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Portway Community School
Penpole Lane, Shirehampton, BS11 0EB, UK Bristol
+44 (0)117 353 2600

Message from the Headteacher

Welcome to Portway Community School.  We are an 11-16 mixed comprehensive of 700 students to the north west of Bristol, serving primarily the communities of Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth and Sea Mills.  We share a building with the Kingsweston Centre, a school for students with autism.

Portway School has a long and proud tradition of high standards, particularly in the areas of arts and sport.  The school has recently been awarded Artsmark status and is opening a new £1.5m rugby development centre on the banks of the Avon.  However, we are working hard to ensure that every aspect of the school is equally strong, so all students’ talents and abilities can flourish and develop. Our examination results in 2006 at both SATs and GCSE showed significant improvement.

In January 2006, the school moved into its new PFI building and this has had a major impact on the quality of our curriculum and resources.  In addition, the students voted for a new uniform of blazer and tie from September 2006 as they believe it is the mark of a good school.

I joined the school at the end of January 2006 and have been made to feel very welcome. Why not come and see for yourself?  You are more than welcome to tour the school at any time.  Please telephone us for an appointment.  I look forward to meeting you.

David Hebden B.Mus.(Hons) Headteacher

Pastoral Care

The students are placed in mixed ability tutor groups on arrival in the school, essentially based on friendship requests from Primary School.

Each tutor group has a tutor and Head of Year and we aim to turn round all parental enquiries within 24 hours.  Within the school, we also have a student receptionist who is a trained first-aider, a community police officer and two learning mentors.  These four staff supplement the teaching staff and tutors to support our students should they need help and guidance.  The school has a Learning Support Unit (LSU) to support students who have behavioural difficulties.

The school provides all families with a Discipline policy annually, which includes our strong line on bullying, racism, homophobia and other forms of anti-social behaviour.  To support the staff in their work, the school has trained 20 students to be bully counsellors and they have a designated area and time should a student wish to see them.  Portway also has an active School Council that meets the Headteacher weekly to represent the students’ views on all aspects of school life.

Achievements/Activities 2005-2006

  • Clerical/Medical Personal Finance Competition: WINNERS (Yr 8)
  • Bristol City Panathlon Sports Event: WINNERS (All ages)
  • Artsmark awarded
  • French Trip to Paris
  • Theatre trips to Bristol Old Vic, Hippodrome, Bath and London and two theatre companies came to the school
  • Gifted and Talented trips to Bristol University, Bath University, Warwick University
  • Student trips to The Cottage, Portway’s own residential cabin in the Welsh Mountains.
  • Over £2,000 raised for charities such as MacMillan Nurses, Bristol Hospital (Children’s Ward) and Cancer Relief.
  • Year 11 Prom at Ashton Court
  • Year 10 Football tour to Manchester
  • Annual Book Fair
  • Jenny Mullinder (Year 9) appointed to UK Youth Parliament
  • Residential summer camp for students on Skills Force course
  • Appointment of 20 peer bully counsellors
  • Rewarding achievement trips to Alton Towers and Drayton Manor
  • Spellathon marathon for MENCAP
  • Trips to poetry workshops at Coulsdon Hall


The School Day

08:40 - 08:55 Registration/Assembly
08:55 - 09:55 Lesson 1
09:55 - 10:55 Lesson 2
10:55 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:15 Lesson 3
12:15 - 13:10 Lesson 4
13:10 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 13:55 Registration
13:55 - 14:55 Lesson 5
14:55 End of School: Extra Curricular activities begin

Catering Facilities

We have a canteen and coffee bar which provide an extensive range of healthy option foods, using local produce. Daily meals include a roast, an international dish, a vegetarian option, pasta and a range of snacks and salads. Meals are bought via a swipe card system and students top up their cards at machines in the school. Students are not allowed off site at lunchtime for any reason. Breakfast is available from 08.00am.


All students receive a free locker on arrival at the school, which he/she keeps for five years. Each student is responsible for providing a padlock.



The new uniform can be bought from any school uniform retailer, including supermarkets, apart from the tie and badge, which can be purchased from the school.  APC Schoolwear, Bedminster Down Rd, Bristol (0117 953 3133) sell blazers with the badge already sewn on, as well as ties and badges.


  • Black Blazer
  • School Badge (available from the school)
  • White Shirt: long or short sleeved (not a polo shirt or blouse)
  • School tie (available from the school)
  • Black Trousers (not jeans)
  • Dark socks
  • Dark coloured footwear

PE Kit


  • White polo shirt
  • Black rugby shirt with reversible white band
  • Black shorts
  • Black long socks
  • Trainers
  • Football/rugby boots
  • Black track suit for cold weather


  • White polo shirt or school sweatshirt
  • Black joggers or track suit
  • Black shorts
  • Trainers



We offer a very broad and balanced curriculum.  All students in their first three years (Key Stage 3) will study English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, Technology (comprising resistant materials and food), French, Art, Music, Drama, Physical Education and Information Technology.

In Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4), students opt for a more personalised curriculum, which can comprise GCSE, Applied GCSE, BTEC or NVQ qualifications.  We have very close links with City of Bristol College and are therefore able to offer courses such as Motor Vehicle Maintenance, Hair and Beauty, Construction and Secretarial Courses.  We also take great care in preparing our students for study Post-16 by introducing them to courses available at sixth forms and colleges round the city.

One day every six weeks, the timetable is suspended and all students study Personal and Social Education, where topics covered include citizenship, drugs education, sex education, money management and a whole range of issues associated with our students taking their place in society as well informed young men and women.

Special Needs/Gifted and Talented

We cater equally well for students who require extra support in lessons owing to learning difficulties as we do for those students who show themselves to be gifted or talented in an area of the curriculum.  The Head of Learning Support and the Head of Gifted and Talented provide extra sessions, in-class support and off site activities to cater for all our students’ needs.

primary schools in Bristol, secondary schools in Bristol, schools in Bristol

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