Dear Sixth Former
Sixth Former,
This booklet gives you information about the wide
range of academic opportunities that are available to a
Sixth Form student at Clifton College. Choosing which
subjects to study for A Level is not an easy decision,
so it is very important that you spend time exploring
the many possible options to gain an understanding
of what is involved in the study of each subject. The
choice of A Levels is clearly an important step in your
future academic career, influencing the university and
degree courses to which you can make a successful
application. If you are finding it difficult to decide what
is best to do next then do please come and see me, Mr
Simmons (Deputy Head Academic) or Mr Greenbury
(Head of Sixth Form) and we will be happy to discuss
the options with you.
Dr Tim Greene, Head Master
The Sixth Form journey
Joining the Sixth Form
Further Mathematics 23
English & Modern
Foreign Languages
English Language
English Literature
Music & Drama
Ancient Greek
Classical Civilisation 36
Religious Studies
Theatre Studies
Music Technology
Certificate LAMDA
(Sector E)
Art & Design
PPE & Business Studies 41
Business Studies
Physical Education
History of Art
Sector E
Additional support
Your choices
University destinations
Italian, Russian and
Mandarin (Sector E)
Sixth Fo m
jou ney
The Sixth Form journey at Clifton
We inspire all our students to follow
their interests, whilst imparting a
common core of knowledge and
cultural experience. We make no
apology for fostering individualism
and individual passion and talent,
but we always balance this with a
powerful community ethos and a
culture of high all-round expectation.
Clifton is a traditional British public
school with modern teaching values
and strong community values. The
vast majority of our Year 11 pupils
choose to continue into the Sixth
Form, where they are joined by more
than 60 talented students from other
schools in the UK and overseas.
The Sixth Form journey at Clifton
is a very special one, providing an
opportunity for self-discovery and
personal development, as we help
prepare students for life beyond
school. Everything we do in the
Sixth Form, whether inside or
outside the classroom, is designed to
encourage leadership, organisation,
responsibility, self-reliance,
resourcefulness, perseverance and
tolerance for each other.
Clifton’s Sixth Form is a dynamic
and stimulating environment
in which to live and work. The
inventors, entrepreneurs and Nobel
Prize winners among our alumni
continue to inspire our present-day
students to challenge themselves, be
intellectually curious and adventurous
and, above all, to enjoy every moment
of doing so throughout their short
two-year journey in the Sixth Form.
An inspirational learning environment
At the heart of all teaching and
learning in the Sixth Form is the
encouragement of intellectual
development, in preparation for
entry into leading universities in
the UK and abroad.
Our A Level teachers encourage
intellectual risk taking, and deliberately
create an environment where students
are free to question, free to discover,
free to try and free to succeed. Although
every student has different abilities,
talents and levels of confidence,
we believe they all have a unique
contribution to make and we ask each
to aspire to the highest standards of
which he or she is capable.
The distinctive, historic buildings
at Clifton provide an inspirational
backdrop for learning with an
enviable mix of modern facilities and
traditional 19th century architecture.
The Percival Library is a beautiful
Grade II listed building, home to more
than 15,000 books and a computer
suite; this and other specialised
buildings, such as the Joseph Cooper
Music School and the Redgrave
Theatre, ensure our students have
access to first class facilities, which
enhance their educational experience.
Clifton also enjoys an unrivalled
science heritage of Nobel Prize winners
which arose from the highly equipped
and staffed Science School, which
includes The Stone Library containing
approximately 5,000 scientific books.
Another of our most cherished
buildings is the beautiful Grade II listed
Chapel, which has provided a focal point
for the college over the years, hosting
services, concerts and a wide range of
other events.
An all-round Sixth Form education
Inter-House competitions in many
aspects of school life, including
Drama, Art, Music, Debating and
Sport, are widely anticipated and allow
students to challenge themselves in
areas never previously considered,
and to discover new talents.
Clifton provides a secure, attractive
and challenging environment for
young people to become well-rounded
and capable individuals, equipped to
fulfil their own unique potential.
The extensive offering of games,
activities and events that take place
outside of the classroom are more
than just add-on ‘extras’, they form
part of the well-rounded education
that is the ‘Clifton lifestyle’.
The academic foundation and quiet
confidence instilled in our Sixth Form
students enables them to venture in
any direction they choose. Leavers
progress to the UK’s elite universities;
on average Clifton assists more than
10 Upper Sixth students per year in
achieving an Oxbridge place. A Clifton
education truly provides limitless
opportunities and the Sixth Form
in particular is a time when both
academic and personal futures are
In the Sixth Form as throughout the
Upper School, students lead busy,
active and fulfilling days, where
they are able to learn valuable skills
and discover new enthusiasms and
talents. The school week is balanced
between lessons, sport, drama,
outdoor pursuits, CCF, community
work and clubs ranging from code
breaking to caving.
The Sixth Form lifestyle
The benefits of a single-sex House
system and a coeducational learning
environment encourage students
to value each other as brothers and
sisters in their Houses and respected
colleagues in the classroom. The
individuals in this unique community
inspire, educate and appreciate each
other, encouraging respect and
enriched cultural awareness, and we
look to our Sixth Form students to set
a strong example in this regard.
The Clifton community brings
together girls and boys, day pupils
and boarders, religious faiths and
nationalities. Unlike some schools
we do not offer Houses that are
exclusively Sixth Form; we believe
that the sense of ‘family’ and the
opportunities for leadership are best
provided in a House with a 13-18 age
However, we recognise that, as a
group, the Sixth Form also needs to
have its own identity and space, so the
Houses are designed to allow this and
the Junior Common Room located in
the Crypt provides a social focus for
Sixth Formers from every House to
meet together and socialise.
There is no such thing as a typical
Cliftonian. All students can be
themselves and form friendships that
last a lifetime, whether they have
been in the School from age 2 or
from age 16. The School provides a
real sense of community, with many
opportunities in the years after Clifton
to network and join together again
through the Old Cliftonian Society.
We also have our own dedicated Sixth
Form Centre, which was opened in
2011, which comprises five wellequipped classrooms and an ICT suite.
Joining the
Sixth Fo m
Admission to the Sixth Form
We require three A grades (or grade 7
in the new GCSE*) and three B grades
(or grade 6) at GCSE as the requirement
for external and internal entrants to
the Sixth Form. In all cases the Head
Master will review each student’s
performance on an individual basis and
admission to the Sixth Form is at his
discretion. Individual departments also
have minimum entry criteria, which are
set out in this booklet.
*Please note: throughout this booklet
any mention of ‘GCSE’ is used to refer
AS and A Levels
At Clifton we believe the most
appropriate qualification in preparation
for entry to university is the GCE A
Level. It is the most widely recognised
qualification in the UK by a substantial
margin, and allows students to
study subjects in which they have a
particular interest and explore these
in depth, whilst also being able to
broaden their curriculum through a
wide choice of subject areas.
As you may be aware, A Levels have
been undergoing a period of reform
with the intention that all A Level
qualifications become linear, and
this process will be nearly complete
by September 2017. This means
that although it will still be possible
to obtain an AS qualification in a
particular subject, the marks from this
will not then count towards the overall
A Level grade. The A Levels will be
assessed solely by examinations taken
in the summer of the Upper Sixth year.
At present, 31 subjects are offered
as A Level options (see the index on
Page 2). Most students will follow four
subjects from these to AS in the Lower
Sixth, before narrowing down to three
subjects for A Level in Upper Sixth,
though some will continue with four.
It may also be possible to re-sit an
AS or pick up an additional AS in the
Upper Sixth. In addition, we operate a
“Sector E”. Sector E allows students
to pursue additional interests, in areas
such as performance or photography,
or to choose an additional two-year
GCSE or AS course in, for example,
a new modern foreign language.
Where necessary, others may take the
opportunity to re-sit Mathematics or
English GCSE.
All departments offer AS
examinations, although some may
prefer students continuing to A Level
not to sit the AS for curriculum and
timetabling reasons.
AS and A Level examinations can
only be taken in the summer. AS
qualifications sat at the end of
the Lower Sixth appear on UCAS
applications. Most of the universities
ranked in the top 40 or so will continue
to make offers based on three A Level
grades; others will use the new tariff
points system.
The structure of the week
The Upper School at Clifton operates
a one-week timetable, consisting
of 38 periods of 40 minutes. In both
the Upper and Lower Sixth, subjects
have either seven or eight periods
per week. Most subjects split these
lessons between two teachers. In
addition to timetabled lessons, up to
four lessons are allocated for Sector E
and one for a compulsory lecture slot
on Friday afternoon. The remaining
periods are for private study, and the
appropriate use of these is a key study
skill for our students to learn.
How to choose subjects
There are a number of questions to
ask yourself when deciding which
subjects to choose. In priority order
they should go as follows:
• Do I have a particular degree or
career I am interested in? For
example, if you are planning to do
Medicine at university, you must
choose Chemistry, whilst Biology
and Mathematics are advisable.
For Engineering at top universities,
Mathematics and Physics
are essential whilst Further
Mathematics is strongly advised.
Natural Sciences courses also have
specific requirements. The Head
of Sixth Form can give you more
advice on these requirements.
• What do I enjoy doing? At A Level
you will study subjects in far more
depth than at GCSE, so you need
to have a genuine interest in the
subject to sustain the enthusiasm
that will underpin your work.
level of attainment may not be a
good predictor of future success.
In addition, there are a number
of new options for you at A Level,
such as Politics, Philosophy and
• What am I good at? Naturally
you need to take account of your
ability in a subject. On this point,
please also see the departmental
requirements at GCSE for each
subject on the relevant subject
page. However, you should not just
choose subjects based on your
current grades; for example, PE at
GCSE is heavily based on assessed
work, whilst at A Level it is much
more theoretical, so your current
You will probably need help in making
the right decision regarding subjects.
Obviously you need to speak to your
parents/guardians, but you may
also find it helpful to speak to your
Housemaster/mistress, tutor, Heads
of Department, Head of Sixth Form,
and the Deputy Head Academic.
It may also be helpful to speak to
current members of the Sixth Form.
Academic progress
All members of the Sixth Form are
assigned to a tutor, whose group
contains a maximum of 12 students
made up of both Lower Sixth and
Upper Sixth students. Tutors are key
to assisting Housemasters/mistresses
in reviewing your academic progress
in the Sixth Form, and you will meet
regularly. At every half-term and end
of term you will receive either a grade
or written report assessing your effort
and achievement. The achievement
grades (A-U) are not examination
predictions but give an indication
of how well you have performed in
that period when judged against the
examination standard.
Tutors will use all this information
to give praise where relevant or to
suggest strategies for improvement,
which may include placing students
on report. It is important to
establish good study skills and time
management, again, an area in which
tutors can assist.
University entrance and careers
It is very much the norm for Cliftonians
to move on to university after A
Levels, and a great deal of time and
effort is devoted to ensuring that wise
and sensible choices which suit the
individual concerned are made. A
university education is worthwhile,
but it is expensive, and applicants
must approach the process with
plenty of accurate information and
self-awareness. Students will receive
guidance from parents, teachers,
tutors, Housemasters/mistresses, the
Head of Sixth Form and experts from
outside the College, but they must
realise that it is their future and they
must reach decisions with which they
are happy.
Most Cliftonians apply to UK
universities, but there are always
candidates who go further afield,
including the USA, Canada, Hong
Kong and Continental Europe. The
College has considerable expertise in
all these areas, and students should
spend time working out the type of
institution which suits them best.
The application cycle
The application cycle really gets
underway in the Lent Term of the
Lower Sixth, when students are
encouraged to start considering
their options and researching the
possibilities. There is then an intense
period of activity in June, when a great
deal of advice is given to the year
group, and at this stage they must
start to focus their thinking in terms
of their chosen course and likely
destination. The Michaelmas Term
of the Upper Sixth is the time during
which the application is made, and
this can be a laborious and timeconsuming business. Applicants need
to reply to their offers by April of the
Upper Sixth, and advice is available
again at this stage.
Advice and information
Access to the necessary information
is provided in a number of ways.
Lectures and workshops are very
important, especially in June of the
Lower Sixth, and a wide range of
books, publications, prospectuses
and software is available in the Sixth
Form Centre, the Houses and the
Percival Library. The Internet is also a
vital resource, and the school system
carries links to a wide selection of
helpful sites. The most useful is
probably The College
also now subscribes to the excellent
Unifrog website
The Head of Sixth Form oversees
the whole system, whilst the
Housemasters/mistresses oversee
the individual applications, with
considerable assistance from tutors.
Students are also encouraged to visit
university open days, particularly
after their AS exams; work experience
is also desirable at this stage. In
addition, Clifton often hosts an
excellent Careers Fair at the end of
the Summer Term, which helps to
put Cliftonians’ university aspirations
in a wider context. There are also
Careers Seminars and similar events
throughout the year.
Interview practice and
other support provided
Those interested will be given the
chance to be interviewed by visiting
representatives of the Armed Forces,
and Lower Sixth Formers are able to
take the Morrisby Test, a psychometric
profile which identifies and highlights
students’ strengths and skills, and is
designed to aid them when considering
higher education and career options.
Upper Sixth Formers attend a talk
on interview technique and have the
opportunity to sign up for practice
interviews, which are essential for
applicants to certain courses and
universities. Preparation is also
offered to students who have to sit the
ever-increasing number of university
entrance tests. Specialist workshops
and conferences in such fields as
Medicine, Law and Veterinary Science
are well publicised, and attendance is
encouraged for those with an interest
in pursuing such courses.
Employment and gap year
The Head of Sixth Form is available to
see students and their parents about
these important choices, and will also
advise and assist those Cliftonians
who plan to move directly into the
world of work, in conjunction with
the Head of Careers. Finally, various
members of staff are able to give
expert guidance on the complex world
of gap year opportunities, which are
popular with a significant number of
students, and the relevant resources
are easily accessible in the Percival
Library or online.
The Universities of Oxford and
Cambridge are two of the world’s
pre-eminent universities. Competition
for places at these universities is
intense and Cliftonians have an
excellent record of receiving offers of
places at Oxbridge, with 18 in 2015
and 9 in 2016.
There is no pressure from the School
on Sixth Formers to apply to Oxbridge,
but where it is realistic to do so, they
are encouraged to consider Oxford or
Cambridge as one of their choices.
Candidates will be given appropriate
support and encouragement, though
the principal reason for applying
should always be that the course
on offer is suited to the student’s
individual needs and ambitions.
Oxbridge admissions tutors are
looking for “scholars” with academic
talent, an excellent work ethic and
real intellectual curiosity.
– a useful guide is that successful
applicants have at least 7 A*s at
GCSE. High AS scores are equally
significant, though A Level reforms
mean that this indicator will become
less significant in the short term.
Cambridge are keen for applicants
to have sat the reformed AS
examinations but, like Oxford, they are
likely to make extensive use of some
very demanding admissions tests.
A good applicant would be expected
to exhibit a genuine passion for their
subject, evidenced by examples of
extra reading and independent work.
The Head of Sixth Form coordinates
the applications of all Oxbridge
The consideration of an Oxbridge
application begins seriously in
February of the Lower Sixth year,
but suitable candidates will have had
to perform extremely well at GCSE
he Pippard Society is a
programme of study for
the highest achievers in
the Lower Sixth who are
anticipating applying to Oxford or
Cambridge for any course, or to
another elite university for Medicine
or any other very competitive course.
The course runs in most cases from
November to March: students are
invited to attend in the light of
excellent GCSE results and/or
outstanding performance in the
first half of the Michaelmas Term.
Housemasters/mistresses, Heads of
Department and tutors are canvassed
for suitable candidates; and students
with real intellectual interests are
invited to put their own names forward.
The programme consists of a core strand
of Critical Thinking followed by optional
modules. The Critical Thinking element
is an abbreviated version of the old AS
Level course for about half a term, but
without the expectation of taking an
examined module. The course tests the
ability to think logically and critically
and to be able to construct cohesive
arguments. It practises the skills of
thinking rationally and objectively about
arguments and evidence. These skills
are essential for the growing number
of university admission tests, the most
prominent of which are probably BMAT,
UKCAT, LNAT and the TSA. Staff with
high-level academic credentials are
allocated to teach the Pippard groups,
and students pursue further study in one
of these areas:
• Preparation for Medicine/Veterinary
• Natural Sciences
• Social Sciences and Humanities
• Literature and Languages
periodicals in English and Modern
Languages, daily papers, DVDs, and a
graphic novel collection.
Lauren Walker
Percival Librarian
The Percival Library
The Percival Library is a beautiful
Grade II listed building. It was
originally built between 1870 and
1874 as a library and natural history
museum at the expense of John
Percival, Clifton’s first Head Master.
The main library houses more than
15,000 books, including many books
authored by Old Cliftonians. Recently
the entire collection has been
extensively reworked to ensure that
the stock is both broad and relevant
in its scope. The core collection
is complemented by a variety of
In 2002, the library underwent a
major refurbishment, resulting in a
sympathetic reorganisation of the
space and expansion to include a new
computer suite. This large complex
now comprises three main rooms: the
Council Room, the main library and
the computer suite with a mezzanine
level for the exclusive use of Sixth
Form students. The entire main
library is equipped with Wi-Fi and
includes 68 desk spaces.
The library is staffed by three, fulltime professional librarians. In
addition to providing library services,
they also act as teaching and learning
support for staff and students
throughout the library’s opening
hours and offer research skills and
information literacy training. The
library staff aim to inspire a love of
learning and joy in reading and, to
this end, the library organises group
activities and hosts a variety of events
and author visits throughout the year.
The School has recently launched
a new digital library service which
means that students can borrow,
read or listen to books wherever they
are in the world. The digital library
can be found at clifton.lib.overdrive.
com. Users simply enter their
school computer login and password
to download library e-books and
audiobooks to their chosen device.
This service works on all e-readers
except Kindle (Nook, Kobo, Sony
e-Reader, etc), desktop computers
(Mac and PC), tablets (iPad, Android,
etc) and smartphones.
Physical and digital library stock can
be searched via our Reading Cloud.
Students are able to access this from
anywhere on the College network as
well as from home via the College
website. Students also have access to
the JSTOR online database where they
can access thousands of academic
Departmental Collections
The largest of the departmental
collections, the Stone Library, serves
the Science School. This remarkable
school science library houses modern
science texts and journals as well as
an excellent collection of rare books
and manuscripts. Other departments
have their own collections of books
and additional resources.
iology is an intrinsically
interesting and universally
accessible subject. It is the
scientific study of life: as such,
it encompasses the investigation of
living organisms and life processes,
from the molecular, through cells and
individual organisms, to populations
and whole communities of animals
and plants. Since we are living things,
by studying biological systems we
better understand both ourselves and
the world we live in. Therefore we can
make more informed decisions on our
own health and our environment.
Our A Level courses help students
develop essential knowledge and
understanding of biological concepts
and scientific methods. Importantly,
studying Biology leads to a wealth of
careers and is at the forefront of many
modern developments. Manipulation
of genetic systems in both animals and
plants, to increase food supplies or
produce medicines, for example, has
enormous potential to revolutionise
our lives. Biologists will be required
to further develop this technology and
devise safe applications. Our courses
are also particularly well suited to
those interested in vocational degrees
such as Medicine and Physiotherapy.
Course content and
The department follows the
Edexcel Biology A (Salters-Nuffield)
specification at both AS and A Level.
This allows an integrated approach to
the teaching of our subject, considering
biological concepts alongside their
relevant contexts. Each of the topics
that make up the AS and A Level
courses are introduced with a context
related to the modern world and
the application of Biology. Biological
principles are introduced when required
to aid understanding of the context, so
that the theory always has an obvious
relevance. Practical work is integrated
within the delivery of each topic.
The AS year starts by considering the
risk of certain lifestyle choices and
genes on health, then follows with the
control of development, biodiversity and
natural resources. Assessment at AS
Level consists of two 90-minute papers
covering the core biological topics and
practicals, as well as mathematical
skills. The A Level then goes on to
further consider ecology, immunity and
forensics. It then culminates with topics
such as the nervous system, respiration
and learning. A Level assessment
comprises three 2 hour papers which
cover all AS and A Level material,
including experimental methods and
mathematical skills. The third paper
additionally involves questions on a
pre-release scientific article. Students
complete core practicals in class
over the two year period, and this
enables them to achieve the ‘practical
endorsement’ which is awarded at the
end of the A Level course.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Biology and B
(or 6) grade in Mathematics;
a good level of competence in
Course Offered
A and AS Level Edexcel Biology
A (Salters-Nuffield)
Facilities and staff
The team of five staff are enthusiastic,
knowledgeable and hope to inspire,
engage and help students at all times.
The Biology Department is equipped
with five modern laboratories, an ICT
suite and a lecture theatre. We have
an impressive collection of zoological
specimens and live animals, and a newly
developed pond and wildlife garden
outside. The Stone Library, a dedicated
science library, has a superb collection
of books, periodicals and online
journals. Clinics are held in the library
each Tuesday afternoon by a member of
the Biology Department from 4.30pm6.00pm for anyone wishing to have some
extra help.
Dr Remy Poland
Head of Biology
What subjects does
Biology combine with?
Popular combinations with other
subjects include Mathematics,
Chemistry, Physics and Geography but
students also choose to study Biology
alongside a range of Arts subjects.
Additional features
The Biology Department aims to
inspire students above and beyond
the curriculum. We organise several
exciting events for the Sixth Form
throughout the year, including a field
trip to Wales to study succession, a
CSI evening and a trip to the Bristol
University labs to participate in a real
biological investigation. Students also
have the opportunity to compete in the
Biology Olympiad in January and engage
in some public outreach at the Bristol
Festival of Nature in June. Finally,
in collaboration with the Geography
Department, we offer a summer
expedition with Operation Wallacea every
two years. Recent destinations have
included Mexico and Madagascar.
hemistry is unusual for its
combination of practical
skills with both logical and
conceptual thinking. The
A Level course is spiral in structure
with each level of learning building
on the last, with many topics from the
GCSE revisited and explored in more
detail. Students will begin to picture
the atom as more than just a disc
on a piece of paper, and understand
how the interactions of protons and
electrons can explain everything from
the colour of a crystal to the structure
of a pharmaceutical drug. Although
challenging, Chemistry A Level
provides the tools to understand the
world around us whilst also teaching
a range of skills applicable to almost
any university course. Chemistry is
compulsory for all those wishing
to study Medicine, Dentistry or
Veterinary Sciences at university.
Course content and
We study the new OCR A course which
began in September 2015. Students
wanting to study the subject at AS
or A Level should have achieved at
least an A grade in both Chemistry
(or Double Award Science) and
Mathematics at GCSE.
Clinics are held in the library each
Tuesday afternoon by a member of
the Chemistry Department for anyone
wishing to have some extra help or
tuition. Students also take part, and have
had considerable success, in both the
RSC Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge
Chemistry Challenge competitions.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR A Chemistry
Additional features
(1917-1977), Old Cliftonian, shared the
1962 Nobel Prize for chemistry with
Max Perutz for determining the first
atomic structures of proteins using
X-ray crystallography. Their work was
done at what is now the MRC Laboratory
of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
Kendrew determined the structure of
the protein myoglobin, which stores
oxygen in muscle cells.
A grade in GCSE Chemistry and
A (or 7) grade in Mathematics
The course is split into six modules
with the AS exam covering the first four
modules and the A Level exam covering
all six. Although there is no longer any
examined coursework, students are
expected to be able to answer exam
questions on practical work and are
awarded a practical endorsement as
part of the A Level course.
The Chemistry Department has
recently been refurbished and
is equipped with five modern
laboratories with superb technical
support. The students also have
access to the Stone Library, the
Science ICT facilities and the
Kendrew lecture theatre.
John Cowdery Kendrew
Entry Requirements
Dr Jamie Older
Head of Chemistry
What subjects does
Chemistry combine with?
Chemistry is most often chosen
alongside other science subjects.
It is also advantageous to study
Mathematics to at least AS Level to
assist with the high mathematical
content of the specification.
hysics is about the world
around you, the way it works
and why it behaves the way
it does. It delves into the
concepts that explain the universe,
from the very small subatomic right
through to cosmology. Studying
Physics at AS and A Level will start
you on the journey of discovery into
understanding how it all fits together.
Although not an easy subject, Physics
lays the foundation for many careers.
Studying Science subjects, Computer
Science, Business, Architecture and
many others at university all benefit
from the logical and mathematical
thinking skills that are developed at
A Level. The practical skills learnt
are also valuable at degree level and
Physics is compulsory for all those
wishing to study Engineering at
Course content and
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Physics and
B (or 6) grade in GCSE
At Clifton College we follow the
recently revised OCR B (Advancing
Physics) course. This covers the
different topics rigorously, ensuring
they are placed clearly into the real
world context. For example, at AS,
optics is placed within the context of
digital imaging, electricity is studied
by considering sensors used to make
measurements, and mechanics
is approached using real world
examples. Similarly, at A Level, the
more difficult topics of fields and
modelling are studied with application
in mind.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR B (Advancing Physics)
The AS part of the course covers nine
chapters, with two exams. Those who
continue to A Level will study nine
more topics, and be examined on the
work from the whole two years.
We place a great importance on
practical work, and students will carry
out experiments at every opportunity.
There is now no coursework at
A Level, but instead a practical
endorsement is awarded at the end.
The practical work carried out during
the two years counts towards this.
David Richardson MBE
Head of Physics
What subjects does
Physics combine with?
Physics is most often chosen
alongside other science subjects. It is
recommended that students also study
Mathematics to at least AS Level.
Facilities and staff
Sir Nevill Francis Mott
(1905 –1996), Old Cliftonian, was an
English physicist who won the Nobel
Prize for Physics in 1977 for his work
on the electronic structure of magnetic
and disordered systems, especially
amorphous semiconductors. The award
was shared with Philip W. Anderson and
J. H. Van Vleck. The three had conducted
loosely related research. Mott and
Anderson clarified the reasons why
magnetic or amorphous materials can
sometimes be metallic and sometimes
insulating. In 1973 he was awarded the
A. A. Griffith Medal and Prize.
The five teachers are all passionate
about the subject and are committed
to communicating it enthusiastically.
The Physics Department has recently
been refurbished and is equipped with
five modern teaching rooms, a project
lab and an ICT suite. Students also
have access to the department’s own
library, the Stone Library.
Additional features
Clinics are held in the library from
4.30pm to 6.00pm each Tuesday
afternoon by a member of the Physics
Department for anyone wishing to
have some extra help or tuition.
sychology is the study of
human behaviour and
experience. It seeks to explain
why we behave the way we do
and how our minds work. It is directly
relevant to you, your friends and
society in general. Where does our
behaviour come from? Are we born
with our personalities, or do we learn
to be the people we are? Questions
such as these lie at the heart of
Psychology. If you are at all interested
in how we learn, how our memory
works, why some of us have phobias
and how other people influence us,
then Psychology is the subject for you!
the content from both years. These
topics are all covered in two of the
three exam papers that students
take at A Level. The third paper is on
Psychological Skills which is more of a
synoptic paper assessing the debates,
studies and research methods taught
over the two years. Though coursework
is not directly examined, a new feature
of this exam is that at the end of
each topic students will create, carry
out and write up their own practical
investigation. Questions within the
exam could then focus on the practical
research students have carried out.
