Hundreds turn out for Priory charity Family Fitness Day as world Olympic superstar turns up to join in the fun

Families enjoyed a wide range of free sports activities at Priory Community School including dancing, gymnastics, athletics, and tennis. There was also free healthy food, a free giant bouncy castle, displays, physio appointments, a raffle, and free gym sessions at the Paula Radcliffe Centre along with cycling, rowing and ‘plank’ competitions.



James Cracknell OBE, who won two olympic gold medals in rowing, opened the event and then took part in many of the activities.

The Family Fitness Day was held to encourage families to get fit together and highlight what local clubs and sporting activities are available in the area.

The event raised hundreds of pounds for PCSA’s charity the Bone Cancer Trust.

Organiser Vanessa Mawford said: “This was an amazing event. James Cracknell’s appearance capped off a fantastic day.”

Weston students to grow 'miracle outer-space super plants' without soil in first UK school hydroponics centre as part of their new £2.5 million science centre

SCIENCE CENTRE: Executive Principal of The Priory Learning Trust, Neville Coles is pictured with the new Director of Science, Janet Criddle and students outside PCSA – home for their unique hydroponics facility in their new £2.5 science centre.



Weston students to grow ‘miracle outer-space super plants’ without soil in first UK school hydroponics centre as part of their new £2.5 million science centre

Some 1300 Weston students will get to enjoy a space-emulating unique super-plant-making-without-soil hydroponics centre as part of their £2.5 million new science centre.

PCSA students will have a new Spencer Science Centre complete with Britain’s first school futuristic hydroponics centre at its heart – enabling plants to be grown bigger and better without soil such as is used in space voyages.

The new centre will open in September with 12 futuristic interactive new science labs, two ICT suites, a staff workroom and office all equipped with the latest hi-tech learning kit.

The development comes as The Priory Learning Trust appointed a new Director of Science, Janet Criddle.

Executive Principal Neville Coles said: “This £2.5 million science centre will enable us to further deliver exceptional science lessons for thousands of students in the years to come.
“The icing on the cake is the hydroponic centre, which will give the students something not seen before in a UK school.”

Hydroponic systems remove soil from the plant growing, so plants grow bigger, healthier and reach maturity faster than their soil-grown counterparts.

By removing soil, plants do not work as hard to obtain nutrients, so the plant focuses more on growing upstairs instead of expanding the root system downstairs.”

The building is being named after former Head Teacher Arthur Spencer who is now 95. He was the first Head of Priory some 41 years ago. Before that in World War Two he was the navigator on board the famous Lancaster Bombers.

PCSA is Ofsted outstanding and one of Britain’s best schools.

EX-PCSA student appearing in televised rugby World Cup game this Thursday night

Former Priory Community School student Josh Caulfield is appearing for England in a crunch game against Australia in the Under 20s Rugby World Cup on Thursday night.



He helped his high-flying England team to win 74-17 in their first game, and was on the bench as they beat Wales 34-22. Now he is in the team and up to play the top side Australia in a game being covered by ITV 4 on Thursday night at 11pm.

Priory Community School has had incredible sporting achievements over the years with several of their students making international successes.

Principal Jane McBride said: “We are very proud of Josh and delighted that he is representing England in such a prestigious World Cup event. We will be watching on Thursday and wish him all the best.”

Josh is a member of Exeter Chiefs Academy, having been with the London Irish Junior Academy from 2010-13.

He represented Bristol U16, England South West U16, England South U16 and England U17 before making his England U18 debut in the 39-27 win over Scotland at Kingston Park, Newcastle in 2015.

Welcome Back to Term 6

I hope you all had a wonderful break.

I cannot believe I am saying that Term 6 is upon us already. Our amazing Year 11 students started their GCSEs so positively last term, and if they continue applying themselves and working hard, attending Period 6 and revision classes then I believe they are all capable of achieving great things. We have been saying to Year 11 this year “We believe in you”. I truly believe that there will be much to celebrate on ‘Success Day’ on 24th August. Remember it is never too late to improve a grade, and the amazing PCSA staff team are here to support you in any way they can. Good luck Year 11 – you can do it!

I must also acknowledge the commitment and care from staff shown in teaching and supporting our students especially during the holiday periods. I believe that 160+ students turned up to Maths Success School during the recent break which was run by virtually the whole maths team. Really great to see.

Year 10 have also been busy taking some of their GCSEs also. My message is the same. Well done so far and we believe in you too. As Year 11 leave, Year 10 are addressed as Year 11. We select our student leaders from this year group and I am pleased to see so many Year 10s applying. In Year 11 we have very unique and special assemblies and have developed ‘Past Paper Fridays’. Every assembly students will be given a maths past paper that is topic based that we expect to be completed and handed in the following week as they enter assembly. Additionally, they will be given an English 20 Minute Workout paper to also complete, again to be handed in weekly. We will start this in term 6 for our new 11s to really start to prepare them for the year ahead and get them into positive revision routines. I must also wish Year 10 good luck for their work experience week and remind them to ask lots of questions and embrace the experience. Thank you to Mr Wilmott and Mrs Cuthbertson in the careers faculty who have worked tirelessly to organise this.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Year 7 as they go into their final Year 7 term. The time goes so quickly in secondary school and we encourage them to embrace all the opportunities where possible. We have record numbers of Year 7 attending Period 6, trying new activities. I was also struck by how well they are conducting themselves in lessons and around the site. I was extremely proud of them coming into assembly recently and I am impressed with their maturity shown. Well done Year 7. Term 6 sees us welcome our new Year 7s to PCSA for their transition day. We so look forward to welcoming them each year and know they will have a fantastic transition day, meeting their tutors and making new friends. Our students (especially the Year 7s) are looking forward to meeting you.

Finally, please can I remind you that we continue to take uniform and learning equipment very seriously. It is essential that all students have planners and pencil cases out in every single lesson including tutor time, and they are wearing the correct uniform, and adhering to the mobile phone policies every day. If there are any issues around this please do contact your Head of Year who will assist where possible.

Let’s hope that the warm weather continues especially for Open Evening and Sports Day on 29th and 30th June respectively! Term 6 finishes on Friday 21st July at 12:25. I hope to meet many of you at our various celebration events this term.

Very Best Wishes,
Jane McBride

Calculating the area and perimeter of shapes around school.

Year 7s played exceptionally well against a Year 8 Sidcot rounders team with only 3 rounders in it.

Yr9 Food – Ravioli completed! Well done Yr9 for another fantastic exam & term.

Superb acts seen at 7B1′s performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest!

Year 10 OCR Sport Studies students involved with the Sky Sports project.

Huge fun charity family fit day at Priory to feature Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell

A DOUBLE Gold Medal Olympian will showcase at a packed charity Family Fitness Day in Weston next month.


James Cracknell OBE, who won two olympic gold medals in rowing, will be part of the Family Fitness Day at Priory Community School Academy on Saturday 10th June from 9.30am till 12.30pm.

Hundreds of children and families will attend to take part in the host of free sporting activities including dancing, gymnastics, beat the goalie football, athletics, tennis, and archery.

The Family Fitness Day is being held to encourage families to get fit together and highlight what local clubs and sporting activities are available in the area.

There will be a range of displays throughout the day as well as free gym sessions at the Paula Radcliffe Centre and free physio appointments.

The event will be raising money for the Bone Cancer Trust by holding a raffle with many fantastic prizes to be won.

Organiser Vanessa Mawford said: “We welcome families and visitors to what is going to be a tremendous Family Fitness Day. James Cracknell is an olympic hero and it will be great to hear what he has to say.”

For more information email

Good Luck Year 11!

PCSA has again been recognised for helping students get careers advice to launch them to their dream jobs.

Priory Community School have been given the prestigious Employability Chartermark for their part in giving students aspirational, accessible and excellent careers advice.



The award was given by Business West and The Local Enterprise Partnership.

Inspectors praised their extended range of activities including entrepreneurship, guest speakers, business enterprise projects, visits to employers, online resources, college taster days, university visits, work experience and more.

Head of Careers James Wilmot brings it all together using his extensive experience in recruitment, community careers advice and further education.

He said: “We are delighted at this award. PCSA is my old school and is a fantastic example of how schools can prepare their students for a lifetime of success.

“Every student leaves Priory with a career plan, work experience, interview skills, a CV and the resilience to make their way in life.”

The Priory Learning Trust - Term 5

Welcome back to Term 5

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break.

Term 5 is a really short term but one that is full of importance. Our fantastic Year 11 students start their GCSEs in this term, and if they continue applying themselves and working hard, attending Period 6 and revision classes then I believe they are all capable of achieving great things. It is vital to get into positive routines. Eating healthily and sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles! Quality sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit learning. As I have already said to our students many times, going to bed with your mobile phone does affect your sleep patterns. It is a hard term for them and I wish them all the luck in the world. I know that there will be much to celebrate on ‘Success Day’ on 24th August. Remember it is never too late to improve a grade, and the amazing PCSA staff team are here to support you in any way they can. Good luck Year 11 – you can do it!



Lower School, and in particular Year 8, conducted themselves beautifully during their end of Key Stage 3 exams. Some of the revision techniques and the maturity displayed was absolutely mind-blowing. They should be very proud of themselves.

Please can I remind you that we continue to take uniform and learning equipment very seriously. It is essential that all students have planners and pencil cases and wearing the correct uniform, and adhering to the mobile phone policies every day. If there are any issues around this please do contact your Head of Year who will assist where possible.

I must recognise the vast array of success our young people had last term. It always impresses me that alongside the great teaching and learning that happens every day our students have some incredible experiences. Congratulations to our netball champions, The Priory Stormers, our Enterprise 4 U Team, our Duke of Edinburgh students and our PCSA musicians at Loves’ Café for all their outstanding performances.

Lets hope that the weather is kind to us this term particularly on the up-coming Bank Holidays!

Very Best Wishes,
Jane McBride

Neville Coles (Executive Principal of The Priory Learning Trust) welcomes Jane McBride as the new Principal at PCSA.

Mr. Coles, a National Leader in Education, has been made Executive Principal of The PLT to oversee Priory and also Worle. At the same time Jacqui Scott has been made Principal at Worle. The appointments follow predictions of excellent academic results at both schools this year, with the prospect of further bidding for multi-million pound new facilities at both schools. This year PCSA has a stunning £2.5 million new Spencer Science Centre opening in September.



Mr Coles said, “we are delighted to promote Mrs. McBride internally from the Head of School role. We are looking forward to excellent exam results yet again this summer. The time is now right for us to confirm the Principal posts at both Priory and Worle. This will guarantee continuity for several years and will further allow us to bring additional resources into our community in North Worle.”

John Richardson, Chair of The Priory Learning Trust said, “local parents have seen Priory’s success in recent years and they will be well aware of the uncompromising approach to standards and the way in which great relationships are paramount to the way we do things. We cannot, and will not, stand still. It is a great time to join either Priory and Worle with energetic new Principals working very closely with Neville Coles, our Executive Principal on a range of exciting projects. For example, the £2.4 million Spencer Science Centre will open at PCSA this year – this really does need to be seen to be believed’.

