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    Priory School is a Local Authority Maintained Community school for young people from 11 to 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties, many are on the Autistic Spectrum.

    We were recognized as a Good school in all aspects of our provision at our last Ofsted Inspection in October 2017.

    All students at Priory School have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which is used to personalise their learning.  We passionately believe that all students should be entitled to access personalised learning and we are committed to ensure that this is what we provide for all.


    Priory School was opened by the Mayor of Croydon in July 2014 and designed to accommodate 132 students. We recognize the importance of space for our students, whether it is indoors or outside. Students, staff, governors and parents/carers were an integral part of the vision behind the innovative design of the School and its grounds.

    Specialist facilities include:

    • Dance and Drama studio
    • Sensory Integration/OT room
    • Sensory room
    • Forest School and Outdoor Learning Centre, including horticulture and animal care
    • Large PE Hall
    • Dedicated playground spaces including rooftop Multi-Use Games Arena, climbing frame, swings and trampoline
    • Post-16 common room
    • Breakout areas and small study rooms.
    • Lego Therapy Room
    • ICT Suite
    • Immersive Room
    • Gym
    • Hoist-assisted changing areas
    • Music room
    • Aromatherapy / Massage Room


  • Our Learning Support

    The school is divided into learning pathways to ensure we meet all the needs of the students.  We have a diverse student population from those with moderate learning needs, sensory learners, Autism, behaviours that challenge, communication needs or physical needs.  

    Our approach is entirely bespoke..  All of our classes benefit from high staff to student ratios, each class is supported by Teaching Assistants based on the needs of the group.   

    Multi-Disciplinary Approaches are key to our success and the  therapy team work on a fully integrated approach to support impressive outcomes for all of our students  The school directly employs a wide range of  therapy staff, including an Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapists.  The team provides assessment and  develop individualized student programmes and staff training, as well as advice whole school approaches.   We also employ specialists in Art and Play Therapy. and a  highly experienced Aromatherapist. 

    Sports and the Creative Arts are long-standing strengths of Priory School and we have a specialist PE teaching team as well as a part-time dance and drama practitioner.

    Students benefit from immersive learning, preparing morning snacks for the school community, Lego Therapy, Forest School and Outdoor Learning experiences.  

    The school has also trained a large number of staff to be Emotional Literacy Support Assistants who provide targeted and proactive support for individual and small groups of students.  


    The Priory Curriculum is designed to:

    • Provide a rich, broad and balanced range of subjects that inspire curiosity and learning in students of all abilities.
    • Reflect the individual aspirations of all students
    • Create opportunities for students to make progress against their individual Education. Health & Care Plan targets and outcomes
    • Encourage the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all students and an appreciation of British Values
    • Develop life skills to maximise our students’ independence, choices and self-advocacy in adulthood, to become responsible citizens and members of their community
    • Develop key skills in English and Maths through all areas of the curriculum
    • Develop the skills to build and sustain relationships with others
    • Develop the ability to keep safe through awareness and assertiveness
    • Encouraging well-planned and assessed risk within learning to create the right degree of challenge - whether it is through Forest School activities, residential trips or public performances.

    Our Curriculum is based on the following areas of learning

    • Literacy and Language  
    • Mathematical Thinking and Numeracy  
    • Social Communication and Interaction
    • Physical and Sports
    • Creative and Expressive Arts
    • Citizenship, PHSE and SRE
    • Preparing for Adulthood
    • Accreditation

    Each class has time within the weekly timetable  to focus on a class specific curriculum, this is tailored to each class and directed by the teacher.  This can allow time for National Curriculum Subject Areas, Topic Work or working on particular interests and skills.

    The Curriculum also includes access to other subjects that support students in developing independence and self-advocacy. These include:

    • Drama
    • Forest School
    • Cooking/Home management
    • Community access/travel training
    • Preparing for Adulthood
    • Accreditation
    • Work Experience
    • College links
  • Grouping Students

    In September 2018 we have moved to a Pathway model of grouping our students.  This was in response to a changing cohort of students and to ensure we offer an inclusive environment.  There is complete flexibility in the pathways and it may be possible for students to change as their learning needs change.  