Studying Psychology will help you to
develop skills that will be beneficial
to your other subjects. You will be
taught effective essay writing skills and
alongside this you will be encouraged
to become a critical thinker who can
analyse the strengths and weaknesses
of different theories and pieces of
research. You will learn about research
methods and you will design and
carry out practical investigations.
Psychology lessons need your input;
you will be encouraged to develop your
communication skills so that you can
contribute to debate and discussion and
present your ideas in an effective way.
Facilities and staff
Course content and
Since September 2015 we have been
following the new GCE specification,
and our examination board is Edexcel.
Students can take AS examinations at
the end of the Lower Sixth but if they
go on to do the full A Level course they
are assessed on the full content of the
course at the end of the two years.
In the first year students will study
four modules which give students
the underpinning of the main areas
of Psychology: Biological, Cognitive,
Learning and Social. In the second
year students will learn about the
topical areas of Clinical Psychology
and Child Psychology as well as
completing a synoptic review of
The Psychology Department is located
in the newly refurbished Sixth Form
Centre which has both excellent
facilities and spectacular views
across the Close. The department
has two classrooms, each of
which is equipped with interactive
whiteboards. There is a wide range
of resources, including psychology
books, magazines and DVDs.
The Psychology Department has
two members of staff, with each
class being taught by both teachers
to ensure a diversity of skills and
teaching styles. In the Lower Sixth,
the research methods section is
taught by members of the Science
Department due to the large
crossover of material and scientific
nature of this area.
Additional features
The Psychology Society meets roughly
every third week and is largely student
run; students are invited to present on
a psychological topic of their choice
and these are encouraged to be outside
the syllabus so that students can
gain an insight into how psychology
functions in the wider world.
The Psychology Department also offers
regular revision clinics in the Lent and
Summer Terms. These clinics help by
offering extra support to those who
Entry Requirements
B (or 5) grade in GCSE Biology,
Mathematics and English.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Psychology
Susannah Griffin
Head of Psychology
require it but also develop the general
written and analytical skills that
students of all abilities possess.
What subjects does
Psychology combine with?
Psychology is taught as a science and
therefore combines well with other
science subjects. However due to its
written and analytical components it
also combines well with both creative
subjects and the humanities. It is for
this reason that Psychology is well
regarded by universities.
of girls’ grades in
A Level STEM subjects
were A*-B in 2016
and 64% were A*-A.
The Science School
The Science School has been completely refurbished to
provide modern state-of-the-art laboratories on all three
floors, whilst retaining the historic charm and tradition of
what was one of the first purpose-built science buildings
at a major public school.
The Stone Library is situated on the ground floor and
contains more than 5,000 scientific books. Volumes date
from the sixteenth century to the present day, including
subscriptions to all of the main scientific periodicals and
a first edition of Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton
(1687). The collection also features books recommended
on reading lists for university applications.
The Kendrew Room is a well-equipped small lecture
theatre located on the top floor of the Science School. It
is regularly used by classes in all three sciences and for
meetings of the Scientific Society.
The Sixth Form Centre
There is a dedicated computer room in the Sixth Form
Centre which is used by Psychology students to carry out
interactive tasks, develop their research skills and access
online revision sites.
If I were again beginning my
studies, I would follow the
advice of Plato and start with
Mathematics.” Galileo.
Galileo realised that the study
of Mathematics was vital for the
fields that he was interested in,
and students nowadays wishing to
go into further education to read
Mathematics, Engineering, Physics,
Computer Science and Actuarial
Science must study Mathematics
as an A Level course. Degree
courses in Economics, Chemistry
and related courses also usually
contain a significant mathematical
component. Those going on to
study Medicine, Biological Sciences
and the Social Sciences and even
Philosophy may find that Mathematics
is recommended, but even if not,
they may have to undertake further
mathematical training at some
stage, and this can be a challenge
for a student who has not studied the
subject for two or three years.
If considering a degree in
Mathematics itself, its excellence as
an academic discipline should not
be ignored; graduates in the subject
are in high demand. The shortage
of Mathematics graduates is now so
marked that students who enjoy the
subject and who have a reasonable
degree of competence will find it
considerably easier to get a university
place in Mathematics than in some
other subjects. This is not a route for
everyone of course, and studying the
subject at A Level will help develop
analytical, research and problem
solving skills. Not only can it provide
the knowledge to tackle scientific,
mechanical, coding and abstract
problems, it will develop skills to help
with planning projects, managing
budgets and even debating effectively.
Course content and
Entry Requirements
High A grade (or high 7) in
GCSE Mathematics.
Students joining the Sixth Form in
September 2017 will be the first
cohort to follow the new linear A Level
Mathematics Edexcel specification.
The content will be 100% prescribed
and will feature a large element of
Pure Mathematics as well as covering
areas of Statistics and Mechanics. The
assessment will feature three papers
at the end of Upper Sixth, all allowing
use of a calculator, with the first two
focusing on the Pure content and the
third on the Applied content (Statistics
and Mechanics).
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Mathematics
Additional features
There is also an emphasis on
Mathematics beyond the constraints
of the A Level specifications. All
students in the Sixth Form are
offered the opportunity to enter
the UK Mathematics Trust Senior
Mathematics Challenge; a multiplechoice problem-solving competition.
Most find this to be an enjoyable
experience and some score well,
receiving Bronze, Silver or Gold
certificates for their efforts. At the
very top end, a handful of students
will qualify or volunteer for the first
round of the British Mathematical
Christa Hann
Head of Mathematics
Students who wish to apply for
degrees in Mathematics or related
subjects are prepared for interview
and university entrance tests and
are also encouraged to deliver
presentations to the younger students
in the school Mathematics Club.
All students are also welcome to
represent the School in competitions
organised with local schools.
Mathematics is the most popular
subject choice at Clifton, with well
over half the Sixth Form opting
to continue its study. These large
numbers enable us to create six
‘single’ Mathematics classes, and we
find that effective streaming using
these classes enables us to alter
approaches and provision accordingly.
Facilities and staff
There are currently 16 members of
staff who teach in the Mathematics
Department (14 full-time and two
part-time). There is a wealth of
experience within the department
and we pride ourselves on the level
of support offered to the students,
as well as outstanding subject
knowledge, and a desire to
remain innovative and conscious of
developments in mathematics and
The recently refurbished Mathematics
Department would be the envy of a
school of any type or standing – see
the Facilities section for further
What subjects does
Mathematics combine
Mathematics combines well with all
the sciences and social sciences.
Equally, studying Mathematics
alongside essay subjects such as
English or History can help keep
options open for a wider range of
possible degrees and careers.
Further Mathematics
tudents taking Further
Mathematics overwhelmingly
find it to be an enjoyable,
rewarding, stimulating and
empowering experience. It is a
challenging qualification, which both
extends and deepens your knowledge
and understanding beyond ‘single’ A
Level Mathematics. Students who study
it often say it is their favourite subject.
For someone who enjoys
mathematics, it provides a challenge
and a chance to explore new and/
or more sophisticated mathematical
concepts. As well as learning new
areas of Pure Mathematics, students
will study further applications of
Students who take Further
Mathematics find that the additional
time spent studying Mathematics
boosts their marks in ‘single’ A Level
Mathematics. Studying Further
Mathematics consolidates and
reinforces A Level Mathematics work,
encouraging the best possible grades.
Its study makes the transition from
Sixth Form to university courses
which are mathematically rich that
much easier as more of the first year
course content will be familiar. If you
are planning to take a degree such as
Engineering, Sciences, Computing,
Finance/Economics, etc, or perhaps
Mathematics itself, you are advised
to study Further Mathematics, as
it introduces new topics such as
matrices and complex numbers that
are vital in many STEM degrees.
Students who have studied Further
Mathematics find the transition to such
degrees far more straightforward.
Course content and
Students will follow the new linear
Edexcel Further Mathematics
specification. They must study ‘single’
Mathematics, which is co-taught
alongside the Further Mathematics
course. The content will be 50%
prescribed and 50% optional. The
prescribed section of the new
specification will focus on further study
of Pure Mathematics and the optional
content will feature two choices from
the following areas: Pure Mathematics,
Mechanics, Statistics or Discrete
Mathematics. The assessment will
feature four papers at the end of Upper
Sixth with the first two focusing on
the compulsory Pure Mathematics
content, and the third and fourth
testing the optional topics.
Entry Requirements
Subject to the assessment of the
Head of Mathematics.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Further Mathematics
Additional features
It is highly unusual for schools to
have more than one class of further
mathematicians in each year group:
at Clifton we have three. This gives
us tremendous flexibility in tailoring
our provision for students with varying
abilities and requirements.
It is also rare for departments to have
a majority of Mathematics teachers
who are able to teach the relevant
modules: nearly all of our full-time
teachers are. The popularity of the
subject at Clifton is in part due to the
consistent success that the students
achieve in their results.
Professor Fritz Ursell (1923-2012)
Old Cliftonian, Professor Fritz Ursell (1923-2012), came to England as a
refugee from Nazi Germany and became an expert on fluid mechanics and
the behaviour of waves. His love of Mathematics started at Clifton before he
won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge.
At the end of 1943 Ursell joined the Admiralty (British Navy Department) as
a part of a team whose task was to formulate rules for forecasting waves for
the allied landings in Japan. Their work has become the basis of modern
wave-forecasting. Ursell stayed in the Admiralty until 1947, after which
he was appointed to a post-doctoral fellowship in applied mathematics
at Manchester University without a doctorate. In 1950 he returned to
Cambridge as a lecturer. In 1957 he spent a year at Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, having been invited by Arthur Ippen. In 1961 Ursell moved
back to Manchester where he held the Beyer Chair of Applied Mathematics
at the University of Manchester from 1961–1990 and was elected Fellow of
the Royal Society in 1972.
Every teacher has their own
classroom equipped with a
Smartboard and projector, but also
with whiteboards all round the
walls that are regularly used for
co-operative learning. We are also
proud of the Bradley Room, which
contains a well-stocked library, and
a conference table for seminars and
meetings. Many members of the
department are keen on the use of
ICT in the classroom and make good
use of class sets of Android tablets,
but are always conscious of the need
for an appropriate balance between
modern and traditional methods.
English & MFL
Modern Foreign
English Language
English Literature
English Language
nglish Language A Level is
an engaging, challenging
and stimulating course. It
is very different from GCSE
English. It is not an opportunity for
development of one’s general ability
to use the language: it is the study
of how others use language, both
written and spoken, and the chance
to explore areas of personal interest
through writing.
The course would lend itself to the
study of Linguistics at university,
or it would complement Modern
Languages or English Literature
courses. Career paths would include
journalism and the media, law,
politics, publishing or other jobs in
which the use of language is key.
Course content and
AS Level offers an introduction to the
building blocks of our language - lexis,
grammar/syntax, phonology, discourse
structure - and students are required
to analyse language precisely and
systematically. They are also given
opportunities to explore areas of
sociolinguistics, such as the influence
of gender, power and technology
The Old Cliftonians
Book Collection
English lessons at Clifton have
inspired over 700 Cliftonians
to write, from Professor Simon
Blackburn on Philosophy to Joyce
Cary’s “Charley is my Darling”,
and Henry Newbolt’s World War
I poetry to AE Houseman’s “A
Shropshire Lad”.
The Percival Library contains an
impressive collection of books
written by past and present staff
and pupils, from Cambridge Level
Maths problems to the humour
of Stephen Pile in his “Book of
Heroic Failures”. It demonstrates
the breadth and depth of academic
endeavour as well as the courage
and ability to write. This collection
is primarily to inspire all our pupils
and staff as well as celebrate their
many talents.
on the language that we use. The
definition of a text is very broad in
Language and you are as likely to
analyse the language used in a spoken
transcript of a conversation between
friends, as you are to look at more
conventional written texts.
Entry Requirements
B (or 5) grade or above in GCSE
English Language.
Course Offered
At A Level students undertake an
extended independent language
investigation. They also study the
history of the English language
and some of the key influences on
our language, as well as attitudes
to language change. The second
component in the A Level course
focuses on children’s language
development – how and in what ways
children develop the skills of speech,
reading and writing.
A and AS Level
AQA English Language
There are also plenty of opportunities
for creative writing on the course.
There are two exam papers at AS
Level: 1. Language and the Individuals
and 2. Language varieties, both worth
50% of the AS. At A Level, there are
also two papers: 1. Language, the
Individual and Society and 2. Language
Diversity and Change. They are worth
80% of the A Level. There is also a
coursework component, which focuses
on an independent investigation and a
piece of original writing.
Sophie Cuesta
Head of English Language
What subjects does English
Language combine with?
The study of English Language
combines well with most other arts
subjects, such as Literature, History
and MFL. It also works well with
subjects such as Psychology and
Business Studies.
Additional features
There are plenty of opportunities
for independent research as part
of the A Level. Students have
enjoyed investigating topics such
as the effect of gender on teachers’
language, celebrities and changes
in accent and dialect in their rise to
fame, generational differences in
use of text language, and linguistic
techniques used by barristers in crossexaminations.
Facilities and staff
The English Language Department
is housed in the brand new building
at 4/5 Worcester Road, where we
teach alongside English Literature
and the Modern Foreign Languages
Department – see Facilities section
for further details.
We observe language in different
settings as part of the A Level course,
including visiting a local primary school
to hear children read. We also run a
trip to the English and Media Centre
event at UCL, where we hear lectures
from eminent linguists such as David
Crystal and Deborah Cameron.
The English Language Department is
led by Sophie Cuesta and comprises
three experienced members of staff.
English Literature
nyone who has enjoyed
English Literature at GCSE
will benefit from the A Level
course. There is much
continuation of material and literary
concepts from AS to A Level, and
teaching in the first year is intended
to develop knowledge and skills to
be carried over into the Upper Sixth.
