Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Last night saw the opening performance of Joseph!.  Hours of dedicated hard work across the full range of performing arts students and staff were rewarded with a top quality production that zipped along with pace and energy.  The acting, the singing, the costumes, the orchestra/band, the staging, the technical production, the back stage support and the pre-performance/interval refreshments and, yes, the 'Technicolour Dreamcoat' itself were all amazing.

One audience member wrote in an overnight review -

"........I've seen Joseph at the Bristol Hippodrome and I have to honestly say, I enjoyed your show just as much as seeing the professionals perform it!"

Huge thanks and appreciation to all those responsible for a 5 star production.  A stunning example of 'working together for excellence'.

Christmas Concert

For those of us fortunate enough to find room in St Helen's church the Marlwood School Christmas Concert was an absolute treat.  A packed two hour programme was led and delivered by Marlwood students and the level of expertise was clear to all those who enjoyed the music that was produced.  A range of artists performed: soloists, ensembles, bands, choirs and an orchestra.  They delivered an eclectic mix of music and musical styles for the audience to enjoy.  The technical support and the interval refreshments were of an equally high standard leading to an evening of real quality. 

Huge thanks go to all of the performers and the Marlwood school staff for the time, effort and dedication required to produce such a fantastic evening.  I'm sure I was not the only person who left the church filled with pride and festive cheer!

Preparing for exams and tests.

Revision. A word which will all be familiar with.  However research indicates that it is a term that is not well understood and is used in schools to describe a range of different processes that students will undertake to prepare themselves for examinations.

We have created a revision blog for students and parents/carers aimed at supporting all students from year 7 to year 13 but especially our year 11 students.  On here you will find a mix of help and advice, specific revision techniques and subject specific websites. 

Happy revising!

A new blog is born.

A new blog is up and running!  With the express aim of keeping our community up to date with Sixth Form related news welcome to the Sixth Form Blog.

Special Events

As we approach the end of the second term we have two special events to look forward to.  Both events represent a huge amount of hard work and dedication by our students and staff and I'm sure a lot of support from home!

I do hope that you will be able to attend.

The Christmas Concert

Our school production

Celebration of Success evening

We had a fantastic evening on Thursday 26th November - our first 'Celebration of Success' event.  The evening kicked off with a bang when the fantastic Marlwood Samba Band treated us all to the Batucada Fanfare.  Year 13 House Captains Ella Cottle and Thom Harris-Lee guided us through proceedings with style.  Further musical contributions came from Emily Davis, flute soloist, Calvin Preston, guitar soloist and a wonderful sneak preview of our school production 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' with Liam Green leading the choir and orchestra with 'Any dream will do'.  We were also treated to inspiring words from Year 13 House Captains Dominic Webb and Devini De Alwis who reflected on how an education at Marlwood has positively impacted on them.

Of course the main event of the evening was the prize giving.  Recipients were called onto the stage by Rhona Allgood, Chair of Governors, and a long procession of students, present and past, came to receive their prize and hearty applause from the audience.  Over 180 prizes were awarded for attainment/progress in subject areas and for community contribution at Marlwood School.  A huge congratulations to all the winners, whether you were able to attend or not, next year we are determined to make sure everyone can attend.

The evening finished with some lovely refreshments and an opportunity to meet and chat informally.  Thank you to all those of you who have provided feedback on how much you enjoyed the evening.

A huge thanks to all of the staff who contributed to the organisation of this event.

Marlwood School - Time For Reading

Marlwood School receives the Time For Reading - Bronze award.

Marlwood School's commitment to reading continues.  The Time For Reading scheme was set up by the Local Authority to promote an enjoyment of reading.  There were a number of criteria the school had to meet in order to achieve this award, needless to say we successfully met them! The benefits of a high level of reading for our young learners are obvious and we use the Accelerated Reader system to track our students' progress with their reading.  Huge congratulations to all involved and thanks to you as parents for supporting us from home.  We have the Silver Award firmly in our sights.

Parent Feedback Survey

A large number of you took the time at last Wednesday's Parent Consultation to complete our Parent Survey.  This feedback is very useful to us and therefore gratefully received. It was especially pleasing that the overwhelming majority of you stated that you felt your child/children were safe, happy, learning well and making good progress at Marlwood School.  As a consequence you would recommend Marlwood School to others. 

We will make a comprehensive summary of the survey available on the website and in this term's newsletter.

Parent Consultation Evening

Many thanks to all of you who attended on Wednesday 18th November.  Many of you commented on how valuable you found the conversation in helping you to understand your child as a learner.  We have since had a steady supply of feedback by e-mail with the majority reinforcing the view that the event was very useful.  You have made a number of suggestions that you feel would develop the evening further.  These will be taken into consideration by the staff working party.

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Marlwood School remembers all of the men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms.  Poppies have been sold around the school throughout this term.  On Sunday 8th November we placed a wreath in Thornbury in memory of the fallen.

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month the school fell silent for two minutes.

