GSO Test

Term Three at Cotham Post 16

Term 3 has been another busy one at Cotham, with a large number of student achievements to celebrate. Notably, we congratulate our brilliant Year 13s who have been flooded with offers this term from universities and apprenticeship providers. After so much investment in the application process, including 173 applications submitted to UCAS, it is fantastic to see their hard work and commitment paying off in this way. Particular congratulations to our four students who have secured offers to study at Oxford or Cambridge after a gruelling series of applications, interviews and admissions tests. 

Moving into this next phase of life can feel very daunting, but we had brilliant engagement with our Year 13 Futures morning at the start of February, where students participated in sessions around student finance and budgeting for independent living. We also had some brilliant discussion groups to explore issues around sexual harassment and gender based violence; we were incredibly proud of the level of maturity, engagement and insight shown by students throughout. Advance warning that we will be hosting a student finance evening next term to support parents and carers embarking upon this process. 

Another huge Year 13 achievement this term that deserves to be acknowledged is the incredible maturity, resilience and industry with which our Y13 students faced their mock exams in January. The important thing for all students to remember is that mocks are a learning experience and the feedback from teachers, alongside how students act upon this, are the most important elements.

For our Year 12 students, mock exams are now not far away and will be taking place from 22-26 April. Students will receive their timetables next term and can start planning revision schedules. An important reminder 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.

There are so many individual student achievements to recognise. Notably, we offer our congratulations to our Spanish, German and French debating teams who took part in a debating competition with a number of Bristol schools this term. All three teams made us exceptionally proud, with the French and German teams taking the win! We also proudly congratulate Fabio, Daisy and Eleanor for a successful run in ‘The Roaring Girl’ at the Bristol Old Vic - the show was a spectacular celebration of identity and courage. We also celebrate our brilliant chess club (now one of the best-attended enrichment groups) who have been triumphant in competitions this term, including a 6-0 win in a championship match hosted at Cotham! Particular shout-outs to Alex and Charlie. Congratulations also to Alex and Simon for representing in a regional mathematics competition this term. 

The student achievements continue with Hattie’s exceptional delivery at the BEP Philosophy conference, hosted at Cotham. She was ably supported by staff and students from Cotham and RGS and did us proud with her insightful and interactive presentation on the philosophy of artificial intelligence. Further, congratulations go to Elias, Miyo and Abby who have enrolled in the 'JalaChamp', Japanese Speech Contest, organised by the Japan Foundation London. They worked diligently with their teammates from the Bristol Japanese Kids Club for this competition, and submitted a fantastic video for the Video Category, Secondary School Division 2 - B1 level. The assigned topic was 'What we want to save for the future'. We are keeping our fingers crossed for their success!

We would like to congratulate our Charity and Events Team for their fundraising efforts this term.  A Post 16 movie night was held to raise money for Somaliland Mental Health Support Organisation. We also celebrated World Hijab Day with a cookie sale and a screening of 'Hijab & Me'. The team are now busily planning for next term’s efforts to coincide with Ramadan. 

Core sessions this term have been packed with ideas and opportunities for the Future. This included a session delivered by Ask Apprenticeships, to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week. The session focussed on all the exciting opportunities available through this pathway. Student can find out more and discover a range of supporting resources via the Apprenticeships section of the Post 16 Hub (student login required).

We were incredibly proud of our students who represented us at UWE’s Raise the Bar conference this term. In part 1, students took part in workshops aimed at connecting cultures, reflecting on their experiences and thinking critically about the education system. In part 2, students took part in their own private taster sessions including Centre for music; Centre for sport; The library and resource centre and a tour of the lecture theatres/study spaces. Engagement with our partner universities didn’t stop there. We are very proud of the large number of Cotham Post 16 students who have engaged in interviews and focus groups this term, facilitated by the team behind KCL’s Understanding Colourism Among Young People in the UK study. We are excited to see this research unfold and proud of the integral role our students have played. Congratulations must also go to our future-focussed Foundation cohort. Our brilliant business specialists have all been out on their work experience placements in the final week of term and the feedback from employers has been consistently fantastic. 

All that remains is to wish our students a well deserved half term break. 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. For students feeling creative over the break, there is the opportunity to craft an entry for the Cotham Post 16 Poetry & Short Story competition, judged by our fabulous library and literacy coordinator Mr Davies. The theme is 'Hope,' and the deadline is Monday 15 April 2024.