20 July 2020

Mrs Gidden here! Wow - What a year we’ve had in the English faculty. I’d like to take this opportunity to go over our ‘best bits’ of the year and mention, again, some of your children (and you, students if you’re reading) that make Priory a wonderful place to work, learn and flourish.  

The year started with a real bang in the faculty and Mrs Elliott and I reopened our brand new library complete, for the first time ever, with a proper logging in/checking out device and book finding software affectionally dubbed the ‘dwinker’. We are so, incredibly proud of how our library has grown and how often and enthusiastically it’s used by all pupils in school during AR lessons and beyond. We wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without our student librarians and our veteran librarians (who have now left us). It was such an exciting day with party poppers, balloons and cake and it all meant that we could enjoy books and check them in and out safely. The library continues to grow and watch this space for our, new design, moving library coming September 2020 to keep everyone reading but in line with Covid 19 safety guidance.   

Then in late September, the Scholastic Book Fair returned to Priory show casing and selling exciting new titles and thrilling staff and pupils alike with their- always colourful and intriguing showcase of books.  Thanks again to the librarians who made this work. Unfortunately, the Book Fair will take a hiatus this year- due to Covid, we can’t bring the fair safely into school but as soon as we can, we will!  

November saw us preparing for the Rotary Youth Speaks public speaking competition. Priory had taken a break from the competition for various reasons but returned in 2020 with an exceptional team who blew the judging panel (and me) away (I didn’t cry at all-honest) so well done once again to Erin, Jacob and Darcy who did an amazing job. So much so, we have decided to re-enter this year with as many teams as we can - we already have some Year 11 teams interested so watch this space for the next team of ground breaking public speakers. 

Christmas brought our annual Year 7 speech competition and this year, I have to say, was our best yet. To quote their Head of Year, Mrs Farley, "They’re really talented my little year group, aren’t they?" I replied ‘Yes, yes they are!’ Some of the speeches just knocked our socks off but I’m not sure who was more competitive - the students - or Mrs Webster! Well done again to our winner, Alex E and our runners up Katie H and Grace D - truly brilliant speeches. It was also lovely that the final of the competitions coincided with our Christmas Jumper Day so many memories were made that day. We can’t wait for the Speech Comp 2020, when Mr Taylor will hopefully compere for us again and who know which of our Year 6s will take home the trophy this year?  

The term closed with the Bookmark Competition which saw some charming entries from William C and Uzair B getting the top two spots - these gorgeous designs are still used in school but will replaced by new designs in the Autumn from our incoming Year 8s (current Year 7- get designing now!) 

New Year 2020 saw the launch of the Poetry Competition, and again, the standard was incredibly high from Jessica M and Josh G  and who could forget Harry C’s masterpiece about pushy parents in football? Lancashire FA had shown interest in the poem and were keen to pass it on to the FA before Covid kicked in - we'll take this up again in the new year.

Also in the New Year, we took three sets of pupils to the theatre. Miss Thornton took Year 11 to see ‘An Inspector Calls' at the Lowry; Miss Smith and Miss Thornton took Year 11 to see 'Jekyll & Hyde' at Edge Hill and Mr Faulkner and Miss Smith went to Manchester to watch 'A Monster Calls'. Of course, it goes without saying that all sets of theatre-going children on the trips were an absolute credit to Priory. 

Just before closure, our wonderful Miss Howell pulled off the very spectacular ‘We Will Rock You’ with some absolutely incredible performances from the whole cast and obviously, a chance to go out with a bang for our Year 11 stars, Liam and Miya.  

Then of course, sadly, we had to shut the school. But, from our online learning platforms the English faculty have daily been spellbound and amazed by the work our children have come up with; their attentiveness and adaptability as we rolled out ‘live’ learning via MS Teams and their diligence and commitment to work have impressed us very much.  

All our English scholars have made us exceptionally proud and we have missed you all terribly. 

Here are our ‘Stars of the Year’: 

Year 11 Johnny J for running Korean Club with Miss Smith and just being a star; Year 11 May R for being an absolute delight and giving us our ‘Victorian Word of the Week’ feature. Year 10 Aaron B for consistent over achievement in English; Year 7 Jack J, for constantly having a reading book in his hand and being so hard working; Daniel R for the same reason! Year 9 Stephen P for his incredible ‘Spoof News’ entry…But wait, there’s more… Year 8s Leo S, Paige H, Eliza W and Lydia S; Year 7 Megan H, Troy C and Jessica M; Year 10s Reece S, Jasmine R, Connor F and Tom P; Year 9s Vidhi C; Alex P; Ciaran R; Emily B; Rhys K, James M and ‘Talfie’ (Tom and Alfie) D and absolutely tonnes more besides who have striven for excellence in English day in, day out.

We cannot wait to see you in September and make new memories and soar to new heights. 

Thank you for a memorable year, have a great summer.  


With love, Mrs Gidden and The English Department

Tags: English