“At the setting of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them”

House Badge Competition

The house system is becoming an integral part of school life and students are increasingly engaging with their house to develop an identity.  To support this process students have been asked to design a house badge or emblem.  We received almost 100 entries across the four houses.  On Friday 6th November students were invited to judge the entrants to pick a winning design that best represented their house.  The four winning designs have now been identified. 

The winners will spend a day with a local design company, one of our premium business partners, to see their initial ideas developed and transferred to an e-design that will be used for many years to come.  Well done to everyone who contributed.

Visit to the George Spencer Academy

Before half term break I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the 'George Spencer Academy' school in Nottingham with Mr Hardy from the Maths Faculty.  The link to this academy comes about through our 'Whole Education'  network, which is focussed on innovative approaches in education.  A geographical feature of the academy is that their school site is split by a very busy dual carriageway, I'm sure that this has presented some logistical and health and safety barriers for the academy to overcome!

It was an inspirational day at a truly excellent school.  I for one came away impressed by the culture and ethos of the school.  They have very high aspirations for all of their students and believe that through developing the learners they can achieve them - the data certainly validates their approach.  Many of the strategies that have been employed align with ours - not least their focus on student led learning conversations which help students to understand how they can improve their progress and grades.

It was extremely useful to see the impact that the strategies we have employed at Marlwood will have over the coming years.

Year 11 Pre-Public Exams

Our Year 11 Students are in the middle of their pre-public examinations.  They appear focussed, serious and prepared.  We hope that students are taking advantage of the support that is available from teachers, tutors and the 'Marlwood Mountain' group mentors. 

If parents/carers are looking for ways of supporting students from home please do take a look at the 'Revision Blog' which is accessed through the 'VLE Links' tab on the website homepage.

We look forward to seeing how they have performed. 

Staff INSET day

On November the 2nd we enjoyed a very busy and very productive Staff INSET day.  The focus for our training was 'Learning Conversations' which will be a key feature of the Parent Consultation evenings this year.  With input from the 'Achievement For All' organisation, one of our key partners, we feel equipped to hold high quality conversation with students and parents/carers that focus on the student as a learner and the progress they are making in their subjects. 

We are all looking forward to the 18th November and the first of these conversations.


The School attendance continues to be above our target of 95%.  A huge congratulations to every individual student who has attendance above this level, you are currently being celebrated on our attendance notice board out side Student Reception.

Absence from school for a sustained period of time or sporadically is a key reason for student underperformance.  Whilst absence for good reasons can be unavoidable I hope we can all work together to ensure that absence is minimised for the Students at Marlwood School.


The latest version of our Newsletter is available on the School Website under the 'news' tab.  If you haven't seen a copy, please do take a look as it is a comprehensive summary of a very positive Term 1.


We have just completed a very successful two weeks of Open Mornings.  Up to twelve families a day have visited the school and we have been delighted with the feedback we have received.  One constant positive feature of the feedback has been our student guides, many from Year 7, who spoke eloquently and answered questions fully; we are very proud of them.
Here is a feature about Year 7 in this week's Thornbury Gazette.
We are arranging extra visits for parents including those who want to return for another visit; please contact the school if you want to be involved.


Our Open Evening kicked off to a fabulous start with presentations from David Chattaway (Year 8), Larragh Nunn (Year 7), Ella Cottle (House Captain) and Thom Harris-Lee (House Captain). The school buzzed with questions and answers as our student tour guides took groups of parents around the school, introducing them to Faculty staff and our House Progress Leaders. We welcomed many from the community and from further afield and look forward to seeing  those Year 6s next year when they join us at Marlwood.


Following the very successful Open Evening last night, the school still has appointments available for any parents wishing to look round the school in ‘real’ time for the week commencing 5th October. The tours start at 9.30am daily and appointments can be made through contacting the school by email, phone or through the web site.


These are now a weekly event at Marlwood. The first competition took place last Friday and was hosted by the IBAC Faculty (International Business and Computing) see below.  This Friday sees the Inter-House Tightrope Challenge and we are expecting some interesting entries. All the competitions gain points for the Houses, which students can further support through acquiring Praise points for good attitudes to learning and progress in their learning. In those famous words ‘Points Mean Prizes!’

Last week’s Euro 2015 quiz for European Languages day was a great hit! It was a celebration of the diversity, not only in our school, but in our wider European community. It was great to see members of staff and students challenged and working together and support from the crowd was fantastic!

Congratulations to Holt on their victory. Second place went to Witton, followed by Kingsley with Berkeley in fourth place. Special mentions go to the Kingsley team for winning the physical round with Mr Mathers playing guitar and Mrs Cox leading the pupils in a perfect Flamenco routine!


This is well under way for this term with our students taking part in a variety of leadership opportunities. Ten of our new Year 7s accompanied me back to their primary schools to give an assembly on their first experiences of Marlwood School and secondary education. We were very proud of them in their new school uniforms as they confidently took questions from their younger contemporaries.  Our Sixth Form and Year 11 students continue to mentor and support the young students in their Tutor Groups; all of which builds interest and achievement into their CVs.


There has been a fantastic turnout at the Girls’ Netball Club this week with a record number of Year 7s and 8s. Their first match is against Castle on 22nd September and we wish them every success!


