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Clifton High School - Lower School
College Road, BS8 3JD, UK Clifton
+44 (0)117 973 8096

Welcome to Clifton High School

CHS is a very special school. Founded in 1877 by visionaries with a belief in education for life, we have grown to be one of the leading schools in the south west, providing an excellent education for children from age three to eighteen.

Click here to enter
On this website you will read about the curriculum we offer and get a glimpse of what daily life is like here for our children and students. We work in beautiful buildings full of colour and light, in a lovely part of Bristol very close to Brunel's famous suspension bridge.






What makes us special is the atmosphere in the school. The school is full of laughter; learning is both purposeful and enjoyable. CHS has always committed itself to nurturing the various talents of all the individuals who make up the school community.

We encourage all our young people to believe in themselves and to face challenges with confidence, determination and a sense of excitement.

I am very proud of all our pupils and their achievements. I hope you will enjoy visiting our website and learning a little more about us. Do come and visit us; we would enjoy showing you around and answering your questions.

Colette Culligan - Headmistress

  • Open Evening Friday 21st September 2007 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Please contact the Admissions Registrar on 0117 9339087

Joining Clifton High School

Front of our school

Use this section to obtain information on how to join Clifton High School.

If you wish your child to join us as a pupil in either the Upper or Lower schools you will find information here about our entrance procedures, our programme of open days and the structure of our fees and scholarships.

Details of current vacancies for teaching, administrative or maintenance staff are also carried in this section.

Please use the menu on the left of the screen to obtain further details on the area of your choice.

Community links

Front of our school

A school can never thrive in isolation and the educational process is made all the richer by close links with the community in which it exists.

This section contains details of these links with a variety of community bodies, both internal and external.

Our pupils are renowned for their enthusiastic fund raising and the school has a proud history of co-operation with a wide range of charitable organisations.

We value our links with industry through the "Understanding Industry" scheme and are grateful to the many local businesses who help with our work experience programmes. This is an area in which which we are looking to expand our activities and we would welcome additional contacts and suggestions for areas of co-operation.

We make every effort to maintain contact with our ex pupils and this is reflected in the work of our "Old Girls' Society". Details of their planned programme of activities are to be found in this section together with case studies which illustrate the wide variety of important roles now carried out by ex pupils of the school.

The school has a very active "Parents' Association" and a detailed programme of their events is included in this section.

This is a forward looking school but one that is very aware of its illustrious past. We thank the "Archives" department for their inclusion of a very interesting summarised history of the school.

Please use the menu on the left of the screen to obtain further details on the area of your choice.

Information for parents

Use this section to obtain information on term dates, summaries of important policies, examination trends and university entrance trends.

An archive of school newsletters is also available for download if you have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed.

Inspection reports will be posted as available and the link to the intranet will be developed in the future to provide access to additional information.

The "External links" section provides access to information on other websites which cover subjects such as examination revision, health and safety, medical guidance and general parenting issues. These links are provided in good faith but it should be noted that the content carried by these external sites may not reflect the views, policies or ethos of the school.

Our environment

We are proud of our city, we are proud of our immediate surroundings in the historic village of Clifton with its famous suspension bridge and we are proud of our school facilities.

Use this section to take a photographic tour of the main school site or obtain more details about our excellent sports facilities at Coomb Dingle.

To help those of you who may be relocating and do not know the area we provide descriptions of the city of Bristol in general and the Clifton area in particular.

If you want to visit us and require maps and directions you will find them here.

Please use the menu on the left of the screen to obtain further details on the area of your choice.

Environment - Clifton

Clifton suspension bridge

Clifton has some of the loveliest Georgian and Victorian architecture in England and our pupils work in beautiful, light and colourful rooms adapted from what were originally private homes. The result is a school which is full of character and an environment which is aesthetically pleasing in addition to being well resourced. At lunch time, the youngest children race around the large play ground or clamber on the climbing frames while the older girls relax in their form rooms or in the grounds.

Brunel's famous suspension bridge is within a stone's throw of the school gates and the Downs in easy walking distance. Teaching does not only make use of the school grounds, with its large expanse of lawn and beautiful trees, but also of Clifton village, where visits of various kinds provide pupils with extended opportunities for learning - lessons in symmetry and mathematical prediction, for example, grow out of the architecture and awareness of environmental issues out of trips to the zoo. Sixth Form girls also enjoy the proximity of shops and cafes in their free times!

The swimming pool and gym are on site and the superb sports facilities only a ten minute coach drive away at Coombe Dingle. Here our girls can play hockey on international standard pitches or use the indoor tennis courts. Home matches are played on this site, often supported by parents, who might finish the morning with a snack in the club house.


Upper school - overview

for any child, one which is exciting and challenging as a girl meets new teachers, makes new friends and embarks on new subjects. By the time she leaves school at the end of Year 13, a girl will have changed from a child to a young woman.

The task for the school throughout these crucial years is to provide the right balance between challenge and support so that each girl achieves her best academically and grows into a person who knows she has much to give the world.

We want children to leave us as young adults who are

  • qualified

  • competent

  • confident

  • connected

  • full of a zest for life.

The school day passes swiftly with six lessons, each of fifty minutes. Lunchtimes are busy with music lessons, clubs, rehearsals – or just socialising. Many girls also choose to stay for after school clubs, sports practices or fixtures. …life at Clifton High is never dull!

You will read more about all the opportunities Clifton High offers in the other pages on this site but there is no substitute for coming to see us and to sample the atmosphere for yourself.

Sixth Form
16 to 18 years

Senior School
11 to 16 years

Lower School
3 to 11 years
Boys and Girls

School Ethos - Upper

Happy and working hard!

At CHS each and every girl is treated as an individual, who deserves the best that we can do. We aim to

  • give each pupil an excellent education in a wide range of subjects;

  • offer a happy, secure, stimulating environment, where pupils can flourish and enjoy a sense of personal fulfilment;

  • develop and foster individual talents and interests;

  • offer a broad spectrum of extra-curricular pursuits, with particular emphasis on creative, sporting and practical activities;

  • inculcate self-discipline, courtesy and consideration for others;

  • instil good moral values and attitudes;

  • develop self-confidence, self-reliance, initiative and a zest for life

We are Christian in foundation and inter-denominational; children of all faiths or none are welcomed. The warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere encourages the growth of a school family where all are recognised as unique human beings with their own gifts and abilities .

Pastoral Care

A tutorial session in the library

Underpinning all we do at CHS is the care with which we guide and support our pupils.

Each form of girls in Yrs 7-11 has two members of staff allocated to it as Form teachers. Class sizes are small, so Tutors know each girl in their group well. Work and personal issues can be talked through with a sympathetic, supportive adult who is always willing to find extra time to talk privately with an individual. The Head of Year provides a second line of support for the girls.

Sixth Form students have their individual Tutor, with whom they will meet to discuss their work and plans for university. The emphasis is on bridging the gap between school and university - enabling pupils to mature into students who are able and willing to take responsibility for their own learning. Sixth Form students have a great deal of freedom and learn to balance that with responsibility for themselves and for leadership within the school community.

A School Pupil Council and Peer Support team ensure that the girls know their views and concerns are important and heeded.



Drama is very popular at Clifton High. There are large groups at GCSE and two thriving groups at sixth form. Both groups achieve outstanding results and their production work is frequently given top marks.

The drama department have the use of a purpose built small studio space seating 150, with good lighting and sound facilities (New Hall), a carpeted rehearsal space with access to filming and video facilities. The Main Hall is used for large scale productions such as “Yerma” and “Grease” (2006).

The department encourage experimentation with theatrical form and particularly encourage physical theatre, dance and narrative theatre techniques. Design is also a specialism with girls who have a bias towards design going on to produce excellent portfolios of work. We have links with Bristol Costume Hire Services and Bristol Old Vic designers and encourage set, costume, and properties making. As well as this, the de partment has close links with music and musical theatre performance is encouraged within the school (“Footlights” performance of “Grease”).

Key stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) are taught for one lesson a week in Year 8 and 9 and one per fortnight for Year 7. The emphasis here is to teach confidence and team work at the same time as building understanding of theatrical forms.

At GCSE we study the AQA syllabus and deliver the performance coursework through two productions per year for year 10 and 11. These are either text based (“Blue Remembered Hills”) or commissioned work in the form of devised pieces. As well as studying styles of theatre through a combination of practical and discussion work, the GCSE groups experience a wide variety of live theatre, undertake workshops with professional companies, and take in tours of theatres.

At A-level we explore drama techniques, texts and practitioners of theatre at a deeper level. The De partment encourage specialisation in the skills of acting, and or design. In Year 12 they devise and produce a piece of work that frequently achieves the coveted top band mark from the external examiner (“The Lemon Princess”-2006). In Year 13 the students are more independent and the group select, edit and produce their own production of a text as an extension of their studies. Both groups attend a variety of live performances in Bristol, Bath and at Stratford. We also link up with other schools (QEH, Clifton College) to share workshops for technical aspects of theatre and the study of practitioners.

Speech and Drama

The school also has a thriving programme of extra-curricular Speech and Drama classes delivered by two staff. The girls can work in a one to one situation and or as a group and they study to perform excerpts of script for the various levels of the Trinity Guildhall exams which are taken at the end of the year.


Hockey coaching at Coombe Dingle

Click here to download Upper School sports results

Clifton High School provides pupils with many different kinds of opportunities to discover their abilities and talents in sport. We can help pupils to develop these in order to meet their needs - whether it be at a foundation, participation level, or at a higher level of excellence.

Our first class facilities include a twenty-five metre indoor heated swimming pool, a gymnasium and two floodlit netball courts on our College Road site. We also operate, jointly with Bristol University and the Avon Lawn Tennis Association, a playing field development at
Coombe Dingle which is situated some two miles away from the school site. This latter facility boasts an indoor tennis centre with four courts, ten outdoor courts (of which four are floodlit), two artificial turf hockey pitches, two netball courts and a wide expanse of grass pitches.

There are formal lessons for Years 07 to 09 in which pupils learn to develop their fitness, skills, knowledge and understanding of traditional games such as hockey, netball, tennis and rounders. They will also develop their creative talents in more aesthetic activities such as gymnastics and dance and will strive to achieve their best performances in swimming and athletics. Through participation with others they will have fun and enjoy developing their inter-personal and team building skills.

In years 10 and 11, pupils will have the opportunity to transfer their abilities and skills to learning the sports of basketball, badminton, volleyball, football, touch rugby, cricket, softball and also aerobics and circuit training.

In years 12 and 13 students may choose to continue with their participation in one of the more traditional sports but they may also decide to be a little more adventurous and opt to try their hand at rock climbing, golf, ice skating, squash or weight training. When sufficient demand exists there will also be an opportunity for students to participate in a lifeguarding or scuba diving course with the possibility of gaining a certificate in these disciplines. Clifton High School takes great pride in its community spirit and our older pupils are given the opportunity to help in the teaching of swimming to beginners from our Preparatory Department, an experience which many have found to be extremely rewarding.

There is also an opportunity to follow sport on a more formal academic level by choosing to study an Advanced Level (AS/A2) course in Sport and Physical Education. Successful students have left to follow courses at University followed by careers in areas such as teaching, the police force, nursing, physiotherapy, sports management, information technology and professional tennis playing!

Much of our extensive extra-curricular programme operates after school, with clubs, team training and matches normally operating until 5.45pm. Pupils can take part in recreational clubs such as rounders; learn a new discipline such as fencing, or take part in a course of self-defence lessons. If pupils wish to take part in matches and competitions to represent the school they may choose to train with the swimming, netball, hockey, tennis, rounders or athletics teams. Most matches are midweek after school but a full fixture programme is organised for the hockey and tennis teams on Saturday mornings.

Our emphasis in sport is placed on personal performance. If you are keen on a sport not mentioned here, we can help you to find a suitable club to join in your local area. If you are identified with a talent for higher development, we can enter you for County trials. There is a long tradition of excellence at the school and several girls have achieved National representation in swimming, tennis, hockey, rounders and fencing during the past five years. We usually have between ten and twenty girls each year who play at County level or above.

In recent years we have organised sports trips to Australia, Holland, Barbados, Austria, Andorra, Italy and the USA. Our plans for the future include a sports tour to Canada for 2006.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate competitively. All girls are involved in end of term house sports competitions in the major games as well as swimming and athletics. Our aim is for each girl to perform to her best and make a valued contribution to the team's results regardless of ability. This always proves to be great fun.

Above all, our intention is to help pupils to develop their physical potential and to leave school with a positive attitude towards health and fitness together with a real desire to lead an active lifestyle through participation in sports.

Click here to download Upper School sports results

Activities and Clubs

"The DNA Roadshow" -(Courtesy of UWE)

The buzz of activity that is so evident at Clifton High School comes not only from its timetabled lessons but also from the many other activities that crowd the day.

There are clubs and societies which cater for the musical, for those who like sport and drama, for girls who enjoy the visual arts and like making things and for those who like to pit their wits against each other in chess or debate. The clubs range from Senior Christian Union (and its junior counterpart, Jigsaw) to Self-Defence classes. The activities take place mainly at lunchtime and after school and are run by staff, senior girls and parents.

A list of clubs and societies for the current academic year is available in the form of an Adobe Acrobat document.

The House system and tutor groups provide the framework for a wide range of other activities.

Raising money for charity generates much creative thinking and enjoyment, producing a total of over £12000 in the last academic year. Sending Christmas cards to prisoners of conscience (Amnesty) and other similar activities spring from the social and political awareness of students. We operate the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at Bronze and Gold levels and also participate in the World Challenge Scheme with trips to Cambodia and Thailand in 2006 and Kenya and Uganda in 2008. In recent years the School has mounted several major productions which have involved large casts of actors, singers, dancers and back-stage technicians. A major choral concert is the annual focus for choir members and orchestral players from school and from the extended community of the CHS Choral Society.

These additional opportunities are described in more detail elsewhere on this website.

The activities change in response to fresh opportunities and new interests but the benefits they bring to the individual and to the School remain as great as ever.


First Aid training

Time to Think Ahead!

We asked the girls what they really liked about the Sixth Form at Clifton High School and this is what they said:

  • Very supportive one to one tutorial system
  • Welcoming and friendly atmosphere
  • Excellent academic results with top marks in the UK for science, maths and languages
  • Flexible curriculum with 24 subject choices
  • A wide variety of extra-curricular activities including Duke of Edinburgh and World Challenge and sports
  • Endless opportunities to develop your skills and interests e.g. the head girls’ team, peer support, heads of houses
  • Numerous opportunities to take part in musical and drama performances
  • Exciting trips at home and abroad
  • Enrichment programme – a variety of practical activities
  • Career support and guidance including Oxbridge entrance
  • Links with boys’ schools
  • Excellent sporting facilities including on-site swimming pool and Coombe Dingle Sports Complex
  • Loads of sports fixtures
  • Fantastic facilities including purpose-built Sixth Form area with a central Common Room, Study Rooms, IT Rooms and Senior library
  • Excellent ICT facilities
  • Leading the school and wider community (e.g. fundraising, helping the younger children)
  • No uniform, but a simple smart dress code
  • Great location – 5 minutes walk to Clifton Village and the university
  • Great, healthy food
  • Free bus service to and from school to selected Bristol areas

Download a copy of the Sixth Form leaflet in Adobe Acrobat format


The Lower School - Overview

Lower School

The Lower School is a happy, thriving co-educational establishment providing an excellent academic, social and moral foundation for boys and girls.

