance was thoroughly enjoyed by members of the audience, “It was excellent”.
“I was fortunate to attend the Production of the School Play last Thursday Evening. I was very proud of my Granddaughter who took part but would like to thank everyone involved for all the effort put into produce such a professional performance. I really enjoyed the evening.”
One member of the audience has also said “Please may I congratulate everyone (staff,students, others) on the fabulous performance of the play”.
Photos are soon to follow. Don't forget to look out for the Performing Arts Summer Sharing coming up in June!


GCSE Food Exam

Well done to all our Year 11 GCSE Food Technology students, who spent Wednesday and Thursday completing their practical exam. The talent and skill of our young cooks was on full display and some truly impressive final menus were produced. Congratulations to all students involved.

Important Information for Parents/Carers


A reminder that the remaining school INSET days for this year are as follows:
Friday 5 April
Wednesday 10 July
The School will be closed to students for staff training on these dates.

Important- Our Mobile Phone Policy

Mobile phones and teenage mental health

Over the last few weeks there has been much media coverage about the topic of ‘students and their mobile phones in school’ and whether they should be banned completely.  There have also been articles on the dangerous effect that social media, mostly accessed by mobile phones, can have on young people's’ mental health with a number of very sad personal stories.
The Department for Education (DfE) has also raised concerns.  Damian Hinds, Education Secretary, has said that it should be down to individual Headteachers to set their own mobile phone policy although the DfE would support any school which did choose to ban student mobile phones.
At Cotham School we firmly believe that mobile phones, whilst  a really useful addition to modern life, can be detrimental to students learning, relationships and mental health and that they are not needed in school. We believe that young people should be learning and socialising in school without the pressures and distractions of mobiles.
However, we have adopted a sensible policy which we expect all students in Years 7-11 to comply with and parents and carers to support us with.

From the sound of first bell at 8.35a.m. until last bell at 3.05p.m. phones must be switched off (not on silent mode) and kept in students' school bags (not pockets)

  • Phones must not be used for any purpose (e.g. phoning, texting, surfing the internet, taking photos, taking films, listening to music) during the school day
  • Phones must not be taken into examinations.
  • If a student breaches these rules and they are seen by a member of staff:
  • The phone will be confiscated and placed in a safe at Student Reception.
  • The phone will be returned to the student’s parents or carers the following day.  It will need to be collected from Student Reception, no earlier than the end of the school day.
  • If a student persistently has a phone confiscated, the period for which it is retained will be extended, at the discretion of a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

We can make no exceptions to these rules.
The school accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever, for theft, loss or damage to mobile phones. It is the responsibility of parents, carers and students to ensure mobile phones are properly insured.

Free School Meals

Please click here to check if your child is eligible for Free School Meals or to apply.

GWR Student Rail Ticketing Scheme

We would like to remind parents/carers that Severnside Community Rail Partnership are continuing the Student Rail Ticketing Scheme in 2019. This partnership offers our students and families a huge saving on rail travel to and from the school on the Severnside Community Rail. An annual ticket costs £40.00 or families can buy their ticket in instalments. All the details are contained in the letter and application form here.

Online Safety Newsletter: March 2019

Click here to view March’s Newsletter.

Inter House Competition - Design a Recycled Bottle Sculpture

Students have been asked to design a sculpture made from disposable water bottles, all they need to do is design a sculpture that connects people with the issue of marine plastic pollution.

Students are encouraged to paint, draw or event construct their design, but it should connect people to the issue, their actions and the oceans. Designs could say something about the problem of waste plastics, or the environmental impact, it could show a solution or highlight the statistics. The choice is up to the students!

We would like students to attach a picture of their sculpture design - this can be drawn, designed in a computer package or even build themselves. The pictures need to be clear and annotated if necessary. Students need to send their entries to Mrs Arnold at

Closing date for entries is Friday 26 April.

We will have prizes for the top 5 entries and the overall winner will be Cotham Schools entry into a National Competition sponsored by Robeco in partnership with City to Sea.

National competition Prize consists of the following:
The winning sculpture will be built and displayed in the City of London during plastic free July
Water fountain for the winning school or location of choice fountain
£1000 donation to a school project to improve the environment at the school.

