GSO Test

Term Four at Cotham Post 16

This term has been notable for many things, not just days that seem to have contained four seasons worth of weather in one. Despite this, it has been a boost for students and staff to see Spring arrive and for the first flowers to be rising from our outdoor wellbeing space. We look forward to planting seedlings next term and hopefully benefitting from some home grown fruit and vegetable before the summer break.

A real highlight of the term has been some spectacular efforts in student leadership. We first of all need to congratulate our phenomenally talented Year 13 RE cohort for provoking brilliant discussion at the Bristol Education Partnership Philosophy Society event hosted at Cotham at the start of this term. We were joined by staff and students from Redmaids, Clifton High, Badminton, QEH and Redland Green for an evening of discussion and debate, ably facilitated by NBP16 students. We have also seen our Year 12 students step up the rigour and enthusiasm with which they have approached their studies. A particular shoutout to our fantastic computer scientists who produced original and innovative presentations; you can view an example here. Congratulations must go to our Young Enterprise Company ‘Eco Edge’ who braved the snow to sell their sustainable chopping boards featuring iconic images of Bristol at the Cabot Circus trade fair. They triumphed at the event, sweeping the awards for best trade stand and best company. Even more fantastic leadership was seen in the events organised by our innovative business students as part of their non-examined assessment. From quizzes to sporting events, barely a lunch break has gone by without a community event keeping Charnwood buzzing!

Another notable achievement this term has been the way our Year 13 students have responded to the feedback from their January mock examinations. This is such an important phase in their studies and a last opportunity to practise those examination skills within a full exam hall experience ahead of the summer season. Feedback from teachers this term has been exceptionally positive, particularly in the way our incredible young people have been seeking advice and support to ensure that they are pursuing their ambitions in healthy balance. We cannot congratulate on academic achievements without also commending all of our Extended Project Qualification students who have met their submission deadline this term. We have had some incredible portfolios submitted, exhibiting passion, enthusiasm, originality and genuine personal growth. Projects have ranged from documentary filmmaking, to innovative and intricate artefact builds, as well as some truly thought provoking and intellectually challenging essays, many of which have been produced to undergraduate level.

Core programme this term has provided some great opportunities for Year 12 students to explore revision hints and tips, supporting them in building healthy study habits ahead of their mocks at the start of next term. As always, summaries and resources for all Core sessions can be accessed by students via the P16 Hub (student login required). Year 12 mocks will be upon us in the second week of next term and timetables have been shared. We are keen to remind students that support with organisation, revision and a wide range of other study skills can be sought from our brilliant Academic Mentors in Upgrade. We also encourage Year 12 to familiarise themselves with the assessment support materials on the Upgrade page of our NBP16 Hub, which contains a huge bank of bespoke resources and information, put together by NBP16 staff and students, to support the assessment process, including managing anxieties. A reminder that all students eligible to use a reading pen for exams can borrow one of these from Ms Beaver for any in-class assessments to practise using them.

As always, it is brilliant to see our students feeding back into their learning experience. This term, the Environment and Sustainability committee met with our catering team to explore new areas for development and recycling within our canteen provision. We also had a fantastic turnout for our STRIDE (student voice) lunch, where students came to speak with staff about what they love about their learning and what they feel could work even better. Thank you must also extend to all parents and carers who joined us for the Year 13 post-mocks surgery (identified students only) and the Year 12 online parents evening. Thank you also to those who turned out for our Student Finance evening and to our engagement event at the St Pauls Learning Centre; look out for more in-community events coming up later in the year. Your engagement with us is enormously valued and provides such an important bridge to support the academic ambitions and achievements of our young people.

Student enrichment has been another highlight of term four, with brilliant engagement in a really wide range of enrichment activities. This year, we once again have huge numbers of student-run groups, which is a testament to how well our amazing Year 12 students have adapted to life at NBP16. Clubs that have been really popular this term are the mock trial group and our brand new origami club! We have also enjoyed some theme weeks this term, including a wide range of events for Neurodiversity Celebration week and, of course, an unforgettable World Book Day!

With futures on the mind following a brilliantly well attended Year 12 trip to the UCAS convention in Exeter, we 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. On this note, we congratulate our fantastic Foundation cohort who engaged with great enthusiasm in the Apprenticeship workshops delivered as part of their Skills programme. The term ended with a bang when we were visited by our local MP Thangam Debbonaire, who came to speak with Post 16 students about her role and faced a challenging Q+A where our brilliantly engaged students raised a number of questions and ideas for her reflection. 

All that remains is to wish our students a well deserved Spring break. We also wish Eid Mubarak and Happy Easter, for all those who are observing. We encourage students to find some time for rest and to have a look through the ideas and resources in our end of term Wellbeing Bulletin, which is emailed to them on the last day of term and can be previewed here