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Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Friday 20 December 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. I wish you a relaxing seasonal break and a  very Happy New Year.


Ms Jo Butler




Good News


Sportshall Athletics

Well done to the Year 7 girls sportshall athletics team who finished 2nd at the Bristol Schools Sportshall Athletics final held at Redland Green School.


Student Achievements

Last week Reuben West raced in the Bristol Schools swimming finals. He came first in the 50m Butterfly and second in the 50m Freestyle. Well done Reuben!

Isaac Kane won the award for Outstanding Junior tennis player at Bristol Central Tennis Club this year. He received the Chris Webber Cup for Junior of the Year. Well done Isaac.


Exciting collaboration between Bristol Achieve and Cotham School in 2020

Cotham along with three other secondary schools in Bristol will be taking part in an exciting project which is being facilitated by Bristol Achieve. From January 2020 we will be working with Bristol City Council Educational Partnership, a team from Bristol Achieve to support high ability students in Year 7 who have received free school meals at any time since starting formal education. Seven students from Cotham will be participating in the project. The programme will include Academic Mentoring which will be provided by an experienced educational expert with the addition of some mentoring provided by some sixth form students.


The aim of the intervention will be to;

  • Help build confidence
  • Learn about higher education and the options available
  • Acquire a range of different skills
  • Build future aspirations.


We will be launching the event on Thursday 9 January 2020, 6.30 -7.30pm at Cotham school.

For more information please contact Mrs Kelly on


Trips and Visits

Cotham School is very proud of the wide range of Trips and Visits on offer to our students. From local excursions to residential visits overseas. Please click here to view the range of trips that have already been offered to students in Terms 1 and 2 of this academic year, we think you will agree that they were indeed wide and varied, offering opportunities to all year groups and in all curriculum areas.


Keep us posted

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


Important Information for Parents/Carers

Year 9 and Year 10 Support for Parents and Carers Drug Awareness Information Evening - Tuesday 11 February 2020 6-7pm

We will be holding an event on Tuesday 11 February 2020 for Year 9 and 10 parents and carers looking at the issues of drink, drugs, smoking, self harm that could affect young people and how to keep your child safe. If you would like to attend this event please click here to sign up as places are limited.

Below are some links to resources which you may find helpful in the meantime.


Pay it Forward Campaign - Easyfundraising

We are now into the 10s with the number of people who have signed up since we launched easyfundraising. It's really easy to register, let's make it into the 50s before the end of term.  Help us and register today!


What is Easyfundraising?

When you shop with the 4,000 retailers registered with Easyfundraising, each retailer pays the school a small donation to say ‘thank you’.  The donation is sent to the school with no cost or deduction.

This is a simple and free way to help us with our campaign! Please register with easyfundraising today!

For more information or to sign up please click here.


Thank you to the parent who contacted me to tell us about this organisation; it's much appreciated. If you have any other fundraising ideas we’d love to hear about them.  Please email with ‘Fundraising Idea’ in the subject heading.


Pay it Forward Campaign- What is it?

Pay it Forward’ is an international movement which promotes the undertaking of random (or not so random) acts of kindness. Using the ethos of ‘Pay it Forward’, the Governors and I felt that this was exactly the sort of campaign that we wanted to launch.


Thank you so much to our parents, carers, students, staff and supporters who have supported the 'Pay it Forward Campaign' launched in July.  We have got off to a really good start and have received generous donations of pre-loved uniform and equipment, books, GCSE and A Level Revision Guides, pledges from volunteers who want to help with maths, music and science; and monetary gifts of £10,800.00.


This term we will begin to put the monetary donations received to good use and will let you know what we buy, using the wishes specified by our donors, to help support our students even more whilst they are here at Cotham School.


However… we still have seven months left of our 'paying it forward' campaign.  We would be so grateful if you could get behind our campaign and 'Pay it Forward' in whatever way you can.


For those parents and carers who have joined the Cotham School community since September and have not yet heard of our fundraising campaign, please see below.  In particular please see our letter that explains how you can get involved.


For a twelve month period from July 2019 and subsequently through campaign updates and new regular initiatives throughout the year, we will be providing details of how parents, carers, ex-students, our community and alumni can ‘Pay it Forward’ to support Cotham School students. Please find a letter here explaining more about the campaign and how you can take part, your ‘Pay it Forward’ contributions will make a significant difference to our school whether they are financial, helping with resource upcycling or the giving of your time and skills. 


Junk Food

As you will be aware, the bringing in and consumption of junk food is completely banned at Cotham. We have become increasingly concerned about students bringing ‘junk’ food and drinks into school. The cheapness of large ‘family size’ bags of crisps, sweets and bars/ 4 packs of chocolate and large bottles/ cartons of sugary and fizzy drinks, energy drinks has led to an increase in such items being brought into school. The impact on children’s long term health is considerable. In addition the additional litter created is phenomenal and represents a huge burden on our site team.

