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Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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Castle Consortium School Direct

Castle Consortium is a group of schools in South Gloucestershire, close to the city of Bristol.  We include The Castle School in Thornbury, Downend School in Bristol, Marlwood School in Alveston and Chipping Sodbury School in Chipping Sodbury.

Castle Consortium is working with the University of Bristol in running a new model of Teacher Training: this will be delivered under the 'School Direct' programme. This programme blends the best of school-based teacher training with training support from the University of Bristol, long time 'Outstanding' (Ofsted) providers in the field of initial teacher training. Students on this programme will be awarded PGCE and QTS at the end of the training year, with the possibility of being employed by one of four schools (The Castle, Downend, Chipping Sodbury or Marlwood) the following year.

In particular, a placement with the Castle Consortium will involve you in

  • guaranteed training at one of our highly successful and fully comprehensive schools, with immersion in classes aged 11 to 18
  • the second placement in a suburban/rural linked school
  • the opportunity of an arranged placement at a linked primary school
  • full student status at the University of Bristol which in turn gives access to facilities, full access to the 10 libraries including the Education library located in the Graduate School of Education and all the on-line services, University e-mail, access to on-Line Learning Environments, University Union, access to the University Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, student Societies and many more.
  • a wide range of educational experiences: high academic success, expertise in SEND, a vast range of musical and sporting extra-curricular opportunities and more.
  • a guaranteed job interview, provided we have a vacancy within our consortium and you are on track to complete the programme successfully

We have unsalaried places for September 2018 in Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, MFL (French) and History. You can find more information on our courses on the  UCAS website.

Our School are; 

The Castle School is a large, highly successful and high achieving comprehensive school in a rural location just north of Bristol.  It is an Academy, part of The Castle School Education Trust (Cset)

At The Castle School our fundamental commitment is to offer ‘achievement for all' to each and every one of the 1650 students who enter our doors.  Our business is to improve the life chances of our students, and our lever is the strength of our teaching team.  We employ approximately 150 teachers and learning staff who are dedicated to our thriving school.  You can get a feeling for our school by looking at the first page of our prospectus.

Students attending The Castle School come from 40 different primary schools. For students who attend the Castle School, the Sixth From of 350 students offers high academic success, with 92% of those who want to, gaining a place at University. We are also known for our significant sporting prowess, and we challenge students to find an instrument we can not offer them opportunities to learn! As well as academic excellence, The Castle School is particularly proud of its extensive Learning Support Department, where we employ 35 LSAs and attract a wide range of students experiencing a diverse range of learning needs. 

For almost two decades, we have been consistently rated by Ofsted as outstanding /good. Our belief that our students have the right to an outstanding education links closely to our belief that by offering excellent professional education for ITT and NQTs, and inspiring opportunities for the professional development of our staff, they can all become outstanding practitioners. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is central to our ethos, and a particular strength of the school, which has been complimented in our external inspections.  We have a strong tradition and extensive experience in training Initial Teacher Training students from Bath University, UWE, Marjons (Plymouth), Open University and the University of Bristol.  Our Teacher Development Lead and our SEND team contribute to the University of Bristol’s PGCE programme.

Chipping Sodbury School is situated on the edge of the market town of Chipping Sodbury and serves both the immediate local community and the town of Yate.  There is a successful sixth form which runs a wide number of courses in partnership with Brimsham Green School and Yate International Academy.  The school was rated as ‘good’ in the most recent Ofsted inspection in all but one area.

The school has a strong tradition of developing the quality of teaching and learning which continues to have an impact on ensuring students’ progress is rapid.  All members of staff at the school participate in a rigorous programme of professional development with a focus on teaching and learning.  Groups of staff work together in ‘Learning Communities’ to develop knowledge and skills in developing teaching and learning strategies.  Recent successes include the use of Kagan styles of learning across the school.  All adults are well supported in their role at Chipping Sodbury School; there is a long and successful history of working with local Universities to train the next generation of teachers.

The students at Chipping Sodbury School behave well, show positive attitudes to their learning and are courteous.  Student Support is very strong with highly skilled staff working to ensure students are well placed for learning.  There is a ‘family’ feel to the school with every student known as an individual and their achievements celebrated.  Student progress is carefully tracked with appropriate interventions to support the individual where appropriate.

Overall, the schools’ values of respect, integrity, responsibility and aspiration reflect all that we strive to achieve for our students and staff alike.

At Downend we have high expectations of all our students. We expect them to reflect this in their appearance, attitudes and behaviour. We are shaping the citizens of the future, and encourage our students to be honest, fair and just in their dealings with each other and those in the world around them. We want every student at Downend to have a sense of pride in belonging to our school community.

We aim to offer a very wide range of opportunities both within the classroom and in the wider life of the school, nurturing the talents of every student to ensure their school experience is fulfilling and enriching.

We believe that every child is equal, but that they will need different experiences to make the most of their talents. Our curriculum is based on a number of ‘Pathways”’ with every child following a carefully designed package of courses that allows the right level of personal challenge whilst enabling all students to achieve excellent qualifications.

Downend students experience considerable academic success, and we are proud of the achievements of our young people, many of whom go on to high-quality apprenticeships or to study at prestigious universities.

Downend has a long-established reputation for the quality of the support offered to students. We get to know every student as an individual and work hard to ensure they are happy, safe and secure at school.

Marlwood School’s ethos is laced with high levels of challenge, aspiration and support; we want our students to be resilient independent learners. The whole school environment; including classroom display, House activities and vibrant teaching and learning evidences this ethos.  We acknowledge and build on the work of our primary partners with excellent transition materials and quickly create a real sense of belonging and productive direction. ‘Working together for excellence’ is something that should be a tangible feature of all that we do at Marlwood.

With cohesive and ambitious parental and business links we offer a very wide range of opportunities both within the classroom and in the surrounding community.  Our enrichment programme, which includes Curriculum Focus Days and collaborative productions with a neighbouring special school, does much to nurture positive values and raised aspirations.

Our curriculum offer to students is based on careful guidance, a recognition of each students’ strengths and the need for balance and breadth.  The carefully crafted  routes blend challenge, aspiration and the realisation of potential.  Tutors, parents and subject specialists all play their part in guiding and supporting the whole range of ability through this process.

As well as achieving academic success, many of our older students elect to become active mentors, reading partners and community representatives.  This sense of loyalty, citizenship and service stands them in good stead when they go on to further education, apprenticeships or employment.

Marlwood is known for its excellent student support services and a feeling of ‘belonging to a family’.  When linked to an insistence on excellence the result is a vibrant, forward thinking and supportive school.

Information on our partner schools can be found on their own websites:

Chipping Sodbury School:

Downend School:

Marlwood School:

The Castle School: