Clifton Christmas Concert 2016

Last night was our biggest Christmas Concert yet with over 50 musicians from Y7-11 performing to a packed audience of family, friends and staff!

Y9 band The Astros opened the show with their superb version of the Arctic Monkeys classic ‘A Certain Romance’. Mr Griffin’s Y7 choir followed with an enthusiastic rendition of ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’. For several musicians this was their first event, and our beginner brass ensemble, Gabriella, Daniyal, Lubos and Michal, thoroughly enjoyed showing off their new skills by playing Jingle Bells. The accomplished Rock and Soul Bands also performed. Clifton Factor runner-up Vaniya Farooq sang, Ross Denton and Ellie Mae Evans played saxophone and flute, and Y10 Amy Burling performed ‘Last Christmas’.

There were highlight performances by our Music Leaders – Harmonix, led by Alice Hardy, performed ‘Somewhere only we know’. Alice also performed a stunning duet of ‘Say Something’ with Laura Johnson. Alijah Mustafa and Shohaib Shafia, otherwise known as 2Barz, pulled out all the stops for ‘Hear Dis’. Danielle Brownlow sang and played piano for her gorgeous version of ‘This is Gospel’, and Charlotte Caprani debuted her beautiful piano interpretation of ‘Demons’.

Several of our Y11 Rockschool musicians also took the opportunity to perform their exam pieces before their final performance in February. Matt Cooper produced an outstanding drum solo for ‘Uptown Funk’, Jack Dudhill performed the beautiful ‘Nuvole Bianche’ and Emily Wilkinson sang ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’. Josh Walker rapped ‘Slim Shady’ and Luke Poucher performed Robbie Williams’ ‘Party like a Russian’. Kieren Wilson, Courtney Lewis, Jan Karala and Megan Parkinson performed ‘Mardy Bum’ and Alice Ellinger showcased her piano debut of ‘When you wish upon a star’. Jan also performed ‘Blue Orchid’ with Sam Hough, before dazzling the audience with Hussen Mulhem as the awesome Mountain of Diamonds.

Our musicians have worked exceptionally hard in preparation for the concert and conducted themselves professionally backstage – well done to all involved!

Thankyou to all who came along and Merry Christmas!

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BTEC Dance Evening

The BTEC dance exam was a great success with 107 dancers in performing. The Y11’s prepared the evening and performed Unit 1 piece. The programme was designed by Kieran Wilson and the students choreographed their own parts. The Y7 performed for the first time and danced a spectacular American Country  line dance mix. Two groups of Y 8 s and the Y9’s performed to African themes of Tarzan, Lion King and Gumboot dance.

The Y9s also performed to grease mega mix with Kye Oliver performing in the character of Danny  Zuko. The evening finished as it started with the Y10s performing to Lion King and the Y 11s to Tales of the Unexpected.

All dancers performed well showing their commitment and dedication to dance.

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Year 9s Collaborative Poem

This week in history Year 9 have been exploring World War 1 poetry and expressing their knowledge and feelings from this term in a collaboratively planned poem.

This is the fantastic efforts of one Year 9 class; Shuayb Alam, Sobia Ali, Jonas Badi, Vanesa Cechova, Natalia Dunkova, Marian Gazi, Patrik Hanko, Jenna Hawksworth, Aneta Horvatova, Josh Lawton, Perla Makulova, Costica Rostas, Laura Slepcikova, Gul Yshak, Khalida Yshak and Zar Yshak.

The poor, old beggars
Begging for peace,
Weeping for sleep,
Crying week after week.

The rain has caused pain,
Which will never go away again.
You will suffer, day after day.

The crowds were proud,
But led them to be dead.
So give them respect,
And do not forget.

Gas will pass,
So wear your mask,
You’ve got to be fast,
Don’t be last!

You cushy cowards,
Want a feather?
You’ll be left in the past forever.
Tears are dripping,
Hearts are breaking,
Bodies are shaking,
Families are ending.

End of Term Arrangements

As we approach the Christmas holidays we would like to give you advance notice of our intention to close early on Friday 16th December 2016.

On Friday 16th December lessons 1 and 2 will be as normal and lunchtime will be between 11:40 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. – earlier than usual.

At 12:10 p.m., instead of going to lesson 3, all students will go to their Form Room where they will meet with, and be registered by their Form Tutor. All students will then be escorted from the site leaving at around 12:30 p.m.

School reopens on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Presentation Evening 2016

Clifton students celebrated their exam success in style with the Presentation of Awards and Certificates evening. The platform party was made up of Mr Hardcastle, Mr Hudson, Mrs Hudson, Mr Butterell and Mrs Lidster. In total, 74 awards were handed out on the evening including:

  • Recognising exceptional performance in subject areas
  • Determination in overcoming difficulties
  • Consistently high all round standards
  • Most improved student
  • Judy Sissons award for achieving the highest mark in Maths GCSE
  • Headteachers award for excellence in KS3 and KS4

One of the highlights of the evening saw Jonathon Woods presented with the Judy Sissons award for achieving the highest mark in Maths GCSE.

In addition, we were fortunate to hear our own Naomi Wright in Year 11 perform ‘Can’t help falling in love’.

A fantastic evening enjoyed by staff, students and family members. Our 2016 Year 11 leave us with our best wishes. We know they are a year group that will contribute much to our local community and beyond.

Well done to all our award winners and we look forward to an even more successful event next year.



Why learn an instrument?

Benefits of learning a musical instrument

Learning any new skill is hard work, especially when it involves a musical instrument.  Budding musicians must devote hours to independent practise, learn how to fix mistakes and get used to the pressure of performing – but it is also highly rewarding!


This term the number of pupils participating in instrumental lessons has almost doubled with almost 100 pupils now on the instrumental register.  Pupils in KS4 receive funded tuition on their first instrument as part of the Rockschool Music Performance course, but there also been a dramatic increase in pupils choosing to start learning in Y7 and 8 with 18 pupils participating in beginner groups on brass, clarinet and violin.  This will eventually develop into our very own Clifton Orchestra!



Why learn an instrument?


 The vast benefits of learning a musical instrument have been consistently demonstrated in many scientific studies – it truly is one of the most rewarding activities on the planet.  Musicians not only enjoy their craft, it also develops an abundance of transferable skills including confidence, patience, resilience and communication.  It develops discipline and dedication as days, weeks and months can go by without noticing any real improvement.  It takes a real strength of character to make it through the initial frustrating stages of learning an instrument.  It can be painful, particularly when trying to force your fingers to learn new patterns on the piano or learning barre chords on the guitar.  Indeed, plenty of people fancy the idea of learning an instrument and think they should be making fantastic progress after just a few lessons only to become disheartened when they don’t see instant results.   If young players are willing to dedicate their time to regular practice so they can get through the difficult early stages of learning their first instrument, then they are showing true resilience and perseverance and setting themselves up for a lifetime of rewarding musical experiences.


Developing as a musician also has a positive impact on learning in other subjects.  Not only does playing an instrument focus the mind and develop confidence, it also develops physical dexterity, fine motor skills and coordination.  Muscle memory develops over time, increasing strength and agility – you only have to watch a guitarist’s fingers flying over the fretboard or a drummer during a complicated solo to be in awe of the hours of concentrated practise they have dedicated to their art.  Musicians must also be able to stay focused throughout a whole piece of music – it only takes a split-second of daydreaming to completely lose track of where you are.  Concentration and confidence will increase as technical skills improve which will also impact in other areas of life as well.


Perhaps most important of all, playing an instrument makes you happy.  It is exciting playing a riff at 100 miles an hour with a band and hugely rewarding that the hours of practise have paid off.  Playing can also calm you when you’re angry and pick you up when you’re feeling down.  It also develops community by allowing people from different cultures to communicate through a universal language.

For more information on instrumental lessons at Clifton, please contact Mrs Maud.

Drumtastic 2016

Last night saw another Drumtastic concert in the Drama Studio. Musicians from Y7-Y11 performed to an audience of parents, friends and staff.

For many of the pupils it was their first performance outside the safety of the classroom, and Y9s had a taster of what they will be expected to do when they choose to study Rockschool Music in KS4.

The Y11s now have lots to evaluate for their final exam performances in February.

We are really proud and impressed with our pupils’ musicianship and professional attitude. They have all worked exceptionally hard to prepare for the performances this month!

Highlights can be found on @cliftonschoolmusic Facebook page as well as the school website and social media.

Roll on the Christmas Concert!

You can view all the photos and videos from last nights event on the school facebook page.


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