Head Girl Megan Hatch, Deputy Head Girl, Ella Minty, Head Boy Oskaar Boyce and Deputy Head Boy Lewis Westcott are the latest inspirational student leaders of PCSA.
Incredibly, the mums of Lewis and Ella linked up as mentors in Bristol Royal Infirmary during the time around their birth but lost touch. Then some 11 years later the students found themselves in the same tutor group at Priory, and then discovered they were the premature babies together in the hospital 11 years before.
Now they have all won through a rigorous process to become PCSA’s latest inspirational student leaders.
Principal Jane McBride said: “They are an absolutely brilliant team of student leaders. We are very proud of them all.”
The PCSA students wrote ‘How to Survive and Thrive’ as a survival guide to high school and life in general.
Within weeks of release, the book published by the school’s own innovative Priory Press made number 5 in the Amazon best-seller charts.
Their first book ‘Christmas Stories’ shared the top 10 with Blyton and Dickens in the Christmas bestseller chart.
Head of Careers James Wilmot launched a celebration evening for the authors and their friends and family.
He said: “Our students should be very proud of themselves and it is a great achievement. Everyone has a story to tell and we want to give our students every opportunity to be a published author during their time at Priory. We have the full support of Angela Lauria & Paul Brycock – the world’s most successful author coaches – to help us along.”
Principal Jane McBride said: “Well done to all our students involved in this. We are very proud of them. We take the business of reading extremely seriously and we see books as ‘portable magic’.”
The book’s blurb says: ‘Learn how to overcome the daily obstacles of school life while developing skills in leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication’.
We understand from Mr. Coles (Executive Principal) that from September 2018 the Regional Schools Commissioner has agreed to allow Priory to admit 300 new students, not the current 256 each year.
There will be another 44 places for entry in 2018.
A new 11 classroom ‘Spencer Science Centre’, plus a new restaurant facility and play area are planned for this expansion.
The annual Open Evening at PCSA is Thursday, June 29th for all Year 5s and families.
So please do come along to the evening. Hope to see you Thursday!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
A DOUBLE Gold Medal Olympian will showcase at a packed charity Family Fitness Day in Weston next month.
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 Vanessa.email@example.com
Priory Community School have been given the prestigious Employability Chartermark for their part in giving students aspirational, accessible and excellent careers advice.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Starting with English and maths, GCSE grades in England will be graded from 9 to 1. Find out more:
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 www.priorylearningtrust.org.uk. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!”
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’.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The talented Year 8 Priory Community School students won the North Somerset football tournament at Gordano school, beating Churchill 4 1 in the final.
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.”
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
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.”
The inspirational PCSA students were putting on a production of the Madness inspired musical, Our House in front of packed audiences.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
CareerPilot is a careers information website, which includes:
Or take a look at the Career Pilot App: www.careerpilotapp.org.uk