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This year we have had two teams of young engineers taking part in the Flying Start Challenge, an engineering competition run by eight illustrious aerospace companies: AgustaWestland, Airbus, Atkins, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, MBDA, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and Rolls-Royce. I am envious of the incredible opportunities our students receive; but also very proud. When I was at school we visited a local pond looking for newts. It was a nice day out, but it wasn’t quite the same as hurtling down a zipwire challenge and getting a tour of Concorde.

The aim of the competition is for teams composed of 4 students to design, build and test a model glider. Having made it through the regional ‘fly-off’, our teams took part in the Grand Final at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil. The competition is judged on distance flown and on a poster presentation detailing the design decisions made. In recent years, the emphasis has been on the use of recyclable materials. Over the course of the day the two teams (Phoenix and AirVan) designed helicopter rotor blades, jet propelled cars and a zip wire carriage, as well as having the opportunity to explore Concorde and the super-fast jet car, the Bloodhound SSC, both futuristic feats of engineering forged in Bristol.

The teams were exemplary ambassadors for the school exhibiting grit, determination and excellent application of their engineering nous. Team Phoenix – Lena Richardson, Flo Spear, Emma Ashworth and Sophia Flower were overall winners for the day; a fantastic achievement. AirVan – Ben Beggs, Sam Carling, Jake Fairham and Matthew Timmis - won the zip-wire challenge. We are incredibly proud of all the students involved and excited about their prospects in the world of high-tech aerospace engineering, but it is also worth mentioning that seeing an all-female team win such a prestigious engineering competition is particularly exciting. Equality of opportunity and gender parity underwrite everything we do at school, and aspiration is the key to this.

Paul Jones


BFS Community Spring Fair Update

Tickets are selling! They are available outside the school office on Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes (children 50p, adults £1, family ticket £2). Please buy early to help the students in their planning.  

Do you have any bric-a-brac in good condition that you would like to donate to our stall? Unwanted children's toys, books or clean clothing all welcome. Or, would you like to donate to our tombola prizes? Please get these donations to our reception.

Thank you so much for your support either with donations or with your enthusiasm on the day, or both.

Y10 Achieve

Fixture of the Week

Over in West London, we sent a team to the gladiatorial arena also known as Rosslyn Park, for the National Schools Sevens Rugby Championship. As a rugby competitions go, it’s a big one and all of the dominant rugby-playing schools enter a team, with many of them being renowned fee-paying institutions; and a not insignificant 7,000 players. We were drawn in a tough group, with local rivals Bristol Grammar, the mighty Bedford School, Uppingham and Lord Wandsworth.

Our first game was against the Hampshire titans of Lord Wandsworth; a daunting task with their most-famous old-boy being Johnny Wilkinson. Not to be outdone, the team fought until the last; working harmoniously together with skill, fluidity and purpose. A score down in the last 90 seconds, the magnificent seven worked the ball upfield, outwards and wide, the despairing hands of the hants handed-off with courage, to score a try with the last movement of the game and win by 29-28. It’s the stuff legends are made of and this win will be talked about through the ages, an inspiration to our teams lower down the school, a statement of what can be done, and how. We finished fourth in the pool, struggling to reach the highs against highly professional outfits; but showing heart, determination and character throughout.

A special mention to George Bond, George Fowler and Josh Blackman who were fantastic throughout, not only on the pitch but in and around the fields with their impeccable behaviour and manners, their maturity and presence. Thank you also to Mr Tolman and Mr Walker for organising, coaching, supporting, and driving up and down the M4. A fantastic day for the school.

GCSE and AS Exam Dates

The timetable for exams taking place in May and June 2017 is now available to view here


Our prospectus for 2016/17 is available to read online here.