It gives me a great deal of pleasure to be able to write to you as Headteacher 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 Headteacher of Priory, the Head of 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 Head, 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 of 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 Progress Tutor, allowing us to really get to know each family, whilst allowing pupils to contribute to, and feel a valued part of, 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 will closely track and monitor their ongoing academic progress from one year to the next, across all subjects.
Complementing both, we have our ‘Learning for Life’ programme.
This consists of our taught Personal Development sessions, delivered through our PSHE and Citizenship curriculum.
Our taught Character Development sessions, teaching our pupils the skills, knowledge, and competencies, distinct from their academic work, which will help them succeed in their futures – the skills of Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication (LORIC).
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 and Culture learning into practice, when they demonstrate LORIC skills and actively behave in ways that demonstrate what they have learnt in their culture sessions, this will be noticed, valued and accredited through our certification process, 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 Head.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, students, parents and members of our local community for their dedication, commitment and hard work in ensuring that all our pupils 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 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 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 and your child to Priory, a great school where every pupil ‘Learns to Succeed’.
Mr M Eastham