"Pupils are well prepared for their next steps."
ISI Inspection Report, 2023
Highfield School, later to become Highfield Priory School, was originally created to educate the children of local business men and women who were looking for an excellent academic environment for the education of their children. This history of the pursuit of academic excellence, a strong work ethic and good manners continues to this day. Visitors to Highfield regularly comment on the children’s elocution, self-confidence and courteous behaviour.
Did you attend Highfield?
40 Higher Bank Road, Fulwood is listed in early directories of Preston and district as Holborn House, with the garden running down to Lower Bank Road, Fulwood. The 1940 directory gives the occupier as Miss H C Samman who was the proprietor of Holborn House School at 40 Higher Bank Road, Fulwood. Miss Samman did not occupy the premises in 1936 when the previous directory was published so it can be assumed that she founded the school between 1936 and 1940. Between 1940 and the publication of the next directory in 1944, Miss Samman moved to 44 Watling Street Road, Fulwood (opposite the Fulwood Police Station) and continued to run Holborn House School at this address until 1950 when Mrs Rhiannon Davies became the proprietor.
In 1953 Mrs Davies moved the school to 316 Blackpool Road, Preston (formerly the vicarage of Emmanuel Church) and changed the name to Highfield School. In 1959 Mrs Davies moved the school to 19 Moor Park Avenue, Preston but after one year moved back to Blackpool Road. Between 1960 and the publication of the 1964 Preston and District Directory the school was acquired by a retired army officer, Major Alan S Cronshaw, who resided at the school on Blackpool Road. Between 1964 and the publication of the 1968 directory Major Cronshaw purchased the Priory at 17 Lower Bank Road and renamed the school Highfield Priory School where he also took up residence. In March 1972 the school was acquired by Mr and Mrs Patterson in partnership with Mr Edward Daniel as headmaster. After a period of three years the parents, under the chairmanship of Mr Keith Duckett, formed a board of governors and appointed Mrs Bibby, a teacher in the school as headmistress.
On the retirement of Mrs Bibby the governors appointed Mr Turek as headmaster and during this time the governors purchased ‘Altadore’ on Fulwood Row and moved the school to its present site in 1979 with Mr and Mrs Turek living on the premises. Since moving to the current site the school has continued to develop its facilities to include a 3.5 acre sports field with an all-weather pitch, a multi-purpose sports hall, an infant wing, a dining hall, a new library, an art studio, an ICT suite, a music room, a science lab, outdoor learning area and forest school. We are currently constructing a brand new Early Years building. When Mr Turek resigned, the governors asked Mrs K Jones, who had been at the school for some years, to act as headmistress for one year pending the appointment of Mr B C Duckett in 1981.
Mr David Williams was appointed Headmaster in September 2005. The Art, Design and Technology room together with the school library and ICT suite form the Highfield Art, Design and Technology Centre which was opened in November 2005. During the summer of 2006 we completely refurbished the elocution room and opened a Science Laboratory. In 2009 we enhanced the outdoor play and indoor provision for all Nursery children.
Mr Jeremy Duke was appointed Headmaster in September 2010. In 2012, we created a Performing Arts Studio to support and facilitate the continued development of drama, dance and music within the school. Currently all year groups from Year 2 upwards perform publicly each year which includes dance, drama, and music productions and we hold a seasonal celebration led by our choir annually. Our most recent Year 4 Performance which included dancers from Reception to Year 6 was performed in front of nearly 250 people at Crossgate Church. 2012 also saw the opening of our Outdoor Classroom in the woodland adjacent to the school. We are incredibly lucky to have natural woodland which helps the children practically in all subjects in a natural environment. Deer, owls, rabbits and a very vocal array of birds are just some of the wildlife who inhabit ‘Highfield Haven’. In 2016, we opened our all-weather pitch on the school site which has greatly improved our ability to play and host fixtures all year round.
In October 2022, four teenagers broke onto the school site and set fire to our Nursery School. The news shocked the whole school community and left us reeling as we came to terms with such senseless waste and destruction. However, in true Highfield spirit, the school and wider community sprung into action to make the best of this terrible situation. Classes moved out of their classrooms and creating new spaces within school to accommodate our Nursery within the main building and staff worked tirelessly to make this possible; and pupils and parents (past and present) brought in toys and books and offered their comfort and support throughout. The new building will contain areas for both Nursery and Preschool as well as a new outdoor area. This will allow for greater coordination and transition through the early years. We will be able to offer an improved sleeping facility and a wet room for the children to use after their muddy forest school sessions. We are looking forward to completion of the building and hope to welcome our first children towards the end of Autumn 2024.
In 2019, we achieved the highest grading possible from the Independent Schools Inspectorate for our School and Nursery: 'Outstanding' (EYFS) and 'Excellent' across all areas (School). Our fantastic 2023 Inspection showed that the school met all the required standards from the Independent Schools Inspectorate's updated framework. 2023 is our twelfth year running in the top 30 of The Sunday Times Top 100 Preparatory Schools in England and our fifth year in the top ten. We are currently 5th= in England and 1st in the North West.
The Sunday Times 2022