Thanks to you all for your support for the changes that have taken place for the start of the year. Our students look smart and are working hard. We are pleased that they are enjoying the redecorated classrooms in the main School Block. We are hearing a lot of positive feedback from both students and parents that the changes are having a positive impact and they feel their learning is better.


We are extremely grateful to the Charlie Froud Foundation for their very generous donation towards school transport costs.  This funding helps us to support our students’ learning and we are very appreciative of the Foundation’s support for the school.

For more information on this charity, follow the link below


Marlwood School is one of the first schools in the area to achieve Young People Friendly Status, which acknowledges an integrated support system that helps young people to balance their troubles and focus on their academic work. The Drop-In service provided by the School Nurse, works proactively with other services to meet the needs of our students, helping them to reduce their anxiety and stress remain focussed on their learning.


On behalf of the school community, we wish to acknowledge the very generous support from the Trustees of the Thornbury Grammar School Foundation in helping us to implement the School Uniform Policy.

The Trustees are always willing to consider applications for financial assistance to support student learning. Application forms can be obtained from the school.


We are seeking nominations to fill our Parent Governor vacancy.  A letter with details has been sent home to all parents and for further details please visit our web site. Nominations need to be sent to the school by 30th September and we look forward to welcoming a new governor to the Local Governing Body.


Success for one of our Year 8 students:  following successful trials Matt Robertson has been offered a contract to join Cheltenham Town FCU13s Academy.

An ex-Marlwood student has won the Emmanuel College Cambridge prize for his first class performance in his examinations.

Well done to both – we are very proud of our students!


Our new students have settled happily into their new roles in secondary school and are beginning to find their way around the school. As part of our ongoing Leadership and Respect agenda, some of them have been selected to join myself in going back to their primary schools to talk about their experiences during their first week at Marlwood.  Well done to those who feel confident enough to talk to assemblies!


You may remember our staff and students created this space towards the end of last term where anyone can go to think, slow down, reflect or remember. The Reflective Space has been the focus of year group assemblies this week into next and the Reverend Jan van der Lely has taken part in our assemblies to encourage students to use this space for reflection and prayer. The Reflective Space will be running dedicated days for students to meet with the Reverend and her staff on 22nd and 29th September.


Just another reminder that this has been postponed from Friday 18th September to a date to be confirmed in Spring 2016.

NORTH BRISTOL JUNIORS RFC are looking for players

A plea on behalf of the North Bristol Juniors RFC for more players.  If you enjoy rugby at school and want to play more or to improve your skills then why not go to North Bristol RFC for a few free taster sessions? Email  or see the website ( )


The new school year has got off to an exciting start and we wish all our new Year 7s and new students many happy years in Marlwood School.  We also welcome new staff: Ms Davies (English), Mr Davies (Assistant Headteacher), Mr Williams (Faculty Progress Leader – DART), Ms Ann Duff (Assistant Headteacher), Mr Edwards (Science) and Mrs Pullen(Maths).


We have been very pleased we are with the support we have received from the overwhelming majority of students and families in regard to uniform. Our students really do look very smart and ready to learn. There have been some issues during the first week back but we are working with our parents and students to ensure consistency in wearing the correct school uniform at all times. We thank all our parents, carers and students for their continued support.


For any of you who missed the last issue of our Newsletter at the end of Term 6, please follow the link below


Thursday 10 September – GCSE Information Evening 6-7pm (Years 10 and 11)

Friday 18 September – Friends of Marlwood Music Festival 3-10.30pm

Thursday 24 September - Year 12 Introduction Evening for Parents 6-7pm

Thursday 1st October – Open Evening 6-8pm


The date for the next Parents’ Forum is Wednesday 7 October 6.30-7.30pm. If any new parents would like to join this group, please get in touch with the school.  Further details to follow.


It is testament not only to our students’ amazing array of talent, but also to the dedication of the staff that I have had the pleasure of writing over 250 letters to students, commending them on their commitment and attitude to learning, and also thanking them for their hard work in supporting school events. Working together for excellence at its very best!


We are holding our first House Championship Day on Tuesday 14th July. Students should come to school in either their House colours or PE kit. At the end of the day the winners will be announced and will have a letter of invitation and permission to attend the Awards event on the following day. It is particularly close between two of the Houses and there is all to play for!


Just a reminder that school closes at 12.30pm on Friday. The buses will be here as usual. Term 1 begins on Tuesday 1st September with an INSET day; students return to school on Wednesday 2nd September.


Whilst our younger students are on Enrichment Days, our Year 10 students are gaining first hand experience of the world of work and taking up placements within the wider community. Many are working in areas to support their career choices further down the line, whilst others are exploring new skills and ideas which may inform their subject choices later. We are very grateful to our business partners who invest their time and experience in our students. 


This week sees us broadening the curriculum with trips and activities for all our Years 7, 8 and 9 students. Our Modern Foreign Language trips are also taking place with 62 students safely and happily returned from Paris, despite an all-time high record of temperature and threatened ferry strikes. The Barcelona trip departed on Tuesday and we look forward to hearing about their activities next week.


