Term One at Cotham Post 16
It has been such a busy term at Cotham Post 16 and we have to start this round-up by congratulating our incredible Year 12 students on an exceptional first term at NBP16. The step up from GCSE learning is not an easy one, but this cohort have given their all to embracing the independence and ambition of our community and are feeling very much at home already.
The big excitement of the term was the recruitment of our fantastic new student leadership team. As ever, we were blown away by both the quality and integrity of applications. A large number of students put themselves forward for positions, working through a rigorous process of applications, references, interviews, campaigning, hustings speeches and the final day of balloting. More than 70% of the student population cast their votes and we were thrilled to announce Tom as our new Student President, ably supported by his new VP Kate. Congratulations also go to Isabella (Lead Respect Ambassador), Yumna and Sam (Co-Leaders of Equity and Diversity), Emily (Leader of Learning and Wellbeing), Huda (Leader of Events and Charity) and Herbert (Leader of Environment and Sustainability). The students are looking forward to recruiting their committees next term and starting to make their impact on the NBP16 community.
Congratulations also go to our 28 Year 13 students who submitted their university applications by the UCAS early admissions date this term, with hopes of studying at Oxford or Cambridge University, and/or pursuing pathways in medicine, veterinary or dentistry. Dr Marcus Tomalin from Cambridge University came in to deliver a workshop to them this term, focussed on demystifying the interview process. Students found this really informative and asked well thought through and interesting questions. We are keeping everything crossed for you!
This term we also saw the launch of our enrichment programme with a HUGE range of opportunities open for students to pursue this year. We have four new student-run enrichment courses running, alongside a wide range of other opportunities. Really exciting to see the First Aid cohort in particular, who have all achieved their CPR training.
We have had an exciting month of Black History Month celebrations. Our theme at Cotham this year has been ‘Celebrating Black Excellence’ which has been woven through classroom learning. Teachers have been working hard to review the taught curriculum for this month, embedding a wide range of learning around black history which students have experienced in all courses and all year groups. Our Black Excellence art project has seen students collaborating on a continuous line drawing to exemplify Black Excellence in Bristol's history. In addition, we had a visit from the iconic Guy Bailey OBE, the Bristol Bus Boycott 'Spark'. Guy came to deliver a Q+A workshop with Post 16, ably accompanied by Julz Davis (Bristol Creative Disruptor) and author Lillieth Morrison who co-wrote the Paul Stephenson autobiography. The sessions focused on living history and the role of the boycott in establishing equalities laws for all protected characteristics. We were especially excited to get an exclusive viewing of Guy's Pride of Britain Award, presented to him just days before. The Bristol Bus Boycott Exhibition remained up in our Post 16 library for the week, celebrating the life and work of Paul Stpehenson, alongside all the boycott pioneers. We were also joined by Professor Shawn Sobers from UWE who came in to talk about his own story of ambition and achievement, which was incredibly inspiring for our young people. And finally, a thank you to everyone who turned out for our African Caribbean Celebration Evening at the end of term - an evening of great music, great food and the excellence of our young people!
A huge thank you to the number of students who turned up on one or both cold October evenings to support our Open Events for prospective students. The events were a huge success and this was in no small part down to our Post 16 students who came to greet our visitors, guide them through the site and share their learning experiences. The NBP16 community is completely unique and it is our incredible students who make it this way; in fact, we had so much engagement from students that we ran out of ambassador t-shirts!
And finally, we should probably mention the O-word. You will be aware by now that we had some visitors in the last week of term. Ofsted arrived to conduct an inspection at Cotham. We were so exceptionally proud to see the inspection team recognise and acknowledge the incredible community we have at Cotham Post 16 and look forward to sharing this with you when the report is published next term.
All that remains is to wish our students a well deserved half term break. We look forward to our Futures Launch with Y12 next term and would encourage students to make sure they keep an eye out for the weekly Post 16 Futures Bulletin, which is emailed to them directly but can also be accessed here at any time. This break will be an important opportunity for our students to get some rest and take time for self care. We encourage them to have a look through the ideas and resources in our end of term Wellbeing Bulletin, which will be emailed to them today and you can preview it here.