Teenage Brains: Reading Resources

We have several books by Nicola Morgan in the library including Positively Teenage: Great well-being for young people and Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed. These resources may be particularly useful in the run up to the exam period. Please click here to access these resources.

Catering - Easter Theme Day on Wednesday 3 April

Three Bean Spring Minestrone Soup
Jacket Potatoes with Herby Fruit Coleslaw
Minted Lamb and Pea Casserole served with New Potatoes and Steamed Cabbage
Spring Vegetable Tagliatelle with Lemon & Chive Sauce
Easter Biscuits or Hot Cross Bun.

Word of the week

Each week at Cotham we promote a Word of the Week. This is to help students expand the range of vocabulary they use. Please find the word for the week ahead by clicking here.

Staff Vacancies

Cotham School are currently recruiting new members of staff to work with us at the school. We are currently looking to hire an Admin Support Officer Officer (Term Time only)  to join us in our main school office.
For more information about school roles please click here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Off the Record

Off The Record have a new and exciting therapeutic group for people aged 11-18 called ‘Shameless’ which is about body image and self-esteem. The group runs for 6 weeks and the first session began in the evening on Tuesday 12 March. The event will be held at Off The Record, 2 Horfield Road, Bristol, BS2 8EA (Just around the corner from the BRI).
Students can find out more information on how to sign up by clicking here.

Key Stage 3 News

Year 9

Year 9 Exams: week commencing 25 March

Year 9 exams take place in the weeks commencing 25 March.  Click here to view the Exam Timetable.
Details of the style and content of each exam, as well as details of revision are given in the document here.
A useful Revision Timetable template can be found here.
The exams represent a good opportunity for students to get used to the demands of reformed (ie. much more challenging...) GCSEs.  Please encourage your child to complete revision in advance of their exams.
Year 9 Science revision extra classes start from 25 March!
Science revision will run after school in the lead up to the Year 9 Science exam.These will go ahead on 3.05-4.05 in the science classrooms.

  • Monday 25 March - C2
  • Tuesday 26 March - P1
  • Wednesday 27 March - P2 and P3

 If students don't already have revision guides and workbooks please purchase on wisepay and collect from the science prep room.

Key Stage 4 News

Year 10

Work Experience - deadline for forms is Thursday 4 April

Year 10 Work Experience 1-5 July

All year 10 are expected to do work experience. If you have not already sorted and confirmed your WEX placement, please do so as soon as possible.
Please can you ensure all completed WEX forms are returned to Mrs Arnold by Thursday 4 April.
Civil Service Work Experience Programme
·  A one week long work placement within the Ministry of Defence (MOD)
·  The chance to learn broad employability skills including team working, communication skills, time keeping and taking part in tasks.
·  Valuable networking opportunities.
·  An insight into the role of government, the work of Civil Servants and how it affects people on a daily basis.
·  Increased confidence and raised aspirations.
·  Information about Civil Service entry routes and Talent Programmes i.e. Apprenticeship Scheme and Civil Service Fast Stream.
The roles are in the Ministry of Defence however each role will be in a different department.
MOD Engineering
The roles will allow individuals to gain an understanding of what is involved in technological problem-solving capability of engineering (including science and technology) and the organisational, administrative, and planning abilities of management in order to oversee complex enterprises from conception to completion.
MOD Strategic Supplier Management Team
The role forms part of the Strategic Supplier Management (SSM) Team, whose primary objective is to influence the behaviours of MOD suppliers and commercial staff, to develop a robust, competitive, innovative and capable supply chain for defence. The post holder will support the delivery of these policy objectives.
MOD  Defence Statistics
Defence Statistics provide a range of statistical, economic, analytical, planning and consultancy services for the Ministry of Defence. The areas covered include military and civilian personnel, finance, logistics, equipment procurement, health of the Armed Forces, health and safety incidents, surveys of MOD
personnel, and all National and Official Statistics on Defence.
Please make sure you fill in the School WEX week in the availability section 1-5 July 2019. Please fill in the attached application form. Return completed applications to Mrs Arnold
We also have the following placements available, please see Mrs Arnold if you are interested:
Salvation Army Charity Shop
Brandon trust Charity Shop
St Peters Hospice Charity Shop
Selection of Nursery and Primary Schools

Year 11

GCSE Summer Exam Timetables

Individual GCSE Summer Exam Timetables have now been issued to students. These show the dates and times of all their summer examinations. A further timetable will follow in April with their final tiers of entry and seating information.