PCSA’s Open Evening for current Year 5 children will take place on Thursday 29th June at 5pm and 6pm.

House prices are higher around PCSA and families are buying homes from outside the area in a bid to get into the school, according to estate agents.

Priory Community School has become one of Britain’s best in recent years with exceptional GCSE results, OfSTED Outstanding, smaller class sizes in the upper years, brilliant facilities, sports, performing arts and music, and a host of other successes.



Now, according to the Weston Mercury this week, house prices are rising near outstanding schools such as Priory. Figures from the Department of Education show that living near a top secondary school in this area can swell house prices by as much as £16,100.

PCSA, with grades consistently in the top few per cent in Britain over the last 7 years, and with regularly 600 applications for its 240 places, has seen parents move home to get into the school.

Now The Priory Learning Trust is leading Worle School, and predicting hugely improved outcomes at WCSA this summer, meaning that both schools in North Worle will be attractive to potential parents.

WCSA, as part of The Priory Learning Trust, will also be run with the same tried and tested methods that made PCSA so high performing and successful.

OfSTED praised WCSA in December and saw it on a fast-track to become outstanding, just like its sister school.

One estate agent, Abbie Elkins of Palmer Snell Estate Agents, said: “With Priory a lot of people say they want to be near there, so that higher demand will naturally push up the price.

“A lot of people will come in and say they want to be in the Priory catchment area – probably more than any other thing. We get a lot of families moving from out of the area and say they want to be near Priory.”

Entrepreneurial PCSA students launch book publishing company

By Jack Branton, aged 12

Self-starting entrepreneurial students at Priory Community School have launched their own publishing Press to get out even more of their books to the world.



Only months after they had their first book published that stormed to the top of the Amazon charts, they have now put in place Priory Press.The five Year 10 students, Oskaar Boyce, Lewis Westcott, Ella Minty, Jacob Robins and Lewis Jarvis are all months into the project.

PCSA is an entrepreneurial school that allows and encourages students to come up with their own business, organisations and creations. Two years ago student Alex Crowther set up Weston Eagles, which is growing at a rapid pace with dozens of young people volunteering to make Weston a better place to live.

PCSA Principal Jane McBride, who was once a business leader, said: “Our students are brilliant and we enjoy seeing them come up with new organisations and businesses. Well done to all involved in our new Priory Press.”


We will be running an Easter School from 10th to 21st April for Year 11 and Year 10 students. This has been established for a number of years and has proved to be an effective strategy to help students achieve their best possible outcomes.

Click here to read more.

Click here to download a timetable.

Latest Newsletter (Spring 2017)

A WORLD expert in volcanoes and earthworm DNA returned to his former school in Weston to inspire students.

Ex-PCSA student Dr Dan Pass from The University of Cardiff returned to his old school to deliver a science lecture to Year 10 students covering everything from volcanoes, South American tribes, earthworm DNA and much more.



The inspirational lecturer was one of dozens of ex-students joining other successes to meet current students as they prepare for their dream careers.

Priory aim to make their school the best around in motivating and preparing students for a lifetime of fantastic jobs.

Dan said “I really enjoyed coming back to my old school. The students have been great and it’s fantastic to see such energy and enthusiasm.”

This visit was part of National Careers Week – celebrated in style at with daily talks, activities and returning students.

Other alumni included Sam Brannigan who spoke to students about her Apprenticeship with Glentworth Lettings, Pamela Wesley-Adams talked about her law degree, Andy Dockrell from Hutton Moor offered students lifeguard training in the summer and Sasha Copper from Upper Cut Hair Studios helped students with hair styling.

Michelle Michael from The Grand Pier even delivered an impromptu travel and tourism lecture to business students while staff from Burges Salmon discussed the pathway to becoming a Solicitor.

The University Centre Weston Team spent the whole week at the school speaking to students in all year groups about degrees on their doorstep.

Head of Careers James Wilmot – a former PCSA student himself – said: “We take our student’s career plans very seriously at PCSA. Even in Year 7 we have budding Paleontologists, Speech & Language Therapists, Actors, Artists, Doctors and so much more.

“It’s a great mix of face to face inspiration, and an array of online career resources available on our website too!”

GCSE grades in England are changing


Starting with English and maths, GCSE grades in England will be graded from 9 to 1. Find out more:

PCSA student gets letter from America as she steps up fundraising with a sponsored swim - to be done by her beloved pet dog Marley!

Written by Jack Branton Aged 12 and Liam Byrne Aged 15

Makayla Nunn, aged 13, recently received a supportive letter sent from America via PCSA after winning a Heroes award at the school for her amazing work raising money for the volunteer-run charity ‘Invest in ME Research’.



Now the inspiring PCSA student has lined up her next charity fund raiser – getting her dog to swim on sitting in his boat for 20 minutes in a vet-approved sponsored swim.

Makayla, who suffers from M.E. has become one of Britain’s best fundraisers in her work raising money for the charity, and previously had done a sponsored horse walk.

This week she was interviewed by another inspirational PCSA student journalist Liam Byrne, aged 15 and pictured, who himself has had to cope with M.E.

Makayla, said: “I decided to fight the illness head on and want to keep raising money for the charity. My dog Marley is going to participate in a swimming contest and I’m so happy even he can help in the fundraising.”

HUNDREDS of happy children and their parents and carers will enjoy a free breakfast at Priory Community School this Saturday.

Families of Year 7 children will be welcomed by the high-achieving Academy Trust on Saturday, after receiving confirmation this week that they have successfully secured a place.



