`

Clifford All Saints School – Sheffield’s smallest school takes on its biggest challenge

Reception pupils in the playground at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School
Reception pupils in the playground at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School

It may have held the title as the smallest school in Sheffield for a many years – but that hasn’t stopped Clifford All Saints School doing big things.

And this year sees the school, and everyone involved with it, taking on its biggest challenge to date.

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

The school is expanding to cope with an increase in need for school places – becoming a primary school from a small infant school.

From January is will be based over two sites – its current one on Psalter Lane and the former Ecclesall Junior School building.

It’s a task that headteacher Sue Preston, affectionately known as Mrs P, is taking in her stride.

READ MORE: Sheffield’s St Wilfrid’s Primary to become English hub to help improve reading standards in struggling schools

Reception pupils in the playground at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School

Reception pupils in the playground at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School

Parents and staff have already been up to the new building revamping it in time for the year two and three pupils moving up there in January. 

“We are going to be growing from the bottom up,” said Mrs Preston.

“ When we have finished refurbishing by January then year twos and threes will move onto that site.

“Already we’ve had parents up at the new site helping revamping it – digging up the garden and taking staples out of the walls. They are very excited about it.”

Year two pupils at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School wearing the new school uniform

Year two pupils at Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School wearing the new school uniform

The school has already changed its name from Clifford Church of England Infants to Clifford All Saints and has a new uniform and school logo.

The logo incorporates the cross from St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church, which appeared on the old uniform and the arches from Ecclesall All Saints Church.

Despite the school growing and moving across two sites, Mrs Preston is keen that it retains its close-knit family feel, with its Christian ethos of love and caring for each other at the centre.

She said: “The school reflects my personality – we are slightly over the top.

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

“We have a Christian ethos primarily through the school.

“We do have children of lots of different faiths and some of no faiths – underneath all of it is the Christian ethos that we love and care.

READ MORE: Businessman backs Sheffield school funding campaign

“There is evidence through the school that we are a church school. It’s all part of our ethos but it’s certainly a fun place to be.”

Mrs Preston was full of praise for the staff and parents at the school.

“The parents are really supportive,” she said.

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

Year three pupils enjoy reading in the library

“We are a close-knit community; the parents know a lot about the school.

“For instance, we have mornings where parents come into school with their kids and do work and activities such as reading. At Easter and Christmas they come in. We also have a weekly prayer group that meets.

“We are very much a family-type school.”

Mrs Preston lists the endless trips and projects pupils have taken part in during ‘high focused weeks’.

She said: “During high focused weeks we throw out the curriculum for the week and do something exciting.

“We run it across the whole of the key stage.

“We believe that learning should be fun and children should want to learn.”

Year three children have recently finished a week-long trip to the Longshaw Estate, near Sheffield, which they caught the bus to every morning and took part in activities such as orienteering, weaseling and art in the park.

Year two children have been on a week-long residential to Castleton.

READ MORE: Nether Edge Primary:Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Magid Magid visits school to see the love for learning

“I believe that every children should have access to learning outside”, said Mrs Preston.

“We are creating doors in our new school building so that every classroom has access to the outdoors.”

Other activities children have enjoyed include performing at The Crucible 

Music and drama also appears on the curriculum – year two and year three children learn the recorder and violin and piano lessons also take place.

Mrs Preston added: “We are a great school and have great teachers.

“The children love their teachers and the teachers love the children.

“Every single day is different, every single child is different and every single class is different.

“The children like the school – it’s exciting and interesting and that’s what it should be like. 

“My job is to make sure that by the time the go onto secondary school they believe that the world is an amazing place, they love learning, they want to be in school and they believe that there is something they can do brilliantly.

“I want them to understand that the world is wonderful; as teachers we have to give them that awe and wonder.

“They need to think the world is an amazing and awesome place and that everything is important.”

Year two pupils with the school pet guinea pigs

Year two pupils with the school pet guinea pigs

Pupils have a love for learning at the school

Pupils have a love for learning at the school