The final GCSE exam is due to take place on Wednesday 19 June. However, the Joint Council for Qualifications have stipulated that all students must be available to sit exams until Wednesday 26 June.  This is to ensure that any GCSE exams which may have to be cancelled as a result of a national emergency or disaster can be rescheduled.  Please bear this date in mind if you are planning on booking a holiday for your child or your family.  

Essential Examination Equipment

Your child will be more successful in their summer exams if they have the correct equipment. Please support them by purchasing any missing items over the next month:  

  1. Clear pencil case, black
  2. Pens x2, pencils x2, eraser, sharpener, ruler, protractor, compass,
    highlighter, working non-programmable scientific calculator (preferably Casio).
  3. Students taking examinations in Design and Technology will also need coloured pencils.
  4. Students should have calculators with them for Maths, Science, DT, Geography, Psychology, and Preparation for Working Life.


Following the mock exams, teachers have revised their Upgrade revision session offers to provide support to those who would benefit most during the summer exam preparation process.
Students have now received new timetables that show which sessions they should attend. Please ask your child to show you their timetable and support our staff by reminding them to attend.
More information about Upgrade can be found here

Supporting your child’s revision

With just a few weeks left until final GCSE examinations begin, students’ revision preparations should be well underway.
If you are worried that your child is not revising enough at home then the following may be helpful resources:

  • Support your child in preparing a summer exam preparation schedule so that they complete revision tasks - a template revision schedule can be found here   
  • Ensure that all homework assignments are completed
  • Ensure your child has revision guides that can help to support their learning - a list of these is enclosed and attached here along with details of useful revision websites for each subject
  • Read and discuss the Examination Command Words document attached here with your child
  • See the Top Tips for Parents sheet attached here which contains useful reminders about ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’
  • The End of Year 10 Mock exams and Year 11 November mock exams can be accessed here.  There is value in students re-completing these and demonstrating that they can recall knowledge previously assessed, and act on feedback already given to them to improve their original raw mark.  Our school challenge is for all students to increase their recent mock exam result by 10 or 15 or 20 marks over the February Revision week break. 
  • Use the Subject ‘to do’ sheets which highlight the type of acts that students should be completing as part of their revision

Student Well-being

Maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, taking regular exercise and making time for relaxation will all help your child manage the demands of GCSE revision and the exam season. See some top tips on how to help your child ‘prepare to perform’ here

Off the record- Monday 18 March

Off the Record will be back in school on Monday 18 March too see the A side Year 11 tutor groups for more ‘Resilience Lab’ workshops. Students will be learning how to identify negative thinking traps, build resilience and when to reach out for support. We hope our students will find these sessions beneficial.

Study Leave and Leavers Arrangements

The final day of school for Year 11 students will be Friday 17 May. Lessons will continue as normal up until this date, after which students will only attend school to sit their remaining exams and attend subject
revision sessions (details of which will be communicated in May). Students must continue to wear full school uniform, including their lanyard, whenever they are on the school site.
Our Year 11 Leavers’ Assembly will be held on Friday 14 June, following the morning’s physics exam.  The assembly will finish before 1pm and all Year 11 will leave the school by that time. We ask that students return
all textbooks to the library prior to the Leavers’ Assembly.

Year 11 Prom

Tickets are selling out fast, has you child got their ticket yet? Payment can be made by Wisepay under General Payments or by cash at the office. Please click here  for the letter that must be be signed in order for your child to attend. Paper copies are available at Student reception.

Post-16 News

The Oxbridge Conference

The Oxbridge Conference last Tuesday was a great success and students found it very useful in supporting them in their applications. Taster sessions of subjects were also run along with a very useful teacher/adviser support session. Mrs Kempt has lots of resources should your son/daughter need any.

Year 12 Core Programme

Year 12 Core Programme next week on Wednesday at 11.05am will be a session run by Bath University on study skills and revision/exam tips and should be an excellent opportunity to gather some great tips in preparation for the upcoming year 12 mock exams (these start week beginning 29th April)

Year 12 Exam Timetables

Year 12 exam timetables have been given to form tutors - please ensure that your son/daughter collects them.

Year 13 Exam Timetables

Year 13 exam timetables are in Charnwood reception for collection.

Year 12 Parents Evening

Year 12 Parents Evening (PEG) is at RGS this Thursday 28 March 4.30 - 7pm.  Please ensure that your son/daughter has made appointments with their teachers.  The Academic Mentors, Careers Advisers and Student Services Leaders from both learning communities will also be present all evening should you wish to see them.

A reminder that the Post 16 Reflection Room is available for all students (G112)

For more information from Post 16 please see the "This Term at Post 16" section of the website here  


Bristol Somali Careers Inspiration Day on Saturday 30 March 1-6pm at City Academy

Bristol Somali Careers Fair will take place on Saturday 30 March 1-6pm at City Academy, as part of their BAME transformation series.  
The event will be bringing together Somali Professionals from various fields, young people, entrepreneurs, Interactive stalls, inspiring talks, Networking and mentoring, parenting workshops and great opportunities to engage, educate, network, and most of all INSPIRE the next generation of transformational leaders.
It's a day not to be missed. Register your free space through this link, share and spread the word as the community needs you. Please see the poster for the event here.

BBC Bitesize

A useful careers resource can be found through BBC Bitesize here

Boomsatsuma "Ask me Anything" event

On Monday 25 March at 6pm, this free event will focus on the Sports and Media industry and is suitable for students in Y10-13. Location: Ashton Gate Stadium (BS3 2EJ). Email for further information; click here

"Become a Paramedic" Taster Day

On Saturday 30 March, a taster day to ‘become a paramedic’ will be run by NHS South Western Ambulance Service at UWE Exhibition & Conference Centre (BS34 8QZ). The event costs £25. For more details and to book: click here

Students looking for Saturday jobs can find good advice through this website


Subject Area News

Visual Arts

Work of the week

This week’s work of the week features beautifully presented artist research pages by Year 9 students; Carla Acevedo-Ferron, Barnaby Hall and Nia Bhatia. Click here to have a look at the artwork.


Colstons Park Rangers Need You!

Colstons Park Rangers (CPR) is a competitive but fun and community based football team based in the BS6 postcode area. We currently play one u12s team in Bristol Saturday Youth League. Click here for more information.
CPR are keen to expand the two teams ready for our U13s 2019/20 football season, when they'll be playing 11-a-side football. They train at Henbury School from 6-7 on Monday evenings and occasionally on The Downs.
If your child will be 11 or 12 years old by 31 August 2019 and are interested in training with an eye to joining their club, please get in touch at

Extra-Curricular Clubs

Please click here for a list of all of the PE/Sports Extra-Curricular activities available to students in Term 4.
Please click here to view all of our recent results and the upcoming fixtures for the week ahead.
Follow @CothamPE on Twitter for all the latest news and updates from the Cotham School PE department

Community News

Bristol Come Dancing- Strictly for Charity

A charity called Aid Box Community based in Redland that support in need refugees and asylum seeker in Bristol by providing free clothing, footwear and household items- all of which are donated to Aid Box Community. Aid Box Community are collaborating on a ‘Bristol Come Dancing - Strictly for Charity’- with another Bristol based Charity called Temwa. Temwa who support community led development in rural Malawi. For more information on Aid Box Community, please click here for more information about Aid Box Community. To find out more about Temwa, click here.
‘'Bristol Come Dancing - Strictly for Charity' will take place at 7pm on Saturday 23 March at the Pennywell Project. The show is shaping up nicely. There are 40 couples who will have had 6 weeks of professional dance lessons - including Bristol Lord Mayor Cleo Lake. In addition there will be a host of very talented Bristolians on the judging panel including Great British Bake Off Briony May.
The two charities are completely reliant on fundraising to keep them going and this will be their biggest single fundraiser of the year. Click here to see the poster for the event.

