Clover Hill Primary School

Early Years

Clover Hill Primary School Drivers

Long Term Memory

We ensure that the knowledge and skills that we teach in Early Years are reinforced and consolidated continuously over the course of the year. Children grow in confidence as they are given opportunities to embed, refine and develop key skills.

Enquiry Based Learning

We have bright and inquisitive children at Clover Hill and we encourage them to participate fully in the learning process, we want children to engage and be active in their learning, we want children to ask questions and be curious about their experiences and the world around them.

Real Life Relevance

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.


The Early Years at Clover Hill seeks to provide:

  • An environment in which every child makes good progress
  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
  • A supportive partnership between practitioners and parents/carers
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported

Four guiding principles shape our practice

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

We continually reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect this in our practice. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning that are at the fore front of our minds when planning activities are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things


We organise our curriculum into short topics ranging from 4 weeks to 7 weeks; we continually review our topics to ensure the children are inspired and engaged in these areas. Children are also encouraged to lead their own learning and teaching staff can move this on by observing and providing additional resources to support and develop this learning. We have developed a successful routine in reception class where across a typical week children experience short teacher led inputs, a variety of small group adult led activities, some 1-1 work as appropriate, opportunities for child initiated learning and also adult initiated learning. We encourage outdoor learning and operate a free flow system to our outdoor area throughout the week which is open at all times unless the weather or other situations beyond our control deem it unsafe.


Reception class children come from many different pre-school settings therefore it is difficult to gain a consistent picture across the whole class as so many different individuals have been responsible for assessing children at a variety of settings. We contact all pre-school settings and either visit the provider at their setting to discuss each child or we have a verbal handover over the phone. Many settings send us their tracking information that they have collated for each child.

The Early Years Team use the Reception Baseline Assessment (statutory from September 2021) upon children’s entry to Clover Hill. This is not a diagnostic or formative assessment tool but produces narrative statements as to how each child performed on the day of the assessment. There is no expected standard and the children cannot pass or fail. Our baseline assessment reflects only what has been observed at Clover Hill. Our assessment is ongoing and based on observation, daily reflection by the Early Years Team ensures the development of next steps. Summative checkpoints help to indicate that children are progressing appropriately. (Baseline, mid-year and end of year.) The EYFSP is completed for each child by the end of June each year and data submitted to Gateshead.

Helping your child at home: