ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Prior's Mill was formed as a new school in 1990 following the amalgamation of Northfield Infant and Billingham Church of England Junior schools. The name "Prior's Mill" derives from Wolviston Mill which was situated due west of Wolviston Court, and was previously owned by the Prior of Durham. The Mill was built around 1430 and was one of several mills on the Billingham Beck. For many years it was an important part of the economic and industrial life of the area.
Prior's Mill School has a "Voluntary Controlled" status which implies a partnership between Stockton-on-Tees Education Authority and the Church of England represented by the Durham Diocesan Board of Education, the Parish of Billingham, St Mary Magdalene and the local community. Its origins go back to the 1850's when the Foundation of the school was written. Today, of course, it is a modern thriving Primary School aiming to give the highest standard of education to its pupils.
The school is situated in a pleasant residential area to the north west of Billingham. There are large grounds and pleasant gardens. The school comprises of three main buildings, those being a purpose built nursery block, Cuthbert Building containing seven Key Stage I classrooms and Bede Building which contains four large, semi-open plan bases for the Key Stage 2 children. There are two multi-purpose halls, library areas, a kitchen and cloakrooms. Recently a computer suite has been added in the Millennium Room. The school is well resourced with Information and Communication Technology equipment.
The school achieves good results in core curriculum areas but also values the expressive arts - music, for example, being developed as a strength in the school - and is keen for the children to enjoy experiences beyond their immediate surroundings. A number of extra-curricular activities take place with the school running strong football and netball teams. The school has a Code of Conduct based on children learning self-discipline, and we expect courtesy, respect and consideration for others - children and adults.
The school is strongly supported by parents and friends of the school through the School Partnership Association (SPA). A substantial amount of money is raised for the benefit of the school as well as social and educational events being organised. Parents and volunteers are very welcome at the school and provide substantial support to the school in a variety of ways.
"Teachers, parents, governors and pupils are rightly proud of their school which serves its pupils and their community well" is how the OFSTED Inspection Team described the school in October 1997. Our aim is to build on the many successes of the school.
SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT
At Prior's Mill Church of England School, we will work together to share a secure, caring, positive and stimulating Christian environment where everyone can flourish as a unique, respected individual, and be challenged to achieve their full potential.
CHURCH ETHOS STATEMENT
Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level.
The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers all its pupils.
OFSTED INSPECTION SUMMARY
Prior's Mill Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School is a good school in which a team of hardworking teachers provide a good standard of education for their pupils. Standards of attainment are at least in line with national expectations in all subjects and above national expectations for pupils' ages in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science. The very good behaviour of the pupils is a notable strength of the school. Teachers, parents, governors and pupils are rightly proud of their school which serves its pupils and their community well."
The school serves an admission zone which encompasses a large housing estate, west of Wolviston Road.
Places are available, at the discretion of the Governing body, for pupils who live outside the admission zone. Such admissions are limited by the number of places available after all children residing in the zone have been admitted. In order to be allotted a place, those within the admission zone must complete and return to school an ADMISSION FORM, indicating their preferred choice.
Decisions to admit from outside the admission zone are made by the Governors in consultation with the Head Teacher according to the following criteria :
Proximity and ease of access to the school
The presence of siblings in the school
Parental desire that a child be educated in a Church of England school
Any special medical or social reasons
Any special education reasons.
Written application should be made to the Head Teacher who will forward it to the Governors.
Should the Governors not be able to accommodate a child at the time of the application, a waiting list will be kept and parents may request their child's name to be placed on it.
A place in our Nursery does not ensure a place within our Reception Classes. The Governors reserve the right to withdraw a Nursery place where false information has been provided or where the allocated full-time place is not being used appropriately.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
During recent years we have revised our SEN (Special Educational Needs) Policy so that it fully reflects recent legislation. The policy sets out its principles and aims, and outlines the methods by which a child's needs will be addressed either through in-school support and/or through support of outside agencies. We consider our school an inclusive once and, provided appropriate support is available, will make every effort to include children with very specific and specialised needs.
A copy of the Special Needs Policy will be available on line soon but in the meantime you can inspect a copy in school.
SPA (School Partnership Association) is made up of parents and staff who work together to help to raise much needed funds for the school. SPA organises many events within school - non uniform days, cake sales, the summer fayre amongst others. All these events raise money to provide the school with extra resources for the children's benefit. Recently SPA funds have provided books for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and new benches to mark the Queen's Jubilee.
SPA members organise events and help to run them. If you would like to join - or simply have time to help at one of the events - we would be very glad to hear from you. Contact SPA Chairperson, Mrs Bates, via the school office.