This indpendent website, founded in January 2011, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories sourced from the police, local councils and community groups in Patchway.
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Olympus Trust to help Patchway Community College overcome “significant challenges”

Posted on Friday 22nd January 2016 at 8:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

It has been revealed that Patchway Community College (PCC) has been in discussions with The Olympus Academy Trust to explore how it might be able to help the Patchway secondary school overcome “significant challenges” that it is said to face.

The move follows the departure of the PCC headteacher at the end of last year and the recent official publication of another poor set of GCSE results, which showed that just 40% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared to the national average of 57.1% (52.9% in South Gloucestershire).

The Olympus Academy Trust already sponsors four academies in the local area, namely Bradley Stoke Community School, Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), Meadowbrook Primary School (Bradley Stoke) and Charborough Road Primary School (Filton).

Joint statement from Patchway Community College and The Olympus Academy Trust on 22nd January

Within the education system nationally, there is a move towards groups of schools working together for mutual support and for the benefit of their learners within multi-academy trusts, often within geographical localities. There is a strong record of partnership working between Patchway Community College and the secondary schools within The Olympus Academy Trust (Abbeywood and Bradley Stoke) through the Concorde Partnership. This has enabled students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 to study together in, and to be taught by staff from, one another’s schools.

The governors and staff of Patchway Community College recognise that they face significant challenges and that, operating as an independent institution, is unlikely to overcome the issues with its ageing buildings, lower student numbers and GCSE outcomes of late. It is fortunate to have secured the services of a very experienced headteacher, Mr Roger Gilbert, to lead it through its next phase following the departure of its long-serving headteacher, Mrs Jane Millicent, at the end of 2015.

Governors of Patchway Community College and directors of its Academy Trust, Fusion, have decided that the school would benefit from being a member of a multi-academy trust and have approached The Olympus Academy Trust about joining as they have seen the positive impact the trust has had locally and it seems logical to build on existing partnership arrangements rather than look elsewhere. Directors of both trusts have discussed this possibility and have been in contact with the Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, about potential support for such a proposal.

It has been agreed that a programme of partnership support will be provided by The Olympus Academy Trust as a next step. This will prepare for the possibility of Olympus taking full responsibility for Patchway Community College in due course. Before that can happen, approval will need to be given by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteacher Board and a full consultation with members of both academy trusts’ communities alongside further due diligence by both sets of directors. We will provide further updates as they become available.

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Plans submitted for housing on site of former Royal British Legion Club

Posted on Wednesday 13th January 2016 at 10:47 am by SH (Editor)

Royal British Legion Club, Rodway Road, Patchway, Bristol.

A planning application has been submitted to demolish the former Royal British Legion Club on Rodway Road and replace it with eight 2- and 3-bed homes.

The social club has been closed since July 2014 after getting into financial difficulties. The legal entity behind the club, Patchway & District Royal British Legion Club Ltd, is named as the “owner” of the land/building on the planning application, but is believed to be in the process of being wound-up. A notice displayed at the front of the property states that the land is currently being held in trust by the Royal British Legion, which intends to dispose of it “by way of a sale of the freehold”.

Applicant MCDI Homes Limited has submitted plans for six 3-bed homes and two 2-bed homes on the site, with 16 parking spaces.

The public consultation period for the application closed on 5th January and has attracted one supporting comment from the owner of a neighbouring residential property plus further comments from Patchway Town Council and the nearby Patchway Community Centre.

The town council says it has no objection to the construction of housing on the site, but says it would prefer it to consist of smaller 1- or 2-bed properties, so as to give older local residents currently living in 3-bed homes the opportunity to downsize, thereby releasing family homes onto the market.

The community centre raises the concern that cars currently parking on the Legion Club site will be displaced and start using visitor parking bays at the centre.

It is understood that once planning officers have prepared a report on the application, it is likely to be “called in” by a Patchway district councillor, meaning that it will have to be determined by a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning committee.

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Free journey-sharing website launches for Aztec West Business Park

Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at 12:49 am by SH (Editor)

Ben Luger, marketing communications specialist at  ecosurety, and Verity Heal, Local Sustainable Transport Fund project manager at South Gloucestershire Council.

Drivers exasperated by peak-time congestion at Aztec West can now use a map-based online journey-sharing website to travel more sustainably.

joinmyjourney launches today (Wednesday 25th November) thanks to funding from South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), development from resource efficiency specialist ecosurety, with support from North Bristol SusCom.

The free-to-use site enables commuters travelling by car, bicycle or on foot to find others to share compatible journeys to work, either regularly, or as a one off. It is initially aimed at commuters in the West of England but there are also plans to open it out to educational organisations and business centres nationally. joinmyjourney is launched first for the 8,000 people travelling to Aztec West, with other business locations and employers coming on board in 2016.

