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Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Thursday 4 April 2019

Dear Parents and Carers
Please find below this week’s important information for Parents/Carers and Students as well as updates on School events, activities and opportunities for your reference.
Wishing you a wonderful Easter Break
Ms Jo Butler
First week back after Easter holidays Tuesday 23 April 2019 is WEEK B


Good News

PE Praise

On Tuesday 26 March, our Year 10 Sports Leaders hosted a PE session for Year 5 pupils on St Michael on the Mount CE Primary School in the afternoon.
The Year 10 Sports Leaders led  four sessions over the last two weeks with different year groups; these were dance, parkour and gymnastics. Our pupils were excellent. They all took turns to plan and lead each session, and then they were very supportive of each other in all sessions.
We have had positive feedback from St Michael On the Mount CE Primary School and they would like to say thank you to our students for hosting an excellent PE session. They have described our Year 10 Sports Leaders as exemplary; polite, upbeat and knowledgeable, showering Year 5 pupils with praise and encouragement. They took every opportunity to extend learning opportunities and to coax new skills out of them, so many of the Year 5 pupils left the lesson having really surprised themselves, having been braver and more determined than they had thought possible.
Well done to our Sports Leaders, we are extremely proud of you!

School Alliance Table Top Gaming Club

Following the Clubs attendance at the National School Alliance, School League Semi Final Event in Nottingham on the 28 March we are pleased that Joe Graham (8ZI) was selected by the judges as a Finalist in the Semi-Final Model Painting Competition.  Whilst Joe didn’t win this category, to be selected as one of the top 5 teams on the day is a real credit to Joe’s excellent painting skills. With regards to other awards on the day Huxley Leigh (9EM) and Joe secured the ‘Most Sporting Team’ award as voted for by their opponents on the day.  Joe and Huxley were also successful in securing Third place over all in this Semi-Final round out of a total of 16 places.Since their attendance at the Semi-Finals we have been told that the team has now secured a place in the Finals which will be held in June. Well Done Joe and Huxley!

Important Information for Parents/Carers


A reminder that the final school INSET day for this year is on Wednesday 10 July
The School will be closed to students for staff training on that day.


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 whatsoeverfor 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 formhere.

School Uniform

Harris (School Uniform Suppliers) will be selling uniform on Thursday 25 April from 2.30pm until 4.00pm in Main Reception, Cotham Lawn Road.  
Our Parent/Carer volunteers will be selling second hand uniform items on Friday 26 April 2.30pm until 4.00pm.  All items cost £1 and monies raised go to School Funds.
Our Parent/Carer Committee are always looking for volunteers to sell Uniform on Parents Evenings and afterschool on the first Friday of every Term, if you can spare a few hours please contact Main Reception.

Lost Property

We have a display of Lost Property mainly jackets/coats in Student Reception, Cotham Road, with the better weather on it's way (we hope!) any items not claimed during the first 2 weeks of the new term will be donated to the Sigma House textile collection and the money donated to their House Charity.  Parents/Carers please feel free to come up during Student Reception opening hours to look through the Lost Property rail.


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.

Library Makerspace- Materials Wanted!

Our Library Makerspace is a place where our students can create, invent and discover using a variety of materials. If you are having a spring clean over the Easter holidays then please think of of Library Makerspace. For more information on what we are looking for please click here.

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.

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 and Teacher of German to join us at Cotham School.
For more information about school roles please click here


Key Stage 4 News


Year 10

Year 10 Work Experience

Thank you to those who have returned completed forms.
Please ensure that all forms are now returned after the Easter Holidays.
If you have not yet secured a placement, please do this as soon as possible.


Year 11

Easter Revision Sessions

Over the Easter holidays, students are being given the opportunity to attend Exam Revision Sessions.  Letters have now been distributed to students with invitations to various sessions being run over the 2 week period. Please ask your child to share this letter with you. 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.
Dates and times of Easter sessions can be found here.

English Revision

The timetable for English Twilight Open Door Revision for Term 5 is now available. Please click here to view the timetable.

