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Priory School - How good is it now?

On 25 Sep 2010 at 9:04am Buff Orpington wrote:
I went to an open evening at the Priory the other night. I thought I'd already made my mind up not to send my son there, but I was so impressed with what I saw I'm now in two minds. I realise that I only saw the school at its best and the pupils who were there seemed to all be "nice" well-spoken girls, but they were genuinely enthusiastic. I was also impressed by the teachers.

Do you have a child there at the moment and what do you think of it? Is it better for girls than boys? Has the new head made a difference?

For years I've heard nothing but horror stories about this school and have known several bright young men who say they went off the rails at Priory. However I also know of kids who ended up at Oxford, so I'm more confused than ever.

If you're a parent, or even better, a pupil at Priory (and Chailey or Ringmer), please share your thoughts about the schools.

On 25 Sep 2010 at 9:13am Priory parent wrote:
My daughter's just started year 8 and i have nothing but praise for the school. She was there on thursday evening giving netball demonstrations and she loves it and is the happiest i've ever seen her.
Totally recommended.
On 25 Sep 2010 at 5:46pm Informed parent wrote:
Like you I had reservations about Priory, but my daughter loves it and her confidence has really grown since she's been there. Many of the negative things you hear are said by parents who just want to justify sending their own children to private schools. It has just received an Outstanding Ofsted report but the school is not resting on it's laurels. The new head is committed to ongoing improvement and engagement with parents and the wider community. If you live in Lewes it's definitely the best option why make your child travel when we have such a fantastic local school. If kids do go off the rails I wouldn't just hold school responsible.
On 25 Sep 2010 at 7:38pm Buff Orpington wrote:
Thanks for your comments. I don't just hold the schools responsible, but when an apparently gifted child shines at Wallands and suddenly goes downhill the moment they enter Priory, you can't help asking questions. This was nearly 20 years ago, so I realise that it's probably changed a lot.
I'd like to hear from parents who have boys there, particularly boys who aren't conventionally academic. I hear a lot about bright girls doing well at Priory, but what about the boys who hate maths and are only interested in computer games? How does the school engage them?
I've just read a thread from last week and I can see pros and cons for both Chailey and Priory. I went to a Chailey open evening last year and loved the school (although I didn't think much of the headteacher's speech).
I'm more confused than ever.
On 25 Sep 2010 at 8:14pm Trevor wrote:
If you live in Lewes send your child to the local school (we're not talking inner city are we). Don't get sucked in to sending them off to Ringmer or Chailey - some parents are snobs even in the state system.
Both my children have been to Priory one was happier than the other.
Lots of children thrive at their primary schools and as soon as they enter secondary fall apart - its called puberty.
Does your non academic son like music, sport or drama? Priory is a good local school that caters for all, and what matters is good friends.
On 25 Sep 2010 at 9:23pm Buff Orpington wrote:
It's not a case of being snobish. It's more about finding a school that fits the child and some peope thrive better in smaller environments.

Sadly, my non-academic son doesn't like music, sport or drama.

I think I've got my work cut out.

On 25 Sep 2010 at 11:08pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
I can't say my son is particularly academic, but he is bright. Priory is starting to switch him on to subjects he previously had no interest in and bring out the best in him in the subjects that he has always liked. What I like about the School is that they trust the child and help them engage with subjects without ramming it down their throats. Homework in the first couple of years seems to be kept at a manageable level, so the kids don't feel overloaded. Many of the teachers are young, enthusiastic and excellent in their fields and you get the feeling they genuinely care about each child's welfare and progress. This is true for many schools and I hear that the pastoral side at Chailey is also excellent. I think Priory is a very good school, serves the majority of its community very well and enables its children to have the best possible journey from primary school to young adulthood. Plus most of the children in the town will attend it, so it provides the town with a sense of social cohesion too.

I would forget about what other people tell you happened at the school in the past - what is most important is how you feel about the school and whether your son liked it. If you both liked what you saw on Thursday night, then put it as your first choice. I'm sure your son won't be disappointed and will be turned on by something there whether its art, science, languages or humanities. And whilst he may not like music sport or drama now, he may develop a liking as he is given the opportunity to try them in a different environment.

Good luck and don't despair, we are lucky to have choice of good schools in the area.
On 26 Sep 2010 at 4:39pm Teenager wrote:
I go to Priory. I am a girl but I am friends with lots of boys who dont like maths and stuff and they seem to enjoy it.
I personally think its better than Chailey (obviously I would be a bit biased though) .. people apparently get bullied more there than here. I really like it and although sometimes there are not very nice teachers I think its very decent.
Academically I think its good (Im quite an arty/drama/music/english sort of person though) and theres a great support network. Socially its brilliant ESPECIALLY in year 7 because everyone seems really up for making as many friends as possible (and this is coming from someone who moved from a primary school with only 4 year sixes).
Of course there are stories and I know some have hard times but the vast majority from what I can see like it. Priory has smartened up its act quite allot aswell. The uniform and student involvement scheme has been upgraded to an almost private school status. The new head is awesome too-just the sort we needed to give it new life.
You hear some awful stories but like 'informed parent' said most of these are from angry parents who exaggerate and I find some of them very hard to believe.
I personally think your son will have a really good time there and even though you obviously want to send him to the school you thinks best for him I reckon you should give him the choice from what he's seen.
Wherever you decide to send him I hope it works well.
On 30 Sep 2010 at 9:02am Buff Orpington wrote:
Many thanks for your responses - particularly "Teenager" - it's really good to have an insider's viewpoint.
On 15 Jul 2015 at 2:30pm dash wrote:
its terribal i go there and trust me you will get more education from the simpsons then this school before i go there i was happy now i find any way to insult it so if you love your child dont go
On 15 Jul 2015 at 2:54pm Old Boy Mountfield Rd wrote:
Well back in the day when it was a Grammar School...... it turned out some really great professional people who are retiring now. But it also turned out some disillusioned people who really shouldn't have been forced through the academic mincer that it was preparing anyone with half a chance for a (free) university education. I would opine that it based it's more recent endeavours on Old Glory from before 1969. Dash, you have successfully insulted it. Dare Nec Computare old chap.
On 27 Sep 2015 at 5:50pm Happy wrote:
I have 2 boys there, they are both very different from each other, but both doing really well. socially you get the odd ups and downs that comes with growing up . academically the older one has thrived from very average SAT results originally and he is very happy at school generally and with the teachers. he feels challenged and pushed in lessons . The other son has found strengths in subjects he previously wasn't interested in.
I think that all the students that do best also get support from home and encouragement. I encourage mine to aspire to do well, and not laze around or spend their entire free time skating, socializing or gaming. I am hoping this will pay off !!
they both chose the school for themselves after visiting Ringmer and Chailey. we are lucky to have 3 good schools to choose from

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