Ben Luger, marketing communication specialist at ecosurety, based at Aztec West, who has driven the development of joinmyjourney with co-workers explains, “Every day I would see single drivers sitting in traffic queues, waiting to get into the park. I’d started an off-the-shelf car share scheme for ecosurety employees, but it just didn’t have the scale, was too complex and too limited to make a significant dent in emissions and the number of vehicles.”

Ben was bemoaning the issues to an officer at the LSTF one day and the pair agreed Aztec West needed a bespoke solution, which also appealed to walkers and cyclists. Ben took the idea back to ecosurety, and following further financial support from the LSTF and ecosurety, development started on joinmyjourney.

Benefits include fewer cars on the road, improvements in parking, lower emissions, and helping drivers save money by cutting commuting costs. Others include less stress from sitting in traffic queues, improved confidence from increased outside exercise and the option to share sustainable and safe journeys during the winter.

Users who sign up and start journeys between now and the first week of December are also automatically enrolled into a prize draw for up to £1,000 in shopping vouchers to be presented next month.

The site gives commuters an option to find journey sharers ahead of 12 months of roadworks, scheduled to start in spring 2016, to improve traffic flow, walking and cycling routes around the Aztec West Roundabout on the A38.

More: Apple, Android and Windows app versions coming soon »

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Patchway Army Cadets inspire local youth

Posted on Sunday 11th October 2015 at 8:55 pm by Shaun Hickman

Members of Patchway Army Cadet unit.

Based near Patchway youth club, the Patchway Army Cadets are looking for new recruits aged 12 to 18 years old to join their established unit. The cadet group aims to engage and encourage young people in the local community through military-themed activity sessions which help to develop important team-building skills and leadership qualities.

The unit is led by lieutenant Tracey Sperring who runs and organises the sessions. Tracey is part of a team of three other instructors who aim to “bring young people off the streets and teach them respect for themselves and others.” The unit takes a positive and fun approach to the development of their young cadets who follow a syllabus called the Army Proficiency Certificate.

The certificate is organised in a series of gradual levels which teach the cadets about a range of different topics including navigation, expedition training, marching, field skills and how they can help the local community.

When a cadet progresses through enough levels they can become a Master Cadet and will have the opportunity to train to be an instructor – a popular incentive for many young cadets. Cadets can also choose to pursue certain qualifications within the unit including the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, the BTEC award and various first aid qualifications.

New recruits to the unit receive constant support through a ‘buddy-buddy system’ which ensures that they are paired with an existing cadet who will help them through their first few sessions at the unit. Tracey describes the friendships which form within the unit as “bonds for life” which are strengthened by the diverse opportunities offered to the cadets which include kayaking, climbing, archery and mountain biking.

The unit also runs weekend camps and a 10-day summer camp which allows cadets to apply the skills gained from their weekly sessions in an exciting new environment. Tracey recognises the positive change these experiences encourage: “Seeing the transformation of the cadets through the different things they achieve is really rewarding. The weekly sessions are also structured in a way that allows new cadets to slowly come out of their shells by building their confidence and teaching them that they do have the skills to succeed.”

More: Most activities offered are low cost or even free »

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Patchway Community College students celebrate post-16 exam successes

Posted on Thursday 13th August 2015 at 2:45 pm by SH (Editor)

A-level students at Patchway Community College collect their results.

Post-16 students at Patchway Community College have performed well this year, with a 96 percent pass rate and students achieving the highest possible grades in subjects ranging from English literature, sociology, psychology and business, to health and social care, applied science and textiles.

Headteacher Jane Millicent said:

“These results show the hard work of all involved and it is wonderful to see students gain the grades that they need for university places, apprenticeships and employment. The BTEC certificate results were particularly outstanding this year, with 47 percent gaining a distinction or distinction* and 89 percent a merit or above. I am proud of our students for gaining such good results and securing excellent opportunities for their futures.”

Patchway students have some exciting destinations and next steps ahead of them. Luke Viner, who was awarded two As and two Bs, will be starting a degree in computer science at Nottingham University, as will Dan Viner at UWE whose grades included A* in sociology. Robin Barratt who obtained two As, a B and a C is beginning a degree in psychology at Cardiff University, whilst Charis Wilcox who obtained an A* and two Bs will be heading to Birmingham to take a degree in costume design. Dan Tuck is going to study law at Winchester, whilst Scott Crane, with a distinction in BTEC business, has secured an apprenticeship in accountancy with the MoD.

Robin Barratt commented:

“I am delighted and relieved that I’ve got the grades needed for my university course.”

Fellow student Paige Coughlin added:

“I am delighted with my results that were better than expected; I had been planning a gap year and am definitely going to university in the future.”

Source: Press release from Patchway Community College.

Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)

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