- Clifton High School Complete Swimmer Programme
- Facilities & Coombe Dingle
- Sports Podium
- Sports Partnerships
- Curricular & Extra Curricular Opportunities
Launching in September 2021
The Clifton High School Complete Swimmer Programme
Providing the opportunity for pupils to learn, train, study, rest and compete optimally, by managing all aspects of the athlete lifestyle so that academic and athletic elements are complementary.
The programme aims to progressively nurture all Clifton High pupils, from children, to swimming enthusiasts and athletes throughout the duration of their time at Clifton High School. The programme is divided into 3 sections, each covering a key period of long-term athlete development, accessible for all levels of ability, and a carefully timetabled provision for elite athletes.
- 1. Learn To Swim (Reception - Year 5)
- 2. Progressive Talent ID (Years 6 - 8)
- 3. Elite Adaptations (Years 10 - 13; training hours ~athlete age)
- Swim Skills for Life (All)
Here pupils learn the fundamental technical skills required for safety and enjoyment, encompassing all swim strokes in preparation for progression into Junior Development. These sessions take place as part of the school curriculum. The Programme ensures that all children will be learning 1 step ahead of the governmental guidelines, putting them at an advantage for the course of their swimming development.
At this stage all pupils will start to learn a variety of race skills, as well as consolidating fundamentals and progressing the technical requirements of the sport; to stand them in good stead for lifelong participation or whet their competitive appetite. Sessions are delivered within the school curriculum and after school clubs, with optional access to additional sessions with our partner Club.
During these years, athletes can start to build the fitness foundations required for competitive swimming, as well as those required for using swimming as a healthy lifestyle choice. Still very technically based, the programme will provide further opportunities at club and competitive level for those who have chosen swimming as a main sport and will develop selected athletes for the performance element of the pathway. The majority of provision for chosen swimmers will be after school clubs and partner club opportunities.
This is where swimmers will begin to really train for competitive success; progressing through years 10 and 11, with access to dry land and pool slots as part of each pupil's curriculum timetable, as well as the majority of opportunities within the after school elite training programme.
Athletes who enter the senior pathway in year 12 will benefit from a bespoke programme, utilising periods during the school day to bolster their access to coached sessions, strength and conditioning, nutrition and athlete mentoring, marrying their academic and sporting exploits together. Elite Adaptations is designed to set the swimmer for future success as a senior (18 years plus) athlete.
Throughout the pathway the sport of swimming as a benefit to active lifestyle will be promoted and delivered within the curriculum, with access to extra-curricular clubs available. There will also be opportunities for those in years 12 and 13 to access workforce development modules and assist teaching with the younger swimmers, whilst progressing through their Swim England qualifications.
The Elite Swimmer Scholarship
The first of its kind in Bristol, the elite Swim Scholarship commences at the beginning of September 2021, between the School and Bristol Sport. With an aim to make elite swimming more accessible through extra funding and bespoke co-curricular education, the collaboration will strengthen Bristol’s reputation as a swimming hub for young athletes.
The Bristol Sport Swim Scholarship will be awarded to young athletes, giving them the opportunity to marry elite, national-level coaching and first-class schooling.
Bristol Sport Communications Director Lisa Knights said: “We’re delighted to announce this innovative partnership with Clifton High. Bristol Sport’s vision is to put the city on the international sporting map and to help inspire sport in Bristol. Whilst football, rugby and basketball remain at our core this is a great opportunity to help promote another sport within the city.
“Following an approach from Clifton High to develop a swimming pathway to enable young, talented swimmers to remain in Bristol and combine it with their education, we have agreed to help support and promote the sport with this collaboration.
“Bristol has a long history of national and international success in aquatics, most recently with Clifton High’s Issy Thorpe and Kate Shortman representing Team GB at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. We hope that by continuing our ethos of being “the team behind the team” we can promote and inspire the next generation of swimmers to proudly represent the city.”
Meet Our New Director of Swimming, Jez Birds
Jez is an ex-professional swimming athlete joining us from Henleaze Swimming Club where he ran their swimming programme for almost 10 years. As a Swim England Coach Tutor and a Level 4 Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jez's passion lies in developing athletes of all ages and abilities; from learn to swim through to National Champions.
Meet Sean, One of Our Elite Swimmer Programme Scholars
Regularly in Top 10 of UK rankings for 50 metre backstroke, 50 metre fly, 100 metre backstroke and 100 metre fly, Sean learnt to swim at the age of 6 and has been excelling in the sport ever since. To name but a few of his achievements, Sean has won 9 gold medals, is the Gloucestershire County Junior Champion, reached National Finals and English Finals in 2019, finishing 6th in the English 50M Fly in Sheffield and finished 2nd in the Welsh Championships, Swansea 2018, 50M Backstroke. Sean, we are delighted to welcome you to Clifton High.
Details of Sports Fixtures and Match Results can now be found on our new sports portal:
Facilities - On site
- 25m indoor heated swimming pool with spectators gallery
- Gymnasium with trampolining and tumble track equipment
- Indoor bouldering and climbing wall
- Grassed lawn
- Floodlit multi use games area (MUGA) for tennis, netball, basketball, football and other court sports
- Dance studio
- Health and Wellbeing Suite
In partnership with the University of Bristol. Clifton High School makes extensive use of the University's nearby Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, providing pupils with access to comprehensive facilities and a home ground for school sports fixtures.
2017 saw the completion of a £3million development of the Coombe Dingle site, including renovation and further development of its all-weather pitches, restoration of the pavillion and a new changing room block.
- Fourteen indoor and outdoor tennis courts
- Netball courts
- Two floodlit artificial astroturf pitches
- One floodlit 3G football and rugby pitch
- Grass football and rugby pitches
- Cricket pitches and cricket nets
- Rounders and softball pitches
- Grass athletics track
Coombe Dingle are in the process of developing and constructing an outdoor Ski Ramp, which is set for completion 2020/2021.
The Clifton High School Sports Podium programme has been developed in order to support the development of pupils identified on our Talented in Sport register. The Sports Podium comprises of monthly seminars aimed at increasing the knowledge of our pupils on a number of academic processes surrounding Physical Education.
Pupils from Years 4-13 also have the opportunity to attend Sport Science and Elite Performance days, uniquely delivered to Clifton High School pupils at Bath University and the University of Bristol.
At Clifton High School we have developed enriching partnerships with the University of Bristol and Henleaze Performance Swimming Club. The partnerships are aimed at facilitating the very best sporting opportunities for our pupils in a number of different sports.
University of Bristol
As well as sharing nearby Coombe Dingle Sports Complex with the University of Bristol, Clifton High has also established a number of sporting partnerships with the University, that run throughout the School. A comprehensive tennis partnership provides pupils with pathways into elite tennis coaching. There are ten tennis clubs a week, 3 county development squads, curricular tennis delivered by the specialist coaches to Nursery Pre-School to Year 2 children. A hockey partnership is also in place, allowing our players access to university coaches and offering pathways into the University's adult sports clubs.
This highly productive partnership allows effective collaboration in developing the sporting opportunities available to Clifton High pupils and continues to promote participation up to international honours level.
Henleaze Performance Swimming Club
Clifton High also has a unique partnership with Henleaze Performance Swimming Club that allows pupils access to the Club's outstanding coaches every day of the week. Swimming classes are aimed at pupils in Year 4 and above and Clifton High School is quickly developing a reputation as one of the best swimming schools in the region. Under the instruction of Henleaze coaches, pupils can choose to learn at participation level via the School's extra-curricular club provision, and significantly as part of our elite squad which trains every evening with Henleaze Swimming Club coaches, by invitation.
This partnership has also improved the School's performances in water polo and biathlon, where Clifton High is currently ranked as second in the UK.
Through a close affiliation with Bristol Bears rugby team, we currently have boys from 14-18 training and playing with the academy teams.
Synchronised Swimming - Team GB
Clifton High is the affiliated school with the Team GB Synchronised Swimming team. We currently have two Sixth Form Students on the verge of qualifying for the next Olympic Games; Tokyo 2020. The team also hold training sessions and bootcamps for their swimmers who are not at the School. This partnership is helping to develop Olympic athletes of the future.
Curricular and Extra-curricular Opportunities
Exercise, team-work and competition have the potential to enrich every child’s life and at Clifton High, we are passionate about conveying the health and social benefits sport can offer our pupils. From our talented team of sports teachers to first-class facilities, the breadth of after school clubs to an action-packed timetable of sporting fixtures; families are impressed by the wealth of sport on offer at Clifton High School.
Year 1: Three timetabled sessions of sport per week including swimming, physical education and games.
Years 2-6: Three timetabled sessions of sport per week. Swimming and physical education take place at School and games lessons take place at nearby Coombe Dingle Sports Complex.
Years 7-9: Three hours of sport per week. Games lessons take place at Coombe Dingle.
Years 10 and 11: Four hours of sport per fortnight. Games lessons take place at Coombe Dingle.
Years 12 and 13: Five hours of sport per week. Games lessons take place at Coombe Dingle. Access to Health and Wellbeing Suite on-site.
Please find our extra-curricular timetables below: