Dear Parent/Guardian and Pupil,

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to be able to write to you as Principal and welcome you to Penwortham Priory Academy. I have always believed that there are few, if any jobs, that are more important or rewarding as teaching. To be the Principal of Priory, leading a group of highly creative professionals and equally creative and progressive young people is, for me, a great privilege.

I have a passion for Priory, a passion for the pupils who attend and a strong belief that Penwortham Priory Academy can, and does, make a positive difference to the lives of pupils, parents, staff and our local community. As Principal, one of my key roles is not only to provide stability and consolidation of all that is good about Priory, but to deliver the future direction of the school. It is my belief that this future direction should be based solely on the interests and needs of each individual pupil and the community in which they live.

Our culture at Priory therefore; the way we work and what then makes us unique; is having a school where, first and foremost, all pupils feel safe, feel happy and feel that they belong to our school community.  Their pastoral care.

When we have pupils, who feel safe and happy in school, we can focus on providing each with a varied and rich curriculum in order for them to gain good individual results as a stepping-stone into their futures. Their academic care.

Whilst all the time, gaining opportunities, from reliable adults, on how to become good citizens of the future. Their ‘Learning for Life’.

In other words, a school where the attention we give to the pastoral care of our pupils is just as important as the attention we give to their academic progress and to the development of those skills we know our pupils are going to need to be successful in their lives beyond Priory – their ‘Learning for Life’.

So, here at Priory, we have our Pastoral Vertical House System, to ensure the best pastoral care for each of our pupils. This means there are children from each year group in our tutor groups. All members of the same family will have the same tutor and will be in the same form. Your child will be in the same house with the same House Leader, allowing us to really get to know each family.

The House Leaders work closely with all staff in school, to track and monitor our pupils’ ongoing ‘Personal Development’ – their Character and Culture development, our Personal Development Award Programme (consisting of our Priory+ Award, our PiXL Edge Award & the Duke of Edinburgh Award), as well as our inter-house competitions, allowing pupils to contribute to, and feel a valued part of, not only the whole school community and their own particular year group, but their own house – Calder, Douglas, Hodder or Ribble.

We also have our Academic Year Group System, to ensure the best academic care for our pupils. This means that your child will have a specialist Head of Year, who works closely with subject leads, teaching staff and learning support staff, to track and monitor their ongoing academic progress from one year to the next, across all subjects, by focussing specifically on them being ‘Ready to Succeed’ every day and on their ‘Attitude to Learning’. In so doing, they coordinate any further intervention strategies that might be necessary to ensure each, and every pupil achieves their full potential.

So, in choosing Priory, our pupils agree to uphold what we call our ‘Priory Standard’ – ‘The highest expectations of all, from all’, and do so through our ‘3 pillars of everyday learning’:

  • We are ‘Ready to succeed’.
  • Have the right ‘Attitude to learning in lessons’ to succeed.
  • Have the right ‘Character & Culture (skills and attitudes)’ to succeed.

Making it clear to our pupils therefore, not only what our standards and expectations are, but also how they can meet these, every day.

Complementing all of this, we have our ‘Learning for Life’ programme.

This consists of our taught Character Development sessions, teaching our pupils the skills, knowledge, and competencies, distinct from their academic work, but essential for employability – the skills of Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication (LORIC).

Our taught Personal Development sessions, delivered through our PSHE and Citizenship curriculum.

As well as our taught Culture Development sessions, to shape our pupils' understanding and attitudes towards the importance of community cohesion and how we can truly live together more harmoniously through a focus on kindness, respect and living without harm.

Of course, I know that teaching a skill or an attitude is one thing, seeing that become a reality in our pupils is another. So, when pupils put their Character, Personal Development, and Culture learning into practice, when they demonstrate those LORIC skills needed to help them succeed in their future employability and actively behave in ways that demonstrate what they have learnt in their personal development and culture sessions, this will be noticed, valued and accredited through our PIXL Edge certification process and, our Priory+ Award scheme: rewarding pupils for engaging in other activities that contribute further to their own personal development, just as academic progress is accredited through the awarding of GCSEs or other equivalent certificates of achievement.

I believe therefore that the curriculum offered to all our pupils, delivered in a caring and creative environment, by means of innovative resources and facilities, should reflect individual needs and aspirations and maximise our pupils’ chances to achieve not, only in the time they are with us in school, but in their life beyond Priory too.

So, it’s our combined, equal focus on a curriculum that best supports the pastoral progress of all our pupils, the academic progress of all our pupils, their personal development through PSHE and Citizenship, as well as the development of their Character and Culture, that I believe makes Priory unique and what I believe makes Priory pupils unique.

It is this outstanding care and guidance, coupled with the learning experience each individual pupil receives, that is of the utmost importance to me as Principal.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, pupils, parents and members of our local community for their dedication, commitment and hard work in ensuring that all our young people leave Priory with not only excellent results, but with rich and meaningful experiences that are guaranteed to help them in what are sure to be their exciting and bright futures.

There is no doubt that our pupils’ achievements continue to strengthen our local and national recognition as a school, where both girls and boys thrive, succeed academically, and excel in all areas.

I hope you find this prospectus and the school’s website informative, although the best way to experience Priory is to come and see for yourselves on our Open Evening. Alternatively, you are more than welcome to make an appointment and visit at any time during the normal school day.

In choosing Penwortham Priory Academy as your school, you can be sure that we will provide access to the best possible all round education for every pupil in our care, in order to secure high standards in their learning journey with us.

I very much look forward to welcoming you to our school, a great school where every pupil ‘Learns to Succeed’.

Mr M Eastham