We believe school for all children should be a fun, happy caring environment. The principle aims of the Pre-Prep are for all children to explore and expand their potential and learn to develop an awareness of others around them. A happy and contented child will achieve and get more from their time at Clifton College, both in and outside the classroom.

Our school is full of engaged children who are creatively immersed in their learning, making firm friendships along the way. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of education. A thorough grounding in the core skills of literacy and numeracy is an essential foundation for future learning, and a strong emphasis is placed on acquiring this.


We help pupils to develop enquiring, investigative minds through our approach.

Our aim is to help children develop:

  • High levels of attainment in the key skills of literacy and numeracy
  • Skills in observation, information-seeking, posing questions and problem-solving
  • The ability to apply knowledge and skills to unfamiliar situations
  • The ability to co-operate and work productively with others, as well as to work and learn independently.

In an informal yet structured setting, children are encouraged to develop at their own pace and acquire self-confidence and independence in a stimulating environment.

Activities in the Reception Year are based on the Foundation Stage Guidelines, which focus on three prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Physical Development

There are four specific areas of learning:

  • Mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Years 1–3

Pupils are regularly assessed three times a year and the results are used to inform our teaching and advise subject teachers on the best ways to differentiate the curriculum for children with specific difficulties.

We don’t have a ‘standard’ way to teach a skill, as each child’s needs are different. Instead, we work closely with mainstream staff to ensure that all aspects of a pupil’s school life are discussed and effective teaching programmes developed.

We offer one-to-one teaching with specialist teachers and a comprehensive integrated programme to address particular difficulties. Our track record is impressive and we have managed to remain flexible and adaptive to a wide range of needs.

The majority of our work is accomplished within the normal school timetable, allowing children to participate in normal break times and after school activities.


Clifton College has a deep commitment to encouraging the lifelong habit of reading for pleasure and this begins with the very youngest pupils in our care.

Early Years has a dedicated library, run by a School librarian who specialises in finding the very best books and resources to encourage and spread this passion for reading.

We organise age-appropriate author and illustrator visits, as we believe there is a special magic when a child meets someone who has created a book they love.

The academic year starts with our annual Book Week; a celebration of reading, sharing stories and talking about the books we love.