Upper School

Hello, and welcome to Colston’s, or at least welcome to our website. I am afraid this is going to be quite tricky as I need to persuade you that this is a school worth visiting and I don’t have much time before you click onto the next interesting page. Perhaps you might let me know how I do!

Colston’s School is a happy and busy place where our young men and women, many in their most formative years, learn a great deal about themselves and about the world in which they live. Our students excel academically as well as enjoying access to first-class facilities and a top notch programme of extra-curricular experiences. Colston’s is an exciting place so do come and visit!

If you are still with me, I’ll try and explain a little more about why I think you should come and visit Colston’s: To start with, you should visit any school that you are considering because they are all different. They may well all say similar things, and I apologise in advance that some of what I will go on to say may be similar to what you might read on the websites of other schools, but they will all feel different. (Or put it another way, what schools say and what they do might well be quite different.)

“Feel different”, Mr McCullough? Are you asking us to choose a school on the basis of how the place “feels”? Not very scientific, is it?

Well no, no it isn’t, but then choosing a school isn’t scientific because individual students and families tend not to obey simple scientific principles. (Apart from gravity, pretty much everyone obeys that!) You mustn’t just base it on exam results or league tables either, nor on who has the shiniest classrooms or most amazing theatre/sports hall/wellness arena (delete as applicable). Everyone who goes to school is different but they all need, above anything else, to be happy at school and I am convinced that the best way to find out if you will be happy at/with a school is to visit and meet the people, the students and the teachers, and to soak up the atmosphere. I can tell you anything I want here, but the way a school feels cannot lie!

Now follows some of the boring stuff that we sort of have to say:

Colston's Upper School starts at Year 7 and takes students through the secondary stage of their education in preparation for GCSEs and ultimately A Levels in our Sixth Form.

The Year 7 curriculum is designed to include a wide range of subjects, allowing pupils the chance to explore the various options available for further study at GCSE level. But, of course, a Colston's education extends beyond the classroom, with opportunities for sport, music and service alongside a host of extra-curricular clubs, all playing their part in creating the unique experience on offer at the school.

Every year the cohort moving up from our Lower School is joined by a significant number of students from both the maintained and independent sectors. The School operates an extensive induction process for all of the pupils joining Year 7, designed to ensure that our pupils are able to settle in quickly and are up to speed as fast as possible in September. (We run an induction session for parents too!) Our pupil body is diverse and we welcome students from across the city of Bristol and beyond. We run a very accessible admissions system that will normally include a Taster Day at the school, as well as some academic testing.

For Year 7 entry we have a number of Academic Scholarships available, as well as awards for those excelling in Sport and Music and, at Year 9, Drama. The School, thanks to its very generous Old Boys’ Society, as well as the Foundations of several individual Old Colstonians, is able to offer bursarial support every year to a number of students for whom, without this support, a Colston’s education would not be possible.

The other main points of entry are into Year 9 and Year 12, although occasionally we welcome new students into other year groups too. In Year 9 students select their GCSE options and those courses run through Years 10 and 11. In Year 12 students begin their advanced studies, either at A Level or a combination of A Levels and BTEC. Throughout the school, the opportunities for extracurricular involvement, leadership and service are a major part of the holistic education that we offer.

Very well done if you have got to the end of that. Now please go to the Admissions section and book a visit! 


J S McCullough MA (Oxon)