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Cotham School

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Weekly Mailing Friday 26 May 2017

Dear Parents / Carers

An extremely busy term and as such rather a lot of information to share with you all this week!  Please also find below my usual information, letters and updates on events that have taken place this week.  

Please accept my very best wishes for a restful bank holiday break/ week away from school.

Ms Jo Butler

Next week (Week commencing Monday 29 May) is HALF TERM

Monday 5 June is a staff training day and the school will remain CLOSED for students.

Students return to school on Tuesday 6 June, for registration at 8.40am - Week A




Talk to us

If you would like to tell us about any student achievements outside of school or to promote a community event etc.  via our weekly mailing please do not hesitate to contact us with details

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award Practice Expedition

On Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May, eight teams of fine Year 10 pupils were challenged with their practice Expedition in the beautiful countryside of the Marlborough Downs. For this they must plan, and safely execute two days of backpacking. With a centralized campsite in Mildenhall, 4 teams started in the north, and 4 in the south. All of the group enjoyed a nice campsite, before continuing their walk on the Sunday.

We had some heavy showers on the Saturday, however things brightened up on the Sunday.  With this being the first backpacking experience of many, the amount of learning was tremendous. The groups will now prepare for their Qualifying expedition which will be in the Quantock Hills in July.

Thanks to Mr Emery, Mr Helliwell, and Mrs Stephens who helped support this training expedition.  Click here for images.

Year 7 Dance Exam

Huge congratulations to Year 7 students Maisy Almond Jenkins, Amy Howe, Menindee Kendon and Mike Ye who all achieved ‘Exceeding’ in their Year 7 Dance exam earlier this term!

Horse Riding achievement

We are immensely proud of Huxley Leigh in 7EM. Last week Huxley competed in the Riding for the Disabled association (RDA) Mid-West Regional Horse Riding event. Huxley came second in his group for the countryside challenge, which was an obstacle course. Congratulations Huxley! Huxley has informed us that the RDA Nationals is a bigger event than the Paralympic equestrian events and this makes his achievement even more exceptional!  Click here for image.

Junior Maths Challenge

Students from Year 7 and 8 took part in the Junior Maths Challenge at the end of April. The Maths challenge is designed to enable the most able mathematicians to complete on a national basis.  Of the 60 students who took part, 35 were award certificates for their excellent performance. Special mention to Lucas Holik, Terence Bickerton, Gregory Cony and Charlotte Omiotek of Year 8, and Jacob Thorn and Menindee Kendon of Year 7 who all qualified for the next round which will take place in early June. This represents Cotham’s highest number of qualifiers in the junior challenge to date!  

Sigma Celebrates Achievement Assembly

Sigma House invited Poppy Cleall, England Women's Rugby International to their "Sigma Celebrates Achievement" assembly. Poppy plays for Bristol and now has a professional contract with England. Poppy answered questions and gave an insight into her training, diet and the sacrifices she has had to make to become an elite athlete. Click here to view images

Sigma students also celebrated their own achievements........ The Prefects went around to the tutor groups and asked the students to nominate the student who stands out for them,  the person they feel has achieved the most this year.  Click here to see the list of students to receive an award.

A Celebration of the Cultural Diversity of Cotham School

Our first Cultural Diversity Forum 'Cultural Supper' was a roaring success with staff, parents and students sharing and celebrating each other's' cultures through the medium of food and drink. We had food from Somalia, England, Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh. Wales, Hong Kong and Sudan to name but a few! The inaugural screening of our Year 9 film project, “Inhale”, was well-received too.  Click here to view images.

We have had some overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents:

“I just wanted to say a really huge thank you for organising last night’s event. I absolutely loved it; in fact I thought it was really extraordinary”

“As was intended, it inspired an immediate connection between our different cultures……..its clear that we have a lot to offer each other’s communities in terms of support and ideas and sharing stories”

“Please can we do this every term? It will grow in number and we will get to know each other much better. And perhaps more men will become involved too. It is great for us adults, great for the students and great for the diversity of Bristol and Britain”

A HUGE thank you to Mrs Kelly for her hard work to pull off such a successful event in just in two weeks and to Ms Prosser and Ms Knight who were a great help too.