The school, and in particular our Science Faculty, work closely with the organisers of the Thornbury Science Festival to provide exciting and challenging activities for our students. For more information, please follow the link below:


The Performing Arts Department put on a stunning display of student talent for our Summer Sessions evening. It was a full programme with an impressive array of skills, enthusiasm and commitment – from the performers, to the back stage support and, of course, the Let’s Get Cooking Club with their mouth-watering refreshments! The feedback from parents, guests, governors, staff and students is that it was a splendid evening enjoyed by everyone. Well done to all those involved, with special thanks to Mrs Ferguson and Mr Humphries for showcasing their students’ talents so entertainingly.


Our students and staff returned safely from Paris, despite the ferry problems at Calais. We did have four back up plans in case of emergency, but in the end it was plain sailing for the Paris party. Students visited the Eiffel Tower, L’Arc du Triomphe, Louvre Museum amongst many other places – with the hottest day ever recorded for Paris mid way through their visit! We are looking forward to the write up for the newsletter at the end of term.

The Barcelona trip departs next week and we wish them an equally successful experience.


We collapsed the school timetable for one period on Monday in order that all our students could watch the exciting displays put on by the Tri-Services, including police dog handling, simulated car chase and crash, and ambulance attending. This session was followed by a dedicated PSHCE programme to reinforce the messages delivered by the TriServices. The feedback from students was that they felt it really useful. Please see link below for editorial and photos from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary.



Just one of an array of the quotes from the heart from our House Captains’ address to the Founders’ Day Service held on Wednesday. To read their full address and learn more about the ‘Marlwood Experience’, follow the link below.


We welcomed our incoming Year 7 students to the school for a day of activity and familiarisation with their new school. Suddenly our current Year 7s seem to have grown inches! Marlwood Rangers (students with their first responsibility as leaders) provided tours and buddy-up moments for the young learners. Many other students and staff joined in through the day to make it memorable for our latest recruits. We are looking forward to seeing them in September, bright eyed, bushy tailed and very smart in their new uniforms!


Our thanks to our Year 7 students, Matthew Quilt and Alicia Ozmen who gave readings and to Jack Williamson who gave a moving rendition of ‘The Sky’s The Limit’. Thanks also to our Year 13 students who so ably and beautifully performed for our guests: Peter Stace on the flugelhorn, Chloe Dawes soloist and Esmae Wood on the violin.  


Letters have been uploaded on to the web site and sent home by email to parents giving them an update on key developments within CSET and the school.  The links below will take you to the full scripts.


Our Parents’ Forum met for the third and final time this school year. The group looked at the new measures for recording and reporting attainment, proposals for the Sixth Form to join part time in the Vertical Tutor Groups and how we, as a school, communicate with parents. We are very grateful to those parents who come to these meetings and give us valuable feedback. The dates for next year’s meetings will be confirmed in Term 1 of the new academic year.


The school plays host to the TriServices (Police, Fire and Ambulance) events on Monday morning 29th June. The whole school will be watching the events and supported by a dedicated programme of lessons which draw on the students’ experiences to explore PSHCE issues.


Today was the last day for our Year 11s. We celebrated their time at Marlwood with them during a special assembly and then with meetings between their tutors and teachers. They received their Yearbooks and gifts were presented to the staff. There were many, many photos and selfies taken, crying and laughter filled the Quad. They were finally waved off site by students and staff, many of them into their stretch limousines to continue their celebrations. We will see them again next week at the School Prom.


The Thornbury Lions Club have made a generous donation which enables the school to continue to collaborate with New Siblands School and The English National Touring Opera Company. These projects provide enormous benefit to all the students involved and thoroughly enjoyed by all who take part. We are immensely grateful that we can continue with this wonderful collaboration.


A group of our Year 8s and Year 9s were joined by Mr Pearce from the Gloucestershire Initiative Teachers Education Partnership this week and they have been building motorised robots, full of sensors. Today they were working out how to move the robots – lots of good ideas coming through for their uses!


Today we celebrated the success of the various car races which have taken place over the season. MRCA presented the trophies to the House which won the most number of races. Holt were the cup winners, with Berkeley in second place, Witton in third and Kingsley bringing up the rear.


This week we welcomed parents of current Year 6 students to come in and meet our staff and to understand how their children’s learning patterns will change as they graduate into secondary school. We have Open Day for the Year 6 students themselves on Thursday 25th June, with many exciting activities planned for them and a chance to ‘buddy up’ with new friends in their House groups.


Our third Parent’s Forum will be taking place on Wednesday 24th June at 6.30pm in the Learning Resource Centre. This initiative has proved an invaluable source of feedback and information between parents and the school. If you would like to come along and join those parents who have been helping us with school development projects, please contact the school for further details.


The school will be holding its annual Founders’ Day Service at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on Wednesday 24th June at 1.30pm. This service celebrates the school’s long history and brings together our Year 7 and Year 13 students – the youngest and the oldest in school, together with local dignitaries, parents and governors. Several of our students will be giving readings and soloist musical performance which we look forward to sharing with our school community.


We are delighted to be hosting the TriServices on Monday 29th June as part of the Festival Fringe ongoing summer programme. Students and visitors will have the opportunity to observe displays from the ambulance, police and fire services and to enjoy demonstrations of skill from these vital public services.


Congratulations to Claire Thomas (Y9) who has been selected to take part in the BBC Music Day Concert at the Colston Hall. It will be broadcast on 5th June between 3-4pm on 4 local BBC radio stations and Radio 3 and filmed for a piece for Points West on BBC1 and possibly the One Show. It will feature the Para-orchestra, Bristol Youth Choirs and City of Bristol Choir. Well done Claire!


Welcome back to all our students and staff after the half term. The examinations are now fully upon us and students are using their revision sessions to consolidate their learning over the past year. There is a full term of events planned, from the Year 7s trip to Morfa Bay, to three Enrichment Days and a Curriculum Focus Day held this week.


Our third and final Curriculum Focus Day took place on 3rd June. Walking around the school site there was a real sense of vibrancy emanating from the different events: Year 8 took part in samba drums, capoeihra and Drama workshops; Technology hosted a robot competition;. Years 9 and 10 received PSHCE input relating to Drugs and Alcohol, and Sex and Relationships. Meanwhile, Year 7 took part in a Modern Languages afternoon where they learnt Zumba, Flamenco and participated in a cookery class.

Our House ethos was strengthened through a Year 7 House morning, and Year 9 took part in a House Games Challenge hosted by the PE Faculty. Year 10 were also able to benefit from focused Science revision in preparation for their examination two days later, whilst Year 10 Mathematics students took part in a high end Cryptology workshop.


As part of our ongoing work with our Premium Partners, the Thornbury Deli have kindly donated sandwiches at the end of the day for our students who attend Homework Club. The students are very grateful for their generosity and I understand the sandwiches are delicious!

Funding for a Digital Learning Project - Help needed.

We are part of a bid in the Aviva Community Fund!  Our bid is for students to lead a digital learning project with senior citizens in our community.  This would be a significant funded project providing excellent opportunities to develop our students and support our community.

Voting is now open.  Our bid is called ‘Student Leaders – Silver Surfers’.

 It's actually quite a fairly straight-forward process, but there are a few steps so here's a guide:

 2. Click on the button to 'Register and log in now to get your 10 votes'

 3. Click on the 'Register now' button

 4. Fill out your details:

First name

Last name

Email address

Confirm email address

Create a Password

Confirm your password

Select 'none of the above'

Type in the letters you can see to prove you're a human! 

Tick that you have read and accept the Terms and Conditions

Click 'Register'


5. You will now be sent an email to the address you provided asking you to activate your account. Click on the button to 'validate your registration and activate your account'.

6. You will now have activated your account. All you need to do now is enter your email address and password and click 'log in'.

7. Select the number of votes you want to cast for 'Student Leaders - Silver Surfers' (you can cast up to 10 votes) and click 'submit votes'.


Thank you, happy voting and please spread the word!


Our Term 5 newsletter is now available via the web site. Our Press Team is working tirelessly to scout out news and to write up articles and I am pleased to say the majority of this newsletter is put together by them. You will see competition between the Houses remains intense and there is very little in it – our Heads of House are pushing students to gain points wherever they can and are encouraging good attendance awards. Link: -


We are continuing to encourage our students to take on roles and responsibilities through school events. This term has continued the practice of two of our younger students addressing our weekly staff meetings to introduce the Literacy theme for the week. This is no mean feat, given they are in front of their teachers! Nevertheless, they do it with charm, grace and humour. We also thank the students who played an invaluable role by sitting on the Student Interview Panels for our recent teacher recruitments. As always, our thanks to all those students who take part in school events throughout the year


Congratulations to the Year 10 Super 6s athletics teams. The boys were narrowly beaten into second place, the girls’ team won the event and progress to the Sainsbury’s Level 3 School Games at Bath University on 8th July. A great team effort to achieve excellence, well done! The PE Department are very proud of them.


After consultation with students, parents and staff and with the final say with the Student Council, I am pleased to confirm Marlwood School will have a new school uniform from September 2015. Full details and our School Uniform Brochure can be downloaded from the web site.


The School currently has two vacancies for Community Governors. We are very keen for these posts to be filled by members of our local business community. If anyone would like to express an interest, and to find out more about the role, please contact


Matthew Robertson (Year 7) was selected to tour with the South Gloucestershire Development Centre football team and has written up his experiences in Belgium and Holland for our newsletter at the end of this term.


Congratulations also to Joe Williams (Year 7) on being selected for the Bristol Rugby U13 Development Programme.


Congratulations to Charlotte Fox (Year 12) who has been selected for the South West Regional Hockey Squad.


Marlwood students have been selected to attend trials to represent South Gloucestershire Schools at the Avon Championships. We wish them all luck: Ellie Leather (Year 11), Calvin Preston (Year 10), Joe Leather (Year 9), Greg Madge (Year 9) and Sam Taylor (Year 7)


We wish them all success!


This was a fantastic process for the students to take part in and well done to all the students who stepped up to make a difference: Violet Feltham (the Progress Party), Louis Hoare (the Tomorrow Party), Tilly Humphries and Hannah Pickard (the Transform Party) and a special well done to our winner Katie Harper (the Vision Party). The government have now formed a coalition and will be putting their efforts into developing Katie's ideas and making the changes she championed.


The PED Department are running Athletics Club (Tuesday), Rounders (Wednesday) and Cricket (Thursday). All abilities welcome


I am delighted to report the school raised £242 for the Nepal Appeal through the cake sale from last Friday. Our thanks to all those who organised and supported the appeal.


Today is our Year 11 Leavers’ Day and the staff will be joining them in the Quad Dining Room at lunchtime and at the end of the day for the traditional shirt signing. We continue to encourage our students to focus on their exams and their revision, and to work for the best results they can. The link to our revision site is below



The school elections are over and our School Captains have been elected for next year. They are: Miss Devini de Alwis, Miss Ella Cottle, Mr Thom Harris-Lee and Mr Dominic Webb. The Senior Team and I look forward to working closely with them next year.


Turn out for the election was high and we had an unexpected volume of voters which was very pleasing. There will be an announcement on the winner and their proposals next week!


Congratulations to the Year 11 Football team for coming from 4-1 down to win 5-4 in the Bristol and South Glos Football Trophy Final 2015 vs Downend School. 3rd time lucky and well deserved! If Steven Spielberg saw that thrilling match he would be making a movie about it!


As part of the school’s association with the Save the Children Charity, we are running a cake sale in school today. Our thanks once again to Ian Curtis of the Crusty Loaf in Olveston for providing the cakes and we look forward to raising funds for this very worthwhile cause.


We continue to be grateful to all those parents who have joined us in the last two Parents’ Forums. A summary of the last meeting is now available on the web site; a link below for your convenience.


Our students are working really hard, with the main exams not far away and indeed some have already started. There is lots of support for our students in school to help them achieve their very best. There is also support via the Revision Blog – link below.



Our Year 12 students are presenting the Oscar Wilde play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ , on Tuesday 5th May in the Drama Hall from 6.30pm. Tickets are £3 each and everyone is welcome. Do come along and support the hard work of our students and we look forward to seeing you on the evening.


Our very talented Sixth Form band will be performing on Saturday 2nd May at The Dolpin Pub, Oldland Common. They are supporting the professional covers band Freefall, including our drum peri Jon Green.
The gig starts at 8.30pm, so if you would like an evening out and fancy hearing some of our Sixth Form students perform covers of current music, then please come along! 


It’s that time of year again when students are transferring work in and out of school on memory sticks.  Please remind your child to make backups because if the memory stick breaks it is very unlikely our IT Department will be able to retrieve any of the work on it. 


The Working Student, the brain child of Brandon Robertson, year 13 student at Marlwood, is a website for businesses to post part time vacancies for students and it is going to be developed for our Premium Partners. Brandon has welcomed the opportunity, and is working with Premium Partners to create a site that will enable all our Partners to post their apprenticeships, part time job offers and any voluntary work that would be suitable for students. To follow the link to the Premium Partners’ newsletter, click below


Our focus continues to be on the teaching and learning of all our students, with particular priority for our examination students. There are many support structures in place, and students are encouraged to visit the school’s Revision Blog for help and information. The web link is given below. 


Our PE Department have arranged for some of the Year 8 girls to be introduced to playing rugby this week by a visiting coach from the Eagle Project, an organisation linked to BRFU, specifically to raise the participation of girls in the game. The coaching, which will give the girls the opportunity of playing tag and full contact versions culminates in a festival of all schools involved at the beginning of July. 


We will be holding our annual celebration on Wednesday 24th June at 1.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. We invite all our Year 7 and Year 13 students – the youngest and the oldest – to commemorate Marlwood’s long history as a school on this occasion, together with invited guests. Year 7 parents will shortly receive an invitation and I hope you will be able to join us for this occasion.


About three years ago the school made a plea to parents to donate trees for new areas of the school grounds and we were extremely grateful for your generosity. On behalf of the school, I am now making another plea for any donations of shrubs to fill our new planters around the site! If the keen gardeners amongst you have any shrubs you would be happy to donate, please bring them into the school and leave them by the school flagpole at the front of the building. All donations gratefully received and even more so if you are able to label the shrubs with their plant name!


Welcome back to all our students after the Easter break. Many of them have been revising hard and sensibly over the school holiday and our focus this term will be to continue to prepare our students for the forthcoming exams.


Marlwood School is very proud of its links to local businesses. On the theme of ‘Working Together for Excellence’ we view it as vitally important that our local business partners support and contribute to education for the benefit of our young people. To this end we are excited by our developing partnership with Castle School, CSET and the Premium Partners to extend these links further. The following link is to a Premium Partners newsletter which captures some of the exciting school/business link work. -

Also look out for the link to our own Premium Partners webpage from the main school website.


As part of Bristol's Green Capital 2015 programme, Yr 12 and 13 Geography students have been invited to participate in a day long event at the Colston Hall on the above date. Led by an advisory group of young people, the day will address subjects such as the science of climate change, protecting wildlife and the oceans, human rights, the clothes we wear, equality, how to campaign successfully, and why questioning the establishment is essential.


Just another reminder that if you are dropping your child off at school in the morning, please see the following link for car parking details.


We are delighted to announce that the 19 students from Year 7 are about to become published poets!  They entered a national 'Young Writers' competition and these 19 poets have been chosen for publication at the end of June. The school will receive a copy of the anthology and, at that point, the winner and runners up will be judged by the organisers with a 1st prize of £500, a 2nd prize of £250 and a 3rd prize of £100 coming to the school if they win.

 This is tremendous for our students and we are very proud of their success.


With the weather improving, it would be great to see more students attending our afterschool clubs. They finish in time for the late bus (3:15-4:15). All abilities are welcome.


Tuesday- Boys Rugby Development (Specialist Coach)

Tuesday- Athletics for all

Wednesday- Girls Rounders

Thursday- Cricket (Specialist Coach)


I’d like to wish all parents/carers and students an enjoyable, relaxing and safe Easter and look forward to welcoming our school community back into school refreshed and ready for Term 5.


We have taken action to improve student, staff and parent safety in the parking area at the front of the school at the beginning of the day. Please follow the link for details.


I am delighted to introduce our newly formed Marlwood Press Team via the end of term newsletter

This initiative offers leadership opportunities for our students interested in journalism and/or photography and they will be covering events in and around the school as they happen.


Under our PSHCE programme and the Respect Agenda, four students have now been recruited to apply for the role of the future Prime Minister of Marlwood School. This will be a position of responsibility and the winning ‘Government’ will be allocated £2000 to put their proposals into practice. This also provides opportunities for our students to engage with our Respect Agenda and to take the lead on school initiatives. We are looking forward to hearing their election manifestos!


Competition remains fierce between the four Houses and there is very little in it at the end of Term 4. Highlights have included the Heads of House Race The Radio Controlled Cars Competition, The Marlwood Great Bake-Off, Jolly Hockey Sticks and the Quidditch Easter Egg Hunt! Full House details are in the Newsletter.


The consultation period has ended and there is a full report in the Newsletter. Term 5 will see a consultation on the style, colours and costs of a new uniform and this will be communicated to parents and carers.


The second meeting of the Parents’ Forum took place on 25th March. The meeting was well attended with new parents joining our discussions. A summary of the meeting will be available on the school web site shortly.


Three times a year the normal school timetable is disaggregated and faculties are able to drill down into specific aspects of their curriculum in more detail than a one hour lesson sometimes allows. These days also allow the school to address the wider educational issues which fall under the umbrella of Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education (PSHCE). All year groups, 7 to 13, participate. On Thursday, before our Inset Day, a range of activities took place and contributed to a positive, vibrant atmosphere across the school on a sunny Spring day, which I hope our students have shared with you at home.


As part of the Curriculum Focus Day, our Sixth Formers used the opportunity to raise yet more funds for their chosen charities by hosting a Great Marlwood Bake-Off Competition. Ian Curtis, from the Crusty Loaf in Olveston, joined me in the judging. Funds raised from the sale of the cakes, biscuits and ‘other’ reached over £110. Well done to all involved.


Year 10 spent a morning enthusiastically receiving structured guidance on how to approach their mock exams which start in May. This also prepares them for the mock GCSEs and the real examinations next year. Input came from the core subjects and students were guided on how to manage their time and understand and exploit their own preferred learning styles.

Tutors and subject staff work hard to prepare our students so they are confident in their knowledge of the subject and in sitting exams. Our Revision Guidelines Booklet with Top Ten Tips for exam success was handed out to all students, including information on how to prepare themselves physically and mentally to be at their best on the day. We look forward to reaping fine results!


Our second meeting of the Parents’ Forum will be held on Wednesday 25 March 7.00-8.00pm in the Learning Resource Centre. Our Founder members welcome any parents who would like to join them. On the agenda this time:

Feedback from our uniform consultation
Measuring progress in a future with National Curriculum levels
Progress towards a revised style of Student Progress Parent Evenings

If you’d like to join us, please let school know in the usual way – by phone or email.


It was with great pleasure that Mrs Carrington, Mrs Gill and Abi Southwell (English student) accompanied a group of 14 students to the Concorde Book Award held at the Bristol & Bath Science Park. The event was well attended with over 100 students and many parents.

