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.
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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 in1936 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.
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.
The school has continued to develop its facilities over the years to include a 3.5 acre sports field, a multi-purpose sports hall, a Nursery wing, a dining hall, a new library, an ICT suite, a music room and a refurbished Nursery bungalow.
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 September 2011 we opened our Nursery doors to children aged 6 months. We now provide all round childcare and education to children from 6 months to 11 years.
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 publically each year which includes dance, drama, and music productions and we hold a carol service led by our choir annually at the local church. Our most recent performance of The BFG by our Year 4 actors and dancers from Reception to Year 6 was performed at The Charter Theatre in front of nearly 300 people.
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 2012 the school achieved its highest position on school records in The Sunday Times League Tables -14th in the country and 1st in Lancashire and the North West.
For the last seven years, Highfield Priory School has consistently been in the top thirty of The Sunday Times top 100 Independent Preparatory Schools in England, and this year it was the proud winner of the ISA's National Junior and Preparatory School Award for Excellence and Innovation (2017-2018).