This is Classical Bristol

Click here to see Issue 29 of ‘This is Classical Bristol’ which features a series of boastful performances from performers such as Bristol Bach Choir.

BAME Recruitment

There is a BAME recruitment Event happening on Thursday 28 March at CLF Institute and City Academy. For more information please click here.  

Lifecycle Uk - Transforming lives through cycling

Click here to find out about Advanced Cycle training lessons available during the February Half Term.

Families in Focus

Families in Focus are running courses in Bristol during Term 4. For more information click here.

Bristol Plays Music

Find out what Bristol Plays Music are up to over March and April by clicking here.


Useful quick links

Keep us posted

It would be great if parents/carers could let the school know of any student achievements outside of school please. It is sometimes only at parents’ evenings that we find out what students are doing in their own time. Email us:

Key Dates

Please click here to view the Key Dates by year group for the 2018-19 academic year. You will be notified of any significant changes/additions, but please can we ask that you check the dates for your year group regularly as they are subject to change.

Parents’ Evening Booking System (PES)

Please click here to access the online appointment booking system for Parents Evenings/Family Consultation Day. Please note this is only available if an event is due. We will email you to let you know when booking opens. If you encounter any difficulties with booking your appointments please contact the admin team by email to or tel: 0117 919 8000

Assessment Calendars for KS3

We have created Assessment Calendars for 2018/19. Each Assessment Calendar contains details of the class assessments that will take place in their subjects. The final column contains a link which gives information about each of the assessments.
To see the Year 7 Assessment Calendar click here
To see the Year 8 Assessment Calendar click here
To see the Year 9 Assessment Calendar click here
To see the Year 10 Assessment Calendar click here
To see the Year 11 Assessment Calendar click here

Parents Information Sessions

KS3 Parent Information Session 4th October 2018 - click here
KS4 Year 10 Parent Information Session 20th November 2018 - click here
KS4 Year 11 Parent Information Session 8th November 2018 - click here
KS4 Year 11 Parent Information Morning Session 7th February 2019 - click here
KS4 Year 11 Parent ‘Post Mock’ Information Session 7th February 2019 - click here

Homework and Independent Learning timetables

Please see the attached link describing our Homework Guidelines for students in the school.
In KS3 we do not have homework timetables.
Homework and Independent Learning Timetable for Year 10
Homework and Independent Learning Timetable for Year 11


WisePay is the Online Payment Service at Cotham School which allows you to pay for trips and visits as well as to add credit to your child’s Cashless Catering account. Click here to access your account now. If you have any queries about your account please contact the support team by email to

School Uniform

Please click here to view the compulsory uniform requirements of Cotham School, along with visual examples of uniform and details of our uniform suppliers.


Click here to access GCSEpod which contains lots of revision resources for most GCSEs. Students self register through the website using their name and school details.

Diagnostic Questions

Click here to access. This site contains self marking quizzes with lots of templates including some from a range of exam boards. It’s easy to make your own questions in Microsoft PowerPoint too. Students sign up with their school Google account using the G+ button to automatically create a school account


Edmodo is an application that can be used on both mobile devices and in the web environment to create an online community of practice. Edmodo is a free social learning platform that allows students to access the course content uploaded by their teachers.


All students and teachers now have free access to Seneca - a revision and homework platform making studying more fun. Seneca is an interactive way to learn official course content. Their web app covers 150+ exam board specific courses condensing what students need to know for their exams. The software is able to identify gaps in learning. For instance, when you get a question wrong, the platform will repeat the topic in different formats and their smart algorithm has proven to make students remember topics 2x faster. Seneca is totally free for students, teacher and parents. You can sign up via

Contact Details

Please note the following contact numbers and email addresses if you need to contact the school:

Main Reception - 0117 919 8000/
Student Reception - 0117 919 8013 /
Absence - 0117 919 8019/
NBP16C - 0117 919 8100/
Finance - 0117 919 8016/
Exams - 0117 919 8024/
Admin Office - 01179198053/