Local Talk

Cotham school?

(19 Posts)
sarahbeenybag Tue 01-Jun-10 13:41:10

Does anyone have the lowdown on Cotham school? They get good results and a good ofsted, but are people generally happy with the school? Anything to know that doesn't come across in the reports?
Thanks!

My friend's son went there for secondary and they thought it was good.

Cogitoergosum Tue 01-Jun-10 21:15:06

A good few of my daughter's friends are there and seem to like it, but it doesn't suit everyone. Like all schools - it's horses for courses and there's been a fair bit of traffic going between cotham and my dd's school (in both directions) as kids (and parents) are figuring out that problems aren't necessarily down to teething problems, but that they've ended up at a school that just doesn't suit them.

Overall it seems to do quite well though smile

sarahbeenybag Tue 01-Jun-10 22:56:22

Thank you both!
Interesting, what things aren't good/right for the kids it's not suiting? (but do take your point about horses/courses....)

Cogitoergosum Wed 02-Jun-10 19:24:37

I think it's largely about fitting in with peers, most of the kids I've seen moving between cotham and my dd's school have done so because they've found it tricky to find a good friendship group, and in most of these cases they seem to have settled down very well after moving. The reason why they don't find the friendship groups initially vary wildly.

The specialism of the school plays a part too. Cotham has performing arts status, and I think it's good in terms of orchestral/choral/acting. Redland Green has languages as it's speciality (I think?) and Fairfield is also performing arts, but is more concentrated on dance and modern music.

Good luck making your choice! You'll get a feel for each school if you attend the open evenings they hold in September before the forms have to go in for the next intake in 2011, unless perhaps you're moving into the area and already have a secondary age child, in which case you might need to make an appointment with the head if you want to have a look around, and they'll be able to tell you immediately if there are any places available in the year group your child should be in (they don't always, at cotham)

sarahbeenybag Wed 02-Jun-10 22:37:44

Thanks! That really shows that, as a parent, you can't do everything. You can try to factor in so many things re schools - but you can't really arrange the right friends!

But in any case, it sounds as if Cotham should be ok?

exexpat Wed 02-Jun-10 23:04:08

Cotham has an improving reputation academically, and is very good for performing arts/dance. I know a few people with children there at the moment, or who have recently left.

My impression is that bright kids who are reasonably self-motivated do well there, but like any big comprehensive, there are always a few who are not interested in learning, and if your child is susceptible to the wrong peer group, you can run into problems. I know of one friend's son currently doing A-level retakes for that reason. But I think that's probably the case at any big school with a mixed intake.

Certainly Cotham is one of the few Bristol state schools that people are actually keen to be in the catchment area of.... The sixth-form is linked with Redland Green as the North Bristol Post-16 centre, and sixth formers can go back and forth between the two locations. Oh, and Cotham is in the middle of a big building project at the moment which means it's all a bit chaotic with temporary classrooms etc but it should be good when it's finished.

sarahbeenybag Thu 03-Jun-10 00:12:29

Any idea how it compares to Redland Green?

sarahbeenybag Thu 03-Jun-10 00:13:11

I mean, thank you! And any idea how it compares to Redland Green?!

Cogitoergosum Thu 03-Jun-10 18:01:15

As far as I know Redland Green doesn't have too many stats on performance because it's only been open 3 (?) years. I suppose it must have had some kind of ofsted by now though, you'll probably find stuff if you google to compare it with Cotham.

You absolutely HAVE to live within the catchment area for Redland Green, and it was moved last year so make sure you work out if you're in it before you stick at the top of your choices. It is hugely oversubscribed and you won't have a hope unless you're very close, or have special needs that only they can cater for. A lot of parents missed out big time with the catchment area change because they had forked out over the odds prices for houses that they thought would guarantee them entry, only to find they were suddenly miles away from the boundaries.

It seems very popular amongst those that want their kids to go there.

exexpat Thu 03-Jun-10 19:45:05

Yes, Redland Green is really too new to tell. It is hugely popular largely because it's about the only school in Bristol with an almost 100% middle-class catchment area, so people assume the results are going to be good. But it hasn't taken a whole cohort through to GCSE yet, so it's really an unknown quantity - unless nice buildings and good intake are infallible guarantees of success...

Ninjacat Thu 03-Jun-10 22:52:45

My son is in yr8 at cotham. He is very happy there and doing well. He's more of a maths/science/languages type than arts.

Emmmm Fri 04-Jun-10 00:24:52

I think Redland Green has a science specialism?? Cotham has just added Maths to its performing arts specialism. The kids y7-10 have just been given another week off due to building work delays - think by 2011 It'll be lovely but there has been quite a lot of closure days. My daughter in year 9 is 'fine' there but my main complaint is that Redland Green beats them at everything sporty. RG practises but Cotham leaves it to the last second to pull a team together for whatever (athletics/rounders etc) and don't practice at all. Also I feel Cotham pretty good at pastoral stuff and creating opportunities but don't do enough to encourage pupils to achieve potential. Also big BME population but no or v few visible BME staff . . or staff willing to challenge status quo/ relativism about 'culture' -that's the negative. The positive is that my daughter is there and is 'okay'! I can't rave but on the other hand haven't got much to compare it to, and the dance/drama/maths and history has been consistently excellent.

NQWWW Tue 13-Sep-11 22:47:48

Bumping this thread because we're thinking of moving to Bristol, want to live in the Redland/Cotham area and seem to have a choice between a smaller house in the Redland Green catchment area and larger (and closer to the action) one in Cotham. Seems to be not a bad position to be in but would welcome any input. Redland Green's first set of results look really excellent - should we be swayed by this?

crazymum53 Wed 14-Sep-11 17:03:17

June 2011 was Redland Greens first year of GCSE results.
There are also several very good schools in Bristol that are not catchment area based. Bristol Cathedral School (co-ed) and Colston Girls (girls only) are former independent schools who are now academies. They have a combination of test and lottery system for entry.
There are also the faith schools St Bedes Catholic and St Mary Redcliffe (C of E) which have good reputation and results.

SaggyHairyArse Sat 17-Sep-11 00:38:18

I went to CGS, it has always been a good school wink

Ninjacat Wed 21-Sep-11 12:26:43

Saggy CGS - thats old school! (actually I had to confess I went there too but not before I sat that little exam about telling the difference between a circle and a square or some-such - no such hoops these days)

My Son goes to Cotham now. He is in year 10 and seems to be doing well.
He's a Science and Languages boy.

solymum1 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:38:41

hello all i am relocating back to bristol and want my son to go to cotham as this is where i went to school, i am unsure areas the catchment area covers.
could anybody point me to a site, map or tell me please xx thanks xx

crazymum53 Wed 06-Mar-13 11:04:22

Use the following link on the Bristol city Council website Secondary schools in Bristol. This contains maps of the "Priority areas" for each school and the nearest distance that you have to live from each school to be allocated a place. Information for this admissions round is now on the Council website too.

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