Information for Adults

The Dolphin School was founded by Colston’s Girls’ School Trust in 2012. Through our close links with Colston’s Girls’ School and the association of dolphins with Edward Colston, the name of our school has a connection to Colston and our school’s logo of two dolphins resembles part of the Colston coat of arms.

Edward Colston was born in November 1636 and died in October 1721. He benefitted financially by investing in the transatlantic slave trade and he held a senior position in the Royal African Company, which traded in enslaved Africans.

Since The Dolphin School was set up, awareness about Edward Colston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade has increased. It recently came to a head with the support in Bristol for the Black Lives Matter movement and the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston which was then pushed into Bristol harbour.

We believe that The Dolphin School is the heart and future of our community and we hope that this process will help to strengthen this even further. Applying our core values of ‘Respect, Responsibility, Curiosity and Resilience’, pupils will learn about Edward Colston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, using age-appropriate materials, and they will hear the views and opinions of others in order to inform their own decision. It is an important opportunity for families to discuss this together and to explore positive ways to respect, support or challenge the views of others.

The transatlantic slave trade was a triangular route from Europe to Africa, to the Americas and back to Europe. On the first leg, merchants exported goods to Africa in return for enslaved Africans, gold, ivory and spices. The ships then travelled across the Atlantic to the American colonies where the African people were sold as slaves in return for sugar, tobacco, cotton and other produce. Many Africans died on the long journey because the conditions on board the boats were so terrible. The goods collected in the American colonies were then transported to Europe.

At The Dolphin School we believe that our curriculum should be purposeful and relevant, based on the local community and the many cultures and faiths that we represent. We are proud of our curriculum, which we review regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and diverse, and that all pupils can see themselves represented in different lessons, no matter what race, ethnicity, culture or faith they identify with. We believe that all children from all backgrounds should have the same opportunity to succeed and an important part of this is having a healthy, truly representative curriculum. Through this consultation process, pupils will develop their understanding of democracy and by putting this into practice, they will be part of shaping the future of our school.

Central to the consultation process will be our students, families, staff and governors, who will consider whether the school should change its name and/or logo. The consultation will take the form of a questionnaire.

You will be asked to consider three questions:


Should The Dolphin School keep its name and logo as it is at present?

Should The Dolphin School keep its name but change its logo?

Should The Dolphin School change both its name and its logo?


Members of the wider community will be invited to send their comments and questions via our online consultation on the website to be considered by the Leadership Team.

The Governors of The Dolphin School and the Trustees of Venturers’ Trust (of which The Dolphin School is a part) will consider the outcome of the consultation and decide the next steps.

We hope that the questionnaire will encourage you to consider both sides of the debate. If you would like to know more about the background, we have made some information available on our website and you can also find numerous articles about Edward Colston and the Black Lives Matter movement on the internet.

Please do make time to participate in the consultation process and respond to the questionnaire when it is launched. You are part of our school community and your views are always important to us.