We have long-established schools with secure, strong reputations; schools that have joined us because they were in difficulties and are now starting to flourish within the Venturers’ Trust; and brand-new schools. Some are in the centre of Bristol, others in the northern and southern suburbs; some are culturally very diverse, others are not. We have both primary and secondary schools, and three which are all-age schools - one of them a distinguished, very long-established independent school, another a brand-new school for children with autism.
It would be hard to find greater diversity and quality within a small family of schools.
Bannerman Road Community Academy, based in Easton, joined CGS Trust in September 2015. The school is proud of its diverse and multi-lingual community and believes that all pupils are entitled to high quality, engaging and exciting teaching and learning.
Located in East Central Bristol, Barton Hill Academy has 20 classes from Nursery to Year Six. There are currently three classes in each year group from Reception to Year Three and two in each of the others. The Academy is growing fast and is moving towards being fully three form entry by September 2018. Barton Hill Academy joined CGS Trust in September 2016.
Colston’s Girls’ School is a long-established (1891) girls’ independent school which became an academy in 2008, accepting girls aged 11 – 18 of all talents and abilities. It is a relatively small, culturally-diverse school in the centre of Bristol, in which high-quality teaching and an inspired curriculum have created the highest-attaining non-selective school in the South West, with a long history of achievement and judged by OfSTED to be an ‘outstanding school’.
It is the ‘hub’ school of CGS Trust which also includes the Dolphin School, Fairlawn School, the Kingfisher School and Bannerman Road Community Academy.
An Associate Member of the Venturers’ Trust, Colston’s School is a very long-established (1710) independent school which educates over 800 children and young people from the age of 3 to 18. It is a co-educational, family school promoting an ‘Education for Life’, committed to developing young people and challenging them to be the best they can be. In its most-recent inspection, the school was not only praised for its high academic achievement, but also for “the highly supportive ethos within the school community [which] allows [pupils] to grow and flourish into self-assured young people of integrity who have a strong sense of who they are and what they believe in”.
The Dolphin School for primary age students opened in 2012 and is located alongside Colston’s Girls’ School in central Bristol. It is part of CGS Trust and will eventually educate 420 children. When open for just two years, OfSTED judged it to be a ‘good school’.
Fairlawn School opened in September 2015 and when fully established in 2021, it will educate 420 children with a curriculum focused particularly on science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics. The school building is a magnificent, fully-refurbished Victorian building near the city centre.
The Kingfisher School is the former St Anne’s Park primary school in the St Anne’s district of the city. When that school went into special measures, it became part of CGS Trust (2013) and a rapid improvement programme began. Standards of achievement and teaching have both improved under skilled new leadership. The school is growing and will educate 420 children in enlarged and improved buildings.
Merchants’ Academy began life as a secondary school replacing the former Withywood School, which had been struggling for many years. It has been transformed, not just in its splendid buildings, but also in the quality of education it provides and the standards it achieves.
It is now an all-age (3-18) school of over 1000 pupils, having been joined in 2013 by the former Gay Elms primary school, which had also been in difficulties. The primary school is improving rapidly, and when OfSTED inspected in 2014, the whole all-age academy was judged ‘good’. Inspectors said that “the drive for excellence shown by leaders and managers has strongly improved teaching and accelerated students’ achievement”.
Opened in September 2016, Venturers’ Academy is the first state-funded all-age specialist provision in Bristol for children with a primary diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). Venturers’ Academy provides an outstanding, personalised and challenging education, where students aspire to, and attain, the highest levels of achievement both academically and socially.