Skip to content ↓

Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Friday 29 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

Perfect Poetry

Ms Bird would like to congratulate Fenn Elliott in Yr.11 for his beautifully written poem titled White Noise. Please click here to read it.

Mock Trial

On Saturday 23 March, 13 of our Year 9 students attended the Magistrates Court Mock Trial competition in Newport.  The students took on roles as lawyers, magistrates, legal advisers and witnesses for the event and conducted a full trial from start to finish.
They had been training for many months with Ms Clement to prepare for the competition and showed a fantastic level of commitment to the event, giving up their lunch times and using their free time to learn their witness statements, create questions for cross-examination and gain a confident understanding of the very complex processes that go into each magistrate trial.  
Their teamwork and support for one another has been especially impressive and every member of the team was mature, articulate and confident on the day of the competition. Esme, Ruairidh, Wilf, Bryn, Katilyn, Max, Osian, Anna, Christine, Rowan, Kai, Lee and Prerana were a credit to themselves and to the school and they should be very proud of what they have achieved. Special thanks to Ms Wood for accompanying students on the day of the competition and offering her support.

Good Luck

Joe Graham (8ZI) and Huxley Leigh (9EM) who both took part in the School Alliance, School League, Table Top gaming semi-final in Nottingham on Thursday 28 March.
Edward Ledgard (10ACL) is playing in the annual Avon School's Golf Competition representing Cotham School as well as his club (Shirehampton Park Golf Club) on Monday 1 April 2019.
We are very proud of Joe, Huxley and Edward and would like to wish them good luck with their competitions!

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.

Online Safety Newsletter: April 2019

Click here to view April’s Newsletter.

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.

Library Books

A range of books are available from the library which have been nominated for the Carnegie Awards, click here to see the nominees.

If your child is feeling anxious about exams then there are books available in the library which provide coping mechanisms. Click here to find out more.

Sigma Easter Raffle and Cake Sale

Over 50 Easter Eggs have been donated for us to raffle off, tickets will be on sale in the Hub at break times for 20p. The draw will take place on Wednesday 3 April. 

A selection of deliciously themed Easter cakes will be on sale Thursday 4 April, all will be sold for 50p.
All money raised will go to our House Charity, The Rainbow Centre for Children.

Inter House Competition - Design a Recycled Bottle Sculpture

Cotham School are taking part in a competition where students are asked to design a sculpture made from disposable water bottles, all students need to do is design a sculpture that connects people with the issue of marine plastic pollution
Students can 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 designer!

We are asking students to send a picture of their sculpture design in an email- they can draw it, design it in a computer package or even build it themselves. We need to make sure that their pictures are clear and annotated if necessary.
Please send  entries to Mrs Arnold

There are 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.

The National Competition Prizes are as follows; the winning sculpture will be built and displayed in the City of London during plastic free July, a water fountain for your school or location of choice and a £1000 donation to a school project to improve the environment at the school.

Closing date for entries is Friday 26 April.

Non-Uniform Day

Thursday 4 April is a non-uniform day for students who bring a £1 that will go towards the House Charities.

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 a Visual Arts Teacher to join us at Cotham School.
For more information about school roles please click  here

Key Stage 4 News

Year 10

Work Experience - deadline for forms is Monday 1 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 Monday 1 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

Easter Revision Sessions

Over the Easter holidays, students are being given the opportunity to attend Exam Revision Sessions.  Letters will be distributed to students at the beginning of next week with invitations to various sessions being run over the 2 week period.  We really hope as many students as possible will take advantage of this opportunity to help consolidate their understanding and hopefully have an opportunity to secure additional raw marks in the summer and therefore move up a grade.
Monday 8 April
Photography, French, German, DT, Psychology and Music GCSE
Tuesday 9 April
History, Food, DT, Psychology
Wednesday 10 April
Friday 12 April
Monday 15 April
Art, History, Computer Science
Tuesday 16 April
Wednesday 17 April

GCSE Art Exams

This week, our talented Year 11 artists completed their final GCSE exams in art and photography. Some incredible pieces were produced across the two days and we are immensely proud of our students’ efforts. Well done!

MFL GCSE Speaking Exams

French GCSE speaking exams will take place between the 1-4 April.
German GCSE speaking exams will happen the first week back after the Easter break. Please make sure your child knows the date and time of their exam. They should arrive at the designated room 5 mins before their allocated time.
Good luck to all our languages students!

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.


