This school was started by an existing secondary school - the Marine Academy – and its curriculum is based around marine themes which relate to Plymouth’s history as a city of the sea and its future as a place where marine industries will play a crucial part in its prosperity. Trips to the local area bring this learning to life, with pupils this year already benefiting from a trip to the beach to think about journeys across the sea and a visit to the fish market to help their designs for when building boats.
The school was started by Bristol Cathedral Choir School, the most oversubscribed secondary school in the city, to help meet a pressing need for new school places and create a smooth pathway for children all-through their time in education.
The school has a strong focus on the teaching of music, making the most of the Cathedral Choir School’s outstanding facilities and being situated next to the ancient cathedral where its choristers perform. The school provides opportunities for all pupils to sing and play an instrument from a young age, with the most talented encouraged to consider becoming choristers themselves.
But it’s not all just about music; the school has high academic expectations for all its pupils and is able to use its links with the Cathedral Choir School to enrich their opportunities for learning. For example, with the help of the secondary school’s language teacher, they have the opportunity to learn French from Reception onwards.
The school’s breakfast and after-school clubs offer support to working parents and help to build strong relationships with them. The Headteacher, Sara Yarnold, told the Bristol Evening Post that the school's parents, “are a wonderfully supportive group and I have built up fantastic links with them since we first opened our doors”.
The school is set to grow in the coming years, moving into new premises right in the heart of the city centre that were once a part of Bristol Central Library. Speaking about the plans, the school’s Executive Principal, Neil Blundell said, “We believe the proposals will create a wonderful and inspiring educational environment for our children, while at the same time persevering, and even enhancing, one of Bristol’s most architecturally significant buildings.”