"I would also recommend Highfield on the basis of the other opportunities such as the school trips, the wide variety of sports activities, the speech and drama opportunities and good pastoral care."
The academic year 2022/23 started with the announcement that Highfield Priory School was ranked 5th = Independent Preparatory School in the country by The Sunday Times and 1st in the North West. This is the highest position the school has achieved on record. The school has now held a top thirty position for the last thirteen years. This level of consistency has only been achieved by three other schools in the country and the school was delighted to receive this recognition for our hard-working pupils, staff and parents.
The school was hit with adversity in October when our Nursery building fell victim to an arson attack. The fire was shocking and devastating to the whole Highfield community, but with the natural resilience of youth and the taught resilience of Highfield, our school and community quickly bounced back. There were so many beautiful, powerful and positive moments in the first term that they far outweighed the negative act of arson itself. The Nursery staff and pupils rose to the challenge of making themselves a new home within the school with smiles on their faces and determination in their feet; The PTA raised funds to provide new equipment, toys and games for our Nursery children; and families came to school laden with donations eager to support the school and replace some of what was lost. The council accepted the plans for the new Nursery build at the end of the Academic Year.
Our students have shown remarkable growth and progress in their studies this year, demonstrating their thirst for knowledge and their determination to reach their full potential. Our Year Six has, once again, achieved excellent results 17(100% Pass Rate) children passed the Grammar School Examination, 3 achieved a scholarship and all children who took entrance examinations were accepted by their chosen Independent School. In the NCT Examinations we achieved: 111 English, 111 Maths and 115 SPAG, which is significantly above the National Average.
The School’s Geography exhibition saw the children researching the world around them and producing many models to support their investigations, including a Volcano, a Sea World and a Sustainable House.
Beyond the classroom, we have witnessed musical assemblies that have showcased our students' remarkable musical talents on instruments ranging from the trombone to the flute. These musical endeavours have allowed our students to express their creativity and nurture their love for the arts as well as building their confidence performing in front of a large audience.
At Highfield, the children work hard to build confidence and self-belief. The school productions are an important part of this, from our Pre-schoolers’ Christmas Dance performance; to our Infant Boogie-Woogie Nativity; to our Junior Christmas Concert; to the Years 3 and 5 performance of Archibald’s War; to the Year 4 production of The Jungle Book at the Landmark Theatre; and culminating, with our Year 6’s final Highfield play: Jill and Fred’s Hysterical, Historical Adventure. Through these performances, our students have embraced the power of storytelling, teamwork, and self-expression. They build confidence each year and enjoy celebrating each other’s moment in the spotlight.
Sporting success has also shone brightly throughout this year. Our students have exhibited remarkable sportsmanship, dedication, and skill in various competitions and tournaments. They celebrate not only their victories but also the lessons they have learned through hard work, perseverance, and resilience. This year our hockey players reached the final of the SMH tournament, they won the Division One of the Preston Schools’ Swimming Gala, they were runners up in the ISA Kwik Cricket tournament and semi-finalists in the Preston Girls’ Football Tournament. Individually, Zaidan, Aibhlin, Grace and Wei Ann all qualified for National events with Aibhlin winning gold in the long jump and relay, and silver in the 75m. Naina has represented England at tennis, Aibhlin has represented the North and the County at hockey and Lyla has represented Preston North End Football Club and has joined the FA England Women’s Pathway.
This year we also paid tribute to our long-serving staff, whose dedication and commitment have shaped our school's legacy. Their years of service have touched the lives of countless students, leaving an impact on their education and personal growth. Their passion, resilience, and support have made our school a nurturing and inspiring place to learn and thrive. Each member of staff is greatly valued by us all, but today I would like to mention those who have served twenty or more years at Highfield:
Mrs Haythornthwaite, Miss Macklam, Mrs Bennett, Mrs McIlwaine, Miss Catherall, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Hayes, Miss Jewitt and Mrs Jones.
At Highfield, community is central to all we do, where dreams flourish, ambitions thrive and futures are transformed. The achievements and challenges that have defined this year will lead the school to embrace greater challenges and inspire the school to even greater success in the future.