Priory School is a mixed 11-16 School with around 1200 students on roll. Young people have been learning on this site for well over a hundred years and everyone in the school is very proud to be able to build upon this tradition. Our pupils come from a very wide range of backgrounds and our community is truly comprehensive, harmonious and dynamic. As a legacy Sports College our facilities for sport are outstanding and we maintain our lead in developing sports education in the area. In September 2014, Priory embarked on the next stage of its journey, by opening as a new academy with the Bohunt Education Trust.
At Priory we try to build independent learners who are resilient, ambitious and confident. Our learning environment is rich, ranging from a Victorian high-gothic chapel to state-of-the-art indoor tennis facilities. We have fully-equipped laboratories, a well-stocked library, a beautiful Edwardian main hall, the latest design technologies and outstanding sporting facilities. Our curriculum encourages pupils to explore a very wide range of subjects. Alongside a core of English, mathematics and science, pupils study each humanities subject separately as well as a modern language (French, German or Spanish). They enjoy weekly drama, music, art and PE lessons and explore the world of design technology in food, textiles, resistant materials and graphics. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, we help our pupils explore their place in the world as global citizens and what this means in the 21st century. They engage with moral and ethical issues as well as considering the impact of the choices they make on the physical environment. They learn to work individually and in teams, building resilience, self-confidence and growing as happy, active and healthy young people.
We promote a strong sense of self-worth combined with a respect for others. Consistently high expectations are embedded within an environment that is founded on mutually respectful relationships between pupils, staff and parents. On choosing Priory, pupils are placed in a tutor group with a tutor who sees them every day. This person is at the heart of your child’s learning over the five years in the school. To support the tutors, each year group has a team of non-teaching staff who are there to make sure they flourish and make excellent progress. Every year group grows leaders, through Year Leader responsibilities which build up to the accolade of Prefect in Year 11. Our Head Pupils’ names join the boards in the Hall, which bear the names of office-holders dating back to 1904. Our pupils visit the Houses of Parliament, take part in the Speaker’s Award, debate in the City’s historic Council Chamber and play an important part in campaigning for the rights of people around the world who find themselves victims of political regimes or emergencies. Pupils have regular opportunities to perform in music, drama and dance or have their art displayed at our prestigious annual Art Show. They can compete in sport ranging from rugby and football to tennis, trampolining, table-tennis, athletics, cheerleading and netball.
Through their experiences at Priory, our pupils go on to great things. Each year, many of our pupils go to the country’s best universities or gain places on the most prestigious apprenticeship schemes. We also make sure our pupils have opportunities to take part in some experiences of a lifetime. Over the last few years pupils have been on field trips to Iceland, skiing in Austria, football at Euro Disney, drama and art workshops in Barcelona, history trips to Poland and Berlin, the Normandy beaches and First World War battlefields. We have annual Duke of Edinburgh expeditions as well as trips to Tate Modern, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal National Theatre, Farnborough International Air Show, CERN Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, English Youth Ballet, All England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, rugby internationals at Twickenham and football internationals at Wembley. Pupils also have a wide range of very local opportunities to connect their learning with the world beyond school, including local colleges, universities, heritage attractions and businesses.
Leadership is a vital part of life at Priory. All our pupils are encouraged to gain leadership experience in a wide range of different forms:
- Pupil Leaders – every year group has a group of leaders whose job it is to assist the Year Leader in running the Year Team, taking responsibility for a wide range of Year and Whole-School events.
- Prefects – our Year 11 pupil leaders, who support younger pupils, help out with events and act as ambassadors for the school.
- Head Boy and Girl; Deputy Head Boys and Girls – the pinnacle of leadership in the school and hotly contested. The Head Boy and Girl Team run the Prefect team during Year 11.
- Tutor and Year Council Representatives – every tutor group elects a member to represent them on Tutor and Year Councils. These councils debate issues affecting pupils and the school and push requests and suggestions up to:
- Pupil Leadership Board – representatives from a range of Councils, groups and pupil-focused organisations who meet with the Headteacher every term to discuss issues and explore solutions.
- Junior Sports Leadership – helping run festivals and sports days for younger children in local primary schools and officiating at school events.
- Sports Council – representatives from every year who organise sporting activities in the school, including charitable events like Sports Relief.
- Digital Leaders – helping to develop digital skills alongside teachers and other adults who might need a bit of help from someone who knows a little bit more about the very latest technology.
- Librarians – assisting our Chartered Librarian in the running of the library and in organising events like the Portsmouth Book Award or the Literature Quiz.
- Prom Committee – Year 11 pupils organise their own Leavers’ Prom, raising funds and involving the local community, helping to make it as inclusive and unforgettable as possible.
By the end of Year 10, the competition to become a Prefect and win the accolade of Head Boy or Head Girl is intense. Following the selection process, the successful leaders take charge of the Prefect Team for the year and their names are added to the lists of previous Head Boys and Girls on the boards in our Edwardian Hall, dating back to 1904.