17 November 2021

A tree has been planted in the Priory garden in memory of former teacher, Jean Wragg. 

Mrs Wragg was an English teacher and Head of Year from the 1970s to early 1990s.  When she passed away, aged 82 earlier this year, the family asked friends and family to donate to a memorial fund in her name with the intention of making a bequest to the school she enjoyed a long association with.

Since receiving the bequest, an all-weather Magnolia tree has now been planted and there is a bench in her name as well as an annual award. The Jean Wragg Aim Higher Award will be given to a Year 11 leaver each year who has demonstrated a sustained aspiration to achieve the highest goals in learning and life skills.

Jean's husband Michael said: “Jean had a particular fondness for the Magnolia tree – especially the one with cream flowers.” With family links to Australia, Jean also loved the Jacaranda tree but they won’t grow in the UK so a miniature 10ft Sorbus (Joseph Rock) has been planted which will provide plenty of colour in the autumn and attract wildlife.  Jean’s plaque will be placed by the tree. 

Priory's gardener, Mr Farron said: “The Magnolia tree is an evergreen, it won’t shed its leaves and it will give off a beautiful aroma with fantastic cream and white flowers. It will flower from March until June and it’s a beautiful memorial to Mrs Wragg.” 

This is all part of the on-going refurbishment and fundraising programme at Priory, with the aim to develop and enhance its facilities, both indoor and out, to enrich learning and teaching. 

It’s part of Priory’s vision: ‘Creating inspiring learning spaces and experiences for our current and future generations of pupils.’ 

The Priory Garden is the project for 2021-22, to create an outdoor environment which can be used all year round. 

The gardens have already won Penwortham, South Ribble and North West in Bloom awards.  Now the aim is to create an all-weather space of serenity and calm for pupils to unwind, reflect, read and chat with friends. Plans include all-weather seating, a water feature and paved walkways. 

“We want the gardens to be pupil-friendly,” said Mr Farron. “It will be an area of serenity where pupils can sit and read or even have classes there. We are already putting some benches in place for this. 

“I have drawn up plans which we will do in phases, depending on our fundraising. Gardening is a hobby I am very passionate about, and the idea is to create a garden each season so it’s an ever-changing panorama and atmosphere. 

“Whatever funds we can raise will be well-used and much appreciated.” 

For further information on the fundraising project or to donate, however small, visit www.priory.lancs.sch.uk/fundraising-priory or www.justgiving.com/penworthampriory 


Tags: Alumni Gardens Fundraising