It is comprised of three departments: the Nursery (for children aged 3 - 4 years), the Preparatory (children aged 4 - 7 years) and the Junior (children aged 7 - 11). Each department has its own staff, building, playgrounds and its own identity, but a common ethos and a carefully structured programme of learning ensure continuity from 3 to 11 years of age. In all departments our aim is to provide girls and boys with an opportunity to develop each and every talent in a caring, family-community environment.

Situated in the same spacious grounds as the Upper School, the Lower School is housed in three beautiful listed buildings with easy access to the swimming pool, gymnasium and dining hall. The Prep and Junior departments have first-rate ICT suites and libraries and all classrooms are equipped with a networked computer work-station. The dedicated teaching staff offer a broad curriculum in all departments and the Junior department benefits from the expertise of Upper School specialist teachers and use of the excellent indoor and outdoor sporting facilities of Coombe Dingle.

The busy school day runs from 8.30am to 3.35pm in the Juniors and Prep. The Nursery offers two distinct sessions; mornings 8.30am - 12 noon,( or 1pm to allow for lunch), and afternoons ending at 3.30pm. In the Juniors and Prep there is early morning supervision from 8am and the school day is complemented by extra-curricular activities that run until 4.10pm. Our "Tea Club" offers children from all three departments supervised activities and refreshments until 6pm.

The Lower School is a vibrant community in which children are able to develop each and every talent in an atmosphere that promotes thoughtfulness, tolerance and courtesy as well as confidence, self-esteem and self-motivation.

It is always Open Day at the Lower School so please feel very welcome to come and see us at work and at play.

If you would like to meet Tony Richards, the Head of Lower School and have a guided tour, please contact the Admissions Registrar, Mrs Heather Thomas, on 0117 933 9087 or via e-mail to

School Ethos - Lower School

Lower School library

In the Nursery, Prep and Juniors we strive to provide a happy and stimulating learning environment in which the boys and girls feel secure, confident and valued as individuals. The emphasis is on enabling each child to develop their talents to the full and to acquire a love of learning that will last them a lifetime.

The three departments are vibrant and bright, yet small enough to retain a family atmosphere and a genuine sense of community. The broad and exciting curriculum offers a wealth of opportunities for children to achieve success and to develop self-confidence and an excellent worth ethic.

We are justly proud of the caring ambience that pervades the Lower School and the excellent academic standards our children achieve.

We aim:

  • to give each pupil an excellent education in a wide range of subjects,

  • to offer a broad spectrum of extra-curricular pursuits, with particular emphasis on creative, sporting and practical activities,

  • to develop and foster individual talents and interests,

  • to inculcate self-discipline, courtesy and consideration for others,

  • to instil good moral values and attitudes,

  • to develop self-confidence, self-reliance and initiative,

  • to offer a happy, secure, stimulating environment, where pupils can flourish and enjoy a sense of fulfilment.

The Juniors

Junior School

The Junior Department is a happy and purposeful environment in which children are encouraged to develop their talents to the full.

The broad curriculum offers a strong grounding in English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Music, Art, Drama, Design Technology, Religious Studies, Gymnastics and Games. French, Latin and Swimming are taught by specialist teachers from the Upper School and a wide range of extra-curricular activities are on offer including Chamber Choir, Orchestra, ICT, Speech & Drama, Art, Textiles and an array of sports clubs.

Latin is taught by the Classics department, including Mrs. Bell who has recently become the first winner of the national Classical Association’s prize for “the individual who has done the most to promote the study of the languages and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome”. Her two books, "Minimus" and "Minimus Secundus", provide an introduction to Latin for 7-13 year olds, and have inspired a new generation of Latin learners.