Studying English Literature will give
you the opportunity to explore texts
in depth and to discuss and debate
in class; the lessons are lively and
stimulating, and your opinions and
perspectives are welcomed.
English Literature is extremely well
regarded by universities, and numerous
Cliftonians who have read English
at university have embarked upon
successful careers in a range of areas:
law, business and commerce, the civil
service, architecture, film, theatre,
radio, television, journalism, medicine,
engineering, and education at all levels.
Course content and
The department follows the new
Edexcel English Literature specification
(2015). The aims and objectives of
the Edexcel Advanced GCE in English
Literature include enabling students
to read widely, engage critically and
creatively with a substantial body
of texts, develop their knowledge of
literary analysis, explore the context of
different text and others’ interpretations
of them, and explore the changing
traditions of English literature.
The two-year course consists of three
externally examined papers (80%) and
one coursework component (20%).
The qualification requires the study of
eight literary texts plus unseen poetry.
The course is co-teachable, with the
opportunity of an AS qualification, and
the same texts being examined at both
AS and A Level.
Students will study a Shakespeare
play alongside another dramatic work
(either tragedy or comedy). Options
include Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, The
Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night.
They will also study two prose texts with
a shared theme, at least one to be pre
1900; and a selection of contemporary
poetry, including post 2000 poetry and
the works of a named poet or literary
period. Options this year include
Science in Society (Frankenstein and
The Handmaid’s Tale) and Women in
Society (Tess of the d’Urbervilles and A
Thousand Splendid Suns).
The coursework element involves the
free choice of two texts linked by theme,
movement, author or period, and will be
between 2,500-3,000 words. Possibilities
so far have included: The Great Gatsby,
A Streetcar Named Desire, The Road,
The Wasp Factory, Brave New World, The
History Boys, Atonement, Hamlet, The
Bell Jar, Beloved, Jane Eyre, Oranges
Are Not The Only Fruit, Dracula, Arcadia,
Brideshead Revisited, The Tempest, 1984,
Death of a Salesman, Grapes of Wrath.
Entry Requirements
B (or 5) grade in either GCSE
English Language or English
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel English Literature
Facilities and staff
The English Literature Department
is housed in the brand new building
at 4/5 Worcester Road, where we
teach alongside English Language
and the Modern Foreign Languages
Department – see English and
Modern Foreign Languages Facilities
section for further details.
The English Department is led by Sarah
Clarke and comprises nine experienced
members of staff, all with their own
specialisms within the subject including
Shakespeare, Medieval Literature,
Modernism, Romanticism and 20th
Century Drama.
Additional features
We work very closely with the library,
taking full advantage of its range of
excellent resources and the opportunity
to welcome visiting speakers and
authors. Regular trips to the theatre
enhance our students’ understanding
of, and engagement with, Drama texts.
Students and teachers are encouraged
to follow their own particular tastes
and interests as far as possible.
The courses are frameworks, not
Sarah Clarke
Head of English
corsets, and imaginative and individual
approaches are encouraged. The
department’s stress is unequivocally
laid on the vital importance of reading
and its subsequent rewards, which
invariably include good writing.
What subjects does
English Literature
combine with?
The study of English Literature combines
very well with the sciences, social
sciences and other arts subjects. Some
of our most successful students have
combined English with Mathematics
and Physics, or Biology and Chemistry,
and have found the variety of work
refreshing and the course stimulating
and rewarding. A live acquaintance with
a foreign language, ancient or modern,
is advantageous to those wishing to go
on to study English at university.
he ability to communicate
freely in French opens up
an exciting world of art, film
and literature as well as the
opportunity to travel, socialise and
work in an international environment.
Students who choose to study French
in the Sixth Form at Clifton will
enjoy interesting, relevant and varied
lessons, which will equip them with
the skills to speak and write in French
at a high level.
Students who have secured at least an
A at GCSE will enjoy studying French
at A Level. Some of the topics covered
will be familiar to them but they will
be encouraged to develop their ideas
and express personal opinions in
relation to their own experiences and
also to the French speaking world.
French is well regarded by universities
and in the past those who have gone
on to take French degrees have
later found jobs in law, journalism,
diplomacy, finance, fashion, media,
marketing, business and international
relations. Many good universities offer
combined degrees with a language.
Course content and
The French Department follows
the new Edexcel A Level course,
which covers a range of topics like
changes in French society and the
Occupation and also offers interesting
cultural components in literature and
film. Students complete listening,
reading and writing exams and also
do an oral. They will learn to write
analytical essays in French on the
chosen literature and film and will
complete translation tasks. At the
end of the course the students should
feel able to communicate relatively
fluently in French orally and on paper,
understand and analyse authentic
texts, and have an understanding of
modern day France and how it has
been formed by its past.
Additional features
Entry Requirements
We aim to use French as much
as possible in the classroom and
students are encouraged to take part
in the many co-curricular events put
on throughout the year. These include
a French Cheese Evening, film nights,
the French Bake Off, the Modern
Languages Fest, wine tasting, French
debates against local schools, a
fondue night, a poetry evening, guest
speakers and cinema trips. We also
offer trips to France and encourage
the students to organise work
experience visits in a French speaking
country to help immerse themselves
in the country and culture.
A grade in GCSE French.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel French
Facilities and staff
The department, led by Caroline
Bloor, comprises six other fulltime members of staff and a native
French assistant. Sixth Formers
have seven to eight lessons a week
plus an individual 20-minute session
with the French language assistant.
The Modern Languages Department
is housed in a new building at the
south end of the School overlooking
The Close - see English and Modern
Foreign Languages Facilities section
for further details.
Caroline Bloor
Head of French
What subjects does French
combine with?
French combines well with most
other subjects as a complement to
essay subjects but also as a contrast
to science subjects. Students learn
to analyse information, gain cultural
sensitivity, write analytical and
descriptive essays, debate their
opinions and develop an interest
in cultural aspects of the French
speaking world.
he world’s largest exporter;
the third largest global
economy; Beethoven,
Goethe, Kafka, Nietzsche;
and Einstein; scientific publications –
the common thread is German.
German is spoken by more than
120 million people in 38 countries
of the world. It is the language with
the most native speakers in the
European Union and is spoken by
about 100 million people in Europe.
German is also the second language
of many Eastern European countries.
German is a widely sought after
language on the global employment
market. Graduates able to offer an
advanced knowledge of German are
very employable. A CBI poll states
that German is the top language
rated by employers as useful to the
Course content and
The German Department will follow
the new AS and A Level qualification
from September 2016. The first A
Level will be sat in summer 2018.
The new AS and A Level will allow
students to learn about social issues
and trends and address various
aspects of German speaking society,
politics, history and artistic culture.
Students will be taught how to
write essays and prepare for oral
discussions on these areas. The
teaching of grammar and how the
language works will continue to play
a key role and students will learn how
to tackle translation tasks.
Assessment will be in the form of an
oral exam, a listening, reading and
writing paper and a separate essay
writing paper on literature and film.
In addition there is an independent
research project at A Level which
allows students to explore a topic
of personal interest in considerable
Facilities and staff
The department currently comprises
three teachers of German, and a
language assistant who is a native
speaker. We are all experienced
Germanists and passionate about
our subject. We put great emphasis
on oral communication and are very
keen that students visit a German
speaking country at least once during
their studies, as this provides a great
linguistic boost as well as a visit that
has historical and cultural interest.
The German Department is housed
in the brand new 4/5 Worcester Road
faculty building - see English and
Modern Foreign Languages Facilities
section for further details.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE German.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel German
Additional features
There are bi-annual language and
culture tours of Germany with rich
and varied itineraries. On recent trips
we have taken students to exhibitions
on the Cold War and the Third Reich,
to a chocolate factory in the former
GDR, and to idyllic mediaeval castles
on the Rhine. This year we launch an
exchange with a school in Halle. To
supplement work in the classroom,
we have offered debates in German,
poetry evenings, film nights and even
Sixth Form speed-dating!
New in September 2016 is the
Modern Languages Society, a
student-led group which will meet
regularly to promote language
events and to explore languagerelated themes. There is a very full
programme including debates, film
nights and poetry and music. Talks
led by academic guest speakers
from universities and from within
the College are on the programme.
Forthcoming guest speakers will be
talking on Pidgin French, Creole, the
film director Claire Denis, German
Poetry under the Swastika, and the
French writer Victor Hugo.
Owen Lewis
Head of German and
Modern Foreign Languages
What subjects does
German combine with?
German A Level can complement
virtually any subject combination.
German graduates can go on to follow
careers in law, business, automotive
engineering, civil service, European
politics, finance, journalism, ICT,
media and education. Many UK
universities also offer combined
degrees with a language, as well as
straight language degrees.
ith 329 million native
speakers, Spanish
ranks second in the
world in terms of
how many people speak it as their
first language; it is also the first
language in at least 44 countries.
It is an increasingly important and
desirable language to have in the
world of business and enterprise,
and graduates with a high level of
Spanish are sought after and highly
employable across the job market.
Spanish A Level complements most
other subjects; and graduates in
Spanish can enjoy a wide and flexible
range of career prospects - whether
in law, business, education, media,
finance, journalism, politics and
diplomacy or ICT. As well as straight
language degrees, many top UK
universities also offer combined
degrees with a language.
Course content and
The new AS and A Level qualifications
will first be taught from September
2016, with students first sitting the
new A Level in June 2018.
The new AS and A Level exam will
encourage students to learn about
social trends and issues in Spanishspeaking countries and Spanish film
and literature. Students will be taught
how to write essays and to prepare
for oral discussions on these areas.
The teaching of grammar and how
the language works will also continue
to play a major part, with students
learning how to do translation tasks
both into and from the language.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Spanish.
Course Offered
At A Level, social issues such
as immigration, crime and
multiculturalism will be explored, as
well as political and artistic culture.
Literary texts and films will be studied
and students will learn the skill of
writing cultural essays as well as
preparing for oral discussions and
debates, both in class and in the
exam. Understanding grammar and
an ability to translate accurately will
be an important part of the new exam.
A and AS Level
Edexcel Spanish
Additional features
We put an emphasis on the use of
Spanish in the classroom where
possible and appropriate, and
students are all encouraged to play
a full part in our lively programme of
co-curricular events: for example, we
host inter-schools language debates,
film evenings, a poetry evening and a
Modern Languages Fest.
Michelle Harris
Head of Spanish
Facilities and staff
There are five full-time and
experienced teachers of Spanish in the
department, and we have a Chilean
language assistant with whom our
students have a weekly 20-minute
one-to-one conversation class.
Whilst we no longer run exchanges,
we encourage all students to take
the opportunity to spend time in a
Spanish-speaking country during
their two years in the Sixth Form,
either following a language course or
in a homestay scenario.
The department is located in the new
4/5 Worcester Road faculty building
– see English and Modern Foreign
Languages Facilities section for
further details.
Italian, Russian and Mandarin (Sector E)
These three languages are available as optional courses in Sector E of the timetable. Classes in these languages have
at their disposal all the resources of the Modern Foreign Languages Department in its new home at 4/5 Worcester Road.
Classes are small but lively.
Italian for beginners
Italian is an accessible and rewarding
language to learn, particularly if you
have studied French, Spanish or Latin.
Most students have gained an A* at
GCSE after just seven months, and
some have gone on to do an AS in the
Upper Sixth. Several Cliftonians have
gone on to study Italian at university,
spending a year abroad in Tuscany for
example, and enjoying the Italian way
of life.
Russian is an important world
language which represents an
exciting challenge to a good linguist
and opens up the possibility of
discovering a fascinating society
and its culture. It is now appreciated
how necessary it is for the West to
understand Russia.
The department offers tailor-made
courses in Mandarin Chinese
which are available to individuals
with different levels of ability in the
If staffing allows, we offer Italian to
students who have a proven track
record in learning languages. We take
the AQA Italian GCSE exam. Good
linguists find the comprehension
exams relatively straightforward,
while preparing controlled
assessments in speaking and writing
is an opportunity to build a wide
range of vocabulary and structures.
Students can sustain surprisingly
natural conversations by the end of
the course, and understand Italian
pop songs and opera.
If staffing allows, we offer Russian
to beginners who have a proven
track record in learning languages.
We take the Edexcel GCSE. Good
linguists find their comprehension
improves quickly with practice, while
preparing controlled assessments in
speaking and writing is an opportunity
to build a wide range of vocabulary
and structures. Students can sustain
surprisingly natural conversations by
the end of the course, and understand
texts about Russian history and
Both Mandarin and Cantonese
speakers are able to study Mandarin
Chinese at AS and A Level. They
follow a one-year or two-year course
of study and are taught by a native
speaker. All four skills of speaking,
listening, reading and writing are
examined at AS Level. Only reading
and writing skills are examined at A
Level and students must submit a
pre-prepared essay on a topic of their
choice. Students are taught in small
groups or individually according to
their needs. The AS and A Level exams
are set to change for September 2017
and further information about these
courses is due to be released by the
exam board in September 2016.
The majority of students who have
learnt Mandarin Chinese as beginners
in the language would not be eligible
to take the AS or A Level exams.
However, lessons are available to
those students who have performed
well at GCSE and who wish to
maintain and improve their level of
Mandarin without the pressure of an
examined course.
There is also a beginner’s course for
students with no previous knowledge of
Chinese who would like an opportunity
to try a different and exciting language.
It is a non-examined one-year course
that will enable students to ‘survive’ in
the language by learning Chinese for
everyday situations. Students will also
acquire a basic written vocabulary. This
course may appeal to students wishing
to travel independently in China as
part of a gap year, and also to those
pursuing a course in Oriental Studies
at university.
English lessons are taught in bright,
spacious, well-equipped rooms, all
boasting state-of-the-art interactive
boards, and stunning views of the
Close and the College. We benefit
from a separate meeting room for
lectures, seminars, and visiting
speakers, as well as extensive ICT
facilities on site.
There is excellent new technology
provision in each Modern Foreign
Languages classroom and a new
language laboratory where students
can complete independent research
and practise speaking and listening
tasks. The department also has a
set of iPods so that students can do
listening exercises independently in
There is an MFL Café on the ground
floor where students can go at break
times and it also serves as a good
location for our film nights and cocurricular events.
Ancient Greek
atin is one of the most
stimulating, valuable and
highly regarded subjects that
Clifton has to offer, appealing
to those pursuing a wide range of
disciplines, including humanities,
sciences and modern languages. Latin
provides access to the astonishing
world of Roman thought and
literature: the poetry of Virgil and
Ovid, the speeches of Cicero, or the
histories of Caesar and Tacitus. As
an unchanging and thoroughly logical
language – and as the language
behind most modern European
languages – it offers an unparalleled
insight into the mechanics and
structure of language in general.
Perhaps most importantly, Latin trains
the mind, producing high-quality
students who can think independently
and express themselves persuasively.
Latinists are highly employable, and
work in many fields: law, accountancy,
management consultancy and
journalism, to name a few.
Course content and
At Clifton we follow the recently
revised OCR course, which contains
an excellent blend of language work
and literature. For both the AS Level
and A Level, the language component
is examined by unseen translation
and a choice of either prose
comprehension or prose composition.
The literature component consists of
at least one prose text (the authors
available being Tacitus, Cicero and
Seneca) and at least one verse text
(Virgil, Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus).
The AS and A Level are completely
co-teachable: the material studied
for the AS is also part of the syllabus
for the full A Level. This means that
students do not have to commit at the
outset to doing just the AS or the full
A Level. The decision to study for the
full A Level can even be left until after
the AS results are in.
Entry Requirements
f the Romans exert a great
influence on our modern life,
then the Greeks exerted an even
greater influence on the Romans.
The study of both Greek and Latin is
rewarding and interesting, but Greek
is also often studied on its own; either
way, students gain significant literary,
linguistic and historical insight.
Perhaps even more than Latin, the
logic and subtlety of Greek captivate
a wide variety of students, from
out-and-out scientists to devotees
of English or French literature.
Ancient Greek is a subject redolent
of academic rigour and refinement.
How can one miss the chance to read
Homer, Herodotus and Sophocles in
the original language?
A grade in GCSE Latin.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR Latin
Ancient Greek
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Greek.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR Ancient Greek
Course content and
As in Latin, we follow the recently
revised OCR course, which contains
an excellent blend of language work
and literature. For both the AS Level
and A Level, the language component
is examined by unseen translation
and a choice of either prose
comprehension or prose composition.
The literature component consists of
at least one prose text (Thucydides,
Plato or Xenophon) and at least one
verse text (Homer, Sophocles or
Dr Thomas Patrick
Head of Classics
The AS and A Level are completely
co-teachable: the material studied
for the AS is also part of the syllabus
for the full A Level. This means that
students do not have to commit at the
outset to doing just the AS or the full
A Level. The decision to study for the
full A Level can even be left until after
the AS results are in.
Latin and Ancient Greek continued
Additional features
Facilities and staff
Outside the classroom, we run
day-trips to Bath, Caerleon, Oxford
and beyond, invite speakers to our
Classics Society, and organise one
big overseas trip each year to Greece,
Sicily or mainland Italy.
The department consists of four
subject specialists, all of whom teach
Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation
right the way through the school. We
have a wide variety of interests, from
Bronze Age archaeology to Greek
tragedy and from neoteric Latin
poetry to Roman-era epistolography.
Classics has recently moved to new
classrooms equipped with the latestgeneration C-Touch Smartboards and
enough space for our library of more
than 5,000 books.
For those aspiring to Classics at
Oxford or Cambridge, we put on
additional reading and discussion
classes in the two terms prior to the
interviews. Oxbridge candidates are
encouraged to conduct independent
research into a field of interest, which
opens up the subject to them and
provides material for their personal
statement, essays and interviews. We
also encourage Oxbridge candidates
to enter at least one external
essay competition, and we have an
excellent track record of prizes and
Classical Civilisation
lassical Civilisation offers
students the opportunity to
immerse themselves in the
ancient Greek and Roman
civilisations which have so profoundly
affected our own. It is a rigorous and
well-regarded course, and indeed
features in the top tier of humanities
subjects in the list published by
Trinity College, Cambridge. Through
the study of literature, archaeology,
art and architecture, religion and
society, students are encouraged
to analyse and compare the ancient
and modern worlds, and to express
themselves with clarity and feeling.
Highlights of the course include the
Parthenon marbles, the sanctuaries
at Delphi and Olympia, and reading
the Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid.
Clifton has a very strong tradition
in Classical studies, and students
have gone on to study a wide variety
of university courses, some directly
related (e.g. Classics, Ancient &
Modern History, Archaeology &
Anthropology), others indirectly
related (e.g. Business, English
Literature). The analytical skills that
the study of Classical Civilisation
fosters are of relevance to most
No knowledge of ancient languages is
required, and while having a general
background understanding or a
Classical Civilisation GCSE will of
course be helpful, it is by no means
Entry Requirements
No formal grade requirement. A
good level of spoken and written
English is necessary for success
in this course.
Course content and
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR Classical Civilisation
From September 2017, we will be
following the new OCR specification,
which is currently being revised prior
to accreditation. Details have not yet
been released, but it is anticipated
that the new course will offer much
the same content as the old course:
tragic and comic drama; epic poetry
of the Greeks and Romans; ancient
philosophy; archaeology; art and
architecture. On the basis of parallels
with Latin and Greek, we also
anticipate the new course being coteachable, that is, it will be possible to
study for the AS qualification, and then
use the same material for the full A
Level; the decision about whether to
take just the AS or to commit to the full
A Level can therefore be deferred until
after the AS results are in.
Additional features
At Clifton, classroom tuition is
complemented by trips to sites and
museums, such as Caerleon, the
British Museum, or the Ashmolean
Museum in Oxford, and by lectures
from visiting speakers. Students also
enjoy, and derive great benefit from,
our annual overseas trip to Greece,
mainland Italy, or elsewhere. In
October 2017, we are due to be visiting
Sicily, a place incredibly rich in Greek
and Roman sites.
Facilities and staff
For further details, please see Latin
and Ancient Greek section.
Religious Studies
So many of the world’s current
issues - at a global scale and
locally - boil down to Geography,
and need the geographers of the
future to help us understand them.” Michael Palin
Geography is inherently
multidisciplinary in a world that
increasingly values people who
have diverse and transferable skills.
Geographers learn how to select and
analyse data and use geographic
information systems to map and
examine the world.
Geographers are engaged global
citizens and eminently employable in a
diverse and wide range of occupations
from international relations to
conservation and management. This
is underlined by the Russell Group of
universities, who recognise Geography
as one of the key “facilitating” subjects
for entry to degree level study.
Course content and
From September 2016 we will be
following the new reformed OCR A Level
Geography course and students will
study the physical systems and human
interactions in the world in which we
live. We examine some of the biggest
challenges and threats facing humanity
today, ranging from climate change
to international conflicts and disease
pandemics. The wide range of topics
and debates offer a truly global overview
with people and the environment
being at the heart of the subject. The A
Level course also enables students to
carry out an independent investigation
which encourages them to deepen
their understanding and satisfy their
intellectual curiosity.
Additional features
Entry Requirements
Fieldwork is an integral part of the new
A Level and there will be several field
trips run by the department designed
to enhance the students’ understanding
and develop their investigative skills.
The department also runs an optional
international trip with the Biology
Department, during the summer
holidays, to exciting destinations such
as Mexico and Madagascar.
B grade in GCSE Geography,
although those who have not
taken Geography GCSE will be
considered, and C (or 5) grade in
GCSE Mathematics. A good level
of spoken and written English
is also necessary for success in
this course.
Course Offered
The department maintains close
links with the Bristol branch of
the Geographical Association and
encourages students to broaden their
understanding through attendance
at lectures put on at the University
of Bristol and also through our own
Geography Society.
A and AS Level
OCR Geography
Facilities and staff
The Geography Department is located
in the heart of the school within the
Wilson Tower with spectacular views
across The Close. The department has
four classrooms, each of which is newly
refurbished and equipped with interactive
whiteboards. In addition, we have a
dedicated Geography ICT suite and a
new Geography resources room, which
houses a collection of books, journals
and magazines for further research. The
Geography resources centre not only
offers a quiet space for students to read
and complete work outside of lesson
time, but is also used for seminar style
discussion. The Percival Library is also
conveniently on our doorstep.
Martin Williams
Head of Geography
What subjects does
Geography combine with?
Geography is a subject that will
complement almost any combination of
A Level disciplines as it utilises elements
of both the sciences and the arts.
Student numbers are high at both
GCSE and A Level, leading to several
classes within each year, and there are
currently four full-time teachers in the
He who cannot draw on three
thousand years is living hand to
mouth.” Goethe
While it may be optimistic for students
of A Level History to develop the
breadth of historical understanding
recommended by Goethe, the
sentiment of this quotation is as valid
today as it ever was. The political,
social and economic structures of the
modern world make little sense to
those who have no context in which to
place them. Studying A Level History
will not provide all the answers, but
it does give students an opportunity
to gain considerable understanding
of some of the key individuals, events
and ideas that have shaped the past
As an academic discipline, History
develops the skills of evaluation,
analysis and argument and suits
students who enjoy reading, writing
and discussion; but most of all it
should appeal to students who are
curious about the past and are keen
to make sense of the present. The
skills honed through studying History
are fundamental to a broad range of
careers, such as law and journalism.
History is widely recognised as
a heavyweight A Level subject
by universities and a number of
Cliftonians each year choose to study
History at top institutions.
Course content and
The new History A Level was adopted
in September 2015. This is a twoyear linear course, following AQA’s
specification. Students study a British
and a non-British course and, in
addition, complete a 4,000-word
historical investigation (coursework
essay) in the Upper Sixth. This essay
must cover a period of a hundred
years, but students are free to choose
their own title. The department
currently teaches a broad range of
topics: The Crusades, the Tudors,
20th century China, modern Britain
and post-war America.
Entry Requirements
B grade in GCSE History
although those who have not
taken History GCSE will be
considered. A good level of
spoken and written English is
also necessary.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA History
Facilities and staff
The History Department consists of
six full-time and part-time members
of staff. The staff teach their own
specialisms and are incredibly
passionate about the A Level
courses they teach. Resources are
plentiful, with students’ textbooks
supplemented by copies of additional
relevant material within History
classrooms. There are excellent
restocked History sections within the
Percival Library, where students also
have access to a number of historical
magazines as well as online historical
databases and periodicals.
Anne Sim
Head of History
Additional features
Speakers from universities such as
Cambridge and Bristol also visit the
A Level History groups to lecture on
the areas covered by the syllabus
and A Level students are given the
opportunity to attend conferences
led by world-experts in their fields
of research. Furthermore, the Sixth
Form historians play a key role in
the School’s own History Society.
This is a student-led organisation
that fosters the enthusiasm that the
students have for their subject as well
as giving them important leadership
Religious Studies
eligious Studies is an
interdisciplinary subject that
develops skills in analysis,
evaluation, critical thinking,
reading and writing. RS encourages
engagement with ultimate questions,
and will appeal to anyone with an
enquiring mind. The A Level course
offers a broad range of topics, which
allows exploration in many relevant
and exciting areas. It is a top tier
academic discipline and is highly
regarded by the universities. It will
equip students for a future in a
wide variety of areas. The course as
taught at Clifton will enable students
to compete for places at the most
prestigious institutions and we have
had notable success in recent years.
Course content and
We are following the Edexcel A Level
course, which is a two-year linear
qualification with examinations at
the end of the Upper Sixth. Students
will be examined in Philosophy of
Religion, Religion and Ethics, and
New Testament Studies. Students
will also take the AS at the end of the
Lower Sixth in the same subjects.
Facilities and staff
Entry Requirements
The Religious Studies A Level
course is delivered by three
Oxbridge educated theologians.
The department has recently
relocated to a refurbished suite
of classrooms and is very well
resourced. The department houses
a library of academic literature and
continues to be well supported by
the Percival Library, which provides
current articles and periodicals. The
departmental staff maintain close
contact with Trinity College, Bristol,
which has provided access to its
considerable collection.
B grade in GCSE Religious
Studies, although those who
have not taken Religious Studies
GCSE will be considered. A
good level of spoken and written
English is also necessary for
success in this course.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Religious Studies
What subjects does
Religious Studies
combine with?
Religious Studies traditionally
combines well with other essay-based
subjects in the arts and humanities,
but equally it can sit comfortably with
the sciences and Psychology.
Julia Greenbury
Head of Religious Studies
and Philosophy
Business Studies
Business Studies
olitics is an option that will
appeal to students who want
to understand how the political
systems of the UK and the
USA operate. It focuses on how these
systems are administered today
rather than on an historic basis and,
therefore, an interest in current affairs
is an essential requirement for this
course. There is a lot of discussion,
debate and argument involved in
the teaching and learning of this
subject and it will, therefore, appeal
to students who enjoy such activities,
although the ability to research and to
write well-reasoned answers is also
Politics teaches people how to
think for themselves, how to argue
persuasively and how to be critical in
the use of information. It is, therefore,
useful in any career that uses these
skills such as the law, journalism,
publishing or business.
Course content and
The Politics course followed is that
provided by Edexcel. There are no
specific entry grade requirements, but
students will usually have achieved a
good pass grade at GCSE in subjects
such as English and History which
have transferable skills.
At the time of writing, the new Politics
specification for September 2017 had
not been produced by the exam board
but it is anticipated that it will not be
too different from the existing course.
In the Lower Sixth, the UK political
system has been studied based upon
two modules - ‘People and Politics’
and ‘Governing the UK’. These include
the study of how people participate
in the political system through the
electoral processes, the political
parties, and pressure groups; and the
study of the main political institutions,
such as the Constitution, Parliament,
the Prime Minister and the Cabinet,
and the Judiciary. In the Upper Sixth,
the same approach has been adopted
towards the USA’s political system,
thus providing interesting comparisons
and contrasts with the UK.
Entry Requirements
No specific requirements,
but students will usually have
achieved a good pass grade
at GCSE in subjects such as
English and History.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Government and Politics
Additional features
There is a wealth of resources
available both within the school and
outside. The department is wellresourced with books and other
materials and there is a well-stocked
section in the library. The daily news
always raises issues and events
which are relevant and every student
should endeavour to read a good
quality daily newspaper and to follow
news broadcasts and other political
programmes on the radio and/or
television, for example ‘the Andrew
Marr Show’ on Sunday mornings,
to stay up-to-date with political
Peter Lidington
Head of Politics
What subjects does
Politics combine with?
Politics can be combined with
subjects like Economics, Business
Studies or History, to add to a deeper
understanding of the Social Sciences,
or it can be studied alongside very
different subjects, like Mathematics
and the Sciences, to add breadth to a
student’s studies.
he A Level specification has
been designed to introduce
students to the key methods
and concepts in philosophy
through the study of four broad
themes: Epistemology; Philosophy
of Religion; Ethics; and Philosophy
of Mind. Students will develop and
refine a range of transferable skills,
such as the ability to ask penetrating
questions, to analyse and evaluate
the arguments of others, and to
present their own arguments clearly
and logically. It is a challenging and
rewarding discipline to study, and
complements both STEM subjects and
humanities. It is very highly regarded
by elite universities.
Clifton has a very strong tradition
of producing philosophers of
international significance - Grice,
Prichard, Blackburn, Geach and
McTaggart are all OCs. Recent
Cliftonians have also found the study
of philosophy to be both exciting
and a pathway to the very best UK
Course content and
The draft linear AQA AS and A Level
specification places Epistemology and
Moral Philosophy in the AS exam, and
these themes are supplemented by
Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy
of Mind for A Level.
The specification asks these
questions: What can we know? Can
the existence of God be proved? How
do we make moral decisions? Are my
mind and body separate?
These questions are fundamental
and the material covered in the
specification not only provides
students with a good understanding
of how these debates have, so far,
been framed, but also acts as a
springboard for consideration and
discussion of students’ own ideas. The
range of question types, at both AS
and A Level, ensures that students are
assessed across a core of important
philosophical skills. Students will
have the opportunity to engage in
detailed analysis of philosophical
texts, using the prescribed Anthology
as a springboard for further reading
and reflection.
Facilities and staff
The subject is taught by two members
of staff, both with a philosophy
background at degree level. Between
them, they have more than 20
years’ experience of teaching the
AQA syllabus. Resources in the
department, on the web and in the
Percival Library are outstanding.
Entry Requirements
A (or 7) grades in GCSE English
Language and Mathematics.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA Philosophy
Julia Greenbury
Head of Philosophy and
Religious Studies
conomics is about choice and
the impact of our choices
on each other. It relates to
every aspect of our lives,
often without us realising it, from the
decisions we make as individuals
about how to spend our money or
family income to the institutions and
structures created by governments
and firms. As a way of thinking,
Economics can help us make better
The popularity of Economics is a
reflection of the value and enjoyment
students derive from its study, the wide
range of skills they develop and the
huge choice of careers that are open to
graduates of the subject.
Course content and
Entry Requirements
B (or 6) grade in GCSE
Mathematics. A good level of
spoken and written English is
necessary for success in this
The study of Economics helps students
to develop clear, logical thinking and
an analytical approach to problemsolving. The course requires students
to develop a combination of skills
and aptitudes, from essay writing to
quantitative analysis, and rewards
those who enjoy working at both
conceptual and practical levels.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA Economics
At the end of Year 12, students
take two papers, which focus
on Microeconomics and
Macroeconomics. Both of these
elements are taught by separate
teachers. The papers take the form of
multiple choice and essay questions.
The marks students achieve at AS
Level do not contribute to their overall
grade at A Level.
At the end of Year 13, students are
assessed via three separate papers.
One paper is in Microeconomics
and one in Macroeconomics and
both include short and longer essay
questions. For Paper 3, students must
draw on all their knowledge across
both disciplines to answer multiple
choice and general questions.
Nick Luker
Head of Economics
Facilities and staff
Additional features
Nobel Prize Winner
Sir John Hicks
In 1972 Sir John Hicks
(OC 1917-22) received the
Nobel Memorial Prize in
Economic Sciences (jointly) for
his pioneering contributions to
general equilibrium theory and
welfare theory. Hicks’s model
offered far better possibilities
to study the consequences of
changes in externally given
variables than earlier models in
this field, and Hicks succeeded
in formulating a number
of economically interesting
theorems. His model became
of great importance also as a
connecting link between general
equilibrium theory and current
theories of business cycles.
Five highly experienced teachers
from a wide range of backgrounds in
education, industry and finance teach
Economics at Clifton. The subject is
taught in the Coulson Centre and three
newly equipped classrooms make up
the department.
The department seeks to make
the most of real life examples and
arrange guest speakers which include
economists from university and
speakers from the City of London.
We also visit Bristol’s hugely popular
Festival of Economics each year to
attend seminars led by high profile
economists on the issues of the
moment. Each year the students are
offered a lecture from a recent OC who
has chosen to study the subject at
university which they find highly useful
in making their own choices.
What subjects does
Economics combine with?
In addition to Mathematics (which
helps greatly as a combination
subject because straight Economics
at university level can be very
mathematical), popular subjects
include History, Geography and
The College’s thriving Economics
Society attracts large weekly turnouts
and participation on a wide range of
national and international current
Business Studies
usiness Studies appeals to
a wide range of students,
including those whose
ambition it is to be an
entrepreneur, those who hope to run
their family business, or those who
want to be a part of a multinational
corporation. Business Studies
touches most aspects of modern
society, it is a vibrant subject that is
constantly changing, and the study
of business prepares students for
today’s global world.
The A Level course provides an
insight into the business world and
enables students to develop the skills
and knowledge to understand how
businesses operate. In many ways
it is a practical subject as students
learn about the internal running of a
business, the operation of the various
departments, such as marketing,
finance and human resources, and the
external influences on the business.
The A Level course is taught using
a case-study approach; this enables
students to build knowledge of real
world businesses.
Business Studies and related subjects
are among some of the most popular
fields of study at universities and
the A Level provides students with a
strong foundation for future studies.
Course content and
Entry Requirements
We follow the Edexcel Level 3
Advanced GCE course. It is split into
four themes:
No formal grade requirement. A
good level of spoken and written
English is necessary for success
in this course.
1. Marketing and people
2. Managing business activities
3. Business decisions and strategy
4. Global businesses
A and AS Level
Edexcel Business
The themes are externally assessed.
Students can take AS examinations at
the end of the Lower Sixth but if they
go on to do the full A Level course
they are assessed on the full content
of the course at the end of their study
in the Upper Sixth. Students sit three
A Level papers. Unit 3 includes study
of a pre-released case study on an
industry research theme.
Facilities and staff
There are four staff teaching Business
Studies in newly refurbished rooms
in the Coulson Centre. We also have a
small computer room which is available
for students to do business research.
What subjects does Business
Studies combine with?
Business Studies combines well with
a wide variety of subjects, including
Economics, Geography, Mathematics
and Three-Dimensional Design.
Course Offered
Andrea Ballance
Head of Business Studies
Physical Education
Physical Education
Level PE is an academic
course that has practical
components. Students will
participate in their chosen
sports and can be assessed in these;
the grade will contribute towards a
final examination result.
The study of Physical Education at
A Level will enhance a student’s
knowledge and experience of PE and
sport, as well as providing a deeper
understanding of health issues. This
A Level offers a multidisciplinary
approach to the study of, and
participation in, sport, play, leisure
and recreation, allowing students to
study movement, performance and
behaviour in relation to PE.
Candidates should enjoy science and
looking at how the human body and
mind is affected by sport participation
and performance, and they should
also be interested in the place of PE
and sport in our society and how the
subject has developed historically to
fulfil its social role. They must also
enjoy developing and acquiring skills
and techniques in a variety of physical
Sport and fitness is a huge industry
and students could make a career
doing something that they are
passionate about. University subjects
include becoming a sports therapist,
a teacher, a nutritionist, or training
to be a physiotherapist, but there are
lots of other opportunities.
Course content and
Physical Education will be studied
following the OCR specification. It
is recommended that candidates
have at least an A grade at GCSE in
PE and/or the sciences as well as
being very competent in one sporting
activity. The combination of physical
performance and academic challenge
provides an exciting opportunity
for students. Studying this subject
helps students to gain the knowledge
to improve their own and others’
performance or coaching.
Physical Education at AS and A
Level is studied through a range of
different contexts, which reveal the
impact that it has on both our own
and others’ everyday lives. The A Level
covers physiological, psychological,
sociocultural and contemporary issues,
as well as the practical performance.
Students will learn the reasons why
we do things and why some people
outperform others – mentally and
physically. They will also delve into the
ethical considerations behind the use
of drugs and the influence that modern
technology is having on physical activity
and sport. All areas of content are
now compulsory. As such, students
will receive a well-rounded and full
introduction to the world of PE, sport
and sports science.
Entry Requirements
Subject to assessment by the
Head of Department (A grade in
Biology or Physical Education
Course Offered
A and AS Level
OCR Physical Education
Students will have the opportunity
to develop a wide-ranging set of
key skills, including communication
using appropriate language, dealing
with pressure, split-second decision
making, interpreting and analysing
data, as well as analysing and
evaluating performance.
Andrew Wagstaff
Head of Physical Education
Facilities and staff
The PE Department has three
classrooms, equipped with interactive
whiteboards, situated above the
swimming pool and fitness suite
and next to the sports hall and
gymnasium. This allows instant
access to apply the theory content of
lessons to practical activities. Video
cameras and iPads are often used
in the practical lessons, allowing
students immediate feedback in both
their own and others’ performances.
The department has four full-time
teachers and two part-time teachers.
They have a vast experience from
a variety of sports and include exprofessionals and internationals.
Other facilities used for PE lessons
include the new state-of-the-art
cricket nets, the 3G soccer pitch, the
water-based hockey pitch, the indoor
tennis/netball centre, the dance
studios and numerous hard court,
grass and AstroTurf pitches.
Music &
D ama
Theatre Studies
Certificate LAMDA
Music Technology
Theatre Studies
hose choosing Theatre
Studies as an academic
course will have the chance
to develop their acting skills
and understanding of stagecraft. They
will have the opportunity to learn a wide
range of styles, and, as part of the A
Level course, will study practitioners
and published plays. Studying Drama at
Clifton encourages students to develop
their teamwork and communication
skills, builds confidence and fosters their
public speaking ability.
Course content and
We study the WJEC exam board syllabus
at AS and A Level. Students study one
complete performance text at AS and
will also participate in a minimum of
two performances, one devised and one
scripted. Students will need to consider
the working methods of a theatre
practitioner in their devised performance
work. They may follow performance or
design options for both the devised and
scripted performances.
Component 1: Performance Workshop
non-exam assessment: internally
assessed, externally moderated, 60% of
qualification. Students will be assessed
on either acting or design. Students
participate in the creation, development
and performance of two extracts from
different texts. For the second extract,
students must use the working methods
of a theatre practitioner or theatre
company. All students must produce
a realisation of both performances
or designs, a creative log for each
performance/design, and an evaluation.
Component 2: Text in Context written
examination: 1 hour 30 minutes,
40% of qualification. The exam will
consist of a series of questions on one
performance text.
Entry Requirements
B (or 6) grades in GCSE English
and Drama if taken.
Course Offered
Facilities and staff
A and AS Level
WJEC Theatre Studies
The department is led by the Director
of Drama, Karen Pickles, and the
Academic Drama is headed by Rhiannon
Davies. Jody Lewarne is Head of Dance
at Clifton. As we are all specialists in
our areas, we are able to offer a broad
academic opportunity to all, with Dance
and Drama GCSE and A Levels being
offered to all students on timetable, as
well as a full LAMDA programme.
The department has use of the College’s
own 300-seat proscenium-arched
theatre and two purpose-built dance
studios. We work closely with the Bristol
Old Vic Theatre, the Bath Theatre Royal,
RADA, and Shakespeare’s Globe in
Rhiannon Davies
Head of Academic Drama
Additional features
We stage three productions annually – a
Junior production in the Summer Term
for the Third and Fourth Form pupils,
a Shakespeare outdoor production for
the school at the end of the Summer
Term, and a full-scale musical
theatre production in November in the
Redgrave Theatre.
The Drama, Theatre Studies and
Dance Departments work closely
together to promote Performing Arts
at Clifton. With exciting choreography
and innovative technical and staging
ideas, Cliftonians get the best possible
opportunities working on such exciting
recent productions as: Les Miserables,
Phantom of the Opera, Treasure Island,
Miss Saigon, David Copperfield, A
Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago,
Cabaret, Pygmalion and Taming of the
usic is something that
interests everyone in our
society and the A Level
course has been cleverly
designed to be engaging and to extend
students’ appreciation of the diverse
and dynamic heritage of music, looking
at many different styles and genres.
Students develop their performance
skills (solo and/or ensemble), compose
music, learn about harmony and build up
their aural and analytical skills. Whether
they go on to study or perform music at a
higher level, or whether this is something
that sits alongside very different A Levels,
it is a highly regarded academic subject
and ultimately a very rewarding one.
Course content and
Study and appraisal of set pieces
(exam, 40% of marks)
Students study a wide variety of pieces
of music, ranging from vocal music by
JS Bach and Mozart, to the Beatles,
jazz sax player Courtney Pine, and
film music (Psycho and Pirates of the
Caribbean), amongst others. They look
at how and why the music was written
and what makes it successful (or not!).
(coursework, 30% of marks)
Students learn to compose in different
styles, both traditional (e.g. harmony
in the style of Bach) and in a more
contemporary, original way.
(coursework, 30% of marks)
Students give a recital of around 10
minutes on their chosen instrument or
voice; this can be solo, accompanied by
a piano, or as part of a group.
Facilities and staff
The Joseph Cooper Music School
(opened in 2009) is a fantastic facility
with a recital hall, recording studio, 15
practice rooms, and three classrooms
with 32 iMacs and a suite of Yamaha
pianos, including a fine grand piano.
As well as the Director of Music, there
are two academic members of staff
who teach Music A Level and a Sound
Engineer who runs the recording studio
and teaches Music Technology.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Music, or
ABRSM grade 5 theory and
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Music
Additional features
The College puts on a busy programme
of around 25 concerts per term and
the department is always a lively hub
of activity, with 32 visiting instrumental
teachers. Recent stage productions
have been hugely successful including
Miss Saigon (2013), Chicago (2014) and
Cabaret (2015) - all performed in the
College’s Redgrave Theatre. Pop and
Rock are very popular with regular
live gigs, as well as frequent recording
sessions. Music groups at the College
Dan Robson
Director of Music
also include a first orchestra, string
orchestra, choral society, chapel choir,
chamber choir, wind band, saxophone
groups, male & female close harmony,
percussion group, brass group, swing
band, soul band, and around 20
different chamber music groups.
Music Technology
Sir David Willcocks
Old Cliftonian (1934-1938) Sir
David Willcocks, was awarded
the Military Cross during World
War II as battalion intelligence
officer. He has gone on to have an
extraordinarily successful career
at King’s College Cambridge
where he was Director of Music
from1957 to 1974. He was also
instrumental in the famous
Carols from Kings being heard at
Christmas on the radio and has
been awarded over 50 honorary
degrees from universities across
the world. In 1977 in the Queen’s
Silver Jubilee Honours he was
created a Knight Bachelor.
In 2009, he opened the refurbished
Music School the “Joseph Cooper
Music School” re-named after the
well-known Music programme
“Face the Music”, another very
musical Old Cliftonian.
usic Technology is a
‘hands on’ subject which
will teach students how
to record, edit and mix
music. Of course, nowadays, high
quality music can be made with
relatively little equipment, but when
students study the A Level they will
try out different microphones in a real
studio, editing with a professional
mixing desk and Pro Tools software,
as well as learning to set-up PA
systems for live events. There is a lot
of coursework and an exam which
tests their knowledge of virtually all
pop genres, but it’s great fun to study.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Music or
relevant experience with Music
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Music Technology
There is also a listening exam which
tests students’ knowledge of different
musical genres and technologies,
which they will study in lessons during
the two years.
Course content and
Facilities and staff
We follow the Edexcel course, which
involves a significant amount of
coursework, including the following
See Music section.
• recording, editing and producing a
song of the student’s choice
• reproducing a well known track
(specified by Edexcel) using
software instruments and fx
• an extended remix/composition
Entry Requirements
B grade in GCSE Dance.
Students without GCSE Dance
will need to have a good level of
dance training.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA Dance
he A Level Dance course is
suitable for students who
have received previous dance
training and who have the
desire to further their work creatively,
technically and theoretically.
The examination board is AQA. A Level
Dance provides the opportunity for
students to explore and experiment
with movement through the creation of
both solo and group choreographies.
Technique is developed through the
presentation of a group dance. The
written examination paper allows
a student to demonstrate their
understanding and analytical skills
based on compulsory and optional areas
of study and professional dance works.
Dance is a small department and
benefits from the use of three dance
studios which are equipped with ballet
barres and mirrors.
Professional Certificate
LAMDA (Sector E)
he PCert LAM qualification is
set at undergraduate level and
gives a strong award to offer
to a university as it prepares
candidates for interview, delivery of a
speech or text, and allows the student to
carry out in-depth study into literature
and drama figures throughout the 20th
The Level 3 examination is in two units:
1st Unit – Written assignment in the
form of a Portfolio of Evidence which will
demonstrate a strong understanding
of the relevant knowledge and skills
required to prepare a recital for
performance. Research will be thorough
and the assignment will be 5,000 to 6,000
words. It will document the process of
preparing a recital based on a theme,
in readiness for a performance. It will
show thorough research on the poets,
playwrights and prose writers included in
the recital, along with the historical, social
and cultural contexts, including research
on character(s), and development of
the introduction, linking passages
and conclusion. It will give details of
the rationale for the choice of staging
and movement, the physical and vocal
exercises which suit the recital choices,
and the process of preparation. There
should be a clear evaluation of each stage
of the rehearsal process.
2nd Unit – The recital will include the
four pieces of work discussed and
prepared in Unit 1 (verse selection,
prose selection, scene from a play and
the candidate’s personal choice). After
the practical performance work, the
candidate will be examined in a viva style
interview with the examiner.
The course is delivered over 12 months
and requires the students to read a variety
of books and poetry and to visit the theatre
to explore a range of theatrical styles.
Dance studio
Three Dimensional
Sculpture / Ceramics
History of Art
he study of Art can refresh
our vision and help us to look
at the world in a variety of
ways. Students learn to give
tangible form to their feelings and their
imagination, record and commemorate
and create extraordinary versions of
ordinary things. Many of our students
have moved on to study on courses at
art college such as fine art, illustration,
graphic design, car design, shoe design,
architecture, interior design, fashion
design and fashion journalism.
Clifton has always had a strong tradition
in art and former students have included
the Bloomsbury art critic and artist
Roger Fry, the artist Henry Tonks,
who became professor of Fine Art at
the Slade School in London, and the
landscape and abstract artist Peter
Lanyon, a famous member of the St Ives
Course content and
We follow the Edexcel Fine Art syllabus.
Students follow a linear A Level course
spending the first four terms working on
coursework which carries 60% of their
overall marks. They commence work
on their externally-set assignment at
the beginning of the Lent Term in the
Upper Sixth, with a 15-hour examination
in the Summer Term, and this carries
the remaining 40% of their overall
marks. Students may choose to study
the subject to AS Level only, in which
case they will spend a term and a half
working on coursework before
commencing work on the externally set
assignment halfway through the Lent
Term in the Lower Sixth, with a 10-hour
examination in the Summer Term. The
coursework and the examination work
for AS each carry 50% of the marks.
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Art.
Course Offered
Our students tend to study either
fine art drawing and painting or fine
art sculpture/ceramics. Our fine art
painting students are given an excellent
grounding in the fundamentals
of draughtsmanship, oil painting,
composition and colour theory as well
as the use of the other formal elements
in art. Painting and drawing from life is
very important and students will work
from still life arrangements in the studio
as well as from live models during life
drawing sessions, which take place in
the evenings from time to time. They
are also allowed to work from their
own reference photographs and we
encourage them to purchase their own
camera for this purpose.
A and AS Level
Edexcel Fine Art
Allan Wilkie
Head of Art
All students are expected to work
using a range of media throughout
the course and they are issued with an
art kit containing oil paints, acrylics,
chalk pastels, tonal chalks, oil pastels,
watercolours, acrylics and colouring
Facilities and staff
We are fortunate to count among our
staff a fine art painter and etcher, a
ceramicist/sculptor, a photographer
and an art historian. The department
is equipped with two lower school and
GCSE art studios, one larger Sixth
Form studio with an etching press, a
photography room with a darkroom, a
ceramics/sculpture studio and a History
of Art room for essential research.
The critical studies element of
the course is very important and
students critically evaluate and make
transcriptions of the work of artists
who are considered to be exemplars
of particular schools of thought, which
should enrich and inform their own work
as well as show that what they do has
some basis in the world of art.
Entry Requirements
No formal entry requirements.
Candidates should possess a
genuine interest in photography
beyond the snapshot.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Fine Art
Paul Wigginton
Head of Photography
tudents gain an understanding
of how photographic images
are constructed and used in
society today and also how to
convey meaning, thoughts and ideas
into their photographs using traditional,
contemporary and alternative methods.
It is a practical subject, and one that
teaches students to understand this
exciting, powerful, visual language.
Students have gone on to successfully
study at foundation and degree
level in a range of areas such as
photography, fashion photography,
fine art (photography specialism), film
and media production.
Course content and
Students spend the first four terms
working on coursework which carries
60% of their overall marks. They
commence work on their externally-set
assignment at the beginning of the
Lent Term in the Upper Sixth with a 15hour examination in the Summer Term,
and this carries the remaining 40%
of their overall marks. Students may
choose to study the subject to AS level
only, in which case they will spend a
term and a half working on coursework
before commencing work on the
externally set assignment halfway
through the Lent Term in the Lower
Sixth, with a 10-hour examination in
the Summer Term. The coursework
and the examination work for AS each
carry 50% of the marks.
Students begin by learning the building
blocks of photographic processes,
namely the interaction of light with
light sensitive materials. This builds
a foundation on which to learn the
traditional methods of photography
using film and darkroom printing,
along with workshops in photo etching,
toning, liquid emulsion, pinhole cameras
and photograms. Within the first year
students then progress to using digital
photography, incorporating studio
lighting and image manipulation using
a variety of software. Experimentation
in using a wide range of different image
making equipment and techniques is
encouraged, as is using alternative
methods of displaying their work relative
to the subject matter.
The skills-based part of the course is
supported by thorough research into
the social and contextual aspects of
photography as practised by recognised
photographers, where their work
will inform the students’ own work
and enable them to explore different
photographic genres and learn to
communicate through this medium
within both set and self directed projects.
Students wishing to study
photography should bring their own
digital SLR camera with them to
Clifton for use on the course.
Facilities and staff
Photography is taught by Paul
Wigginton, a professional
photographer in his own right. The
department has its own darkroom,
fully equipped to produce high quality
black and white prints. For digital
images, Apple Mac computers using
a variety of industry standard image
manipulation software are linked
to a large format A0 inkjet printer.
All these facilities are available for
students to use in their own time.
Sculpture and Ceramics
culpture is an enjoyable and
rewarding subject. Students
will gain valuable skills such
as independence, analytical
thinking, creativity, ingenuity,
innovation and aesthetic awareness.
They will learn to appreciate,
understand and analyse Art and
Design pieces, and initiate and
develop their own project concepts.
The course gives students the
freedom to explore and express their
own interests and ideas.
There are far more job roles on
offer in the creative industries than
you might realise. With plentiful
opportunities and a diverse pathway
of exciting areas to specialise in,
why not seek to combine what you
enjoy doing with your future career?
Sculpture is a highly suitable course
for anyone interested in pursuing art
and design areas such as fashion,
architecture, furniture design,
jewellery, animation model making,
prop making, three-dimensional
design, installation, ceramics and fine
art sculpture, to name but a few.
Sixth with a 15-hour examination in
the Summer Term and this carries
the remaining 40% of their overall
marks. Students may choose to study
the subject to AS Level only, in which
case they will spend a term and a
half working on coursework before
commencing work on the externally
set assignment halfway through the
Lent Term in the Lower Sixth, with
an eight-hour examination in the
Summer Term.
Entry Requirements
B grade in GCSE Art or
Course Offered
A and AS Level
Edexcel Fine Art
Within the Fine Art course, students
can choose to specialise in either
Painting and Drawing or Sculpture
and Ceramics. For the Sculpture
option many students work primarily
in ceramics because of the versatility
of clay, but students also explore
materials such as plaster, wire,
paper, fabric, plastic, resin, wax and
glass, amongst others. Students
are taught hand-built ceramics
techniques, such as slab and coil built
work, sculpting techniques, mould
making and slip casting. Students
are encouraged to take inspiration
from a range of artists and adopt an
experimental approach to their use
of media. All students are also issued
with an art kit containing oil paints,
acrylics, chalk pastels, tonal chalks,
oil pastels, watercolours, acrylics and
colouring pencils in addition to the
three-dimensional studio materials
provided, and are expected to use
a variety of media throughout the
Facilities and staff
The Sculpture studio is equipped with
a kiln for earthenware, stoneware,
and porcelain firings which can
also be used for slumped and fused
glass work. There is a second small
kiln for enamelling. All equipment
and materials, including all clay,
glazes, and lustres, are provided to
students without charge, with nominal
charges only made to students if
they individually require specialist
expensive materials to be ordered. All
aspects of the course are taught by
specialists in their field.
Allan Wilkie
Head of Art
The critical studies element of the
course is also very important and
students evaluate and make threedimensional transcriptions of the
work of individually chosen artists,
which enriches and informs their own
Course content and
We follow the Edexcel Fine Art
syllabus. Students follow a linear
A Level course spending the first
four terms working on coursework
which carries 60% of their overall
marks. They commence work on
their externally set assignment at the
start of the Lent Term in the Upper
Students are encouraged to choose
their own theme or starting point
for their coursework project, with
guidance from their teacher. The
teaching approach is personalised
and tutorial based, with the dialogue
between teacher and student central
to the process, to enable students to
work with growing independence and
Three-Dimensional Design
esigners are the makers of
the built environment; they
change lives and shape our
interactions with the world
around us. Design has a reciprocal
nature with culture, economy, geography
and history in that crucially it always
starts with the needs and motivations of
An education in design not only
encourages observational skills
and analytical skills but develops
presentation and communication skills.
It invites students to explore past objects
as an archaeologist and to design what
our world will look like in the future. Our
designers have gone on to study graphic
design, product design, architecture, and
ergonomic design, among many other
courses available.
