The Music department is vibrant, welcoming place with plenty of opportunities to perform and several new facilities for pupils to use.
All pupils at Clifton High School study Music through to Year 9, at which point they can continue on to GCSE level if they wish. In the Sixth Form, we offer Music at A Level and Music Technology at AS level.
Pupils study a wide variety of music, from Samba, Jazz, and Classical through to musicals, popular music, and music technology. Composition work is done using our suite of Macs, all of which run Logic Pro, as well as our new music studio, which is made particular use of by those studying Music Technology at AS Level.
There are numerous ensembles in which pupils take part, including a variety of choirs, a string orchestra, a pit orchestra to accompany the yearly show, and several bands. There are also weekly clubs, such as the Music Technology Club, and we also offer instrumental lessons to pupils who wish to study an instrument privately. We have three large-scale performance opportunities each year: the Carol Service at the end of the Autumn Term (held at Clifton Cathedral), the Spring Concert at the end of the Spring Term (held at St George's Bristol), and a Rose Day celebration at the end of the Summer Term (held at Bristol Cathedral).
New pupils with a strong background in music can apply for a Music Scholarship upon joining the school.
Individual lessons with peripatetic teachers in a variety of instruments are available at additional cost to School Fees.
Drama at Clifton High
Clifton High has a thriving Drama and Performing Arts scene. Every year the department stages a large-scale blockbuster performance of a Musical, at the Redgrave Theatre in Clifton. Pupils of all ages can get involved, from acting, dancing, singing and playing in the band, to back stage costume and make-up artist work, and set building and lighting. Recent spectacles include Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, The Addams Family and West Side Story. Performing to hundreds of audience members each night, these productions strive for professionalism in every department.
All pupils study Drama through to Year 9, at which point they can continue on to GCSE level if they wish. In the Sixth Form, we offer A Level Drama, currently on the AQA curriculum.
Pupils experience different genres of Theatre, including Musicals, Physical Theatre, Contemporary and Epic Theatre, as well as gaining experience of Theatre from both onstage and backstage.
Pupils have many opportunities throughout the academic year, to experience the wonder of the theatre.
Speech and Drama
Speech and drama is an empowering way for young people to learn effective, clear communication that will serve them throughout their life. Through an exploration of poetry, reading aloud, drama games, performance and improvisation, children spark their imagination, think creatively and learn to perform with charisma. Classes involve a range of speaking and performing exercises that focus on developing clear speech and confident communication.
As well as being great fun, these sessions provide a framework of skills accredited by Trinity College London that will assist with performances and help pupils prepare for interviews and meetings, as well as social and professional occasions throughout their lives.
The school is fortunate in having a dedicated studio theatre space, equipped with computer lighting desk, an inventory of lanterns, sound systems and flexible staging. In addition, it has a dedicated teaching space and extensive costume and prop stores, which enable pupils to access equipment easily in daily drama classes and this is encouraged.
Our beautiful, light and airy art studios are home to our Art and Design Department. A lively, creative hub, pupils have the opportunity to develop their skills, express their creative ideas and explore a wide range of materials and techniques.
At Clifton High we cover the formal elements of art and design which include drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, IT and photography. The study of art history and art appreciation are also important elements of our curriculum.
Boys and girls in Years 7 to 9 receive one fifty minute Art lesson per week and we encourage all our pupils to become successful confident young artists whatever their age or ability.
GCSE, A level and beyond
We offer Fine Art GCSE and A level Art and Design courses and a new A level Photography course is starting in September 2021. The department has excellent links with Bristol School of Art (part of SGS college) and Weston College. GCSE and A level students perform consistently well in Art and Design with the vast majority achieving A* to B grades. Students have gone on to study Fine Art, Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration, Film Making, and Photography courses at university. We also have a number of professional artists among our former students, including Illustrator Katie Tomlinson, who has designed for Doctor Martens and Radley, London.
Our Head of Art and Design is an accomplished painter and printmaker who has exhibited regularly at the Royal West of England Academy of Art. Our additional Teacher of Art is a specialist in textile and printmaking techniques and exhibits her prints regularly. The teaching staff are also supported by a specialist Art Technician.
· Two beautifully lit art studios incorporating our display gallery
· Junior art room incorporating our ceramics studio and kiln room
· Digital photography studio with digital SLR cameras and studio lighting
· Photography dark room with cyanotype, photography and screen-printing exposure unit
· Specialist print making equipment for drypoint, collagraphy, linocut and screenprinting and digital textiles
· IT facilities with full Adobe CC software and A1 inkjet printers
· iPads with Apple Pencils and Procreate app
· A comprehensive art history library
· Procreate iPad drawing club
· Trips and visits to art galleries in the UK and abroad
· Visiting artist workshops for A level students
· Participation in the Annual Bristol Senior Schools Art Exhibition (overall student prize won by a Clifton High School student in 2020)