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Butcombe Pre-Preparatory School (Clifton College)
Guthrie Road, BS8 3EZ, UK Bristol
+44 (0)117 315 7591

Welcome to Clifton College

Clifton College in Bristol is a leading independent UK boarding school and day school, for girls and boys aged 3-18 years.

The HeadmasterWelcome to Clifton College 
A school in which all of the pupils are valued in all that they do and in every aspect of their intellectual, sporting and spiritual lives. (More...)

  Headmaster's signature
Mark Moore
Head of College




You might think that learning French is a bit hard, but we have a special teacher who sings songs and plays games with us - it's really fun!

At Butcombe, French is delivered in an interactive style by a specialist teacher, using the fully structured 'La Jolie Ronde' resources. It is offered twice per week, in 20-minute sessions, as an optional extra for children aged 3-6 (Nursery, Reception and Year 1) then as a timetabled subject (35 minutes per week) for children aged 6-8 (Years 2 and 3).

The children enjoy learning French at an age when they are most receptive to assimilating new language, in an unpressurized way using songs, games, flashcards, real objects, puppets and French storybooks. By the time they leave Butcombe they have a good basic grounding in basic spoken French vocabulary and structures, an excellent preparation for greater demands in the Preparatory School.

You can book extra French Tuition classes for your child. Please download the form and return it to Annabel Purnell, either via email or you can drop it into reception.

French Class Booking Form
Download the
French Class Booking Form.


ICT is when we use computers. We also learn how to use a digital camera and do research on the internet.

Information Communication Technology is part of everyday life and pupils need to become more aware of the effects that changing technology is having on the school, workplace, home and the community. They will then be better placed to meet the demands of our ever-increasingly technological society.

All pupils from Nursery to Year 3 have the opportunity to experience and explore ICT. Each classroom has two Networked computers which are upgraded regularly to meet the demands of ever-changing technology. In addition, we have two mobile suites of eighteen laptops, which are used for weekly ICT lessons in Y1-3. Each year group, including the Nursery and Reception, is equipped with an Interactive Whiteboard, and by September 2006 this will be extended to every classroom in the school. We have two full-time ICT technicians and one part-time support assistant who provide expert technical backup and support ICT teaching throughout the school. Butcombe staff are skilled in teaching ICT and have a high standard of personal knowledge and skills. ICT training is an ongoing area for professional development.

ICT is a core subject of the National Curriculum. Our ICT Scheme of Work follows the guidelines set out in the National Curriculum, but is also linked to termly topics within each year group in order to provide a meaningful context to ICT teaching and learning. We aim to enable children to confidently and independently use and apply information technology skills across all curriculum areas, from as early an age as possible. ICT supports and enriches children’s learning experiences through a variety of resources - personal computers, programmable robots, tape recorders, CD/DVD players, television, video, digital photography and access to the worldwide web.

The ICT departments within Clifton College work closely together to ensure continuity of teaching and learning between the Year groups and Key Stages.

The school’s ICT policy is available on request.


ICT Coordinator: Lisa Parker
ICT Teaching Support: Cath O’Sullivan

Learning Support

Learning Support means that we can get some extra help with our lessons if we need it.

At Butcombe, we aim to provide an inclusive environment where all children have access to the full curriculum and where their individual needs are met in the most appropriate way.

Some children experience learning difficulties, which mean that special educational provision needs to be made for them. A child may also be identified as extremely able, and will need opportunities to develop their particular talents and skills. Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) may also require individualised support.

The school follows the guidelines set out in the DfES SEN Code of Practice, regarding the identification and provision for children with additional learning needs. Details of this are set out in our Special Educational Needs Policy. We aim to identify a child’s needs as early as possible in order that these can be quickly and appropriately met. We seek to develop an active partnership with parents in order to share concerns and information on a child’s progress. Pupils are also actively involved in developing their own learning targets.

Special provision may include withdrawal from the classroom to work individually or in a small group with the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), specialist support teacher, EAL teacher or Learning Support Assistant. Provision may also be made through the use of differentiated teaching materials or teaching styles within the classroom. Butcombe staff are skilled in dealing with a variety of special needs, and the SENCo and support teacher are both qualified Dyslexia specialists. Specific resources, including ICT, are made available to meet the needs of children with additional learning needs and designated rooms are available for the teaching of individuals or small groups. The school works closely with a number of outside specialists, whose expertise may be called on to assess and make recommendations for children with additional learning needs.

The Learning Support departments within Clifton College work closely together to ensure continuity of provision for children with additional learning needs.

The school’s Special Educational Needs policy is available on request.


SENCo: Lisa Parker
Able Child Coordinator:
Dr Wendy Bowring
Specialist Support Teacher:
Amanda Bath
Learning Support Assistant:
Sarah Michallat
EAL Teacher:
Laura Opie
Visiting Educational Psychologist: Peter Parkhouse (APT Ltd)

Useful Links:

The parents and carers page on TeacherNet
Special Educational Needs - A guide to the law and your rights


There are lots of chances to do music here. You can play recorder, sing or learn an instrument and take part in a concert!

At Butcombe the Music curriculum is delivered by a specialist music teacher. Following the popular 'Music Express' course, the children develop their musical skills using percussion instruments and voices. Recorders are taught in Years 2 and 3 and our peripatetic music teachers offer a wide range of instruments, including voice.

All our children perform regularly in concerts, assemblies and services (Harvest, Nativity and Easter). A full-scale musical show is staged each year in the Redgrave Theatre, in which all children from Years 2 and 3 act, sing and dance to a remarkably high standard.

You can book extra Music Tuition classes for your child. Please download the form and return to Annabel Purnell, either via email or you can drop it into reception.


Sport and PE

Each week throughout the year, every year group has four timetabled slots for PE and Games. These include swimming, indoor PE, indoor games, and outdoor games. The activities within these lessons change each term.

During these sessions in the Summer Term, all children will participate in swimming, dance, athletic activities, fielding and striking skills and games.

In addition, there are a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs that the children can attend after school - rounders, cricket, gymnastics, tennis, karate, judo to name but a few. These clubs also vary each term.


On March 17th Butcombe held its annual Mini-Triathlon. Every child in Year 3 is a member of a team of eight that compete against each other in three different fields of activity - swimming, cross-country and athletic skills. Local schools are invited to join in the fun and this year, eight visiting schools came to enjoy an afternoon of non-stop sport and physical activity. There were seventeen teams in all and a total of 150 children were involved. Along with the support of many parents, it was a huge success and Butcombe came joint first with The Downs School!

The following Thursday (23rd March), the whole of the Year 2 participated in an afternoon of sport up at the indoor sports centre at the Sports Ground (Beggar Bush).

Events in the Summer Term

Year 3 have started to have friendly fixtures against other schools. Dates for this term are:

Wednesday 24th May - Butcombe v Torwood House, cricket and rounders at home
Thursday 25th May - Butcombe v The Downs School, cricket and rounders at home
Thursday 15th June - Butcombe v Clifton High, cricket and rounders at home

All results will be published and we wish every one involved the best of luck!

Anne Askew
PE Teacher

Year 13 Psychology pupils spend the day with Butcombe children

For two days before Christmas, Year 1 and Year 3 classes were invaded by a number of students from the Psychology Department in the Upper School. For their A level exams, the Year 13 students were investigating a number of different aspects of children's development. The Year 1 and Year 3 pupils in Butcombe were the perfect guinea pigs for a series of fun tests and experiments!

Year 13 Psychology pupils with Butcombe children

The children listened to stories, solved puzzles, answered questions, poured water into beakers, copied sequences of actions and even had to catch a ball standing on one leg! One task involved placing a toy robber out of sight of several toy policeman – all of the children were very good at this! Another task required the children to pretend they were farmers and move a chicken, cat and horse around a farmyard. Lots of interesting findings emerged: One finding was that 7 to 8 year-olds prefer to choose a same-sex playmate for most play activities. Girls said that they would invite a girl to their house for tea or to play after school, whilst boys chose a boy. However, when they were asked who they would like to ask for help with their schoolwork, both boys and girls said that they would ask a girl for help. The Year 13 students also found that - without exception - the Butcombe children were more advanced in their moral reasoning than most theories of moral development would predict. Both boys and girls tended to give altruistic answers to a hypothetical dilemma even if it would mean they would be told off. For example, Butcombe children would always help a child who was hurt even if they knew they would be told off for being late to school.

Year 13 Psychology pupils with Butcombe children
Year 13 Psychology pupils with Butcombe children

The children who took part were enthusiastic and helpful and the projects gave the A level students a real insight into doing research with 5 to 8 year-olds. All of the Upper School


Welcome to the Upper School

This leading UK boarding school comprises 680 girls and boys aged between 13 and 18 of whom 60% board.

The Headmaster

What makes a good school? The short answer is happy, successful and fulfilled pupils who are ready for the challenges of adult life. But how does a school achieve that? A good school is one that looks after everyone of its pupils equally well so that each has his/her own sense of self-worth, giving them confidence without arrogance. A good school makes appropriate and considerable demands upon the pupils, bringing out their full potential in their intellectual, sporting and spiritual lives. Above all a good school implants lasting knowledge and values, particularly those of personal virtue and social responsibility.

Clifton College is exactly that kind of school, offering pupils an all-round education, pastoral care, the opportunity for true self-discovery, awakening their sense of duty and a thirst for excellence in all that they do, especially in the classroom. My aim is to bring out the best in every pupil, enabling them to achieve the highest grades possible and to proceed through our Sixth Form to the university of their choice. Above all, I hope that they will dream the dreams that will shape their lives, make lasting friends, and leave equipped to be citizens of a constantly evolving modern global village, with a strong sense of who they are and what they can contribute.

Please come and visit us: we would be delighted to offer you a warm welcome. In the meantime I hope the website offers you a sense of what our School offers.

Headmaster's signature

Mark Moore
Head of College and Upper School



Welcome to the Preparatory School

The Preparatory School (known locally as ‘The Pre’) is the region’s largest boarding and day preparatory school for 380 girls and boys aged 8 to 13.

The Headmaster

There is a particularly large intake at 11+ into Year 7, but pupils may enter at any stage. I received this letter from one of our parents recently:

'Over a period of sixteen years, I have been involved with twelve schools through my children. Clifton Pre surpasses all others to date in its endeavour to achieve all-round excellence and its care and concern for individual pupils.'

My reason for quoting from this is that this mother's comments sum up exactly what all of us involved with the Pre at Clifton are striving to achieve. The key to educational success lies above all in the early identification of each child's potential and then putting into place an educational programme tailored to making sure that this potential is both developed and fulfilled.

Headmaster's signature

Dr Robert Acheson


Welcome to Butcombe

Butcombe is Clifton College's Pre-Preparatory School and Nursery for girls and boys aged 3 - 8 years.

The Headmistress

I am delighted that you have chosen to visit the Butcombe website.

I hope you enjoy finding out what life is like at Clifton College for children aged 3-8 years, and that you will want to come and see our school in action for yourselves. We hope we have included all the information you need, but nothing can make up for a personal visit, when you can see the children at work and play, meet the staff and look around the facilities to build up your own picture.

The staff, children, parents - indeed, everyone in the Butcombe community - are very proud of our pre-preparatory school and I would be delighted to show you around.

Headmistress's signature

Dr Wendy Bowring
Head of Butcombe



You can stay after school and play with your friends and have some tea before you get picked up.

Butcombe After School Care operates from the Nursery and the library from 4.00pm until 6.00pm Monday to Friday.

Our aim is for the children to have fun, socialise with their friends, and relax. A variety of options are available to them which include both quiet and noisy activities as the staff recognise the importance of accommodating for all children’s needs. Children can choose from the following: arts and crafts, board games, reading, freeplay, computers, dancing, music and group games. Children are encouraged to develop their ideas through both outdoor and indoor play.

We provide a healthy tea which consists of a selection of different sandwiches, chopped vegetables, fruit, yogurts and flapjacks. Fruit juice or milk is offered and the children are encouraged to help themselves when they are ready to eat.

They are encouraged to be as independent as possible, helping each other and working together to create a happy environment where everyone is valued.

After School Clubs - Years 2 & 3

Wildlife Club

This term wildlife club have enjoyed bird watching, exploring mini beasts especially worms in the compost, making bird cake and bug hotels and have had a family of uinea pigs to visit.


Lunch and Snacks

At school we get healthy food to help us grow strong and concentrate when we're learning.

All the children at Butcombe receive a healthy snack mid-morning and fresh fruit is available on most days as well as bread and butter or a biscuit, which is offered with either milk or water. In our experience, children’s concentration levels drop during the morning and often a drink and something to eat enables them to cope until lunch time! Snacks are also available during the afternoon.

Butcombe has recently been praised by dietician, Lorraine Morris, for its healthy variety of choices available to the children for lunch. A hot meal and a vegetarian option is available every day. Jacket potatoes are a daily option and there is also a salad bar with assorted cold meats, tuna and cheese. Our puddings are always popular with a choice each day. On the tables, we provide unlimited supplies of fresh fruit, carrot sticks, cucumber and cherry tomatoes for the children to help themselves.



Butcombe Pre-Preparatory School is now able to offer Scholarships at the 7+ (Year 3) entry point. Four scholarships of £1,000 per year will be awarded to bright children who show obvious potential on the basis of tests in verbal reasoning, Mathematics, English and an interview. Details of all Scholarships available are provided in the Scholarships Leaflet.

Applications should be made by Saturday 12th January 2008 and the tests and interviews will take place on Friday 25th January 2008. Current Butcombe pupils may also apply.

Please contact Annabel Purnell , the Secretary to the Headmistress of Butcombe, on 0117 3157 591 for details of availability and how to apply.


From September 2007

School Fees

Nursery (full-time) £1,820.00 per term
Nursery (5 mornings or 3 full days) £1,250.00 per term
Nursery (5 afternoons) £750.00 per term
Reception £1,990.00 per term
Year 1


per term
Year 2 £2,565.00 per term
Year 3 £2,710.00 per term

An Early Years Grant (approximately £1,200) is available to 3 and 4 year olds.

Additional Fees

After School Care £3.10 per half-hour
Ballet and Tap £51.00 per term (10 x 30mins)
French (Nursery, Reception & Year 1) £51.00 per term (10 x 40mins)
French (Years 2 & 3) no charge
Learning Support £40.00 per hour
Learning Support by a general assistant £12.50 per hour

Voluntary Extras

All children in Years 2 and 3 will learn the recorders as part of their regular music lessons. They are also given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. These include piano, organ, all strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, guitar and singing.

Music lessons are £180.00 per term. At the discretion of the teacher, pupils may be taught in pairs. If you would like to hire an instrument, a charge of £77.00 per term will be made.

No formal assessment takes place for pupils joining in the first four years of Nursery, Reception and in Years 1 and 2. A 'first come, first served' policy operates at this level.

Pupils wishing to join Butcombe at the age of 7 (Year 3) will be assessed in English and Mathematics in the term preceding entry. The minimum standard required is the expected national Standard Attainment Test (SAT) level for the age group.

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