Fun entertainment including face-painting, stalls and giant Jenga will also be on offer alongside the free full English breakfast as students pay their first visit to the school.

Once again PCSA – part of The Priory Learning Trust – is oversubscribed with 360 first choice applications for 256 places.

The school intends to raise its admission number to 300 for 2018 entry.

Head of School Jane McBride said: “We are delighted to welcome all the students, parents and carers to wcsay a fun-packed morning with us and to meet staff. We are one big family and even our mascot Percy Priory will be dropping by!”

PCSA is Ofsted Outstanding and is one of the Britain’s top schools.


On the 23rd March Year 9 students will be offered their Tetanus/ diphtheria and polio Td/IPV boosters and also Meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y immunisations. Consent forms and information leaflets will be sent home with your child in the next couple of days, please ensure that the forms are returned to Student Services before the 23rd.

Please note we are unable to offer the immunisations without the consent forms.

STUDENTS will be the big winners after Worle joins with the award-winning PCSA within The Priory Learning Trust from 1st March in a bid to take both schools beyond outstanding.

The exciting partnership will mean both schools can get increased numbers of exceptional staff, bigger resources, smaller class sizes and even more outstanding buildings and facilities.



The Priory Learning Trust’s Executive Principal Neville Coles, who is an OFSTED inspector and a National Leader in Education, will be leading both schools, aided by excellent Heads of Schools Jane McBride at Priory and Jacqui Scott at Worle. Martin Kerslake, a former National Bursar of the Year and one of Britain’s best school business leaders, is the Chief Operating Officer for the new Trust.

In recent years PCSA has become one of Britain’s best schools, earning numerous accolades, and now has some of the best education processes and teachers in the UK. It is rated by OFSTED as ‘outstanding’.

Now both 11-16 schools will have ambitious plans to become beyond outstanding. It is likely they will also be joined in September by St Anne’s Primary School and Castle Batch Primary School.

The Chair of The PLT John Richardson said: “This is good news all around. Working together will mean even better education for all students. This is a really exciting time for students, parents and the community in Worle and North Worle.”

Neville Coles said: “We are passionate about taking all our schools to beyond outstanding in the years to come, and working together can help us to achieve this even faster. We will hope to provide smaller class sizes, more teachers and improved facilities at both Worle and Priory. Education in WSM is changing rapidly.

“We will now have a combined £16million + budget which will enable very quickly even smaller class sizes at both schools. This will lead to better exam outcomes for the students within WSM.

“Schools everywhere will be facing budget shortages in the future but we aim to stay ahead of the curve.

“For example, we hope to have 14 additional teaching members of staff joining in September adding to capacity through our Teaching School Alliance – this will add to staff – student ratios.

“Capital bids will soon be placed with the DfE at both schools under the new Trust arrangements.

“Already we are looking at bidding for a new sports hall at Worle and The Spencer Science Centre at Priory will open in September. Both will cost around £2.5 million. PCSA has an outstanding record in recent years of attracting successful capital money.“

The annual Open Evening at Priory will be in the summer term this year where Mr Coles will announce further ambitious plans for education within WSM. Worle’s Open Evening will be in early September.

PCSA football team carry off first prize in North Somerset football tournament

The talented Year 8 Priory Community School students won the North Somerset football tournament at Gordano school, beating Churchill 4 1 in the final.



Some 10 teams entered the tournament, which saw Priory beat Hans Price, Gordano and Broadoak in the pool games.

Head of Year 8 Simon Johns said: “Well done to our Year 8 football team. We are absolutely delighted at the result and all the boys played magnificently.”

Our Maths Revision Website of the Month - Corbett Maths!

Welcome Back to Term 4

A Message From Jane McBride, Head of School.

It is with excitement that I welcome you all back to Term 4. It marks the halfway point of the school year, and for Year 11 and some Year 10 students 12 weeks until the GCSEs begin. From the privileged position of Head of School I am enthused to be working with such a dedicated, talented and positive team of staff and students.

We pride ourselves on exceptional outcomes for our young people, but we are clear that this demands hard work over time from our students, both in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, the staff team at Priory will continue their focus on increasing the resilience of young people in overcoming challenges, embracing mistakes as an important part of learning, and emphasising independent learning skills.

As a school community we feel strongly that we support our students to become active, engaged and responsible citizens is as much at the heart of what we do as academic achievement. To this end, we set high expectations of students and our code of conduct expects them to be kind and courteous both inside and outside the school community. It has been an absolute delight and pleasure to watch our students excel in the initiative with Hutton Moor “Are You A Hero?” scheme. We can see already the positive efforts and attitudes of our young people in school and beyond. I would like to share a superb example of how positive the scheme can be. Congratulations Makayla. Her heroic actions have touched people as far away as America!


Behaviour and uniform remains important to us and students have been really cooperative this year so far. We will continue to be rigorous in our application of the behaviour and uniform policies. Most students are absolutely clear about our expectations and so we expect there to be little difficulty for them. Students who follow the Priory Code of Conduct will have their effort recognised and rewarded with good news postcards, positive letters and phone calls home.

At the end of term PCSA performed the ‘Our House’ musical for three nights. It was truly magnificent with over 40 students performing from all year groups and even some ex-students. My warmest congratulations and thanks go to all the performers, staff and parents who were involved. It was a really great way to end Term 3.

Finally, as we go to Term 4, I am aware once again, it will be an incredibly busy and important term. Evening School starts Tuesday 21st February and will run every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30 right up to the start of the GCSE exams. A huge thank you to the staff who commit their time to this. It is an exciting term for Year 8 students who choose their subject preferences and have their end of lower school exams (week commencing 27th March). Good luck Year 8 – you will be amazing! We also have the second of our Priory Family Breakfasts on Saturday 11th March. We look forward to welcoming our new Year 6 students and their families. We had 370 first choice applications for our 256 places. Thank you for your support.

We break up at the end of Term 4 on Friday 7th April at 2:55. We will however be holding Easter School for our Year 11 and some Year 10 students. Please do encourage your child to engage if they are asked to so. Our staff team really to go the extra mile every year for our students. We will continue work and play hard at PCSA!

Best wishes,

Jane McBride,
Head of School

BEST friends at Priory Community School have just turned out for England Under 20s in a TV clash.

PCSA school friends Curtis Langdon (right) and Josh Caulfield (left) pictured both in their England kits after their latest appearance for England U20 Rugby Squad



Curtis Langdon and Josh Caulfield, both aged 19, played together for England Under 20s in a Six Nations clash with Wales in front of national TV cameras.

It is the latest success in both their successful careers since leaving Priory where they were best friends since the age of 11.

Previously they have represented England at U16, U17 and U18.

Curtis is currently contracted to Sale Sharks while Josh is contracted to Exeter Chiefs but is on loan to Cornish Pirates for this season. The next game is against Italy on Friday 24th February on Sky Sports.

Priory Community School has had incredible sporting achievements over the years with several of their students also making international successes.

Head of School at PCSA Jane McBride said: “A massive well done to both of them. We encourage all our students to aim high and dare to dream, and Curtis and Josh are both continuing to live this advice.”

Term 3 YouTube Update

UP to 1000 students, parents, grandparents and carers were wowed by talented Priory performers this week.

The inspirational PCSA students were putting on a production of the Madness inspired musical, Our House in front of packed audiences.



Some 70 Priory students were performing with the lead role going to Year 11 student Jack Evison who is now raising thousands to get to a dream acting school place on a London stage.Priory has managed to inspire world-class performers over the last few years including Jacob Fisher and Corinne Priest who have both recently gone on to the West End.

IMG_8036Corrine was back this week to inspire the students with a pre and post performance talk.

Head of Performing Arts Jess Hall said: “This was one of the best productions I have ever been part of. The students were magnificent and I’m so proud of all of them.”

Executive Principal Neville Coles said: “This was a show of exceptional brilliance. West End stars Jake and Corinne are a terrific example of our excellent performing arts offering at Priory.”

PRIORY's first ever Head Teacher was back to visit his old school's new £2.5 million science centre which is being named after him

By Jack Branton, aged 12

Former World War Two bomber navigator Arthur Spencer got to see the state-of-the-art 16-room Spencer Science Centre which will open in September.



The new building means that PCSA students will enjoy 12 futuristic interactive new science labs, two ICT suites, a staff workroom and office all equipped with the latest technological learning kit.

Arthur, aged 95, was the first Head of Priory some 41 years ago. Before that in World War Two he was the navigator on board the famous Lancaster Bombers.

He was back to visit the site, talk to students and hear about the latest exciting developments.

Arthur said: “I have really enjoyed coming back to Priory again where I have so many happy memories. The new science centre is going to be impressive.”

Head of School Jane McBride said: “It was so pleasing to have Arthur Spencer back to visit his old school and the incredible new science centre which is being built and named after him.”

PCSA is Ofsted outstanding and one of Britain’s best schools.

Charity campaigners, overcomers of illness, carers and students going the extra mile have been recognised in an official 'Heroes' ceremony at Priory

The students were winners in the ‘Be a Hero’ campaign at Priory Community School.



In an Oscar style ceremony, The Priory Learning Trust initiative saw them rewarded with prizes sponsored by Hutton Moor Leisure Centre including family swim tickets, children’s basketball lessons, cycle workout classes, and other healthy activities.

Students have been demonstrating exceptional acts of kindness, courage, and other character and attitude traits.
PCSA Head of School Jane McBride said: “We are regularly blown away by the exceptional attitude and character of our students. We want to honour them with awards to show them how much we appreciate their efforts.”

To nominate a student hero email

Update for parents/carers from Mr Coles


I intend to write an occasional ‘short’ update about The Priory Learning Trust (PLT) and the work we are doing at both Priory and Worle. If you have a moment please see It would be very helpful if you could read on and then share on other forms of media as we try to keep everyone informed of progress and events. We will also place an update in our magazine style newsletter @PCSA which goes out to all our parents and carers. The next @PCSA is out in April. We will post up an informational ‘You Tube’ in the next couple of weeks. As always, the main form of communication is by e-mail to myself or Jane McBride (Head of School at Priory). E-mail addresses are on the excellent Priory website and again they are:

I hope you have received quick replies to e-mails and if you do not receive prompt replies please do e-mail me directly and I will assist. Many of you have asked me about our work at Worle. This is going very well with OfSTED saying the school was good in November. I want to stress this does not mean any major changes at PCSA. I will continue to work alongside Mrs. McBride (Head of School at Priory) during the week splitting my time between Priory and Worle. Clearly, the aim is to make both schools outstanding as part of the new multi-academy trust – The PLT. Our focus is on producing excellent exam results at both schools, alongside a wide offer of after school provision including academic studies and sport, music and arts. Parents will be aware that again Priory was very high in the recent league tables published by the Department for Education (January 2017). We were actually second of all the schools in North Somerset and first in WSM and the local area on the new Progress 8 measure. Only Gordano School was above Priory. So, well done to Mrs. McBride and the team at Priory. I am also delighted to say that we have 370 first choices at Priory for our 240 places next September. We hope to expand to 300 on entry in 2018.

As you will know, we have been very successful at Priory over the last few years with capital bids. As I write we have a new 2.4 million science block being built. It will open in September 2017 and will be called ‘The Spencer Science Centre’ after the first Head at Priory, Mr. Arthur Spencer. Capital bidding has largely been the great work of a colleague called Martin Kerslake. Martin, formally the Director of Finance and Business Services at Priory is now the Chief Operating Officer of The PLT. He will continue to make bids for all The PLT schools – working with colleagues at those schools. He will continue to do the same at Priory. Re-development will certainly start to happen at Worle with major bids being placed in the next month. I think Worle needs to bid for a new sports hall as a first step. Clearly, this will benefit the whole community. It is also likely that both St Anne’s and Castle Batch Primary Schools will also join our family of schools in September. I am really keen to see this happen. Both schools are first class primary schools. We will assist here with capital bids and primary colleagues will greatly add to our knowledge of primary – secondary transfer. I have long thought that Year 7 children know far more than we think they know on entry to secondary school and we often pitch lessons too low on entry. This again is a very good reason to join up at a MAT.

Mrs. McBride’s task now is to focus the Priory Year 11s on getting superb exam results again. Miss Aaron (Head of Upper School) is right there with all our Year 11s. Rightly we are really stressing the importance of maths and English. The students are working really hard. We are also again opening an Evening School for Year 11s. This will start next month and this will be a place for our students to get revision help and more teaching time. We hope parents will strongly encourage Year 11s to attend. In English and maths this year the ‘pass’ is likely to be Grade 4 or Grade 5. There is a new grading system from 1 – 9 in English and maths. 9 being the old A* – the top grade and 1 being the lowest grade. So, it is a new system with grades and all schools a little uncertain how this will work out. I can tell you that all the staff at Priory, in all subjects, are working really hard. Students are focused and on track. I will be doing an assembly this week about ‘growth mindset’, which is basically about working hard and showing lots of resilience. At Priory we have areas, such The SRB, which are very supportive places for anyone struggling with exams. The atmosphere must be one of ‘we can’ and I can assure parents that all PCSA staff are working with this in mind. Of course, there will be staffing headaches ahead with less income for all schools – but as a MAT we are well placed to cope. We will only recruit and retain the very best staff at PCSA. Again, we can retain more staff in WSM by giving our people opportunities to work at Worle and Priory. I can assure parents that without such a set-up we would lose staff to other schools.

I do not want to make these updates too long. However, lastly, I’d like to tell parents of a unique programme starting at both Worle and Priory next year through The PLT. We have been granted ‘Teaching School’ status. This comes with additional funding. This means from September we will have 12 extra members of staff teaching maths, science and ICT in our secondary schools. These 12 will be spread across both Worle and Priory. They will be part of the ‘Schools Direct’ programme. Colleagues employed will be trainee teachers. If you know anyone who’d like to train as a teacher please do ask them to e-mail me or Chris Sherring,  who is our Director of the Teaching School Alliance. The beauty of the system is that by November these 12 colleagues must be teaching small classes, if they are ready. This will allow us to create 12 new classes. We will then have smaller groups in maths, ICT and science (probably in Year 10 and Year 11) which we will again help to further improve results. This model has worked at Priory, as we improved C+ maths results from 34% in 2007 to 81% in 2014.

Best wishes and thank you for your support. There will be another update in March but, as always, please do e-mail if you’d like to know more about The PLT or specifically anything about Priory. Please go through Mrs. McBride firstly, but I am always available to assist. Next month I will share more plans about Priory for the future – with more new building plans, such as a new restaurant and the old science block re-development. We have the capital money already to make this happen.

Neville Coles
Executive Principal

TALENTED Priory students are putting on a production of the Madness inspired musical, Our House this week

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the students will be bringing the house down with their performance of the classic production.



Some 70 Priory students will be appearing – with many talented and ambitious stars of stage and screen taking part.

One example of this is the lead role in the production going to Year 11 student Jack Evison – who is now raising thousands to get to a dream acting school place on a London stage.

After impressing during his auditions dancer and actor Jack was an obvious choice to play the role of ‘Joe Casey’.
Priory has a growing tradition of creating spectacular shows and producing spectacular performers. Jacob Fisher and Corinne Priest are just two who have gone on to incredible things.

Jess Hall said: “We are so excited about this production. They are incredible students and have been having a lot of fun preparing it. Our House is a fantastic story about love, friendships and moral choices.”

Priory students to officially help make Weston a better place to live in unique groundbreaking project

PCSA is the first school to see its students partnering with Weston Town Council to make the town a better place.



The students will now meet on a monthly basis in the YMCA to discuss improvements to the town.

They may even have a small budget to run their own projects.

If successful it is planned to roll out the project to other schools.

Head of School Jane McBride said: “This is a fantastic project and we were overwhelmed with volunteers students who want to participate and make the town a brighter place.”

James Wilmot, Priory’s Head of Careers, said: “We are very pleased to work with the town council on this fantastic project. It will be great experience for them and the skills that they will develop will look fantastic on their CV!”

The Big Read

A WOMAN who has worked setting up charities in poverty-stricken Malawi and Sri Lanka has become the latest exciting trainee on Priory's teaching school.

Sarah O’ Gorman is part of the Priory’s successful teacher-training school run by the The Priory Learning Trust.



Now training as an English teacher, she has got a long background behind her setting up a charity in Malawi, Africa – the third poorest country in the world – and helping young people and communities in other parts of the world including Sri Lanka.

