General Information

Interested in working at Bristol Cathedral Choir School?

If you are ambitious, professional and forward-thinking, we’re keen to hear from you, whether you are a teacher or are interested in another post in our School community.

Bristol Cathedral Choir School is Bristol’s oldest school, with origins dating back to at least the 12th century. Yet, while valuing its heritage and traditions, BCCS strives to be a modern school dedicated to delivering the highest standards of teaching and learning in our vibrant city-centre location. In September 2008, BCCS became an Academy – to date, the only British choir school to have made the transition to Academy status. This gives us the freedom to think and act innovatively to find solutions to the challenges of education in the 21st century.

10 things you might like to know about BCCS and Bristol

  1. BCCS is a co-educational 11-18 Academy, with a principal specialism in Music and a secondary specialism in Mathematics. 10% of our intake is selected according to musical aptitude.
  2. BCCS is growing fast! Our Year 7 intake is six times oversubscribed, and the School roll is expected to jump from around 400 in 2007 to at least 680 over the next few years.
  3. Our campus is expanding, too, with funding from the Building Schools for the Future programme. An attractive new five-storey building opened in autumn 2008, incorporating our Learning Resource Centre and Music Department.  A second new teaching block housing Mathematics, ICT and Languages was completed in the autumn of 2009.  Our historic Deanery building has been thoroughly refurbished to create a modern reception and administration base, incorporating a conference room and staff work areas. By 2011, our existing theatre will be replaced with a bigger building including a large dining facility, theatre and Art facilities.
  4. ICT provision at the School is being thoroughly upgraded and modernised.
  5. We’re a happy school. Academy parents recently rated pastoral care as one of the great strengths of BCCS in a School questionnaire.
  6. Sixth Form numbers are rising. Our varied Sixth Form curriculum includes traditional ‘academic’ AS/A2 subjects and other popular subjects such as Psychology, as well as vocational courses such as Film Studies, Music Technology, Sports Studies and Business Studies.
  7. Bristol has been named one of the world’s top 10 cities for 2009 by the best-selling guidebook in the world, DK Eyewitness. Chosen alongside Washington DC and Vienna, it is the only British city in the list. Bristol was also: named the UK’s Most Sustainable City by Forum for the Future; shortlisted by the EU for the first European Green Capital Award (the only UK city shortlisted); recognised by the Government as the UK’s first official Cycling City; and hailed as the most attractive English city outside London for Foreign Direct Investment in 2008 by FDi Magazine. Average property prices in the city (November 2008) are £227,397 for a semi-detached house and £183,998 for a flat.
  8. With two universities, Bristol benefits from an exciting night life and restaurant scene. Its new £500m shopping centre, Cabot Circus, features top stores including Harvey Nichols, while there are also scores of upmarket shops up the hill in Clifton.
  9. Bristol is an excellent family city. There are many attractions, including Brunel’s famous steam ship, the SS Great Britain, as well as Bristol Zoo and At-Bristol – a waterfront leisure, education and entertainment attraction within two minutes’ walk of the School. There’s plenty of green space within the city boundaries, such as Durdham Down, while beach resorts and the Cotswold and Mendip hills are only a short drive out of town.
  10. Bristol has strong transport links, with two major rail stations, a recently expanded airport, the M4 and M5 motorways both running close to the city and an impressive network of cycle routes.
Further Information

The Cathedral School was founded in 1140 and refounded in 1542; the older buildings form part of the monastic buildings of St. Augustine's Abbey. The school lies in the historic heart of Bristol, close to College Green, the University, the Central Library, the Museum, the Old Vic, the Watershed and in the shadow of the Cathedral, whose choristers it continues to educate. The area has been the focus of Bristol’s urban regeneration and, with the recent completion of the Harbourside development, the School is very much at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter. The Academy aims to be a centre of excellence in Music and Mathematics but its focus will always be on teaching and learning, innovation and professional development.

There has been a steady development of the School’s facilities with new playing fields and a fully renovated and extended pavilion, a Sixth Form Centre and, in March 1999, a new Arts & Technology Building, housing Art, Design Technology and a Studio Theatre. The PE facilities were extended in 2006 to provide a fitness suite, new changing rooms for boys and girls, a teaching classroom as well as changes to the gymnasium and Trinity Hall. A magnificent new teaching block housing English, Learning Support and Music opened in September 2008. As an Academy, the school is involved in the BSF programme. New buildings for Mathematics, ICT, Languages and a Learning Resource Centre have been completed. By 2011, a new theatre dining room and Art classrooms will complete the building programme.

The move to Academy status in 2008, with Music and Mathematics as specialisms, offers a range of new opportunities; the Academy had a Year 7 co-educational intake of 104 pupils in 2008 and this year was over subscribed by 6:1. Over the next four years, we anticipate that the number of students on roll will rise to approximately 680. As the first choir school in the country to become an Academy and one of only four independent schools so far, its profile is unique. The behaviour of students is outstanding and the school enjoys a well-deserved reputation within the City both for the quality of its pastoral care and for the development of individuals.

Academically, the Academy is organised into five Faculties, each with its own Director; pastorally the School is organised into Lower and Middle Schools and the Sixth Form, each with its own Head of Key Stage.  Within the year group, the pupils are organised into forms; each form is assigned a tutor who is concerned with the welfare and progress of each individual. Examination results are very good, click here for further details.
To complement all the academic endeavour and achievement, the School offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. The School fields teams in Rugby, Rounders, Soccer, Netball, Hockey, Cricket and Tennis and is proud of the representative honours achieved by individuals. Successful rugby tours to Canada have taken place in recent years, as well as cricket tours to India and South Africa. There is an Activities Week for all Lower School pupils and other forms of outdoor pursuits for older pupils. Regular trips to Uganda take place visiting our sister school, St. James’, with whom we have had a very long-standing partnership. Two BCCS students spend 6 months there on a GAP placement organised by the schools. Art and Drama are first-rate and very well supported by pupils and parents.                          
Music is at the heart of the new Academy. Over a third of pupils have instrumental music lessons and the School's First Orchestra has undertaken tours to the USA, Prague and France. The Cathedral Choristers also tour abroad regularly. The culture of the school is inclusive; there are always exciting dramatic opportunities and a wide range of clubs and societies. There is strong commitment to charitable activities.

The School has a Christian foundation and the whole school meets three times a week in the Cathedral, though the school welcomes into its community members of all faiths and those with none; the emphasis is on tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others and we are proud of the cultural and ethnic diversity that is part of our community.  An historic, successful school is now a pioneering Academy, so it is an exciting time to be joining a vibrant, forward-looking community.

This information may be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.