Regular visits to the local area and further afield, as well as overnight trips, take place in all year groups throughout the year and further enhance the curriculum. Children also have the opportunity to take part in ski trips.

The first class facilities include a computer in every classroom, an Information and Communication Technology suite, a Junior library, an Art room, a 25m indoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped Gymnasium and frequent use of the purpose-built Coombe Dingle Sports Centre - a marvellous new facility shared with The University of Bristol and Avon Lawn Tennis Association.

Preparatory Department

Preparatory Department

In the Prep Department of Clifton High School we aim to provide a happy and stimulating learning environment in which every child is able to develop their talents to the full. The emphasis is on enabling the children to develop a love of learning that will last them a lifetime.

The bright and lively atmosphere within the Department is informal but challenging and the staff strive to extend each child's capabilities through a range of teaching methods, with emphasis on self-achievement, attainable goals and high standards. Children achieve success which instils in them an enjoyment of learning, an excellent work ethic and self-confidence; attributes that serve them well throughout their education.

The broad and exciting curriculum offers a wealth of opportunities for the children, whilst care is taken to ensure that they have a solid grounding in the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy. The Department is justly proud of the academic standards achieved by the girls and boys.

Learning is aided by the first class facilities of the School. These include computers in every classroom and an Information Technology suite, a 25m indoor swimming pool, a fully equipped gymnasium and a Prep library. Classrooms are spacious and well-lit and small classes (current average size is 15), enthusiastic and committed teachers and teacher assistants and plentiful resources further enhance the children's learning.

The Prep welcomes boys and girls from 4 to 7 years of age (Reception to Year 2).

The Nursery

Nursery Science

The Nursery Department provides a safe, secure and happy environment in which children develop a very positive attitude to learning.

Activities are based upon the Foundation Stage guidelines and focus upon:

  • Communication, Language and Literacy

  • Mathematical Development

  • Physical Development

  • Creative Development

  • Knowledge & Understanding of the World

  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development

They encourage learning and develop confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline whilst helping each child to form stable relationships and consideration for others. Learning in the Nursery is exciting and lots of fun.

The Nursery is arranged with small classes, each with a teacher and a qualified nursery nurse; a specialist music teacher joins each class at least twice within the week. Frequent visits to the local area of Clifton further enhance the curriculum.

The Nursery has outstanding facilities to give children the perfect start. Housed on the School campus but set within its own grounds, the Nursery has spacious outside play areas and bright and vibrant classrooms. Highly praised by both OFSTED and Independent Schools' Inspectors, the Nursery is justly proud of its splendid reputation. In each of the last four years it has been awarded the Bristol Standard in recognition of excellent practice.

The Nursery takes boys and girls from three years of age and attendance may be on a full-time or part-time basis.


Swimming in the Clifton High School pool

Physical Education and sport are considered integral parts of the Lower School curriculum and important to the child's physical and personal development. We believe that sport can be enjoyed by all and each individual should be encouraged to develop their sporting talents to the full.

Nursery aged children engage in an array of physical activities on a daily basis which assist their physical development and present opportunities for learning together and team work.

The Prep Department makes full use of the School's swimming pool, gymnasium and grounds, having time-tabled Physical Education lessons that use each of these facilities. The after-school football club is hugely popular with both boys and girls.

In the Junior Department sport has a high profile. Year groups visit the excellent Coombe Dingle Sports Centre each week and make full use of its indoor tennis courts, all-weather pitches and extensive playing fields. Swimming and Physical Education are also part of the curriculum and the extra-curricular programme includes Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby, Swimming, Tennis, Athletics, Cricket, Rounders, Fencing and Taekwando. Our school teams compete against local schools and in local leagues.

Extended overnight stays at activity camps offer opportunities to enjoy canoeing, climbing, abseiling, archery, rifle-shooting, quad-biking, kayaking, body boarding, fencing and orienteering.


Curriculum overview

Curriculum overview

The school aims to provide a stimulating curriculum which can be fine tuned to meet the needs of the individual.

The content of our curriculum provision is designed to be compliant with statutory National Curriculum requirements but is not limited by them.

The curriculum may be subject to continuous revision and modification in the light of changes in educational thinking but we will always strive to ensure that a balance is maintained between the various subject areas such as the arts, humanities, modern languages, physical education and sciences.

Please use the menu on the left to select the key stage which is of interest to you

Lower school key stages 1 and 2

Upper School Key stages 3, 4 and 5

Curriculum - Nursery

The Nursery curriculum is based upon the Foundation Stage Guidelines and focuses upon six main areas:

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical Development
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development
  • Knowledge & Understanding of the World
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Activities are carefully planned to cover these areas of development. The curriculum is enhanced by an emphasis on practical activities, children participating in decision-making, frequent trips outside school and visits by guests who have specialist skills and knowledge, including doctor, dentist, nurse, builder, pet owner, etc.

Curriculum - Prep

Literacy and Numeracy are at the heart of the curriculum, but these are presented imaginatively through a range of subjects. The aim is to present a curriculum which offers scope and variety for each child, allowing them to realise their full potential.

Our approach to the teaching of Mathematics is in accordance with the National Numeracy Strategy. Emphasis is on oral and practical work and the development of appropriate mathematical language. The children are encouraged to solve problems mentally and are taught a range of effective strategies through whole class, differentiated group and individual activities.

Language is an integral part of the curriculum and from the earliest stages the children are surrounded by words and books, and experience a wide range of reading activities. Our aim is to encourage the children to read broadly, to develop good comprehension skills and most importantly, to enjoy reading. It is taught initially by word recognition but phonics are introduced early. It is the policy of the School to hear each child read on a daily basis until it is deemed no longer necessary; this may be from a reading book or in the context of other activities. Progress is monitored regularly to ensure the development of good oral expression and fluency in silent reading. From the earliest days in the Prep., the children are encouraged to express their thoughts on paper, paying increasing attention to letter formation, spelling and punctuation as the years progress.

We take a project-based approach to this subject, broadly following the guide-lines of the National Curriculum. The cross-curricular themes involving Art, History, Geography and Drama build on and extend the children's own experiences and levels of attainment. Regular visits to places of interest and regular access to computers enhance this work and bright classroom displays encourage the children to develop their interests.

Each classroom is equipped with a computer and printer. The Prep IT room has 10 computers which are linked with the whole school network. Children have supervised access to the internet and e-mail facilities.

Each year group follows a programme of activities which include keyboarding skills, word-processing, information handling, control technology and graphics.

Music is an important part of the curriculum, with emphasis on enjoyment and participation. The aim is to foster the development of a sense of rhythm and pitch through singing, percussion and listening, with further opportunities for creativity and performance.

Physical Education
The children are generally involved in some form of physical activity on a daily basis and may include:

  • Gymnastics lessons, using apparatus specifically designed for small children;
  • Music and Movement to increase bodily awareness;
  • Outdoor Games lessons which develop games and ball skills, leading towards Junior School team games;
  • Swimming lessons, taught by the Senior School Games staff, are available each week for children in Year 1 and Year 2.

Key Stage 2.

In the Junior Department we offer a broad curriculum based upon the National Curriculum and the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. We offer the opportunity for the children to develop their education through stimulating activities that challenge the children but also allow them to experience success and develop in confidence. Activities are designed to instil, in the children, a love of learning and good learning skills, which will provide a sound foundation for future development.

Mathematics and English form an integral part of each day. Mathematics is taught in units, which are then revisited at regular intervals. There is emphasis on practical and mental maths and being able to apply knowledge. English lessons focus upon reading, writing, comprehension, grammar, spelling, handwriting, drama, speaking and listening and library skills.

Science, History and Geography are taught either as individual lessons or as part of a topic. Many of our chool trips are based upon work covered in these subjects.

Information and Communication Technology is a core subject at Clifton High, with every child having access to a workstation, with their own username and password, in the Junior School Computer Suite. Children are taught by a specialist teacher and display great confidence as they build upon skills learnt from as early as the Nursery.

Design and Technology lessons open the door to ammers, wood glue, saws, hand drills, balsa wood and glue guns!

Religious Studies, French, Latin and Art are taught by both Junior and Upper School staff. The Junior department boasts its own art room in which the children have the opportunity to discover many different aspects of art with cross-curricular themes.

Physical Education is as broad as possible to enable children to have experience in many different sports skills. Every child participates in gymnastics and wimming once a week and there are swimming teams who train weekly. Other sports included in the PE curriculum are hockey, rugby, tennis, cricket, uni-hoc, netball, athletics, rounders, kwik cricket and athletics. There are regular sports fixtures and matches for boys and girls. Children use our purpose-built Coombe Dingle sports centre weekly. The excellent sports facilities include astro-turf, water based hockey pitches, indoor tennis courts and an athletics track.

In Years 4-6 residential outward-bound courses provide pportunities to enjoy climbing, abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, assault courses, archery, body boarding, quad-biking and the exhilarating high wires and zip wire.

In Music, Children are given the opportunity to read music, compose short pieces, play musical instruments, sing and appreciate the music of others. There is a wind band and a Junior orchestra who regularly perform in formal and informal concerts at school. The Junior Department choirs meet once a week and perform energetically at school events and, on occasions, in public competitions. There is also the opportunity for children to have private tuition in, for example, piano, trumpet, flute, viola, cello, guitar and saxophone.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) is incorporated into topics and taught as a discrete subject. Circle time provides an opportunity for children to express opinions and arrive at solutions to PSHCE issues, and these issues are frequently the focus of our daily assembly.

Verbal and non-verbal reasoning activities enhance the children's thinking skills and further prepare them for Entrance Examinations in Year 6

Key Stage 3

The curriculum for years 07, 08 and 09 has been carefully chosen in order to provide pupils with a broad and balanced education. It combines academic rigour with the opportunity to take part in a range of practical and creative activities. The best aspects of a traditional approach are supported by more innovative courses, which reflect life in an ever-changing world.

  • Art and Design
  • Design Technology (Food and Textiles)
  • Drama
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • German or Spanish (Year 08 and 09)
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Latin (Years 7 and 8)
  • Latin, Latin and Greek or Classical Studies (Year 9)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Personal and Social Education
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science - Biology
  • Science - Chemistry
  • Science - Physics

Key Stage 4

In years 10 and 11 pupils study nine full GCSE subjects and one half GCSE subject. The subject range has been carefully chosen to give access to a broad and balanced education whilst allowing pupils to study their own specialist areas in considerable depth.


  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • French or German or Spanish
  • Information Technology (Half GCSE)

Optional subjects

  • Art and Design
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Classics
  • Design Technology (Textiles)
  • Drama and Theatre Arts
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • History
  • Design Technology (Food)
  • Latin
  • Music
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish

In addition all girls follow courses in Religious Studies, Physical Education and Personal & Social Education.

Key Stage 5

In their first year in the Sixth Form our pupils normally study a total of four subjects to AS level. In year 13 they choose to continue their studies in three of these subjects to A2 Level. The school prides itself in the range of subjects available to pupils and the freedom of choice it provides.

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Design Technology (Textiles)
  • English
  • French
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Information Technology
  • Latin
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish
  • Sports Studies
  • Theatre Studies

All sixth form students follow an enrichment programme through which key skills can be assessed.

Students are also encouraged to take part in a physical activities programme which allows for a wide range of on and off site activities such as badminton, basketball, ice skating, life saving, personal fitness, soccer, squash and volleyball.

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