GSO Test

Term Two at Cotham Post 16

There is so much to celebrate this term at Cotham Post 16. We began the term with the publication of our Ofsted report. The inspection team picked up on some of the many things that make our Post 16 community shine; we continue to be as proud as ever of the staff and students who make this place so special. 

Speaking of which, there have been a huge number of student achievements this term worthy of recognition. Congratulations go to Yumna who has been accepted for the prestigious leadership programme Shape My City! Also, another triumph for Rachael Adamsm who made her senior England fencing team debut this term, helping the team retain the '5 Nations' title! More to celebrate in the casting of several Cotham Post 16 students in the upcoming Bristol Old Vic production of The Roaring Girl, which promises to expose the secrets and suggestions hidden in Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton’s Jacobean comedy, imagining a world where power is shared. Finally, a massive well done to the Cotham team, who ventured out to Bristol Grammar School and took on 25 of the South-West's finest! R, eventually coming 13th out of 26, which is an excellent result considering the calibre of the competition! A particular well done to Jake, Alex and Charlie in Post 16. 

We also have to acknowledge an absolutely fantastic Culture Day, which was organised and hosted by the Cotham Post 16 student leadership team. The day was such a brilliant celebration of the diversity at the centre, with large numbers of students donning their cultural dress for the day, hosting a fashion show, attending film screenings and having a lot of fun at the karaoke event after school. Special shout out to 12DT for their triumph in the tutor group selfie competition! Following on from the success of this, they then went on to host a bake sale raising £164 in a single lunchtime for victims of the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

This term has been one for a great deal of industry when it comes to all things Futures. We had our Futures Launch with Year 12 (all resources here - student login required) which introduced the progression pathways and gave students a whistle-stop tour off all their Unifrog accounts have to offer. Year 13 have been equally as busy finalising and submitting their UCAS applications. This is such a huge and pressured; we remain immensely proud of our students for managing this alongside their students. A special shout out to the 11 Cotham Post 16 students who have been successful in being invited to interview at with Oxford or Cambridge University. An overview of the Futures provision at Cotham Post 16 can be viewed here

The Post 16 library has been really busy this term, with a big uptick in usage over the last few weeks. A huge range of new books are now in stock, including an increasing collection of graphic novels and accessible readers. Mr Davies, our library and literacy coordinator, has been popping into tutor times to share the provision and providing reading box materials to encourage students to start their day off on the right foot with an opportunity to drop everything and read. A reminder to all students who have care responsibilities at home that Mr Davies is also our Young Carer lead and can offer a range of advice and support if you have any questions or concerns about balancing care responsibilities with learning and/or future aspirations. 

This term we were also really proud to see our fantastic outdoor wellbeing space completed. The planting bed will become an embedded part of our wellbeing provision, a space for community, conversation and even for some of our counselling and mentoring sessions to take place. We fundraised to build the area in memory of our much loved former student Malo and were touched that many of his friends from the class of 2020 came to plant spring bulbs in the space. We are really looking to seeing the shoots coming up in the warmer months next year.

Core sessions this term have been lead by the brilliant Into University, who delivered a session on on 1 November where they came in to introduce themselves and explain they provide you with support and opportunities they can provide for students in Year 12 and 13 including work experience opportunities, academic support, trips to universities, support with applications to jobs, apprenticeships and university, support with interviews and more. They came back on 29 November to provide an overview of the university applications and admissions process, just ahead of the Year 12 Futures Launch. They covered the many different routes into university, how to assess and evaluate priorities for the future and a whistlestop introduction to student finance. The final Core session of the term focused on motivation, which can be especially challenging in this season. This session was lead by Ms Beaver and Ms Dutton and it explored all the different factors that affect motivation, including how the nurturing of mental health can be the most powerful strategy for academic gains. Students can access all information and resources from Core sessions here (student login required).

With mocks approaching for Year 13 in the New Year and Year 12 in the spring, we continue to be proud of the study routines and work ethic our students continue to develop. Especially in their pursuit of developing themselves as whole, skilled people above and beyond examination success. This is exemplified by the brilliant range of enrichment activities and enhancement courses that students are undertaking. We are really excited to be launching a huge range of community language A Levels next term for some of our exceptionally talented bi/multilingual students to gain credit and profile for this enormously valuable skill set (full information here).  As always, we work hard to promote the value of healthy balance and urge students to look out for the Wellbeing Bulletin shared with them at the end of term (preview here). The winter break is filled with excitement, but can also be a challenging time for many and this resource offers a range of resources and support routes for students to access over the holidays should they need it. All that remains is to wish a very Merry Christmas to those who will be celebrating. Thank you to all our parents and carers for your support this year; we look forward to seeing our students back with us in 2023!