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What says..

Very welcoming, open door approach. The biggest challenge is finding it, as it is tucked away behind other buildings, mainly belonging to St Peter’s. Parents take academic rigour as read. P4c (philosophy for children) is not just talked about but happens throughout, with even 3 year olds confidently giving their opinions on books and stories (‘You’re allowed to dislike it – just tell us why’). Every modern facility and approach, yet still the reassuringly familiar themed play areas and cage of guinea pigs in the reception class...

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What the school says...

Named Prep/Pre-prep School of the Year at the 2018 Tes Independent School Awards, Clifton School and Nursery is a very happy school where children thrive in a supportive atmosphere. The most important factor at Clifton is to teach the whole child, making them happy and confident children who work extremely hard to improve themselves.

The School fosters a lifetimes love of learning at an early age through a rich and varied curriculum in a stimulating environment, producing rounded individuals who are well prepared for an exciting future in the next stage of their education lives. Small class sizes, individual attention, close contact between home and school, quality teaching by inspirational teaching staff, exciting adventurous trips and after school activities enable Clifton to achieve high standards.
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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2011, Mr Phil Hardy BA PGCE (early 30s). Originally from Darlington, studied sports psychology at Northumbria University before spending a brief time in Canada. Married to a management consultant, with a young son, ‘who is as laid back as I am’. That said, when it comes to the school, he appears anything but laid back – full of energy and enthusiasm, with big ideas and big plans. Plenty of autonomy as a head but also plenty of support from above. Keen sportsman – golf, football, rugby, cricket and former England hockey player. Displayed a combination of stamina and ambition by beginning his career as a teaching assistant at Yarm Prep and progressing all the way to deputy head, then, latterly, head of its early school (3 to 7) before taking up headship here....

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