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Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Friday 10 May 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 relaxing weekend.

Ms Jo Butler



Good News


Cotham School Young Enterprise Success!

Year 12 Young Enterprise students from Cotham School, part of the North Bristol Post 16 Centre, are celebrating victory after being placed second in the West of England for their project this year. The team also picked up the award for 'Best Teamwork' during the area finals last week. The students delivered an engaging pitch to an audience of 200 people and created a feel-good atmosphere in what was a jam packed evening. Our very own dynamic chef Danny Romero had the audience in stitches with his energy and zest for cooking and life!

The students won the awards for Best Teamwork and came runners up for the whole of the West of England with their product, The Cooking Atlas. The Cooking Atlas is a self-published cookbook encompassing dishes and recipes from their family cultures to celebrate the diversity of the group, and the North Bristol Post 16 Centre as a whole. Students had previously cleaned up at the regional finals, winning three of the five awards available, including best business.

Seeing the students talk so passionately about their Young Enterprise journey was the proudest moment for staff coach Kelly McDonagh, who said, "There had been some struggles along the way but the students were articulate in the delivery of their presentation and demonstrated how their resilience got them to be recognised as one of the stand out groups in the competition this year."

The Managing Director, Renwar Karim was a real driving force for the team, without his passion, enthusiasm and grit The Cooking Atlas brand would not exist. He drove the team forward with his vision and made sure it became a reality. A huge well done must also go to Aman Kaur, Alan Kalbarczyk, Danny Romero, James Jagmohan and Will Thurkettle who attended the event at Bristol and Bath Science Park during the same week as their mock exams. Fantastic commitment was shown by all!

Click here to see photos from the awards evening.


South West Regional Swimming Championships

Last weekend Reuben West competed at the South West Regional Swimming Championships. He achieved a silver medal in 50m freestyle and was sixth place overall in Britain.

Reuben also was placed fourth in the 100m freestyle and came sixth in the 50m backstroke.

At the moment he has secured three places at the British Nationals in July, this is to be confirmed at the beginning of June once all times have been submitted.

Well done Reuben for all your hard work!


Piano Success

Congratulation to Ellisa Zananiri (10TS) who recently took her Grade 5 piano exam and achieved a high merit.



Important Information for Parents/Carers


Important Information about changes to the Timing of the School Day from September 2019

Thank you for your comments on the proposed changes to the timing of the school day from September 2019. We are currently collating the responses from both parents and staff to the proposal which will be discussed with the Senior Leadership Team and Governors at meetings next week. Following this a document responding to the key themes arising will be shared with staff, parents and carers next week.



The month of Ramadan will soon start and we want to take this opportunity to wish those of you observing it a Ramadhan al-mubarak. We know this will be a very special time for many of you and your children. As you are aware the fasts this year will be very long and can be difficult for some children. We know that you will have thought carefully about whether your child fasts and school will be respectful of your decisions. At school we very much appreciate that Ramadan is an extremely important month for Muslims and we wish to work with parents and carers to ensure that we support children’s experience.  

As I know you will be aware, Muslims are encouraged not to use Ramadan as an opportunity to avoid aspects of normal life but rather to cope with normal life under a different set of guidelines.  Therefore, we will also be delivering our curriculum in its entirety to all Cotham students according to our usual format and will not be making any exceptions or exemptions to this. Further information in the link here.


The letter has also been translated into Somali here



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.


Online Safety Newsletter:  May 2019

Click here to view May’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.


School Uniform

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

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.


Yoga Tribe for Teens  

Yoga and relaxation lunch is running on Fridays at lunchtime in the main hall.

There is a google page called 'Yoga Tribe for Teens' if students want to join it and they also have a membership card. Once a student has attended 7 times; they shall get a prize.


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.


Subject Area News


Visual Arts

Students in Year 9 have been working on a Klair Reis Microbiology Project. Ayisha Tully has created a beautiful mixed media textiles piece using coloured pens with water and hand stitching to add details. Click here to see the pastel hues of Ayisha’s work.



A reminder that all Yr. 7 and 8 students should be in correct dance kit for their lessons. The correct kit is a black Cotham Dance t-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms/shorts/leggings and bare feet. Please provide a note if your child is unable to be in the correct kit for any reason. Many thanks




Extra-Curricular Clubs

Please click here for a list of all of the PE/Sports Extra-Curricular activities available to students in Term 5.

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



Key Stage 3 News

Year 7

Year 7 End of Year Exams take place from Thursday 6 June to Friday 14 June.  The End of Year Exams represent an important opportunity for your child to become used to preparing for exams and consolidating their learning of the content studied in Year 7.  

A document detailing the format of each of their exams and suggested preparation and revision activities can be found in the attached link.  

This will allow all of our parents and carers to support their child with their revision.  

A timetable showing the dates and times of each of their exams will be shared with parents soon.  


Year 9

Parents and Carers of Year 9 students are invited to join Mrs Wood and Ms Quirke for a 'Stepping Up to Year 10' information evening about how best to support their children as they make the transition from Key Stage 3 to 4 on Wednesday June 12 at 5.30p.m. in the Main Hall.


Key Stage 4 News


Year 10

Year 10 Mock Exams take place from Monday 17th Friday 28th June 2019.

Attached is a timetable for the exams.  Some students will have clashes and so all students will be given a copy of their own timetable showing the confirmed times of each of their exams in the next 2 weeks.  Students must carry this with them at all times during the mock exam season. Please encourage them to check their arrangements the night before each exam.

Information about the content and resources needed for these exams can be found here.

Exam preparation

Students will need to start preparation for the exams now and should organise their time using a revision timetable template can be found hereStudents will need a full set of equipment for these exams including calculators, pens, pencils and rulers. These exams are important for our learners in getting experience in taking exams but are also a good indication of how our students are making progress in their GCSE courses. Please support your child to find quiet revision time.

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, Design Technology, Geography and Psychology.


Year 11

GCSE examinations are now just days away. We hope each and every one of our students is preparing thoroughly so they are able to do their best this summer. Below is all the key information for the the exam period.


GCSE Summer Exam Timetables

Individual GCSE Summer Exam Timetables have been issued to students. These show the dates and times of all their summer examinations. A further timetable will follow shortly 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, Design Technology, Geography and Psychology.


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 exam preparation sessions. These sessions will be offered on an invite only basis. Parents/ carers will shortly receive a letter detailing any classes your child should attend. A timetable can be found here.

A limited number of library passes will be available for independent study each day. These are available on a first come first served basis. Students not attending exam preparation sessions must sign in and base themselves in the library with a library pass.

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 1.00p.m. 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.


Supporting your child’s revision

Some helpful resources to support your child’s final revision preparations:

  • A template revision schedule can be found here   

  • Recommended revision guides can be found 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’

  • Year 11 November mock exams can be accessed here.  There is value in students re-completing these to practice exam skills and to act on feedback to improve their previous marks.  

  • Use the Subject ‘to do’ sheets which highlight the type of acts that students should be completing as part of their revision


English Revision

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


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.

Year 11 Prom

It’s not too late to buy a prom ticket as due to exceptional demand a few more tickets have been released this week. Please purchase on Wisepay under general payments.

If you have bought a ticket it’s now time to return the permission form which is available here  or paper copies are available from Student Reception. Please note that both sides need to be signed. We need these forms in by the end of this term - students will not be able to attend prom if a completed form hasn’t been received.


If you are paying in instalments then please note that the deadline for the final payment is next Monday 13 May.


Post 16 News


Exam Information

Year 12 mocks-  Results will be issued this week and there will be a report emailed home soon after.  Please ask your son/daughter to speak to their subject teacher should they have any queries or concerns.

Year 12 students must keep checking their emails as there will be communication from Mrs Potter with guidance about their progression into year 13 and what happens if they achieve a U grade in any of their mocks.

If your son/daughter found that they ran out of time for their mock exams or think that they might have some barriers to their learning please ask them to see Mrs Kempt.

Summer exams- final exam timetables with rooms and seat allocations will be issued to students this week.  Any issues with rooming/SEND needs/Exam Access Arrangements please see Mrs Kempt or Ms Potter.


