Clifton College, Bristol


Clifton College, Bristol

Clifton College was founded in 1862 and is a Corporation by Royal Charter granted 16 March 1877.

It is situated in the City of Bristol, on the edge of Clifton Down and not far from open country. The School is well placed to take advantage of the many cultural and educational activities of the city, and to gain much else of value from its civic and industrial life. There are friendly links with the Universities and with other schools of various types. It is also conveniently situated within easy reach of both the M4 and M5, with an international airport and two railway stations. Bristol is 117 miles (190km) from London - a two hour drive or an hour and a half by train.

The College comprises three co-educational schools, each run independently but very much making up a whole community, with shared resources and events.

The Pre Preparatory School takes boys and girls as day pupils from Nursery to Year 3 (ages 2 to 8).
The Preparatory School takes children as day pupils and boarders from Years 4 to 8 (ages 8 to 13).
The Upper School takes children as day pupils and boarders from Years 9 to 13 (ages 13-18).

Clifton College accepts boarders from Year 4 (age 8).

College life is busy and fulfilling, allowing all children to develop their natural talents, whilst focussing on their academic studies. Head of College, Dr Tim Greene's vision for all pupils is that 'they become the best versions of themselves' with all-round education, outstanding pastoral care and the opportunity for self-discovery. This is achieved through a traditional curriculum, innovative teaching and a purposeful atmosphere. 

Charitable status. Clifton College is a Registered Charity, number 311735. It is a charitable trust providing boarding and day education for boys and girls aged 2–18.

Houses and Pastoral Care

Clifton College, Bristol

The House system at Clifton College forms a key part of this pastoral care. Each House in the Preparatory School and the Upper School is run by a Housemaster or Housemistress who is supported by a team of five academic tutors and a matron. It’s your child’s home away from home.

The Houses, though set in beautiful Victorian buildings, all benefit from up-to-date facilities, wifi, libraries, recreational indoor and outdoor spaces, light, airy dorms and quiet areas to relax with friends. They are where your child will start and finish each day, whether as a boarder or day pupil.

All children have a school email address and access to Skype, so keeping in touch with home is easy. Overseas boarders also have a nominated UK-based guardian.


Clifton College, Bristol

Clifton College is located in the leafy suburb of Clifton in Bristol.

Bristol is the largest city in the South West, neatly positioned near the M4/M5 intersection with excellent rail links and an international airport. It is the UK’s 10th largest city and has a population of just fewer than half a million.

It has two universities, is known for being ‘green’ and is a cultural centre for arts, music and animation. Bristol is one of only a handful of UK cities to have its own elected mayor. In 2014 it was named as ‘Best Place to Live’ by the Sunday Times newspaper and is the 2015 European Green Capital.

Clifton is a beautiful residential area on the edge of the city, near the Downs, Bristol Zoo and our most famous landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Poet Sir John Betjeman once described it as the ‘handsomest suburb in Europe’.

Entry Requirements

Clifton College, Bristol

Preparatory School
Pupils joining at age 8-12 (Years 4-8) will be asked for their most recent school report and assessed in English, Mathematics and General Ability. The minimum standard normally required is the average national Standard Attainment Test level for the age group. Pupils who do not attain this level cannot be guaranteed a place.

Pupils will not normally be accepted for entry at 11+ unless we are very confident of them being able to gain promotion to The Upper School at 13+. At this point, we will also ask for a reference from a previous school and the most recent school report.

Successful completion of the entry tests will be followed by a formal offer of a place at Clifton College Preparatory School. To take up the formal offer of a place, parents must then return the Acceptance Form which accompanies the Offer Letter and then pay the deposit. This is £1,250 for EU families and a term's fees for non EU families joining into Years 4 – 8, and £750 for families joining into Nursery to Year 3. Upon receipt of the Acceptance Form and deposit payment, the joining documents are sent to the new family for completion.
The new pupil joins the Preparatory School and is welcomed into the Clifton community.

Upper School
Pupils wishing to join the Upper School at age 13 (Year 9) will sit Common Entrance in the Summer term preceding entry or the Common Scholarship examination in early May preceding entry. The minimum average mark required for entry is 50%.

Pupils joining the Upper School at age 13 (Year 9) from the Pre will sit the Year 8
Transfer & Scholarship examinations in the Summer term preceding entry. These
examinations suit the College’s curriculum and programmes of study. They will be
similar in content to and will be of the same standard (and carry the same entry
requirements) as the Common Entrance and Common Scholarship papers.
Pupils wishing to join the Upper School in other years will be assessed by means of the
School’s own testing procedures. This will include entry tests in English, Maths and

Entry to the Sixth Form (Year 12) for pupils both from within the school and from other
schools is usually conditional upon achieving 3 A grades and 3 B grades at GCSE.
General places for Sixth Form entry are assessed by entry tests and interviews in two
potential A Level subjects, for overseas students there is also an English Language
paper. Scholarships are available in Academic, Art, Music and Sport.

Registration Forms can be obtained from the Director of Admissions, 32 College Road, Clifton, Bristol

BS8 3JH.


Clifton College, Bristol

Clifton College Scholarships for entry in September 2016
Clifton College offers scholarships at 11+, 13+ and into the Sixth Form. Awards are offered in Academic, Music, Art and Sport with a maximum value of 25%. Supplementary means-tested bursaries are available. The number of awards will depend on the quality of the field and candidates may enter for more than one award.

11+ Sport Awards
Closing date for entry: Friday 4th November 2016
Assessment dates: Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2016

11+ Music Scholarships
Closing date for entry: Friday 13th January 2017
Assessment date: Thursday 19th January 2017

11+ Choral Scholarships
Closing date for entry: Friday 13th January 2017
Assessment date: Thursday 19th January 2016

11+ Academic Scholarships
Closing date for entry: Friday 13th January 2017
Assessment date: Friday 20th January 2017
Interview date: Wednesday 25th January 2017

13+ Sport Awards
Closing date for entry: Thursday 20th October 2016
Assessment dates: Monday 14th and Tuesday 10th November 2015

13+ Music Scholarships
Closing date for entry: Monday 9th January 2017
Assessment dates: Tuesday 24th January 2017

13+ Art Scholarships
Closing date for entry: Friday17th March 2017
Assessment date: Wednesday 26th April 2017

13+ Academic Scholarships
Closing date: Thursday 17th March 2017
Assessment dates – Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th May 2017

16+ Scholarships (Academic, Music, Organ and Art Scholarships and Sport Awards)
Round 1: Closing date 31st October 2016 assesment on Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Round 2: Closing date 30th January 2017 for assessment on Tuesday 21st February 2017

Pupil Life

Clifton College, Bristol

Clifton College pupils have an impressive range of academic routes they can take. GCSE pupils choose to study from a list of over 30 subjects, while 36 A Level courses are taught, including eight languages.

We have three age-specific libraries and a science library, and each child is assigned a tutor to help each pupil individually with their academic studies.

In 2015, 18 pupils received offers from Oxford and Cambridge Universities (10 of them joined us in the Preparatory School), while in 2014 an impressive 77% of pupils gained A* to B grades, with over 70% attending universities in the world’s top 200.

We have an impressive array of scholarships and bursaries, awarded to gifted children at various points in their academic journey.

In all areas, life at Clifton College  is busy and fulfilling. There are over 45 after-school clubs, including 14 music groups and 8 dance groups, plus many drama productions throughout the year. From baking to rock climbing, table tennis to theatre trips, no one can claim to be bored …

Over 20 sports are played at Clifton College, 12 competitively (hockey, netball, rugby, cricket, rackets, fives and real tennis to National standard). There are regular and very popular inter-house matches too.

We have 80 acres of pitches at our Beggar’s Bush site, including outdoor pitches and all-weather surfaces. On the main College site, we have a gym, swimming pool and of course our beautiful and famous cricket pitch, the Close.

School trips and expeditions have taken pupils from Mexico to Sweden, the Brecon Beacons to London, and many places in between.

The School has it's own 315-seater theatre and play, musicals and other performances are a frequent part of the School calendar. Our musicians practice in the Music School, and perform in a variety of venues, including our impressive Victorian chapel.


Contact Details

Clifton College, Bristol

Preparatory School: Mr James Breeze, Clifton College Preparatory School, The Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HE.

Upper School: Mr Simon Tait, Director of Admissions, Clifton College, 32 College Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3JH.