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Cotham School

Term Six at Cotham Post 16

As we reach the end of another busy and successful academic year at Cotham Post 16, we first want to thank all students and staff for making the year such a special one. While it is important to acknowledge that it has been a year punctuated by loss, we continue to be in awe of our incredible students and their sense of community which brings warmth and comfort at even the most difficult times. 

What better place to see that sparkle than in the summer production of Matilda, which saw Year 12 students taking a number of lead roles, both centre stage and behind the scenes. Congratulations to Ethan, Elias, Rachael, Rufus, Eleanor, Esmee and Alex for your dedication and performances; Elias - your Ms Trunchbull was one for the ages.

The other big event of the term was the Year 12 Futures Conference. The conference focused on Post 18 plans and covered a variety of options including, university, apprenticeships, employment and travel. The students were brilliant and it was fantastic to see so many of them getting excited about opportunities open to them after they leave us. We were so pleased to be able to deliver this event face to face,welcoming students from both Cotham and RGS to the event. A reminder to all of our students that resources for the conference can be found via the NBP16 student hub in links at the bottom of the Futures section here (student login required). There are a large number of resources and support materials in this section of the Hub, which can be accessed from home as well as onsite. Furthermore, the Futures Bulletin is packed with summer opportunities.

We also had a brilliant morning with Year 12 off timetable looking at a range of personal development areas linked to their futures. Students engaged very positively in a group session focused on the way we learn. As well as looking at study skills and stress management, students also explored neurodiversity and what inclusive learning looks like. They then moved on to tutor seminars where they engaged further with the Cotham School Respect Project to explore topics of gender expression and body image. 

Following on from this, we have a large number of students undertaking work placements and/or summer schools at the end of term. These include Seth, who is shadowing a biochemistry researcher at University of Bristol and Yassir and Anita who are taking part in Bristol Medical Summer school, a residential experience which includes a clinical day focussing on medicine and surgery, where students will get to try their hand at suturing, listening to chest sounds and forming a diagnosis, all taught by local doctors and medical students

Term six, as always, has also been a busy one for trips and visits. The majority of our Year 12s have kept themselves on a busy schedule of University Open Days as they begin the task of narrowing down their UCAS choices. We also had our fantastic Duke of Edinburgh gold crew out on expedition. They had some pretty horrendous weather, but kept spirits high and have much to be proud of.  Another big trip went out this term, which saw all our Year 12 biologists undertaking their field work in Slapton. The weather kept them on their toes, but they got so much out of the experience and Mr Barber commented on how exceptionally proud he was of their focus and resilience.

June marked PRIDE Month, which was celebrated through tutor time focus and discussion activities. We always value the diverse perspectives and mature sense of inclusivity that our young people bring to these conversations. This was highlighted by fantastic attendance to a Queer History workshop run as an optional enrichment activity at the end of June. 

As always, we wish our students a restful summer break. We encourage our Year 12s to view this short film on the step up to Year 13, if they haven’t already. Please also encourage them to look out for the wellbeing bulletin, being emailed to them at the end of term (you can preview a summary of this here). We are exceptionally proud of everything that has been achieved at Cotham P16 this year and look forward to continuing those successes in September, with lots of exciting plans afoot for the next academic year.