Marlwood students confidently introduced the six shortlisted books and later gave a drama presentation on their interpretation of Gillian Cross's book After Tomorrow. Gillian Cross later commented how much she enjoyed seeing our interpretation of her book. Our students have been meeting regularly since October to read, discuss and blog about the books. During the last few weeks, they have come up with ideas for our presentations and practiced, latterly, most days. The group have been a real pleasure to work with. For more details see our Term 4 Newsletter which will be on the web site next week


As reported by Samantha Bland, Y13 student, a group of Year 13s in their second year of studying A Level Access to Music arranged a music performance event at New Siblands School in Thornbury. A group of our talented Year 12 and 13 musicians were invited to perform some of their best pieces in the New Siblands’ morning assembly. This musical showcase highlighted the level of talent evident within the Marlwood Music Faculty and consisted of five performers, including vocalists and instrumentalists, with the diversity of the flugelhorn played by Peter Stace. At the end of the showcase, our students handed out a variety of hand percussion instruments enabling the New Siblands’ children to contribute to the performance for the last piece. The Marlwood students also created Award Certificates to hand out to the children, which gave them a sense of accomplishment and highlighted their overall contribution to this exciting event.


The School Council has met again this term and have been making decisions on which charities to support within the four different Houses: so far the students have nominated Cancer Research and Macmillan Nurses. Some of the items covered by the School Council includes: working with the Senior Leadership Team to review Homework Guidelines and the School Planner; and School Improvement Bids for work to be done around the school site. There are two new working parties coming together: one will work with the Site Management Team to place and install water fountains around the school, and the second one will be working with myself to look at student engagement and achievement.

ITALIAN TRIP update from Mr Helliker

Students of Geography in Year 11 and 13 have just returned from 4 days on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Staying in Sorrento, we had the opportunity to explore the island of Capri, Emperor Tiberius's summer villa (in ruins now) and take a laser boat around the various coastal features. The second day involved a fascinating visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum to experience what a Roman town looked like. The third day involved a visit to Montenuovo - a cinder cone volcano. Unfortunately, a visit to the crater of Vesuvius had to be cancelled due to snow and high winds at the summit - not the Mediterranean weather we had hoped for! We followed up the visit to Montenuovo to Solfatara, a caldera with active fumeroles and vents. Although there were lots of bad egg smells and steam, it was a very interesting place. The staff thought the students were excellent: polite, punctual and interested… “they were a pleasure to be with."


19th March sees the school running a Curriculum Focus Day which gives our Faculties the opportunity to run subject-based, extra-curricular activities that are fun and interesting for our students and which give them a broader experience of the core subjects they study in KS3 and KS4.


Once again I am happy to report on the school’s continuing commitment to helping others who are worse off than ourselves. Students and staff have been happily selling Red Nose Chocolate Brownies to support the Red Nose Day appeal. Our local baker joined the cause and provided the brownies at a very favourable price so our profit margins were better than we had hoped. Thank you to Ian Curtis of the Crusty Loaf in Olveston. All monies raised will help to buy Mosquito Nets in Africa.

The ‘Bandana Week’ fund raising for Brain Tumour Support went very well last week, with the local Press coming along to photograph our students in a variety of bandana wearing guises. Our students raised an impressive £233.30 for their nominated charity.


This week has seen our Year 11 students taking part in mock interviews with volunteers from our business partners and the local business community. The students have had to prepare a CV, a letter of application and come dressed appropriately for the experience. The feedback is that our students benefit enormously from this practical experience and we are very grateful to those businesses who spare their staff to come in and make this a worthwhile event for our students.


Under our PSHCE programme, recruitment has begun for four students to apply for the role of the future Prime Minister of Marlwood. This will be a position of responsibility and the winning ‘Government’ will receive £2000 to put their proposals into practice. This also provides opportunities for our students to engage with our Respect Agenda and to take the lead on school initiatives. We are looking forward to hearing their election manifestos!


We are very proud of all of our students and staff who are involved in raising funds for charity in one way or another. This term sees us introducing a Wishing Well located in the school grounds and the first funds raised will be donated to UNICEF. Staff are also supporting the Daffodil Appeal run by the Marie Curie Cancer charity. A group of our Year 13 students are fund raising for Brain Tumour Support – ‘Bandana Week’, having already presented at a Business Breakfast Networking meeting last week. The school is likely to be a mass of bandana-wearing supporters on 6th March and I have no doubt our students will find some unusual ways of wearing them!


As mentioned in previous blogs, we are now well into the consultation process with students, staff, parents and governors to consider whether it is time for a change, and if so what that change may be.  Please encourage your children to join the debate via their House and School Councils and we look forward to receiving parental feedback too.


Our Year 11 will be performing their exam play Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo on 17th and 18th March. This promises to be a thought-provoking and highly entertaining performance. For more information and tickets, please call 01454 862525.

CELEBRATING SUCCESS - Accelerated Reader

Through this exciting school initiative our younger students have achieved great success in their reading: 7F1 have already been presented with their 5 Million Word Class Prize; 7F2 will receive their 10 Million Word Class Prize this week; seven more Word Millionaires were created last term, taking our total for the year to eleven. 1,000 quizzes were clocked up last term, bringing the total this year so far to 3,021 represented by a total of 89,662,615 words!
The Learning Resource Centre is busy collecting good condition used books (children’s and suitable adults’) for a book sale in March and another on the evening of the Spelling Bee. Please send in any books to the LRC. Proceeds will go towards helping to fund the Concorde Book Award, enjoyed each year by many of our students.