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Cotham School

0117 919 8000

Weekly Mailing - Friday 17 January 2020

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 very relaxing weekend. 
Ms Jo Butler


Good News

Bristol Young Heroes Awards 2020

Bristol Young Heroes Awards is an annual awards ceremony which recognises and celebrates 11-19 Year olds from Bristol who have achieved amazing things or give something extra to the community.
Congratulations to Oscar in Year 9 who has been shortlisted for the Environmental Hero award! The ceremony takes place at We The Curious on Friday 1 May. What a fantastic achievement. 

Senior Basketball Victory

A bumper crowd of students and staff descended on the sports hall on Tuesday afternoon to watch the senior basketball team play Fairfield School. Cotham led for the vast majority of the game but could never extend the lead beyond 4-6 points. Cotham eventually put the game beyond any doubt after a strong start to the 4th quarter. The 24-17 victory takes their record to 3-0. A special mention to the partisan home crowd of over 60 students for an excellent atmosphere and brilliant behaviour throughout. Next up is a very tough trip to city academy on Tuesday 21 January. #undefeated #nottimefortheOtogo 

Student Achievements

Congratulations to Flo in Year 8 who has recently passed her level 3 harp exam with merit. Well Done Flo! 

Pay it Forward Campaign - Easyfundraising

Thank you to all those that registered with Easyfundraising, I hope that you found it as easy as I did. We did really well with the big push to get as many people registered before the end of last term. 29 people registered and each and everyone has raised money for the campaign. Lets keep registering to hit the 50 mark and beyond as soon as possible .
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 remember anyone can register, friends and family. Help us and register today!
For more information or to sign up please click here

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 to date 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 lessons, science and grant applications; and monetary gifts of £10,800.00. 
It's really easy to donate,  to make a single donation, all you need to do is click here.  For those that would like to make a regular donation, please set up a payment with your bank. Our details are: Lloyds Bank plc Sort code: 309483 Account number: 41658468.

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:

Student Wellbeing

Supporting parents when a child is struggling with their mental health

Parents, family and Carers – you are central to the mental health of young people! 
If you feel that you would like some support around how you can support your young person then Off The Record (OTR), which is a mental health support and information service in Bristol, offers a Parents and Carers group once a month. 
These take place on the first Wednesday of every month between 6-8pm @ The Pop Inn Cafe, West Walk, Yate BS37 4AX

These monthly drop-in sessions are for parents, carers and grandparents to chat to one of the team but also other families in a similar situation. In these relaxed and informal sessions, co-facilitated by parents, they discuss questions like:

  • What is mental health?
  • How is mental health different for teenagers?
  • How do we look after our mental health?

These sessions are open to any parent/carer/grandparent looking after a young person who is struggling with their mental health. They do not need to be accessing any OTR services.
OTR provides counselling, group workshops, anti-stigma campaigns, creative therapies, LGBTQ+ networks and support, stress management workshops and community-based support groups for young people.
OTR is accessible by self-referral, which means young people don’t need an adult to get support. But please don’t let that stop you getting involved with OTR if you are worried about someone you know, or just want some advice.

You can always call them free on 0808 808 9120 (Mon-Fri, 2-5pm).

For more information about this group, follow the links here and here to some videos. 


Important Information for Parents/Carers

Head Lice 

We have received some reports of head lice returning to school. Please see the information here and check your child’s hair regularly for head lice and take any necessary steps promptly. Please can we also draw your attention to some advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the use of head lice products.

Parent Governor Elections

As advised last term, we will be running an election to fill the two Parent Governor Vacancies on the Governing Body.
Information on how to vote is being sent to parents/carers today.  Details of the 3 Candidates can be found here.

Bristol Education Partnership Events 

Sex and Relationships Talk for parents, Monday 10 February 6.30pm, 1532 Performing Arts Centre, Elton Road, BS8 1SJ

Bristol Grammar School will be hosting a talk on sex and relationships and the keynote speaker will be Amy Forbes-Robertson. Amy has worked in education for over 15 years and is a partner in the organisation It Happens, who have been delivering Relationship and Sex Education talks at Bristol Grammar School for more than 4 years now.  During her career, Amy has been closely involved in pastoral care and safeguarding issues, and is familiar with the challenges that face young people as they experiment with their own identity, friendships and relationships. She believes that providing young people with good information is vital and that talking honestly about bodies, relationships, sex and their recreational lives is a key factor in enabling young people to make better choices. Her talks are frank and open, covering everything from puberty to pleasure and consent to pregnancy choices in a very inclusive way. 

The talk will be held in the MacKinnon Theatre at 1532 Performing Arts Centre and will start at 6.30pm. Hot and cold drinks will be available from 6pm. If you would like to attend, please reserve a place using this link

Please be aware of the other talks planned for this year, with more details to follow about each of the talks nearer the date on which they are taking place.

  • Tuesday 10 March: Exams and revision – advice from the BGS team led by Lead Academic Tutor Ben Fellows on supporting your child through revision and exam periods.
  • Wednesday 22 April: ICT – the annual ICT evening led by Matt Nice, BGS Director of ICT.


Drug and Alcohol Use Among Young People, Talk for parents, Wednesday 22 January, 18.00, Chatterton Hall, Colston’s School, Bell Hill, Stapleton BS16 1BJ

Parents are invited to hear Joanna Mallinson speak about the reality of young people’s drug and alcohol use. The Bespoke Education Project aims to alleviate unhelpful fears and give pragmatic advice for reducing the risk of, or managing, problematic drug and alcohol use.

