Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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Useful Links


  • Downend & Mangotsfield 6th Form Open Evening will be held on Thursday 19th October; more information can be found within the 6th From tab of our website


As part of our findings from our student voice activities, students requested more opportunities to celebrate culture and promote belonging. We have started slowly and aim to include more opportunities as time goes on.

Assemblies and Staff Briefings

We have a planned schedule of assemblies, which complement our DEI calendar and our Life Skills curriculum. Student-led assemblies in 2022-23 included Black History Month, Disability History Month and Ramadan. We also had assemblies, led by staff, focusing on the celebration of Diwali, International Men’s Day, International Women’s Day and LGBTQ+ Pride. In addition, we have used our weekly staff briefing for further opportunities to celebrate and educate, including World Hijab Day, Pride and Black History Month.

LGBTQ+ Pride

In July 2022, two volunteers from the charity, Just Like Us, visited the school and ran a series of assemblies for different year groups exploring issues around identity and acceptance. This allowed our whole school community to take time to reflect on their thoughts and feelings and how accepting they are of each other. To complement the important messages relayed in the assemblies there have been displays around school highlighting positive role models from all walks of life who identify as LGBTQ+ and different subject areas have celebrated Pride in different ways.

Black History Month

In October 2022, we celebrated Black History Month. This involved some fantastic assemblies, including one led by two of our students, who taught us all about the life of Harriet Tubman, including a beautiful solo of a song from the Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet. Students also learnt about and celebrated the achievements of Black poets, writers, artists and Mathematicians in lessons as well as taking part in some themed activities in extra-curricular clubs, such as Science Club.

The last day of term was the culmination of our Black History Month celebrations. Last year, as part of the student voice we completed, students asked if they could wear their national or cultural dress as part of these celebrations and it has been great to see some of our students in a variety of national dress today. Miles Chambers, Bristol’s first poet Laureate, has also been performing his poetry as part of these celebrations in special year group assemblies and it has been quite phenomenal to see his talent.



 Disability History Month

In the second term of 2022-23, we celebrated Disability History Month (16th November to 16th December). We had the opportunity to mark this in school by celebrating and recognising different people with disabilities. The theme of the national celebration was “Disability, Health and Wellbeing”. We held assemblies for each house on this theme and were privileged that several of our students and staff talked  about their own personal experiences of disability. This allowed our whole school community to take time to reflect on their understanding, thoughts and feelings around how we enable every student and member of staff to live the Downend PRIDE ethos every day.  To complement the important messages relayed in the assemblies there have been displays around school highlighting positive role models from all walks of life who have a disability. These have been thought provoking and stimulated conversations in tutor time and in class. 


At Downend we have a prayer room and Wudhu facilities available all year round, supervised by a member of our teaching staff. During Ramadan, we try to ensure we do everything we can to support our Muslim students and staff by paying attention to PE and Food Tech lessons, which we know may be difficult if you are fasting; ensuring the prayer room continues to be available for lunchtime and also at break for students looking for a place for quiet contemplation; authorising student absence for Eid and making sure staff are aware of who may be choosing to fast.

In addition, a series of assemblies led by our Muslim students and staff were really well received. We hope to broaden this celebration out to parents and the wider community next year, so watch this space!


We have ensured there are plenty of fiction and non-fiction books available for our students in our library that explore and celebrate our entire community. In addition, we have set up and continue to update a social justice library that contains many titles, which are available to our staff.  

Work With Other Individuals and Organisations

Over the past few years, we have begun to work with a range of people, who are committed to addressing inequality; for example:

We would like to expand our links with similar organisations, particularly those in the local community, so please email the admin mailbox on if you are interested in contributing to our work.