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Cotham School

Personal Development and Student Services

We understand that two years in Post 16 can fly by incredibly quickly, despite these being two of the most challenging in a young person’s life. At the North Bristol Post 16 Centre, we are very proud of the student support structure we have in place to ensure that each of our students is guided and cared for in the pursuit of high aspirations.


Upgrade is a supervised study facility where students can access resources and support during their school based study periods. The space is monitored actively by Academic Mentors, who work as a link between students, teachers and parents to ensure all students make the best possible progress. At each progress review, some students are timetabled into additional Upgrade+ sessions to provide structured, small group support in reaching their potential. Sessions include workshops on a range of skills including time management, organisation, revision and stress management.


Every morning, all students attend compulsory AM registration sessions for fifteen minutes in their tutor bases. There, they take part in a range of activities:

Monday The Big Question - a topical subject to debate
Tuesday Attendance Check - tutors review data and process paperwork for authorised absences
Wednesday Assembly (fortnightly briefing) or Unifrog (see below)
Thursday CEIAG - tutors check-in re. IAG appointments, UCAS applications, etc.
Friday Quiz - weekly quiz with scores added to league tables and prizes for highest termly scores

The tutor is the first point of contact for students and parents and, wherever possible, will remain with a student for the duration of their P16 journey.


The years from 16-19 can be some of the most challenging in a young person’s life. This time presents a period of significant personal change, alongside the transition from education into the wider world. We have a committed team of Post 16 staff who will always put the wellbeing of learners at the fore of their priorities. The Post 16 team operate an open door policy for any support requirements, from induction to progression and a significant amount of support and resource is in place for students to access in the way that best suits them. This includes a range of resources on our student Hub, our Wellbeing Bulletin, access to our dedicated reflection room, student support plans and our onsite Post 16 counsellor. 

Click here for more information on Mental Health and Wellbeing


We work closely with our partner schools to transfer SEND records to ensure a smooth transition for our learners with additional needs. As part of our enrolment and induction process, students are encouraged to raise any history of need with the Post 16 team so that provision can be established from the start. 

In many cases, we identify additional need for students as they progress through their Post 16 studies. We liaise with teachers and, where appropriate, organise access arrangement testing. We make rigorous arrangements for the application of these during examination, including training sessions for students to ensure they optimise on this support. All students with SEND and/or exam access arrangements will be supported to develop their own learning plan, enabling them to fully understand and then articulate their needs within and beyond the classroom.

Post 16 Bursary

For students who might require additional financial support to remove barriers to learning, there is bursary support available, based on income. This fund can be accessed to help with travel, books and other learning costs. We also have a bank of resources, including cameras and laptops, which can be loaned out to bursary students.

If a student has previously been entitled to free school meals, or has attracted pupil premium funding, they are encouraged to apply. Assessment is based on household income. Students should enquire at Post 16 reception if they require an application pack.

Post 16 Library

The Post-16 Library is a quiet, calm work environment where students can borrow textbooks, as well as fiction and non-fiction books, take our magazine and periodicals, or sit and read. We also have a wellbeing corner where students can relax and do some drawing. 

The Post 16 Librarian and Literacy Coordinator is happy to help you find resources, use a laptop or print your work. Suggestions and recommendations are always welcome!

There are 18 laptops and 4 iMacs available for use within the LRC, as well as a printer/photocopier/scanner. Video camera resource packs and a selection of DVDs are provided for film and media students. DVDs with gold stars can be borrowed by all students.

We subscribe to several periodicals, which are a great source of relevant, up-to-date information about your subjects. We also subscribe to the excellent, photocopiable research tools, Factfile and Essential Articles, as well as Key Organisations, which provides information on charities, businesses and other important organisations. We keep the physical copies of these resources in the library, but searchable online content is available here: (username and password available on request from library).

As well as resources for study, we have a growing collection of fiction and graphic novels. Why not search our catalogue to see if there’s anything you’d like to borrow.