Gordano School

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Gordano School
Gordano School 01.jpg
Motto Pride, Achievement, Community
Established 1956
Type Academy
Headteacher Gary Lewis
Location St. Mary's Road
North Somerset
BS20 7QR
51°28′31″N 2°46′12″W / 51.4752°N 2.7701°W / 51.4752; -2.7701Coordinates: 51°28′31″N 2°46′12″W / 51.4752°N 2.7701°W / 51.4752; -2.7701
DfE URN 136856 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,879 pupils (as of January 2014)
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses 6 Biscay, Cromarty, Fitzroy, Lundy, Portland, Shannon
Colours Red, Green, Orange, Purple, Yellow, Blue, plus Navy Blue for all
Website www.gordanoschool.org.uk

Gordano School (/ɡɔːrˈdn/) is a comprehensive secondary school with academy status located in Portishead, North Somerset, England. In 1999, the school was awarded Specialist schools Technology College status.[1] Gordano School has 1,879 pupils aged 11 to 18 as of January 2014 with an Ofsted rating of outstanding.[2]


The school was originally proposed in 1937, with a projected cost of £27,000. However, the project was cancelled due to the Second World War.[3] New plans were drawn in 1952, and excavation of the site started in 1954. During excavations, the skeleton of an Iron Age man was found, who was nicknamed Septimus because he was discovered on the seventh day of the seventh month.[4] Roman building remains were also found in the grounds[5] before the school opened on 17 September 1956, with 300 pupils, 18 teachers and 12 classrooms.

The official opening took place on 12 July 1957.[3] The school had cost £146,000 and still needed work to the playing fields. By September of that year, pupil numbers had increased to 500 and councillors were demanding more classrooms. The increase was attributed to the "post-war bulge". In 1965, £209,000 was allocated for new buildings.[3] The education department forecast the school numbers would treble by 1975. In 1994, an astroturf sports playing surface was laid at a cost of £260,000. Numbers had grown to 1,589 pupils and 88 teachers.[3]

Since 2000 the school has undergone a £9,500,000 re-development, adding a new hall incorporating a drama room. Included in the building work was a new maths and social sciences block, music block extension, new science and technology classrooms, and a canteen extension. The Sixth Form Centre also underwent renovation. The new buildings were officially opened in December 2006. In November 2007 Gordano School became a Foundation School. Technology College status was redesignated in October 2007.

The school is also home to Gordano Valley Church[6] as well as many local clubs and societies including the successful Portishead town band which rehearses regularly on the site.[7]

In December 2009, it was announced that headteacher Graham Silverthorne was leaving at the end of the academic year to take up a new post in Hong Kong.[8] Gary Lewis became the new headteacher in August 2010.

Gordano School is a comprehensive 11-18 co-educational secondary school located in Portishead. It is a school with high academic standards, a strong and caring pastoral system and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.

The school has Leading Edge status, is a Technology College specialising in Design, Mathematics and Science, holds an Outstanding rating from Ofsted and was designated as a National Teaching School in 2013.

Gordano School has grown steadily with Portishead and there are now 1,880 pupils on the roll, including more than 400 in the Sixth Form. Academic standards are high and pupils progress into a great variety of destinations including apprenticeships with employers such as Rolls Royce, training contracts with accountancy firms and Further Education courses. However, the majority of pupils stay on into the Sixth Form and of these, most take up university places.

In 2014 Sixth Formers secured seven Oxbridge offers.


The school has gained the following awards:

  • Training School[1]
  • Arts Mark
  • Technology College[1]
  • Sport England
  • Investors in People
  • A Leading Edge School[1]
  • European Award for Languages
  • DFE Character Award
  • Houses


Gordano School is divided into six houses which were previously named after the house heads' surname – now each is named after shipping areas around the UK:

When the school first opened in 1956 there were four houses named: Avon, Bristol, Cadbury and Denny.

Prime Minister's Global Fellowship[edit]

The school had its first pupil attain a place on the Prime Minister's Global Fellowship programme in 2009.[9]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gordano School" (PDF). Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Establishment: Gordano School". EduBase. Department for Education. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "History". Gordano School. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Obituaries". Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Portishead History". Portishead People. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Gordano valley Church". Gordano Valley Church. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Video: Horny pair given their marching orders at office party". Bristol Evening Post. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Best A-level results in school's history make perfect send-off for head teacher". Bristol Evening Post. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  9. ^ British Council website "Fellows" Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 10 November 2009.
  10. ^ "News". Portishead. Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  • School Prospectus [1] (PDF)
  • Ofsted Report 2012 [2] (PDF)

External links[edit]