She has been a trainer across the world in areas such as youth engagement, social action, HIV and AIDS, and child protection.
A graduate of University of London, she is now eager to be a full-time teacher and to release the creative energy, talent and enthusiasm of students.

She said: “I’m so excited to be part of the teaching school at Priory which is well known as one of the best in the country.”
In 2016 The PLT was awarded the prestigious National Teaching School status – a rare accolade after it fulfilled a wide range of criteria in training teachers and supporting other schools.

To become a teaching school, schools must be judged outstanding and have a proven track record of delivering exceptional teacher training and supporting other schools.

Period 6 Enrichment - Terms 3 and 4

Proud of Priory

Free Christmas present for every PCSA student and staff member

Students and staff at Priory Community School have all received a Christmas present of a classic book.



They will be able to enjoy ‘Peter Pan & Wendy’ by JM Barrie – one of the world’s classic stories.

Priory is a high-achieving school that ensures reading and English is involved in every subject.

Head of School Jane McBride said: “Reading is such a key part of students being a success in life in every area. This is an excellent idea that will guarantee that every student will own a literary classic for their lifetimes.

“We champion reading every day in every lesson. We tell the students that reading is the best brain exercise to help you revise. In short, the more you read the better the exam outcomes.”

DOZENS of student 'heroes' across Priory and Worle schools have been celebrated in an Oscar-style ceremony.

The students were the first to be honoured under the new ‘Be a Hero’ campaign at Priory Community School and Worle Community School.



The Priory Learning Trust initiative saw them rewarded with prizes sponsored by Hutton Moor Leisure Centre including family swim tickets, children’s basketball lessons, cycle workout classes, and other healthy activities.

Students from both schools had been demonstrating exceptional acts of kindness, courage, and other character and attitude traits.

PCSA Head of School Jane McBride said: “Well done to every single student. Praise is a powerful motivator and we aim to spend as much time as we can celebrating achievement.”

WCSA Head of School Jacqui Scott said: “We see so much positive behaviour and actions of students right across the school. This is a great way to ensure it is celebrated.”

To nominate a student hero email

Priory students beat off Blyton and Dickens with their new Christmas book

PRIORY students have incredibly beat off author legends Enid Blyton and Charles Dickens after publishing a book of short Christmas stories.



Their book ‘Christmas Stories’ has become a top five bestseller on Amazon – and listed as a ‘hot new release’ ahead of books by Blyton and Dickens – and bought by people from all corners of the globe.

Fifteen students wrote short stories and then had the book published on Amazon. This week they were startled to see they had reached near the top of the charts.

Head of Careers James Wilmot – himself a published author – co-ordinated the project and launched a celebrating evening this week.

He said: “Their stories were absolutely fantastic. Everyone has been amazed at their success. Enid Blyton and Charles Dickens are quite rightly legends, and to pip them in the charts is wonderful for the students.”

Head of School Jane McBride said: “We are absolutely thrilled and so proud of every single one of them. We believe many of these will go on to have tremendous writing careers.”

Term 2 - Update 1

Priory driving force celebrates early Christmas miracle after returning to the scene of a horrific accident on Weston Beach a year ago when he almost lost his foot

By Priory Student Journalists Jack Branton and Jacob Esgate, age 12 and 11

A DRIVING force behind the success of Priory is now celebrating an early Christmas miracle of returning to his running career after a dramatic and horrific accident last year.



Priory driving force celebrates early Christmas miracle after returning to the scene of a horrific accident on Weston Beach a year ago when he almost lost his foot

A DRIVING force behind the success of Priory is now celebrating an early Christmas miracle of returning to his running career after a dramatic and horrific accident last year.

Brave John Richardson, aged 72, nearly lost his foot after a terrible running accident on Weston beach last Christmas. He was airlifted to Bristol Royal Infirmary where surgeons rebuilt his foot. He needed a long operation to insert metal to repair the bones and a large skin graft to cover the hole where the leg bones came out.

But now a year on he returned to the scene of the accident where he ran the 10km Christmas Cracker event- again on Weston Beach.

Courageous John has been connected with Priory for decades and for the last 10 years has been a governor, as well as a governor at WCSA, and also a Trustee of the new The Priory Learning Trust.

John said: “I am delighted to be running again. I have woken up with nightmares on occasion. It feels like a miracle but I was so thrilled to be able to take part in this Christmas event. I am so grateful to the medical teams who cared for me over the nine days at South Mead Hospital.

“Priory has been a major part of my life for years, and I have received great encouragement and support from everyone there.”

Executive Principal of The PLT Neville Coles said: “This is great news and John has been such a major part of our past and will be in the future.”

He was sponsored to raise money for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity who rescued him a year ago.

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PRIORY'S Community Police liaison officer popped in to tell students of his journey from journalism to the law.

Kemo Jarju told students on the Period 6 journalism club about his career from being in the Media to a Weston community policeman.



Kemo explained about how he started out on the Daily Observer Newspaper in Gambia and The Independent Newspaper, before joining the JollofNews Online Newspaper in Birmingham.

He became Police Community Support Officer in Weston in April 2014.

PCSA aims to introduce students to a variety of exciting careers with visiting professionals always popping in to inspire.

Head of School Jane McBride said: “Kemo is such a popular figure around PCSA and it was lovely to hear about his exciting career.”

Students buzzing after entire Year group receive a free new book

Students at Priory Community School are buzzing after they all received a free new book to read



Year 7 students received a free ‘BookBuzz’ book as part of a reading programme from the Book Trust to boost reading for pleasure.The students all chose their own book and are now able to enter competitions and go into an interactive website.

Head of PCSA’s Library Rachel Harris said: “Our students have entered this new scheme with enthusiasm. Reading is not only fantastic for pleasure but is also critical for every other subject in schools.”