In order to help your children please provide a packed lunch or pre- pay their cards via WisePay and please don’t give them cash! All junk food is bought on the way to or from school in large supermarkets or corner shops.

Please can we also ask you to remind students that they should be drinking plenty of water during the day. There are water fountains across the school site.


School Social Media

Cotham School's only official means of communication via social media are our whole school Twitter, Faculty accounts and our Facebook account.


Whole School Social Media Pages:

School Facebook -

School Twitter -

Stoke Lodge Playing Fields Facebook -

Stoke Lodge Playing Fields Twitter -


Faculty Social Media Pages:

Design Technology -

Food Science and Nutrition -

Geography -

History -

KS5 English -

Library -

PE -

Performing Arts -

Visual Arts -

Year 8 -


Put your phone down this Christmas

Christmas is an exciting time, with a whole lot going on in the world, so it’s all too easy to let our fascination with the online world distract us from what’s really important – spending time with our families. National Online Safety are here to provide parents with advice and support (and hopefully a few laughs) with a new song for all about not spending Christmas glued to our phones!


View the video on Facebook here, View the video on Twitter here , View the video on Youtube here,


Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

And as always, stay safe online. National Online Safety Team


School Uniform

School uniform can be purchased at any time from Harris Sport by calling on 01275 874351 to order and pay by phone and they will deliver direct to School. Alternatively Famous Brands (School Uniform Suppliers) have a Shop located at 186-190 Henleaze Road, BS9 4NE.

Dates for your Diary

Thursday 9 January, 2020 – Harris Sport will be in School (Main Reception) from 2.30 – 4.00pm.

Friday 10 January 2020 – Cotham Parents Support Group will be in School (Main Reception from 2.30 – 4.00pm selling pre-owned school uniform for just £1.00 per item. We also have Year 11 Navy Sweatshirts for sale at 50p each.

The pre-owned school uniform sales are held on the first Friday of every term 2.30pm to 4pm in Main Reception. All money goes to school funds. Donations of good condition uniform can be handed in to Main/Student Reception at any time. If you are interested in volunteering to help for a few hours with the Pre-owned uniform sale please contact Ms Ryan on Main Reception.

Lost Property

We have a large number of coats in Lost Property. It would be great to return as many as possible to their owners! We have a rail of coats on display in Student Reception (Term Time only between 08:15am – 14:45pm) for Students/Parents/Carers to look through and hopefully claim.


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 after the christmas holidays by clicking here.


Cyberbullying Guide

An online organisation called HomeGuides has developed guidance to help children, parents and teachers to understand what cyberbullying is and what can be done about it. Download the guide here.


Online Safety Newsletter

Please click here to view this month’s online safety newsletter.

Please click here to view an online Safety booklet which includes an overview of key parental controls.


Subject Area News


Physical Education (PE)

Parental Consent for Sports Fixtures 2019- 2020

Please complete the parental consent form which can be found here and return to school as soon as possible if your child is taking part in school fixtures this year. Once on file we can then select your child for these fixtures and we will confirm by email or text the details nearer the date that these are taking place.


PE Kit

Just a reminder to all parents/carers that all students must have the correct PE kit for PE lessons (see the school website and planners for kit information). A number of students are arriving to lessons without trainers and a change of socks, and the wrong coloured tracksuit bottoms.

Also, as it is now getting colder and wetter, all students should have a black PE jumper to keep them warm, especially if they are outside and football boots for when they are at Stoke Lodge. The playing fields are getting very wet and muddy therefore trainers are not adequate for lessons.

Please can you make sure your child comes to PE with the correct and appropriate kit for lessons.



Extra-Curricular Clubs

Please click here for a list of all of the PE/Sports Extra-Curricular activities available to students in Term 3.

All clubs will start on Monday 13 January 2020.

Follow @CothamPE on Twitter for all the latest news and updates from the Cotham School PE department


Key Stage 3 News

Year 9 Parents Evening Wednesday 22 January 2020 4pm - 6.30pm

Year 9 Parents’ evening will take place on Wednesday 22 January 2020 4.00pm - 6.30pm. This is an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s subject teachers to review their progress and discuss suitability for particular subjects at Key Stage 4. The booking system will go live on Monday 23 December at 10am, please click here to access the online appointment booking system. If you encounter any difficulties with booking your appointments please contact the admin team after the Christmas break by email at or telephone 0117 919 8000.


Key Stage 4 News

Year 10 Work Experience Monday 29 June - Friday 3 July 2020

Year 10 Work Experience week will be 29 June- 3 July 2020 and all students will need to arrange a placement with an employer for this period. This is a hugely exciting opportunity for students to experience a week in the professional world.