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 taken place in Terms 3, 4 and 5 of this academic year, and those still to come in Term 6.  We think you will agree that they were indeed wide and varied, offering opportunities to all year groups and in all curriculum areas.  Please do check the weekly mailing each week to keep informed about upcoming opportunities for your child




Manchester Terrorist Attack - Monday 22 May 2017

All of us will have been affected by the terrible event in Manchester this week.  I signpost some possible support for any young people who are particularly affected.   The Kooth service is an on-line counselling and information service for children and young people aged from 11- 18 years of age. They help with common issues that a young person might be experiencing and forum venues to discuss these with peers and professionals. There is counselling by means of messaging and ways of setting goals to overcome young people’s issues. Support available: Counselling/therapy, drop in, information, signposting, support and peer discussion forums for young people. Referral route: Self referral and access via webpage log in

As a mark of respect to those affected by the tragic events we held a minute’s silence on Tuesday and staff have been sensitive to students’ questions/feelings.  At tutor time we have been sharing this presentation and link with our students to reassure them.

Fair School Funding for Bristol

As you will all no doubt be aware, funding for Education is extremely tight and Bristol Schools are facing a £32.6m budget cut and will be one of the hardest hit areas in the UK.  We know that unless the Government allocates more funds, UK schools will lose £3 billion a year in real terms by 2020, and our schools and colleges are desperately underfunded and budgets are at breaking point.  The General Election on 8 June gives the opportunity to put education policy at centre stage.

The website provides a platform for anyone with concerns about these cuts to ask each election candidate to pledge to reverse the cuts so far and protect in real terms the money following children into school. Please do take a look and offer your support.  The consequences for our children and young people will be devastating if politicians don’t invest in education.

Cotham School Mock Election

Cotham will be holding a Mock Election for all students on Thursday 8 June 2017.  All political Party Election Broadcasts will be shown to students and the policies of each will be equally represented.  The students will then be asked to vote.  This event is intended to give students a real insight into how the General Election works and the importance of their individual vote in the process of Democracy, which is an important part of the Cotham School community ethos. Click here to view the poster.

Safeguarding session for Parents and Carers on Wednesday 5 July 6-7pm in the Main Hall.

The last safeguarding session on understanding the use of drugs in young people today, supported by Alex from the Bristol Drugs Project, was very well attended. At that meeting, the overwhelming suggestion was for a workshop on online safety. Therefore, we will be running another parent session on the topic of online safety on Wednesday 5 July 6-7pm in the Main Hall.   Everyone is welcome. The workshop will cover: awareness of the range of dangers relating to online safety; what we do in schools to educate students about this; what you can do at home to protect your children further.

Rail Reps Trip to Severn Beach with the GWR and Severnside Rail Partnership

In this final week of term, the Cotham School Rail Reps, Maisy Almond Jenkins Yr. 7, Zaki Abudeip Yr. 8 and Amira Clarke Yr. 10 accompanied by Miss Smith, took a trip to Severn Beach, with the Severnside Community Rail Partnership and Great Western Railway.  The visit was a huge success, with some really positive feedback from the partnership about the success of the new Cotham School rail pass and behaviour of Cotham students on their train journeys to and from school.

The Rail reps were an absolute credit to the school and GWR and Severnside were really impressed with our students.  The students enjoyed a delicious lunch and a walk along Severn Beach, which was beautiful in the sunshine.

It is still not too late to sign up for a reduced travel rail pass.  Click here for further information.

Free School Meals

If your child has been receiving Free School Meals this academic year or you would like to find out if you are eligible, you will need to renew your application to ensure that they can continue to have a Free School Meal in September 2017. This eligibility also extends to Sixth Form Students.  Click here for more information.

