St. Brendan's Sixth Form College
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St. Brendan's is a state funded, post-16 educational institution located in Bristol, England. It is the only Sixth Form College in the Bristol/Bath area and specialises in A-levels and BTECs. Michael Jaffrain was appointed as Principal in 2012.
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Saint Brendan's was founded by the Irish Christian Brothers as a Catholic school for boys in 1896 in Berkeley Square in Bristol. During the first fifty years of its existence it played a part in developing an educated Catholic laity in and around Bristol. Many of its pupils entered the priesthood as well as other professions.
History as a Direct Grant Grammar School
Following the 1944 Education Act, Saint Brendan's became a boys' direct grant grammar school and by the late 1950s had outgrown the Berkeley Square site. The Brothers purchased a house (the Beeches) and extensive grounds of Brislington House in Brislington, built the present accommodation, and moved to Brislington in 1960. The grammar school was wound down over several years, the last of the old grammar school students, some having joined the Preparatory School in 1975, many having joined the senior school in 1978, joined the sixth form in 1983.
Present day - Sixth Form College
In the late 1970s, as a result of a reorganisation of Catholic secondary education in Bristol and Bath, Saint Brendan's became a coeducational sixth form college providing a wide range of A level, BTEC and other Level 3 courses for students aged 16+. Whilst its main role is as the 'sixth form' for four local Catholic secondary schools, its reputation and the breadth of subjects and courses now offered draws many students from other secondary schools across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Membership of the Catholic Christian faith is not a prerequisite for enrollment and students from all cultural backgrounds are made welcome at the school.
St Brendan's Sixth Form College was almost entirely rebuilt in 2009 to provide University standard resources in world class accommodation. As part of the capital investment, the College has ensured that its provision of technology is at the 'cutting edge'. Facilities include a purpose built music and performing arts building, augmented by a new dance studio and theatre that cater for a wide range of performing arts specialisms, including Music, Dance, Drama and Music Technology. Other provision includes a County standard sports hall, catering for a very wide range of sports and incorporating a fully equipped industry standard fitness suite, and a Design and Technology design studio and workshop equipped with 21st century machinery, such as laser cutters and a 3D colour printer.
The college has a system based on Novell for internal email, remote access, a web based forum/file host called "Moodle" and internal server systems. Moodle is used as a place in which students can log in and "enrol" in their subjects and talk in forums, download uploaded files, find homework and find teachers email.
The St. Brendan's Student Union is a large part of the college's community. The union is made up of a committee of students elected by the student body annually which support and represent the students and organises events. The union is closely affiliated with the NUS and regularly send its electorates and students to events like the NUS Annual, NUS LGBT and NUS Black Conference.
St. Brendan's Relationships, a society within the college, is inclusive and supportive of LGBT members, and mainly focuses on four key areas: advice, campaigning, support, and social. In May 2009, the group won the National Union of Students LGBT Campaign award "FE Society of the Year".
There are a range of College enrichment activities that run throughout the timetable including sport, drama, art, music, journalism, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Chaplaincy activities providing opportunities for personal development and skills acquisition.