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Cotham School

About Cotham School

Cotham School: Life-enhancing education that develops the character, talents and potential of every child regardless of starting point”

Dear Parents, Carers and Children

A warm welcome to the Cotham School prospectus. 

What a privilege it is to be the Headteacher of such a very special school! Cotham is a wonderfully comprehensive and most inclusive of schools with a student body that fully reflects our City’s diversity.  I am exceptionally proud of the excellent and fantastically well-rounded education that we provide at Cotham, particularly as it has contributed so effectively to the achievement and success of our students over many, many years.  

All of us at Cotham want the best possible outcomes for every child in our care, and we work tirelessly towards this every day.  Cotham staff are second to none and our students are exceptional young people. Amongst many other attributes our students are highly aspirational with exceptionally positive attitudes towards their education.  In combination with the school’s long-held emphasis on academic achievement and attainment, this has led to them achieving impressive examination outcomes over many years. But this is not the only area in which Cotham students excel; they develop as very well-rounded and confident young people as a result of their broad and balanced curriculum, our wide and varied extra curricular offer and our emphasis on personal and social development.

Making the transition between primary and secondary school can be an anxious time for children and their families. At Cotham we really invest in this process and, as a result, build good partnerships with families from the start. This begins with our visits to our new Year 7 students at their primary schools and our fun and engaging visit programme during Term 6; both characteristic features of Cotham’s early induction process. 

A really important part of Cotham’s identity is that we have a Sixth Form. This means that our students can stay with us from Year 7 through to Year 13 benefiting from stability and continuity of education within the Cotham community.  If your child is joining us for Sixth Form study or if you are relocating and your child is joining us for the first time as part of an older Year Group or mid academic year you can expect that the same careful consideration will be given to ensuring they feel welcome, happy and safe at school so that they can achieve well.

Your child’s education and experience of school is as important to us as it is to you, and therefore we welcome your visits to us both on our Year 6 and Post 16 Open Evenings or in the daytime when the school is fully operating.  We are proud of our school community and seeing us ‘at work’ is the ideal way to see why. It is always a pleasure to show children and their families our school, and we would love you to take advantage of these opportunities. Please check dates and times on our website or get in touch with us by email or phone. 

We hope you find what you need on our website but if not please do get in touch via phone: 0117 919 8000 or by email:

With very best wishes on behalf of all of us at Cotham,

Ms Jo Butler



Our Vision

Governors and staff are highly ambitious for our students. We have a strong commitment to the Cotham community and to providing a highly achieving, inclusive and respectful environment for our students to learn in.  At Cotham we provide an excellent all round educational experience that has contributed to the achievement and examination success of our students over many years. Cotham is a wonderfully comprehensive and inclusive 11-19 school with a student body that fully reflects Bristol’s diversity and our stakeholders are rightly proud of the community that we have created. However, if we are to make the biggest difference, inside and outside the classroom, our success will not only be measured in academic outcomes. Nurturing the development of the ‘whole child’ and future citizen has always been of key importance to us and advancing equity will continue to be of key importance to us into the future. We will provide an outstanding educational experience at Cotham; a place where children and young people can learn, work, play and grow up together within a setting that is inclusive and welcoming to all. We are highly ambitious for all our students and want them to build strong foundations for their future alongside excelling in school. 

We will achieve this by ensuring there is excellent communication and engagement with all of our stakeholders; through outstanding leadership, an ambitious curriculum, excellent teaching and learning and pastoral care.  It will also be achieved through honest and robust self-evaluation and by being ’outward facing’, cultivating informal and formal partnerships and relationships with other educational and external  organisations to the benefit of our students.  At Cotham we will continue  to provide a quality of education that both enables our students to gain university and apprenticeship places of their choice and the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.   Our ambition is for them to leave us well prepared for a globally changing future and ready to take their place in society.

Our Values 


  • We are a top school in Bristol for examination outcomes.

  • We have high standards of teaching and learning and assessment

  • We are ambitious for every student.

  • We develop academic, creative and sporting excellence.

  • We seek out potential: hidden talents

  • We develop confidence and character aided by our excellent staff.

  • We celebrate student successes both inside and outside of school.  

  • We value progress: every child matters and no child is left behind.

  • We understand that children only have one childhood. 


  • We are a proudly diverse and cohesive school community.

  • Our school environment is warm and welcoming to all. 

  • We celebrate our differences and give our students and staff the tools to do so positively.

  • We develop curiosity and knowledge about the world and each other through our broad and inclusive curriculum.

  • We believe in being open: with students and their families, colleagues in our school and those beyond, sharing information and ideas to raise standards and enhance life chances.


  • We care for others.

  • We are empathetic and treat everyone as we wish to be treated ourselves. 

  • We are honest.

  • We strive to become better listeners

  • We act in a courteous and respectful manner in our interactions  with everyone. 

  • We are socially responsible and we maximise our positive impact on the people in our communities while minimising our footprint on the world

  • We care about being Safe and Happy - all members of our school community have this right.