Teachers are offering ongoing ‘Upgrade’ revision sessions to selected students in the lead up to the summer exams. These students are below their Minimum Expected Grade in one or more subject. This is a valuable opportunity to make the most of the remaining weeks and receive additional teacher guidance.
Students’ timetables 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
There are also a number of drop-in sessions running on an informal basis. Students who are not timetabled for Upgrade should speak to their teacher if they’d like to attend..

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, 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

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

Year 12 English Language

The year 12 English Language class are currently studying language acquisition and had a visit from some of the teachers' children last Wednesday.  The class were brilliant and dealt with the children very well.

Year 12 Parents Evening

Thank you for attending the year 12 parents evening last week - we hope that you found it a useful opportunity to find out about your son/daughter's progress.

Friday 5 April

A reminder that there are no Cotham based lessons next Friday 5 April but RGS lessons will be on as usual.

Year 12 Study and Exam Techniques

Year 12 students had a great session from a representative from Bath University about study and exam techniques - he will be doing another session as part of the Futures 18 week in July.

Exam Stress

We are aware that this time of year can be stressful for both year 12 and 13s and we have sent out emails with support websites as well as useful information on how to deal with exam stress - please remind your son/daughter to check their school email regularly and to see Mrs Kempt if they have any issues or need further support.

Mindful Yoga

A reminder that there is Mindful Yoga on a Monday lunchtime, a wellbeing drop in on a Thursday lunchtime as well as the school counsellor on a Wednesday - please see Mrs Kempt for more information.  The Post 16 Reflection Room is also available at all times.

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.

"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


Many of the apprenticeships offered by top companies are closing very soon so students should be quick if they want to apply. See here for some great opportunities.

Here's a downloadable guide containing useful information about the application process, plus details of the work experience, school leaver and apprenticeship offers of their Top 100 companies.
Also, Which? University has a useful Guide to Higher & Degree Apprenticeships which can be downloaded from here.

BBC Bitesize

A useful careers resource can be found through BBC Bitesize 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 some colourful and creative colour wheel homework from Y7 students; Maddie Stanton, Maja Maksi and Nevaeh Decordova-Dennet. Click here to view their wonderful work.


Food Science

This week Yr 10 Food Students have been making an Easter themed Lemon Pavlova.
They have been learning about foam formation in eggs and how egg white protein forms a protective coating around the air bubbles which stops the liquid and air mixing. Egg yolks were also used to make a lemon curd filling. You can find the recipe here.
This week’s highlighted chefs are Paloma kemp, Amirah Mehmood, Ines Pires, Morgan Beale Lewsi, Finn Davies, Eva Brennan, Freya Torlkildsen, Adam Roe, Aliya Majothi, Rhys Offor. Click here to some of our students edible delights.
Please follow us on twitter @cothamfood


Our students have the chance to be crowned Young Food Writer of the Year 2019. They simply have to a write a story on the theme ‘Food for Sharing’ for their chance to win lots of fabulous prizes and an invite to the Winner’s Lunch to meet some of their food writing heroes.
Their writing can feature any food sharing occasion, from Sunday lunches with family to picnics on beaches, anything they like on the theme to get the judge’s taste buds tingling.
Entry details can be found here.

Design Technology

Flying Start Challenge Winners 2019

Congratulations to Yr 9 students; Angela, Amina, Arran, Darong, Jacob, Prerana and Mike who competed in the Flying Start Challenge, sweeping the competition and winning three of the four events and scoring first place overall for the school. Walking away with bags of prizes including Science kits, Airfix models, glider experience flights and £1000 for school STEM equipment.
Starting back in December 2018, as part of a Design & Technology STEM enrichment day, students researched, designed, developed and made a hand powered glider. They flew these in the school sports hall that afternoon and three teams scored highly enough to go through to the regional finals and this week the grand final took place at the Fleet Air Arm Museum near Yeovil.
Both teams were set a series of challenges to complete before a final fly off in the afternoon. With the competition opened to all the teams, prizes were up for grabs in various events including parachute design, engineering a support structure to survive earthquakes and aeronautical engineering based quiz.  The afternoon culminated in the fly off against all the other winning schools from around the country. Taking place on the carrier flight deck inside the museum both teams had to throw their aircraft with a soundtrack of applause and cheers from the judges and everyone in the audience.
All day they were model students, engaged, enthusiastic, polite and intelligent. The engineers assigned to the teams all commented on how impressed they were with them and their performances throughout the day.
Mr Lawrence would like to give his congratulations to all participating students.


Well done to the year 11 boys football team who beat Oasis Academy John Williams last Tuesday on penalties to reach the Bristol Schools Final. The final is due to be played next week (TBC) against either RGS or Ashton Park .

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

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.

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/