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Cotham School

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Term Six at Cotham Post 16

As the school year draws to a close, there is a huge amount to celebrate in Post 16. Firstly, we send our congratulations to students Sarah Golden and Faye McCloughlin, who are currently touring the country with the prestigious National Youth Dance Company. Our congratulations must also go to former student Nathaniel Francis, who has just finished his degree in Politics and has now been accepted to Sciences Po (the primary institution of higher learning for the French political and administrative elite, and one of the highest-ranked and most selective European schools in the social sciences). A name to watch out for in the future! 

Our students have been very future-focused this term, which was epitomised by their participation in our Futures Conference. The two day event, which was launched with a keynote speech from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, saw students engaging with workshops from wellbeing to employability, delivered by a wide range of external speakers. The vast majority of the year group also managed to register with UCAS, whilst some followed a ‘not going to uni’ guidance day. Our thanks to those of you who came along to the supporting parents engagement session, resources from which can be accessed here.  A reminder that, each week, students are sent a careers bulletin with live updates on Post 18 opportunities as well as current enrichment and work experience opportunities available around the city. You can access this, at any time, here.

Further to this, our Future Quest students took part in a brilliant ‘Employ Me!’ session in June at We the Curious, where they engaged with workshops around interview skills, CVs and how to optimise employability. An action-packed day and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. 

This term we have seen many of our students engage in summer camp activities, including the National Citizenship Service, the Mayor’s City Leadership Programme, Higher Education Residentials, ‘Catalyse Change’ and HE+. We have also had our highest ever number of students taking part in placements with the NHS during their July work experience window. These opportunities are very competitive and our congratulations to all of those who have shown the commitment and perseverance to gain places.

Students studying Authentic Biology took their findings out to the public at the start of July by hosting an event at ‘We The Curious’. Here they were able to teach members of the public about their genetics research and engage future generations of young scientists with their ground-breaking study. In addition, all of our biologists went out on the annual Slapton trip to conduct their ecology research. The trip gave students a hands-on experience with this core element of the course and a change to apply their theoretical skills to some real-life research principles. 

We were proud to send representation to the Bristol Women’s Commission’s girls leadership conference at The University of Bristol this term. The girls took part in a 'Human Library' which was made up of local, inspirational women who had volunteered their time to talk to them about their careers and gender issues, ranging from a leader in space agency to border force officers. The day also included talks by keynote speakers including Dr Roisin Mcnaney (a computer scientist) and Briony Williams from Bake Off! All students who took part had a fantastic time and left feeling empowered, with lots of positive messages to take away.

In our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of our students, we have been asked to sign up to the Bristol Children’s Charter. This is a city-wide scheme which aims to bring young people’s services together to protect the wellbeing safety and future of children in Bristol. You can read the NBP16’s commitments here. Student wellbeing support is at the heart of what we do and, as always, we remind students to look out for the wellbeing bulletin which will be shared with them at the end of term. This can be accessed at any time, via our website here

Looking ahead to the future, we were thrilled to welcome our new Y12 students to our transition day this term. Students came to get their first hands-on experience of life in P16 and took part in taster sessions for their new courses. We have also looked ahead with the appointment of a new student leadership team for the next academic year. After a tough week of campaigning (which included application letters, references, interviews, a hustings event and a student vote) we are thrilled to announce that next year’s team is:

  • Student President: Fahmida Ahmed
  • Leader of Events and Charity: Zahid Farooq
  • Leader of Learning and Wellbeing: Elena Matei
  • Leader of Facilities and Resources: Mossy Price

They are already hard at work, with one of their first duties being to welcome Sir Ed Davey (MP) to the school in the last week of term and grill him on education policy and tuition fees! We look forward to filling the final two student leadership posts (Vice President and Leader of Outreach and Communication) from our new Y12 cohort, when they join us in September. 

For all students expecting results this summer, we send our very best wishes to you and look forward to celebrating with you in August. A reminder to make sure you have read through our results day FAQs in preparation.

All that remains is to wish students, parents and carers a happy and restful summer break.