St. Brendan's Sixth Form College

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Coordinates: 51°25′48″N 2°32′03″W / 51.4300°N 2.5341°W / 51.4300; -2.5341

St. Brendan's Sixth Form College
Broomhill Road


TypeSixth Form, College
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Local authorityBristol
Department for Education URN130563 Tables
PrincipalMichael Jaffrain
Age16 to 19

St Brendan's is a state funded Sixth Form College located in Brislington, Bristol, England. Over 1700 students study A-levels, BTECs & GCSEs on one purpose built, university style campus. Michael Jaffrain was appointed as Principal in 2012.[1]


St Brendan's was founded by the Irish Christian Brothers as a Catholic school for boys in 1896 in Berkeley Square in Bristol.[2] 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[edit]

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.[2] 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[edit]

In the late 1970s, as a result of a reorganisation of Catholic secondary education in Bristol and Bath, St Brendan's became a coeducational sixth form college providing a range of A level, BTEC and other Level 3 courses for students aged 16+.[2] Its reputation and the breadth of subjects and courses now offered draw many students from secondary schools across Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire. St Brendan's is an inclusive college, and membership of the Catholic faith is not a prerequisite.

In 2009 the College was almost entirely rebuilt, with the latest technology, a new music and performing arts building, a new dance studio and a theatre, offering opportunities for a range of performing arts, including music, dance and drama and also for music technology.[3] Other provision includes a county-standard sports hall for a very wide range of sports with a fully equipped fitness suite, and a Design and Technology design studio and workshop with 21st century machinery such as laser cutters and a 3D colour printer.

St Brendan's is located in Bristol
St Brendan's
St Brendan's
St. Brendan's Sixth Form College shown within Bristol and the UK

ICT provision[edit]

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.

Student Union[edit]

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".[4]


There are a range of College enrichment activities that run throughout the timetable including sport, drama, art, music, journalism, and Chaplaincy activities providing opportunities for personal development and skills acquisition.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Principal for St Brendan's". Roman Catholic Diocese of Clifton. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "History". Sancti Brendani. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Chance to bid farewell to old St Brendan's". Bristol Post. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  4. ^ "LGBT Award winners: News Archive: News". National Union of Students (NUS). Retrieved 11 April 2013.

External links[edit]