The Priory School is a one-form entry Church of England, Voluntary Aided, Primary School.
The school was built in 1867, although its foundations go back to the Sixteenth Century when a grammar school was established in St Michael’s Loft of the Priory Church. It is situated in the heart of Christchurch with its main entrance in Wick Lane. It was granted Voluntary Aided status under the 1944 education Act, which enables it to remain faithful to its Church of England foundation.
Our Standard Number is 30 pupils per year group in the infant school (classes R, 1 and 2) and 33 pupils per class in the junior school (classes 3,4,5 and 6). Our number on roll in October 2006 is 222. We are, therefore, full in all year groups.
We employ seven full time teachers, one part time teacher and the headteacher. Depending upon the number of children designated as having ‘Special Educational Needs’, a number of Teaching Assistants (TAs) will work with pupils as directed and as needs arise. TAs will also work within designated classes to assist the teacher in their teaching. Some our TAs will teach a class for a short period of time.
Voluntary Aided Status enables the Governing Body to ensure that staff appointed remain true to the Christian principles that underpin a Church School. These are reflected not only in the Religious Education and Worship at the school, but also in the fact that Christian principles inform all aspects of school life. Our links with the Priory Church are an important aspect of the school’s life and we hold an act of worship in the Church at least twice per term, in addition to a service of Holy Communion held on Ascension Day. The Vicar of Christchurch, Father Hugh Williams, conducts a weekly act of collective worship in school for all children and staff. Our Class 6 pupils are given the opportunity to be confirmed before they leave the School. In such ways the Christian community is privileged to help further the education of our pupils.
The Priory School is committed to the principle of educating pupils as individuals according to their needs and abilities so that their potential can be developed to the full. They are encouraged and taught to become responsible members not only of the school community but also the wider and world communities during their time at the Priory School. It will often be stressed during your child's time with us, however, that we can achieve that potential only with full support from home.
THE AIMS OF OUR SCHOOL
- The Staff and Governors of the Priory School are agreed that the aims of our school are:
to nurture a spiritual ethos built upon the Christian Faith;
- to encourage parents to play a positive and active role in educating their child through the teaching of mutual respect and by working in true partnership with the school;
- to teach thoroughly the key skills, concepts and knowledge required of the National Curriculum in a balanced and disciplined way, whilst developing an enquiring mind and a love of learning which will equip children for future learning;
- to provide a caring, welcoming, and stimulating environment in which all children are able to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally, morally, physically and spiritually;
- to encourage the development of self-discipline and self-esteem, whilst promoting high expectations of fairness, justice, behaviour, confidence, respect and a sense of responsibility towards others and their environment;
- to help the children understand the wider world in which they live and to respect and tolerate other races, religions and ways of life;
- to show and encourage appropriate behaviour such as kindness, gentleness, honesty, trust, politeness, good manners, and sympathy towards others;
- to communicate effectively with parents and pupils thus enabling all to play their part in the education of the children.
- All places are offered on the understanding that parents wish their child to receive a Church of England school education with a clear Christian emphasis.
- Places are offered in sibling categories provided that there will be an older sibling attending the school at the time the younger child is due to be admitted.
- Every child in the family requires a separate application form.
- To give parents an indication of the likelihood of gaining a place at the school under any one category, the number in brackets preceding each category indicates the number of children who were admitted in that category the previous year.
- The following children will be given first priority ahead of all other applications. Children for whom:
- a) There is a statement of Special Educational Needs which specifies attendance at the Priory School.
- b) Children who are looked after by the local authority.
- N.B. The term 'Looked After' specifically relates to children with either a care order (full or interim) or who are accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
The governors will then decide which children will be admitted to the school according to the following categories, taken in order:
- (20) Children who will have a sibling* (see below) attending The Priory School at the time they are due to start school and whose parents/carers are committed members** (see below) of:
- The Priory Church, or one of her daughter churches, namely St George's Jumpers, High Cross (CE) Somerford or St John-at-Purewell;
- one of the member churches of ‘Churches Together in England’.*** (see below)
- (10) Children of parents/carers who are committed members of The Priory Church, St George's, Jumpers, High Cross (CE) Somerford or St John-at-Purewell. Children living within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch will take precedence over those living outside the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch.
- N.B. As from 1st September 2005 Mudeford became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right and no longs falls within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch
- (0) Where there is no applicable Church of England Primary school nearer their home, children of parents/carers who worship at member churches of ‘Churches Together in England’ who wish their child to attend a school with a specifically Christian emphasis. Children living within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch will take precedence over those living outside the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch.
- (0) Where there is no applicable Church of England Primary school nearer their home, other children in the following priority:
- children who will have a sibling attending The Priory School at the time they are due to start school;
- children living within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch;
- children living outside the Ecclesiastical Parish of Christchurch.
Applications made under categories 1, 2 & 3 will be subject to confirmation by the appropriate Priest or Minister shortly before the date when the Governors reach a decision. The Governors will allocate places in strict accordance with the Admissions Policy and will rely on the information given to them by parents. Every child in the family requires a separate application form.
The planned admission number is normally reached within one of these categories. Within that category, children living closest to the school will be selected first. All distances will be measured as the crow flies from the front door of the dwelling nearest to the school to the school’s pedestrian gate on Wick Lane.
If you are due to move house you may be asked to produce a signed contract for purchase or lease; or an equivalent letter from a solicitor or reputable agency; or in the case of a family returning to a house they already own, two pieces of evidence that this is the case.
The governors will only consider applications naming the Priory CE VA Primary School as their second preference when the School is not oversubscribed by first preferences.