The course at AS and A Level is for those
who wish to continue their studies in
the field of design. Places are extremely
limited so, as well as meeting the grade
requirements, a proven aptitude for the
subject and career prospects will be
taken into consideration.
Course content and
We follow the AQA Art and Design ThreeDimensional Design syllabus. Students
take an AS and can then continue in the
Upper Sixth when they will be entered
for the A Level. At AS Level students
will spend the first term and part of the
second working on coursework which
comprises 60% of the grade, before
commencing work on the external
assignment through the Lent Term
with a 10-hour exam. At A Level the
time scale and weighting are the same,
however the exam will be 15 hours long.
Students will study contemporary
design and the history of design,
with real artefacts to sketch, explore
and debate. They will be expected to
design to a number of briefs, exploring
architecture, street furniture, lighting,
seating etc. Students are expected to
visually communicate through a variety
of media and CAD work. They are also
expected to realise their intentions
practically through workshop-based
skills and processes in woods, metals
and plastics. The emphasis of this
course is on the creative aspects of
design, not the technical.
Prospective candidates should be
aware that the course requires a heavy
and time-consuming commitment to
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Art, Sculpture
or Design and Technology
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA Art and Design
Three-Dimensional Design
Naomi Hall
Head of Design and Technology
Facilities and staff
Clifton’s reputation for excellence
in the Design Department is ever
increasing and we are staffed with
highly experienced staff who trained as
architects and practice as designers.
We also have a full-time technician who
supports the main workshop.
Clifton has a well-equipped Design
Department that includes design
studios with two computer rooms with
Adobe, Graphics and CAD programs,
scanners, digital cameras, and light
boxes. The Sixth Form graphics studio
contains individual drawing tables and
a library of books and magazines. In
the plastics workshop, we have a laser
cutter and two 3D printers, a 3D pen,
vacuum formers and the equipment for
the manipulation of plastics. We also
possess CNC (computer controlled)
manufacturing equipment, and a large
workshop fitted out for wood and metal
work, including a new foundry for casting
Additional features
We have many visiting architects and
practising artists and designers who
come and work with the students and
our academic discussion and CAD skills
have been praised by visiting university
lecturers as being of degree standard.
The origins of Bentley
Motors - July 1919
Walter Owen Bentley, OC,
commonly know as W.O. (1888 to
1971), attended Clifton until 1905.
In 1912, with his brother H. M.,
W. O. established the Bentley and
Bentley company which specialised
in selling cars with aluminium alloy
pistons. During the First World War,
he built rotary aero-engines for the
Royal Air Force and many other
big manufacturers including Rolls
Royce. Almost immediately after
the end of the First World War, W.O.
and H.M. founded their own car
company - Bentley Motors Limited.
History of Art
hroughout history, man has
demonstrated the creative
side of human nature by
creating works of art and
architecture. Much of this art can
be studied first-hand in this country
which has wonderful art collections
as well as great architecture.
Studying History of Art will enable
students to explore the canon of
painting, sculpture and architecture
and discover much about art
production, the artists who made the
art, the patrons who commissioned
it, and the societies they inhabited.
History of Art is much more than art
appreciation, although the aesthetic
aspect is a bonus!
A student wanting to understand art
and the societies that produced it
will develop their skills of analysis,
observation and evaluation. These
are important transferable skills and
explain why History of Art is a top tier
academic discipline. In recent years
many students have gone on to top
universities, including the Courtauld,
to continue this subject to degree level.
Course content and
Entry Requirements
A grade in GCSE Art, Sculpture
or Design and Technology.
We will be using the new AQA
specification for 2017. This syllabus
gives students the opportunity to
study the artwork and styles of key
historical movements and periods.
Students also have the option of
studying non-Western art.
Course Offered
A and AS Level
AQA History of Art
The course consists of four thematic
areas of study and five period-specific
areas. In the first year students will
study one of each and in the second
year of the course students will study
two of each. Within each theme and
period, students will study at least two
artists and at least three works of art
from each artist. The subject will be
assessed by external exams and there
is no coursework.
Additional features
Helen Skåtun
History of Art Teacher
There are annual visits to galleries in
London to study first-hand the art and
architecture that has been studied in
Facilities and staff
History of Art comes under the Art
Department which also offers courses
in Art, Photography and Sculpture.
The History of Art room is well
equipped for the viewing of slides. It
also benefits from a wide range of
books and DVDs.
Roger Fry OC - July 1882
Roger Fry OC, studied science
at Cambridge and became the
leading 20th century art critic
as well as artist and curator
and Professor of Fine Art at
The Slade, renowned for his
discovery of Cezanne and being
the voice for modern French
Secto E
n addition to the four main
subjects studied in the Lower
Sixth, many students will
then wish to select one or two
additional choices from the list of
supplementary subjects in Sector E.
The subject choices within Sector
E are designed to give Sixth Form
students further scope to develop
their strengths and interests. Any
selections made from Sector E are
optional and so, broadly speaking,
students are free to make their
selection from this sector over and
above their normal diet of four main
We aim to be as flexible as possible
within Sector E, and subject to certain
timetabling constraints, students
may choose more than one option.
Students are encouraged to enrich
their experience in the Sixth Form
by choosing an additional option or
options, though care must be taken to
ensure that individuals do not overcommit themselves. Students should
discuss their Sector E choices with
their tutor and Housemaster/mistress
to make sure that they have made a
realistic selection.
Sector E choices
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Information
TThis qualification is designed for
students who are interested in
developing their understanding of
information technology (IT), with a view
to progressing to a wide range of higher
education courses, not necessarily in IT.
Unit 1: Creating Systems to Manage
Students study the design, creation,
testing and evaluation of a relational
database system to manage
Unit 2: Using Social Media in Business
Students explore how businesses
use social media to promote their
products and services. Students also
implement social media activities in a
business to meet requirements.
English as an Additional Language
EAL is offered as a Sector E course
which is tailor-made to fit the needs
of the students who wish to take it.
Most often it will involve improvement
of academic writing skills for those
students taking essay writing subjects
such as Economics, Psychology or
French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and Mandarin
The study of a language is available as
a Sector E option. They can be studied
as a non-examined subject or to
GCSE, AS Level or A Level depending
on the student’s previous experience.
Students should contact the Head
of Languages if they are interested
in studying a language as a Sector
E option; early contact is advisable
to discuss which language options
are possible. For more details of the
languages offered see the Modern
Foreign Languages section on page 25.
Performance Certificate LAMDA
The PCert LAM qualification is set
at undergraduate level and gives a
strong award to offer to a university as
it prepares a pupil for interview and
delivery of a speech or text as well as
allowing the student to carry out indepth study on literature and drama
figures throughout the 20th Century.
See the Drama section on page 55
for more details.
covering skills like public speaking
and performing. These lessons take
place both on and off timetable,
dependent upon demand. See
the Director of Drama for more
information about this.
There are also a range of other
LAMDA activities available, leading to
nationally recognised qualifications,
BTEC in Teamwork and Personal Development
This BTEC Level 2 course is available
as a Sector E option in the Lower
Sixth and provides students with
an additional qualification that
can be a valued addition to the
UCAS application form. Candidates
gain credits from a range of unit
options, such as teamwork and
communications skills, improving
health and fitness, expedition skills
and volunteering. Further details can
be found at
The course covers camera controls
such as aperture, shutter speeds,
depth of field and capturing
movement but also, and very
importantly, composition, lighting
and photographic genres.
Students should have their own digital
SLR camera for the course.
Photography is available within Sector
E for any student who wishes to
learn more about using their camera
creatively and to have the opportunity
to experience traditional, and
experimental, methods of producing
photographic images.
See page 59 for further details on the
Photography Department.
suppo t
Learning Support provision
Clifton College is able to make provision for students who have certain specific learning difficulties, for example dyslexia,
or who have a need for specialist or additional help in some areas of their learning.
a) Identification of needs
Students requiring Learning Support
will normally have been identified,
and may already be receiving support
before joining the school. Parents of
such students are asked to ensure
they have made contact with the
Head of Independent Learning
before their son or daughter joins
the school, and they must make
available any documentation,
such as Educational Psychologist
Where students have not previously
been identified, or have been
identified only through screening
procedures, a full assessment can be
arranged (see fee sheet for details
of charges). All new Lower Sixth
students are assessed for possible
learning difficulties during the first
week of term. Where our screening
process indicates a difficulty, we will
contact parents and recommend
further assessment and, in some
cases, extra support. In order to
receive extra time in examinations
or other access arrangements from
the examination boards, students
with special learning difficulties will
require a full assessment and should
be able to demonstrate that they
have received continued support from
school and that there is evidence of
need. Students and parents should
understand that the examination
boards are becoming more stringent
and that a student who has had
extra time at GCSE level will not
automatically receive extra time at A
The examination boards stipulate
that students must be assessed by
an appropriately qualified specialist
who is employed by, or known to,
the school. Most assessments
will be conducted by the Head of
Independent Learning who is a
qualified Educational Psychologist.
The College will not accept privately
commissioned Educational
Psychologist reports for the
purposes of applying for examination
b) Support teaching for students
with Special Educational Needs
The College facilitates the provision
of specialist teachers for Learning
Support, both mainstream academic
subject teachers, and teachers with
experience in Special Educational
Needs. Students may receive one-toone lessons with a specialist teacher
at extra cost (see fee sheet). These
lessons are normally arranged in the
student’s free time.
Dr Katie Hamilton
Head of Independent Learning
Those who wish to make outside
arrangements for support (or to
continue with them) are welcome to
do so. There are Dyslexia Centres
in Bristol and Bath. However, we do
ask parents to ensure that we are
informed of the support that their
children are receiving, so that our
teachers may liaise. Students who
have a specific learning difficulty and
receive extra time in examinations
should contact the Department of
Independent Learning if they would
like extra support. Some Sixth Form
students take advantage of regular
weekly support lessons throughout
their time in the Sixth Form and this is
encouraged. However, students with
a specific literacy difficulty who would
like occasional help with reading
or essay writing should contact
the Independent Learning team to
arrange appropriate support.
English as an Additional Language and International
English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Alissa Goefron
Head of EAL
tudents needing qualifications
in English, such as IELTS,
for university entrance are
required to arrange these
externally. However, Sixth Form
students from overseas will have
an opportunity to take an intensive
course in IELTS preparation as
most of them will need to take
the IELTS exam prior to entry to a
British university. The IELTS exam
tests reading, writing, listening and
speaking skills and students wishing
to enter university are required to
take the Academic Training modules
in reading and writing. The EAL
Department will provide lessons
to help prepare students for these
Native language lessons
he College is able to make
provision for those students
who may wish to continue
with a language not on the
curriculum, for example for native
speakers of Portuguese or Japanese,
up to GCSE or A Level. These subjects
are normally taught outside the
curriculum at extra cost (see fee
sheet), with reduced rates for pairs or
groups. Students should contact the
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
for further details.
The EAL Department also offers
Sector E classes for Sixth Formers
who wish to take them and these
classes are tailor-made to fit the
needs of the students. Most often
they will involve training in academic
writing skills for EAL students taking
essay writing subjects such as
Economics, Psychology or History.
Should it be necessary, private
lessons with specialist EAL teachers
are also available to help with IELTS
preparation and to support the
language requirements of other
subjects. These lessons are at extra
cost (see fee sheet) and usually take
place in a student’s free time so that
withdrawal from other lessons is not
His PhD led him to stored programme
research for computing and in 1949
he took up the post of project leader
at Lyons, where he designed and
developed one of the world’s first
business computer systems - the
Lyons Electronic Office or ‘LEO’.
He later joined ICL and continued
working at the top level in the
computer industry. He was twice the
President of the European Computer
Manufacturers Association.
John Pinkerton and the first
business computer
John M.M. Pinkerton (1919-1997), Old
Cliftonian, read Natural Sciences at
Trinity College, Cambridge. He spent
the war years on radar research.
Returning to Cambridge in 1945,
he studied ultrasonic absorption in
liquids at the Cavendish Laboratory;
he submitted a PhD thesis in 1948.
Information and Communication Technology
CT at Clifton is a high priority, both
as a subject in its own right and
as a means of enhancing teaching
and learning in all subjects.
The purpose of teaching ICT is to
ensure all students at Clifton have a
high level of ICT skills to enable them
to use ICT effectively and productively
across the curriculum and in their
daily lives. An Advanced ICT course is
offered in the Sixth Form (see Sector
E options) to students wishing to
broaden their skills and knowledge
of ICT. This course is usually taken in
addition to four other AS subjects.
All subjects use ICT in their teaching,
including the use of the College Intranet
as a teaching resource, where an
extensive range of learning materials
can be located by students, both inside
and outside of the classroom.
There is also excellent ICT provision
throughout the College. A state-ofthe-art fibre optic network links more
than 700 computers located in nine
computer suites, academic areas and
Houses. All classrooms have network
points, as do all House libraries and
student studies. The Percival Library
has some 40 network points for
student laptops. Students can also
connect to the school network via
wireless hubs throughout the campus.
The IT Department, which supports
the development of the College’s use
of ICT, is made up of eight technicians
and developers. A dedicated Help Desk
is available for students to solve any IT
issues they might have.
Dr Darron Dean
Head of Academic ICT
Subject choices for September 2017
he following subjects are
planned to be offered in
the Lower Sixth at Clifton
College in September 2017.
Please follow the instructions on the
form provided to make your choices.
If you do not have a form, please
email admissions @ cliftoncollege.
com to request one.
Business Studies
Classical Civilisation
English Language
English Literature
Greek (Ancient)
History of Art
Mathematics (Further)
Music Technology
Physical Education
Religious Studies
Sculpture / Ceramics
Theatre Studies
Unive sity
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