Every student has now had a 1-2-1 meeting with the careers advisor and all students should now have begun contacting employers and completing applications.


A copy of the work experience letter can be found here.

A copy of the WEX form can be found here. This form must be completed and returned to Ms Dutton, WEX coordinator, for a placement to go ahead. Please encourage your child to return this sooner rather than later.


Year 11 Mock Exams Monday 20 January - Friday 31 January 2020

Our next set of formal mock exams for Year 11 take place from Monday 20 January to Friday 31 January. It is not possible to ensure that students will have mock exams that will match the exams that they will have in next summer (there are simply too many exams in certain subjects to fit them all in without extending the mock exam period). As a result, the mocks will be used to assess students knowledge in certain papers / topics and a sheet summarising these papers / topics can be found here

Students will be given a copy of their own exam timetable this week. This contains important information regarding their mock exams and the seats which they will occupy in the exam hall. It is important that students carry this with them at all times during the mock exam season and arrive to each of their exams promptly. An electronic copy of the timetable will be added to the Year 11 Google classroom page (by tutor group) in case they lose it.     

Support your child in preparing a mock exam preparation schedule so that they complete revision tasks - a template revision schedule can be found here.

Ensure your child has revision guides that can help to support their learning - a list of these can be found here along with details of useful revision websites for each subject.

Examination Command Words document here - examples of command words that students need to be using with confidence.

If you’re worried that your child is not revising enough, a single page sheet for each subject with ideas of what they could be doing now can be found here

See the Top Tips for Parents sheet attached here which contains useful reminders about supporting with revision.

GCSEpod and Seneca contain lots of valuable online revision activities for most subjects (log on details for these sites can be found at the end of every weekly mailing to parents and carers).


Holiday Homework

Year 11 students have completed an informal mock exam in most of their subjects over the last few weeks. Teachers will have given students really clear feedback on what it is that they need to do to improve in advance of their next mock exam.

Our school challenge is for all students to ensure that they can add 20 raw marks to their mock exam scores before the next round of mock exams in January. 20 raw marks will often be enough to ensure that a student is able to move to the grade above their current mock exam grade.

Please speak to your child about their recent mock exams, their results, their areas of strength and weakness, and the areas (or topics) that they need to work on to do better next time.

When we return on 6 January 2020, students will have only 80 school days remaining until GCSEs commence. It is therefore vital that students use the December break to target their own areas of weakness in preparation for the January mock exams. Completing the work that they need to in order to add a further 20 raw marks to their next set of mock exams will be important if they are to achieve success next summer. 

We have set Holiday Homework for Year 11 students to complete in each of their subjects over the December break. The Holiday Homework document is attached here.  A copy has also been shared with Year 11 students on google classroom.

Thank you to parents for all their work in supporting Year 11 students through their GCSEs. Your support is invaluable and greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with you further over the next 6 months to ensure that our students achieve the very best grades in Summer 2020.


Examination rules

I would like to draw your attention to the examination rules we adhere to at school.  We legally have to comply to the JCQ’s guidelines and rules which can be found here.  We also have our own set of standards which it is necessary our students comply with which can be found here.  It is important that your child is familiar with and understands these expectations for both their January mock exams as well as their actual GCSEs.  These will be shared with our students in tutor time and a version will appear on the reverse of their individual exam timetable.


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.


Year 11 Prom

Thank you to those parents who have come forward and offered their time and help to organise our Year 11 Prom.  We have a committee of parents who are working on this and if you are interested in joining them, please get in touch.

Last year, the school was able to provide advice and support with communications to students and parents, suggesting possible venues, as well as organising payment for tickets using our wisepay system.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to be involved in organising the prom by contacting Ms Allender the Learning Coordinator for Year 11 by email at


Year 11 Parent Information Session Thursday 6 February 2020

We will be holding a Year 11 Parent Information Session on Thursday 6 February. This will take place following the January mock exams and before the end of Term 3 on Friday 14 February.  During the meeting we will share advice about how to support your child in advance of the summer exams and also share with you the feedback given to students following their mock exams. It is important that you attend so that you are aware of the advice and feedback given to students and can encourage them to use the February holiday to target their areas of weakness. The session will run from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and take place in Charnwood, our Post 16 Centre on Cotham Park. Parents should enter the building and take the flight of stairs down to the lower floor and make their way to the large conference room G001 (signs will direct you on the night).


Student Wellbeing

Looking after your mental wellbeing at Christmas

Christmas is a time that many people look forward to but it is also a time of year that many people find tough. What the Christmas period brings will be individual to each of us.

If you would like some advice and tips on looking after your mental wellbeing or the wellbeing of others at Christmas click here.

If your child needs urgent support during the Christmas period, then Off The Record recommend the following services:

  • Kooth – real-time, online support
  • The Mix – free info and support for under 25s about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money and jobs
  • Samaritans – whatever you’re going through, call Samaritans free, from any phone on 116 123
  • Papyrus – national charity for the prevention of young suicide


Off the record have also put together an extensive list of services available locally over the Christmas period. To find out more click here


Post-16 News

  • We would all like to wish Corinne Kempt the very best wishes for her new job. She will be missed very much by students and staff but she is excited to start her new job as Head of Learning Support at Bristol Grammar School. Her replacement is Marie Beaver who can be contacted on Thank you to the many students who joined Corinne for a farewell lunch on Tuesday.
  • Lessons resume again on Monday 6 January 2020 at 8.30am.
  • Thank you all for your support this year. We hope all our students and families have an enjoyable holiday.
  • For more information please see the "This Term at Cotham Post 16" Section of the website:


Year 12

During the week beginning 13 January 2020 GCSE retake exams will take place. Exam timetables are available from Charnwood reception.

External BTEC exams will also be taking place between 8 and 20 January 2020. Lessons will continue as normal during this week.


Year 13

Year 13 mock exams are the week beginning 13 January.-  no lessons all week except for Art and all Btec lessons which will run as normal. We would encourage students to have an enjoyable break and to balance this with revision for the mock exams. 

The internal UCAS deadline has passed  - please ensure that your son/daughter has contacted either Mrs Kempt or Ms Beaver if they are planning on applying for 2020 entry or 2021 deferred entry.  It is essential that we are aware of those students still wishing to apply.

Students are encouraged to meet with Ms Paice our school careers adviser on a Wednesday - she can be emailed directly to make an appointment, and is available every Wednesday registration in the canteen.  This is especially important if they are not applying to university for September 2020 entry.

Student Wellbeing

We take your son/daughter's wellbeing very seriously - we have many avenues of support available.  A reminder that there is a school counsellor, a Post 16 Reflection room which is available for all students and many places that your son/daughter can study alone should they wish to.  Please see Mrs Beaver for more information. There is a also a mindfulness drop in session on a Thursday lunchtime. Mrs Beaver also has lots of self help books available - just pop into G206 to borrow some.

Creative Youth Network

Creative Youth Network also offer a lot of support and one to one therapy - please ask your child to see Mrs Beaver for more information a link to their website can be found here.

Off the Record (OTR)

OTR are offering weekly Resilience Lab drop in sessions on Perry Road there is no waiting list and all students are very welcome. More information can be found here.


A reminder that Ms Paice is available every Wednesday in G402 at Charnwood to meet students and all Year 12 students should have signed up to SpringPod which is a work experience platform.


Here is the link to our Careers Bulletin which is updated weekly.


Student Careers Update


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.


Saturday jobs

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

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


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 Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Catering Assistant, Data Administrator and a Maths Teacher.

For more information about school roles please click here.


Community News

HappyMaps Website- Providing resources for Parents and Carers around Children's mental health

HappyMaps is a website providing a one stop shop of resources around children's mental health from babies to young adults and includes websites, videos, books, Apps and links to ways to find counselling and other support. The website was funded by NHS England with input from specialist services (CAMHS) and local charities and is supported by Bristol Mind. Please click here to view the website.


Share your views about Youth Violence to help to develop a plan to reduce youth violence, use of knives and drug activity in Bristol

The council is gathering views about youth violence in order to develop a plan to reduce youth violence, use of knives and drug activity in Bristol. They want to know people's worries, ideas and suggestions as a person living or working in Bristol.

Please see the links below for the surveys, there are separate surveys for young people and Parents/Carers.


Young people:

The survey closes on 3 January 2020


Share your views on GP appointments during evenings and weekends

Local NHS Commissioners are keen to gather your views on GP appointments during evenings and weekends and have launched a survey to get feedback about what you think of ‘GP Improved Access’ across the area.

The GP Improved Access service allows patients in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to book evening and weekend appointments with a GP, practice nurse or other health professional.

Through the current GP Improved Access Service, appointments are available 7 days a week, including bank holidays and can be booked by calling your GP Practice. The appointments provided during evenings and weekends are in addition to the current opening times at your GP practice.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG is now keen to hear your views about the service and how you access appointments on evenings and weekends.

The survey will run until Sunday 19 January 2020 and you can complete it here.

For more information please visit their website.


Useful quick links

Key Dates

Please click here to view the Key Dates by year group for the 2019-20 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 2019/20. 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 3 October 2019 - click here

Year 10 Parent Information Session 7 November 2019 - click here

Year 11 Parent Information Session 14 November 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



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, teachers and parents. You can sign up via



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.


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/