Head of School Jane McBride said: “We champion reading every day in every lesson. We tell the students that reading is the best brain exercise to help you revise. In short, the more you read the better the exam outcomes.”

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Priory student following in footsteps of Billy Elliot and string of ex-students in his ambition to be a star on the stage

Story by student journalist Liam Byrne

PCSA student Oliver Taylor is already nearly at the Gold Bar Grade in Dance – the third highest possible standard, yet is still only 12.


The talented student has been dancing since the age of 3, and has an ambition to perform on the West End.

Priory has numerous success stories on stage and screen who have been at the school.

Head of School Jane McBride said: “Congratulations to Oliver who is showing real promise and has a great career ahead of him.”

These include Corrine Priest, aged 22, who was named 2014’s performer of the year by the Stephen Sondheim Society while at the London School of Music Theatre. Morgan Rooke, 18, has been in the National Youth Choir that performed at the Royal Albert Hall, and Jake Fisher, 21, is at one of the leading performing arts colleges in the world – the Arts Educational College in London.

Priory Community School also has the Artsmark award and seeks to inspire hundreds of students to become passionate experts in music, drama art and dance and to go on to UK careers in the performing arts.

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ONE TEAM: Student Leaders from PCSA and WCSA pictured together during Non-Uniform Day for charity

Head boys and girls from two Weston schools join together to find and celebrate achievements of their 2500 students in new ‘Be a Hero’ campaign.


Please note that students are not wearing uniform because it was a charity non-uniform day.

Head boys and girls from two ambitious schools are working together to find and celebrate the achievements of 2500 students.Priory and Worle’s Head’s leadership teams want to let the entire community know how brilliant their students and schools are.

This week the Head Boys and Girls, and Deputy Head Boys and Girls, met together at the launch of the ‘Be a Hero’ campaign in partnership with Hutton Moor Leisure Centre. The campaign aims to find inspirational students and to tell the community about them.

PCSA is the first member of the new The Priory Learning Trust (The PLT) and it is now assisting at WCSA, bringing the sharing of ideas, resources and support together.

PCSA Head Boy Will Bailey said: “The Be a Hero campaign is a great way for us to find out all about our inspirational students and to tell the whole community about them.”

WCSA Head Girl Iona Kempton said: “Our students are doing incredible things inside and outside of school. There is a real excitement around our community about the future.”

PCSA Head of School Jane McBride said: “It was wonderful to bring both schools together with the students sharing ideas. The Be a Hero campaign is already going down extremely well.”

WCSA Head of School Jacqui Scott said: “These are exciting days ahead for all of us and it was a joy to see students already joined together helping and supporting each other with a common aim.”

Hundreds of good samaritan student 'heroes' across two Weston schools are to be rewarded for their achievements

Monthly prizes for Priory and Worle students showing kindness or outstanding attitude and character traits will get big rewards at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre.



The ‘Be a Hero’ campaign at both Priory Community School and Worle Community School will be available to every student in every year group.

The aim is to encourage even more wonderful behaviour at school and the community.

Teachers, Tutors and members of the public are being encouraged to email positive experiences of students from both schools and nominate them for a monthly prize.

Prizes in the new The Priory Learning Trust initiative include family swim tickets, children’s basketball lessons, cycle workout classes, and other healthy activities.

Head of Careers James Wilmot says “We have hundreds of heroes across both schools. We want to find and reward all that is good about each and every student.

“It’s about reinforcement of positive behaviour such as kindness, improvement in timekeeping, better behaviour in class, helping someone with their shopping or helping someone across the road. It could even be picking up litter outside the school. Basically it can be anything positive that helps people in school or in the community.”

Dave Somers, General Manager of Hutton Moor, said: “We are really pleased to be working with The Priory Learning Trust on this exciting project that helps students raise their aspirations. We always welcome opportunities to engage with the local community and young people.

“This partnership with Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and Worle and Priory schools, will reward students who really want to make a difference to themselves, their school and their community.

“Our prizes have been deliberately selected to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle for the students, their friends and their families.”

To nominate a student, please email with the name of the student, their year group, school and the reason why they should be a rewarded as a hero.

PRIORY'S head of careers is enlisting the help of students to finish his second published book in time for Christmas - after his first one became a best seller.

James Wilmot’s first book ‘The Boy who became Father Christmas’, published in 2014 by The Difference Press became a best selling book on Amazon.



Now James’ second book ‘Con of the Crannog’ will be published on December 1st but this time PCSA students are helping to finish it.Before the book is published, James has recruited a team of students from the school to act as a focus group to make last minute changes to the story.

The students took a draft home with them and provided James with detailed feedback and ideas on how the story could be improved.

James said: “The students have been a massive help. Young readers are very discerning now. They are accomplished readers and know what makes a good book. Their feedback has been really valuable to the story and I will be making some significant changes to the book before it is published at Christmas time.”

‘Con of the Crannog’ is a children’s story spanning thousands of years from prehistory to the present day – inspired by James’ childhood experiences while growing up in rural Ireland.

It focuses on the lives of three children who all have a shared destiny on a mysterious island.

PLT YouTube - Term 2

PCSA Careers Newsletter

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National Citizen Service

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Youth Employment Service (YES) Newsletter


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Success at School

Success at School is a place for young people to explore careers, get the lowdown on top employers, and search for the latest jobs, courses, news and advice.

Year 9 Vaccinations

On the 23rd March Year 9 boys and girls will receive their Td/IPV and Men/ACWY in the Main Hall. Consent forms and information leaflets to follow.


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