School Behaviour for Learning procedures

As a reminder, our current process is that:

  1. Red Card Detentions (RCDs)  are issued for the following reasons: lack of reading book, basic equipment or planner (REP); incorrect uniform; missing lanyard; lateness to school or tutor registration; and poor corridor/break/lunchtime behaviour.
  2. Students issued with an RCD have a lunchtime detention from 1.05 to 1.30pm, usually on the same day or if this is not possible, the next day
  3. Students who do not arrive at and attend their RCD are placed into Separated Learning (SL) from period 5 until 3.20pm. If they are not successful in SL, they return the following morning until the end of break time.
  4. When students accumulate 10 RCDs, they receive a full day of SL.

However, following feedback from students, parents, carers and staff, we have decided to trial, for Term 6, a different sanction for students who receive repeated RCDs (step 4). This is because the current procedure of students receiving a full day in SL for having 10 RCDs is negatively impacting upon students' learning.

Therefore, from Term 6, for every 5 RCDs that a student receives, they will be issued with a 1.5 hour detention with the Deputy Headteacher in the Main Hall on a Monday from 3.05pm to 4.35pm. Parents and carers will be informed by text on the Friday before if their child is required to attend a Deputy Head detention on the following Monday. During this time, students will be expected to work productively.

Students will have this change explained to them in assemblies on Tuesday and Wednesday of the first week back next term.

Use of mobile phones in school

A reminder to all parents and carers about school rules in relation to Mobile Phones:

  • Phones must always be switched off (not on silent mode) and kept in a bag.
  • Phones must not be taken into examinations.
  • Phones must not be used for any purpose (e.g. phoning, texting, surfing the internet, taking photos, taking videos) during the school day – even during breaks and lunchtimes, except at the discretion of classroom teacher to support learning.

If a student breaches these rules the phone will be confiscated and given into the main office. It will be returned to the student’s parents or carers the following day who will need to collect it from reception, no earlier than the end of the school day.  If a student persistently has a phone confiscated, the period before it can be returned will be extended, at the discretion of a member of the Senior Leadership Team.


Harris Sports are unfortunately unable to come to the school for uniform sales on the following dates:

  • Thursday 08 June 2017
  • Thursday 22 June 2017
  • Thursday 29 June 2017

Uniform can still be ordered by telephoning them on 01275 874351 or by visiting their Website at, any items of uniform you order will be delivered to school and can be collected from Main Reception during school hours.

Second Hand Uniform for Sale Friday 9 June

Pre-loved uniform will be on sale on the first Friday after the holiday from 2.30pm to 4pm. Come and grab a bargain!

Junk Food ban

As you will be aware, the bringing in and consumption of junk food is now 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 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 has phenomenal and represents a huge burden on our site team.  We are delighted to report that we have noticed a considerable improvement in the amount of litter on the school site since the ban was introduced, and we thank you all for your continued support in this matter.

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.

A Celebration of the Cultural Diversity of Cotham School

Our first Cultural Diversity Forum 'Cultural Supper' was a roaring success with staff, parents and students sharing and celebrating each other's' cultures through the medium of food and drink. We had food from Somalia, England, Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh. Wales, Hong Kong and Sudan to name but a few! The inaugural screening of our Year 9 film project, “Inhale”, was well-received too.  Click here to view images

We have had some overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents:

“I just wanted to say a really huge thank you for organising last night’s event. I absolutely loved it; in fact I thought it was really extraordinary”

“As was intended, it inspired an immediate connection between our different cultures……..its clear that we have a lot to offer each other’s communities in terms of support and ideas and sharing stories”

“Please can we do this every term? It will grow in number and we will get to know each other much better. And perhaps more men will become involved too. It is great for us adults, great for the students and great for the diversity of Bristol and Britain”

A HUGE thank you to Mrs Kelly for her hard work to pull off such a successful event in just in two weeks and to Ms Prosser and Ms Knight who were a great help too.





Academic Monitoring Reports

Reports were issued to students on Thursday 25 May.  Please ensure that you  ask your child to see their report.  

Science Exam

The Year 9 Science exam takes place on 19 June.  All of Year 9 will sit this exam in the main hall.  Please encourage your child to start revising Topics: B1. B2, C1, C2, P1, P2.  All of the content can be found in the online textbook on the kerboodle website.