    We operate 5 pathways and these are largely based on learning style rather than cognitive ability.  

    Pathway One is for students who cope well with group learning, can move around the secure school site with minimal supervision.  Students in this pathway have a form of communication, which may be alternative or augmented, where they can get their needs met as well as engage in social communication when motivated.  Students in this pathway are likely to access a learning disability provision in a local further education college as a destination following school.

    Pathway Two is for students who require a very predictable routine with a visually supported environment.  Students are happy to be in groups with other students but often learn best on a 1:1 basis. Their academic levels will be variable as will their communication levels.  They are likely to require a high input from speech therapy and occupational therapy, particularly in relation to their sensory needs.

    Pathway Three is for students with complex learning needs, working at early developmental levels and require the curriculum presented in a sensory format.  

    Pathway Four is for students who can learn in pairs but cope well in groups.  Some have expressive communication which may be higher than their receptive skills.  They are likely to have a destination of specialist provision following school. They may need a higher level of supervision in the community and around the school and their behaviour is well managed within the group class setting with trained staff.  

    Pathway Five is for a small group of students at the school who do not cope well with being in group environments for learning or leisure.  They require individual support with a tailored timetable to engage them in learning. They have very specific programmes which will be entirely unique and have at least 1:1 support throughout the school day.

    We group largely by Key Stage rather than year group and review the Pathways year on year.


    Student progress is monitored in a variety of ways including:

    • Termly progress meetings
    • Annual reports
    • PLPs (Personal Learning Plans) which includes annual and termly targets for individual pupils based on EHCP Outcomes
    • P Level monitoring which we do annually and moderate internally and externally
    • Parents evening once a term allows for frequent dialogue between parents and school regarding progress
    • Annual EHCP meetings to review progress
    • In September 2018 we have also introduced the AET assessment framework
  • Pupil Voice and Parent Voice

    We want to ensure the voice of every student at Priory School is heard, however each learner might demonstrate it.  We have a student council who are nominated from across the school to represent the views of the students. Students are encouraged to develop their own voice in many ways, including self-assessment during lessons, an annual pupil questionnaire and involvement in the annual review process. Students participate in a meaningful way in the annual review meeting wherever possible, sharing their point of view, examples of their work, and their aspirations. When students are in Year 9, there are supported to give their opinions and views in the Transition Review, in order to plan for their post-16 provision. Parents are central to the support we offer to our children and young people. Parents are encouraged and supported to attend parent support groups, parent training sessions, termly parents’ evenings and a range of school events throughout the year. The parent questionnaire is completed annually where parents can share their views with us to impact of future developments. Annual reports written by teachers are shared with parents at the end of each academic year.  

    Our full time Family Liaison Officer is integral in the relationship between home and school, supporting those who may need advice, guidance or additional support.

  • Meeting Medical Needs

    The School has a dedicated Nurse who is part of the Schools Nursing Team and is in school regularly to review students and provide training to staff. The Doctor is in School every two weeks for medicals and other support for students and parents.

  • Training for our staff

    Staff receive a comprehensive induction programme and have on going professional development to ensure they are trained to a high standard on a range of topics including:

    Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

    Maybo – Proactive Behaviour Support

    Intensive Interaction


    Understanding Autism

    Mental Health awareness

    Strategies to support Communication and Interaction

    SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transaction Supports)  

    Elklan Supporting Communication

    Sensory Integration  

    Plus many more….

  • Who to contact to discuss a concern

    The first point of contact for all parents and carers is their child’s class teacher if they would like to discuss something about their child. If parents want to raise further concerns, they will find that all senior staff are very approachable and responsive. The family liaison officer is available full-time to support parents and to liaise between school and home. Parents are welcome to contact the head teacher or senior leadership team if they have any concerns or worries, or wish to discuss any issues.

  • Is Priory the right school for my child?

    The vast majority of referrals to Priory School come via the SEN panel in Croydon, directly to the Head Teacher. If a parent is considering whether their child/young person should join the school, they are welcome to phone the school to book onto one of our open mornings.  Our main in borough feeder schools are Redgates and St Nicholas’ primary schools. Our students learning needs range from moderate to severe and groups are streamed to ensure all needs are met.

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