Student Wellbeing

This week is Mental Health Awareness week  and there are new resources available in the canteen for students to borrow and some brilliant ones available here: and

Off the Record (OTR) are offering weekly Resilience Lab drop in sessions on Perry Road  there is no waiting list and all students are very welcome.

A reminder that there is a school counsellor, a Post 16 Reflection room and many places that your son/daughter can study alone should they wish to.  Please see Mrs Kempt for more information. There is a also a mindfulness drop in session on a Thursday lunchtime


Core Programme

Year 12 Core Programme last week was a session by the brilliant TIGER team,  on  gender and sexuality in the media and looking at the impact that the representation of sex and relationships has on real life.

TIGER are keen to get student feedback for their "zine", an email has been sent out by Mrs Kempt to all students asking them to take part.


Year 13 leavers

Year 13 leavers assembly is on their last day Friday 17 May. Students will meet in Charnwood canteen at break time and walk to Cotham School for their assembly.  They are then free to go at lunchtime. There are lessons as normal lessons 1 and 2 that day.

Should your son/daughter wish to sign up for the school alumni they should sign up here,  Students will be sent a separate email.

Students are very welcome to continue to come into school and use the facilities once they finish lessons on Friday 17 May and many subject areas are offering revision sessions.

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


House News


Sigma, Delta, Gamma and Omega House have lots of exciting news to share already from the start of term 5. Please click here to see what Sigma have achieved so far this term, click here for Delta’s download, find out about Gamma here and Omega 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 Assistant IT Services Manager and Assistant Headteacher at Cotham School.

For more information about school roles please click here.


Student Careers Update


Please keep your eyes on the Careers section of the website for updates.


Engine Shed

Engine Shed is working with ADLIB and the University of Bristol’s Jean Golding Institute on an event on 20 May, aimed at secondary, FE and university undergraduate students. It will involve some hands-on work so that students really see data being brought to life.

Details of the event be found here and students can book a place here. There are only 40 places for students.


Bristol Jobs Fair

Bristol Jobs Fair will be held on Wednesday 22 May 2019 at the Colston Hall from 10.00a.m. to 2.00p.m. There will be more than 25 local employers attending this event.

The Jobs Fair is free to attend for those looking to gain employment and suitable for anyone ages 16- 65.

Please find attached a poster for the upcoming Jobs Fair here. You can also click  here for the Bristol Jobs Fair Facebook event.



City of Bristol College Apprenticeship Bulletin and South West Apprenticeship Company have apprenticeship vacancies here and here.


Other apprenticeships can be found through the Gov website here, Target Careers, Success at School , Get My First Job and Not Going to Uni.


City College of Bristol

City College of Bristol have introduced a Foundation Degree in Educational Support. Click here to find out more.

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


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.


Community News



Bristol Grammar school are hosting English Language GCSE Revision sessions. Click here for more information.


Cycle Week

Next week Dr. Bike and and Bike Security Marking are coming into school to service and mark bikes.

If you would like your child to have their bike serviced and or security marked please encourage your child to bring their bike and sign up with Ms. Quirke. Sign up sheets are available on the noticeboard outside Ms. Quirke's office.


Foster Carer Takeover

This Foster Care Fortnight, 13 - 26 May, the foster carers are taking over! Between 10a.m. and 12.00p.m. each day during the fortnight an expert - aka a foster carer - will be answering our enquiry line on 0117 353 4200. For more details visit our fostering events page.  Bristol City Council is in need of foster carers to ensure that children coming into care can stay local to their communities and schools. #FCF19


Participation Matters - 6 June 2019, Trinity Centre, day and evening

Now more than ever it is vital the the parent carer voice is heard in Bristol about services and support for our children. The Bristol Parent Carer annual event at the Trinity Centre, Bristol, on 6 June is a key opportunity to have your voice heard with senior managers at the council and in health, and to find out more about what's happening with services. There are identical daytime and evening sessions to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate and for the voice of parent carers to be heard, with the sign up via


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/