Information for Pupils

Why are we talking about changing the name of our school and its logo?

Information to help you understand.

The Dolphin School’s name might make you think first of friendly and curious mammals! On the other hand, it has been pointed out that the school’s name and logo has a link to Edward Colston. It is not an obvious link so read on to find out more!

Edward Colston was a merchant who was born in Bristol in 1636 and died in London in 1721. He made a lot of money by investing in the transatlantic slave trade and he held a senior position in the Royal African Company, which traded in enslaved Africans.

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.

When he died, Edward Colston left his money to schools, houses for the poor, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere in the UK. This is why you see Colston’s name on many Bristol buildings and landmarks.

The Dolphin School was founded by Colston’s Girls’ School Trust. Colston’s Girls’ School was named after Edward Colston and set up in 1891 with money that he left to support education. He had two dolphins on his coat of arms, which you can see in the Colston’s Girls’ School logo and in our school logo. You can see the similarity here:



Since The Dolphin School was set up, awareness about Edward Colston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade has increased.  This year there was lots of support in Bristol for the Black Lives Matter movement and the statue of Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour.


Colston’s Girls’ School is about to ask its staff and pupils to vote on whether their school should have a new name.  A number of other institutions in the city with links to Colston are doing the same.


So, because of the  connection between Edward Colston and The Dolphin School, we are asking our wonderful community of pupils and families to decide if The Dolphin School should change anything.


You will be asked to vote on one of three different choices:

  1. The Dolphin School should change both its name and its logo.
  2. The Dolphin School should keep its name but change its logo.
  3. The Dolphin School should keep its name and logo as it is now.


You and your family will be able to vote on this important question! This will all happen during the first term of this year. You will have lessons in school to give you more information to help you decide and we encourage you to ask questions to your family and teachers.  There is also lots more information on our website and elsewhere on the internet to help you decide how to vote.


What an exciting opportunity this is to have your opinion listened to and be part of an important moment in the history of our school!