Maths ‘Walking Talking’ Mock

All students are invited to attend a ‘walking talking’ mock in maths. This is a fantastic opportunity for your child to be guided through the examination progress.
Foundation students: Thursday 11 April 9.30am - 11am
Higher students: Thursday 18 April: 9.30am - 11am
Students should come equipped with a calculator and standard maths equipment.

MFL GCSE Speaking Exams

Well done to all our GCSE French students who completed their speaking exams this week. We are really impressed with how well students prepared, and the quality of their verbal answers.
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 GCSE German students!

Easter Holiday Homework

Easter holiday homework, designed to support your child in preparing for the upcoming examination period, can be viewed here. Please encourage your child to check this carefully and complete all required work.

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 next term 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.


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.

Post 16 News

Year 12 Exam reminders

Year 12 mock exams start the week beginning 29 April. There will be no lessons for year 12 students apart from visual arts and BTEC lessons which will continue as normal.  
Please remind your son/daughter that they need to be in the canteen 15 minutes prior to the start of their exams with a clear pencil case, equipment and their lanyard.  No student will be allowed into the exam hall (G001) without a lanyard. If they forget this then they must go to student reception at main school to get a sticker.   

Year 12 and 13 SEND students

Students with 25% extra time and/or a laptop will be in the main hall (G001).  Those in a small or separate room should have their room printed on their timetable - any issues please see Mrs Kempt.

Year 12 and Year 13 summer external exams

Your son/daughter should have received their exam timetable - please ask them to check for clashes and let the exams office know if there are any queries. For more exam information please click here   

Year 12 Core Programme

The Year 12 Core Programme beginning 24 April will be on students can crack the jobs market, apply for jobs and sell themselves at interviews.  It will be presented by Susannah Streete;a local journalist who works for the BBC and presents many news programmes.

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 all students.
For more information from Post 16 please see the "This Term at Post 16" section of the website here.
We hope you had a restful Easter break.


House News

Sigma, Delta, Gamma and Omega House have lots of exciting news to share from the end of Term 4. Please click here to see what Sigma have achieved this past term, click here for Delta’s download, find out about Gamma here and Omega here.

Career News



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

Religion, Ethics and Philosophy

A group of 14 students from Year 7 to Year 10 visited the University of Bristol last week as part of their graduation from a six-week Philosophy of Science course.
The ceremony took place in the Great Hall of the Wills Building where students heard Professor James Ladyman lecture on the purpose of philosophy.  After debating some ethical dilemmas and tackling some logic puzzles, students had a guided tour of the university and the chance to meet students from two other Bristol schools.  
Our students' behaviour and attitude were exemplary, with staff from the university commenting on how engaged they were and the high quality of the questions they asked.  
Our budding philosophers really enjoyed the day and left with a new appreciation of the value of philosophy in the modern world. Will Jarvis (10JSB) said, “My favourite part was the lecture because it gave me valuable insights into lots of controversial issue”. Nora Farah (10SHA) agreed, “It gave me lots of new knowledge about issues I'd never considered before” Abdurahaman Jama (10JF) also enjoyed the chance to experience a university-style lecture - "It helped me to understand what university lectures are like and what to expect if I study Philosophy at university."


Having already taken part in the previous three rounds, the Climbing Club took on the final round on the Bristol Schools Bouldering League last Monday.
Their performance was outstanding and their teamwork was impressive. The results were excellent with the Junior boys claiming first Place.
Mr Collins couldn't be more proud of the dedication and effort the students have put in this year, well done to all.

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 16 News

Junior Bake Off

Love Productions- the team behind the UK’s much loved baking show The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee are delighted to announce that a 5th Series of Junior Bake Off is coming soon and applications are now open for this new Channel 4 show!
They are seeking talented young bakers between 9-15 Years old. Filming is due to take place from late July 2019 and applications close on Monday 6 May 2019.  
If you know of any budding young bakers that you think should apply then please encourage them to do so through this link. 
Please do spread the word about this very exciting opportunity! It would be amazing to have a student from Cotham School involved in the show. Click here for more information.

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.


Bristol Plays Music

Find out what Bristol Plays Music are up to over 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/