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The founding of The Dolphin School

The Dolphin School was set up in 2012 following a request from the City of Bristol, with the approval of the Department for Education, for Colston’s Girls’ School Trust (CGS Trust) to open and run a primary school to meet high demand for places in East Bristol.


The Dolphin School logo

As The Dolphin School was being set up, to emphasise the link to Colston’s Girl’s School (CGS), located next to The Dolphin School and also part of CGS Trust at the time, the design of The Dolphin School logo was chosen to mirror the dolphin depicted on the CGS logo.


The dolphin is understood to have been the emblem of the Colston family and can be seen on the Colston coat of arms. A very similar dolphin design appears on the CGS logo.


Dolphins also feature on the plinth of the statue of Edward Colston that stood for many years in Bristol city centre. The About Bristol website states that: ‘Bronze dolphins decorate the corners of the statue's plinth. According to legend, Edward Colston took the dolphin as a symbol following the safe return of an uninsured vessel. The ship was in danger of sinking due to a large hole, which a young dolphin plugged with its body.’


Images of the Colston coat of arms shown on the National Portrait Gallery website; part of the Colston’s Girls’ School logo; and The Dolphin School’s logo:


Edward Colston (1636-1721)

Edward Colston was a Bristol-born, London-based merchant who invested in the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans and held a senior position in the Royal African Company.


During his lifetime he gave vast sums of money to support schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere; and he endowed money to support these causes after his death.


For many years, Colston's name was widely commemorated in Bristol, with buildings, schools, almshouses, streets and pubs named after him. However, as awareness of his involvement in the trade of enslaved Africans began to increase, many of the institutions that bear his name have questioned whether this is still appropriate.