Joanna Mallinson started working with young people in 2002 and became a drug and alcohol specialist in 2010. Through various roles, including 7 years at Bristol Drugs Project, she has built extensive practice-based knowledge and an insight into the lives and needs of young people. The BE project combines Jo’s public health knowledge and harm reduction expertise to deliver high quality education and training packages that are congruent with young people’s experiences. Jo's passion is to affect change in young people’s attitudes and risk-taking behaviour through the influence of parents and peers, and better self-awareness. 
Tickets to this free event can be booked via this link: Ticket Booking
Ask me Anything, Monday 27 January 2020, 17.00 - 19.00, Engine Shed, Temple Meads, BS1 6QH
‘Ask me Anything’ is a networking event for students aged 14-18 to find out about opportunities in the Creative Industries sector. It is hosted by boomsatsuma and BristolWorks as part of the BBC Digital Cities Week 2020. Young people will be able to meet, network with and ask questions of professionals in the Creative sector. Set up as a speed networking event and with representatives from games, music, film and TV production, young people will be able to find out about the skills needed to pursue a career in these fields. 
This is a free event and tickets can be booked via this link 

Correct footwear for PE lessons

All students who have their PE lesson at Stoke Lodge will need to bring a plastic bag/boot bag to put their muddy boots into before they get onto the bus to return to school. 
All students must have football boots for their PE lessons at Stoke Lodge, especially as it is very muddy and wet there. Trainers are not suitable for the conditions. 

Themed Lunch to celebrate Chinese New Year - Thursday 23 January 2020

Please see the menu below which will be on offer on Thursday 23 January 2020 to celebrate the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rat. 
Speedy Noodle Soup
Hot and Sour Aubergine & Green Bean
Chinese Style Lemon Marmalade Chicken
Oriental Egg Fried Rice
Singapore Noodles
Pineapple and Toffee Muffin

Year 9 German

Is your child worried about word order, troubled by tenses, scared about speaking? Then look no further! Year 9 students are invited to join our after school group for German. Our foreign language assistant can offer support to boost confidence in all the four skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. 2.45pm-3.15pm every Tuesday and Thursday in A118.  We look forward to seeing you there. Please contact Mrs Bingham if you have any questions, danke. 

E Safety for your child-  Minecraft Safety tips

Please see here for important safety information for parents about Minecraft.

Sign up for the Year 9 and Year 10 Parent 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. 
Here are some links to resources which you may find helpful in the meantime, The MixTalk to FrankBristol Drugs ProjectCommon Sense MediaInformation on Self Harm.

Online Safety Newsletter (Somali translation) Warsidaha Ku ammaanhelidda Internedka 

Please click here to view a Somali translation of the December online safety newsletter. 

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.

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)

Fixtures Week Commencing 20 January 2020
Tuesday 21 January
Junior and Senior Basketball at City Academy (a)
Year 10 Football vs Blaise High (a) 
Thursday 23 January
Year 9 Football Vs Henbury (a)
We aim to return to school by 5.30pm unless otherwise stated. 
All students selected require a completed Parental Consent Form to allow them to play in all off-site school fixtures. NO FORM, NO PLAY, please find the form below to complete and return if not already done. 
All students MUST have the correct kit to play in school fixtures. For example, for a school football match, students need in order to play:
Football boots
Shin pads
Black shorts
Black long socks 
PE Kit - football boots & a plastic bag. 
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.
Extra-Curricular Clubs
Please click here for a list of all of the PE/Sports Extra-Curricular activities available to students in Term 3.
Follow @CothamPE on Twitter for all the latest news and updates from the Cotham School PE department

Visual Arts

Work of the Week
Please click here to view the work of the week for Visual Arts created by Eleanor in Year 9 who created this as part of their Typography project looking at how to create lettering and a response to artists Bob and Roberta Smith’s slogan art.


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 is live, please click here to access the online appointment booking system. If you encounter any difficulties with booking your appointments please contact the admin team by email at or tel: 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).

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
  2. Black 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 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).

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


Post 16 News

  • A very well done to all Year 12 and Year 13 students who have taken exams and mock exams over the last two weeks. The students have been fantastic and it’s so impressive to see how focused and determined they all were to do their best.
  • The student finance parent evening on Wednesday was well attended and gave a good insight for students and parents/carers. The PowerPoint from the evening will be available on the Redland Green website in the coming days.
  • For more information please see the "This Term at Cotham Post 16" Section of the website:

UCAS applications 

The UCAS deadline was 15 January 2020. If anyone missed this and wants to go to university this year please pop in and see Ms Beaver who can advise and support on the process.
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.  

Student Wellbeing

We take your child'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 child can study alone should they wish to.  Please see Ms Beaver for more information. There is a also a mindfulness drop in session on a Thursday lunchtime. Ms 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. 


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 Lead Cover Supervisor and a English Teacher.
For more information about school roles please click here


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 hereTarget CareersSuccess 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.


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. 

FREE Yoga / relaxation for Young People

Lel is a qualified youth worker, counsellor, yoga teacher working for OTR (Off The Record) teaching yoga and relaxation. The class  is aimed to support all young people, including those who are struggling, for example with anxiety, mental health, exclusion, stress, concentration, issues at home. 
The class is on a Wednesday between 4-5pm. Location- Space 238 (a yoga studio, has a cafe in the front where young people can meet / wait if they are early) 238 Stapleton Road, Easton BS50NT
Generally age range 14-25 inclusive. However younger people of secondary age are welcome to attend if they would like to come, and feel able to be comfortable within the group (discuss with the YP individually). Currently the oldest student is 20.
The young people DO NOT need to be fit / slim etc!! Inclusion is key.
If young people wish to attend they can just arrive, no referral needed.
The class is supportive and the aim is on improved confidence and mental well-being through embodiment and relaxation. Please visit the OTR's website here for more information.


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/
Library-  ​​​​​​​