Revision guides (£6) and Workbooks (£6) are available to buy from the Science Prep Room.  Please note that the chapters are numbered differently in these (Click here to view the look-up table).

The results of this exam will give an indication of GCSE current attainment.   Those students with the top 30 results on the ‘French side’ of the year group and those with the top 30 results on the ‘German side’ will be offered the option of studying GCSE Separate Sciences.  The Separate Sciences course equates to 3 GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  All students who do not study Separate Sciences will study Combined Science which equates to 2 GCSEs.





Year 10 End of Year Exams will take place in the weeks commencing 19 June and 26 June.  A summary of the content being examined can be found here.  A copy of this has also been emailed to students via their school email account and added to the Key Stage 4 noticeboard on the Cotham Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  Parents can also access the Cotham VLE by going to the menu tab on the school website. A copy of the timetable can be found here. There will be some exam clashes; students will be given a copy of their own exam timetable when we return to school for Term 6..


Miss Aiken will be starting her Maternity Leave on Friday 26 May.  Please click here to view information about who to contact regarding school matters in her absence.

Year 11 commenced their study leave period on Thursday 25 May.  We have been really impressed with the way in which students have prepared themselves for their exams this week and wish them well with their revision over the half term break. GCSE Exams will continue as soon as we return on Monday 5 June.  A timetable of the exams can be found here.

Exam Preparation sessions

There are lots of Exam Preparation sessions being offered in school immediately prior to the exam.  Some of these sessions will be open to all students on the course, some of the sessions will be open to students by invitation only (English / Maths / Science / German). You will receive a letter from us in the next week letting you know if your child has been invited to an Exam Preparation session.  All students must be in school uniform when they are in school for either an exam or to attend an Exam Preparation session. Click here to view the schedule of sessions available.

Please note: the time of the Geography session given in the letters that have been sent home are incorrect.  The correct time for this session is 9am - 11am Thursday 1 June.   

Maths Exam Papers

We will also be sending a predicted exam paper via email on Friday 26 May and Friday 9 June.  These papers are our predictions of topics that we expect to come up in the next Maths exams on 8 June (Paper 2) and 13 June (Paper 3).  Please remind students to use these papers to support their revision.  

Students must be in full correct school uniform with their lanyards visible for all exams.

Please support your child with their exam preparation over the next few weeks by:

  • regularly asking them about their revision and the work they are doing
  • ensuring that they have a quiet place to study without the distraction of a mobile phone
  • checking that they have all of the equipment that they need for their exams and have packed their bag and pencil case
  • encouraging them to make sure that they leave plenty of time for the journey to the school and the exam.  All students are expected to be in a school and ready to start morning exams at 8.30am and 13.30 for afternoon exams.  
  • encouraging them to eat well and have a healthy snack with them
  • ensuring that they get lots of sleep and carry a clear bottle of water with them

Year 11 Post-16 choices

We are very pleased that nearly all Year 11s have been offered places on courses at local sixth-forms and colleges for September and a few who prefer work-based learning have secured apprenticeships. However, there are always students who still want advice about their choice of destination and/or subjects or their future career plans - so please note that Ms Chester, our Careers Advisor, will be available from 11.05-12.05 in B104 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Term 6, for any Year 11 student who wants to drop in with queries.

If you or your child is concerned about Post 16 destinations, apprenticeships, applications, attending interviews or anything to do with moving on from Year 11 please contact Mrs Chester

Mrs Chester will also be available on GCSE Results Day on 24 August for any students who need a last-minute change of plan.

Maths revision resources

Look out for the KS4-Revision page on the Maths VLE.  It has lots of useful information and sources of revision materials, including links to practice questions with worked solutions.  It is being updated regularly.  


Friday 23 June at Ashton Court.  Click here for more info about the arrangements on the evening.

Click here for information for those students who will be observing Ramadan during this event.

Any enquires about Prom should be directed to Mrs Brock or Miss McDonagh


The Yearbook Committee has been working hard on creating a Yearbook for the year group. We are in the final stages of putting the layout together.  

A text will be sent out to all parents once we have a confirmed price for this and to advise you when Wisepay is open for payments.  We estimate the price to be between £12-£15. The payment deadline will be Monday 3  July and students who have ordered a Yearbook will be able to collect it on results day in August (or from Main Reception in September).

Please contact Mr Baber if you have any questions.

Wellbeing and support

There will be a weekly drop in session available to Year 11 students who feel that they would benefit from talking to someone about any concerns, anxiety or problems they may be experiencing at this demanding time in their school life. This will be every Wednesday period 3 in Mrs Webb-Martin’s office and will continue through to the end of the exam period.

Library books and textbooks- Deadline 23 June

We are very keen to get all of our library books and Year 11 textbooks back after the exams. Individual letters have already been sent out detailing all of the items on loan to Year 11 students. Please check this carefully. Alternatively,

library accounts can be accessed at

(individual log-in details were emailed to students at the start of September).

The deadline for textbook returns is FRIDAY 23 JUNE

Please do not return items to Reception or to teaching staff.

Invoices will be issued for any books that do not get get returned by the above deadline.





Please click here to view all of the results, congratulations and upcoming fixtures.

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

It would be great if parents/carers could let the school/PE department know of any students achievements outside of school please. It is sometimes only at subject evenings that we find out what students are doing outside of school! Email us:



Artwork of the Week

This weeks Art WOW goes to Lucas Down, 8KBO.  Click here to view.

A huge well done to all students who have completed their Art, Textiles and Photography exams. We wish them all the best for the future. We are also looking forward to kicking off Term 6 with the Photography Club for KS3 which will be held on Tuesday's after school.

The End of Show

The End of Show is the final exhibition of the work of Year 13 Art, Photography and Textiles students. The opening night is on Friday 9 June 5-9pm at Centrespace Gallery just off Corn Street.

You are all welcome and we hope you can join us and the students to celebrate their hard work and see some of the fantastic work that the students have produced this year.



Summer Music Review

You are invited to this year’s summer celebration of all things musical at Cotham School. The 2017 Summer Music Review will take place on Wednesday 12 July 6-8pm in the Dance Studio.  However,  If the weather holds up we may even move outdoors!  Click here to view poster

Calling all dancers!

Rise Youth Dance Company and Kinesis Youth Dance are both holding auditions and open days for young people with a joy of dancing, no prior experience necessary.  Click here for details.

Dance uniform

A reminder that all Year 7 and 8 students are expected to change into a black Cotham Dance t-shirt and trackies/ shorts/ leggings for their dance lessons. This is even more important going into the summer term as students will sweat and school uniform (if worn) will become grubby. There have been a number of ripped trousers already this year!   Please ensure that your child owns a t-shirt for next term and is bringing it to lessons. T-shirts are available from the same outlets as all school uniform. Thank you for your understanding and support -  The Dance Department



Bristol Healthy Schools Young Chef, Young Baker and Young Gardener 2017

A reminder that the deadline for all entries for the Bristol Healthy Schools is Monday 6 June (the first day back after half term!)  Previous students from Cotham who were in the final were even on television for the local news.  We are very keen to ensure that Cotham continues with its success with this competition.  Click here to access the entry forms. Each entry from students will also earn house points.



Extra Curricular activities -  Click on the link below to find out more:


Performing Arts

All Subjects




Life Cycle UK

Life Cycle UK are running Bikeability level 2 & 3 courses during the May half term break – ideal catch up for anyone who has missed the training in school.  Please click here for more information

CBBC Opportunity

CBBC is looking for budding pop stars aged 11 - 14 AND a parent/relative/carer to take part in the third series of the hit CBBC show ‘Got What It Takes?’.  To find out more, and to download an application form, please visit the CBBC website:

The deadline for applications is 16 June 2017

Half Term Activities

St Pauls Adventure Playground - Click here

Southmead Adventure Playground - Click here

Felix Road, BS5 Adventure Playground - Click here

What's happening in your local library?

Please click here to view the June newsletter for the East group Libraries.