Virtual Open Day

Welcome to Priory Integrated College

In this webpage you will find a flavour of the richness of our school community. We have selected some key aspects about us to give you a glimpse of who and what we are. Priory Integrated College is an exceptional school which values the unique talents and potential of every pupil. Each young person is supported, stretched and challenged to become resilient, confident and successful learners who are proud of who they are and what they achieve. Our pupils have a zest for life and make a positive contribution to society. The College has a warm, purposeful atmosphere and a joyful effervescing spirit.

Priory Integrated College is a school for the whole community.

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Interactive Map

Click on the links to read more about each department … information is shown below the map.

Priory Interative Map

Click on any of the departments in the map for more information!

Priory Interative Map
PE Science Drama ICT Maths English Technology Humanities Music Art

PE

P.E. at Priory offers a range of activities, both traditional and non traditional that meet all levels of abilities. We aim to develop pupils understanding of their physical capabilities and to promote the inclusion of life long exercise for both physical and mental benefits. The department offers P.E. at all stages of pupils learning pathways from Junior School straight through to our Sixth Form. As well as P.E. in the classroom, the department are proud in being able to offer a range of Extra Curricular activities. Although these activities are an enrichment to the compulsory P.E., Priory have had great successes in Netball, Cross Country, Athletics and Football.

Science

Science lessons take place in one of four fully equipped Science Labs. Senior pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as Applied Science. There are many enrichment activities to support the curriculum and the science departments works with the University of Ulster and Queens University to carry out STEM activities. In Junior School pupils receive their bunsen burner license before they embark on a range of experiments!

Drama

Drama takes place in our school hall, which is fully equipped with staging, lighting and sound and in our drama studio space. In Junior School lessons are planned to encourage the development of key skills such as confidence to speak and present before an audience, group collaboration, creative playmaking, working with scripts, devising, mime and performing on stage.

We have a hugely popular course in Senior School where we offer Edexcel GCSE Drama. The course allows the pupils to devise their own creative theatrical performances, whilst also studying and performing a wide variety of well known published plays. Pupils enjoy the endless opportunities to be creative and develop both performance skills and understanding of theatre design elements.

The highlight of the year is our annual whole school musical. This allows all pupils from year 8 to year14 to contribute to a collaborative creative project. Pupils can opt to showcase their talents either on stage through acting, singing and dancing. There are also fantastic opportunities to learn about the skills required backstage such as lighting, sound, stage management, hair and makeup etc. Throughout the year both junior and senior drama club showcase pupils’ creative work through a variety of projects. The department also organises several trips to experience live theatre. Performance workshops are also planned to allow pupils to work alongside industry professionals, in a real theatre context.

ICT

ICT and Creative Media are taught throughout the whole school using iPads, PCs and MACs with great emphasis on online safety so that all pupils understand how to use ICT securely. Year 8 gain essential skills using the iPad enabling them to confidently complete tasks across all subjects. Year 8 also gain valuable skills on the iPad to equip them with the ability to capture and edit images and video clips required for GCSE Creative Media. Year 9 and 10 gain essential skills on the PC in preparation for ICT GCSE and Business and Communication Systems at GCSE level. At GCSE we offer pupils the opportunity to study ICT or Creative Media, with both routes progressing into Level 3. ICT provides essential skills necessary for employment across most industry sectors whilst Creative Media offers exciting opportunities to learn about the media industry and pupils can choose to follow the filming or gaming route at Level 3.

Maths

At Priory College we offer a full range of Mathematics qualifications from Entry Level to A*. Our aim is that every pupil leaves Priory with a qualification in Mathematics that they can be proud of and they have achieved to their highest ability. In Junior School it is important that we build our pupils’ confidence in their mathematical ability, we challenge them to aim high and support them to reach their potential. In Senior School we offer CCEA GCSE Mathematics and Ascentis Certificate of Mathematical Skills allowing our pupils to leave with a meaningful qualification suited to their ability.

English

Through studying both English Language and English Literature, pupils regularly explore a wide variety of texts from the classics to more contemporary writers. Theatre trips and visits are arranged throughout the academic year to enhance pupils’ understanding and enjoyment. Additionally, our young people analyse texts and ascertain the impact of a wide range of language devices. Through such analysis, pupils learn how to express themselves creatively and use language for effect.

Technology

Priory College has a well equipped workshop allowing our pupils to develop a range of skills whilst being creative and having fun. Pupils create personal projects in Year 8 to Year 10 using a range of materials with machines such as the Pillar Drill, Vacuum Former, Belt Sander and Polisher. At GCSE you can make your own individual project which you design yourself using Computer Aided Design and other processes such as the Lathe and MIG Welder, allowing you to discover new skills and face new challenges.

Humanities

Humanities comprise the Geography and History Departments. Geography aims to tackle the big issues facing the world today such as environmental responsibility, global interdependence and cultural understanding and tolerance. Residential field trips support the curriculum.
History aims to inspire pupils to examine, question and, most importantly, appreciate the study of past events. This enhances not only their historical understanding but can be invaluable when applied to their studies in all subjects.

Music

Throughout Junior School Music, pupils receive two one hour lessons a fortnight. All pupils have the opportunity to take part in music making through the use of keyboards, ukuleles, percussion and music technology including Garageband on their iPad. This also allows them to work with others, in groups or in pairs and also to develop their skills as individual learners. Pupils explore with a wide range of topics including Body Percussion, Film Music, Blues Music, Riff and Hooks and many more. The aim throughout the course in Junior School is that pupils will develop transferrable skills which they can carry through to GCSE and A Level.

Pupils also have the opportunity to receive peripatetic lessons in a range of different instruments including piano, voice, guitar, bass, woodwind, strings and brass. Pupils receive ten half hour lessons per term on a rotating basis.

In Senior School, pupils follow the CCEA GCSE Music course.

Art

Art and Design as a subject inspires pupils to take risks and to develop an appreciation of the visual world around us. Our aim is to enable pupils to understand the visual language of art and to explore a wide variety of media, techniques and processes to gain skills and to develop their ideas. We hope our pupils will gain a natural curiosity as they do this.
We encourage our pupils to investigate artwork through the visual elements of line, tone, colour, texture, pattern, form and shape. This is the bedrock of understanding and analysing both their own work and that of other artists. We then teach them how to apply this knowledge through the use of drawing and painting, textiles, ceramics, photography, printmaking and mixed media.
Our Art department encompasses two fully equipped classrooms with facilities for ceramics, textiles and printmaking.

Open Night FAQs

Why should I choose to go to Priory?

We are an Integrated school – the only one in this area – and this is probably summed up best by our motto ‘Together’. We welcome anyone, regardless of race, religion, background or academic score. If you want to be supported in doing your best, in a school with high standards and a caring ethos, Priory is the school for you.

One special thing about us is that we are a Rights Respecting School which means we take student voice very seriously and we listen to your opinion!

Most importantly…going to Priory will present many opportunities to succeed. You will be given opportunities – you must seize them and work hard to be the very best you can be.

What are the class sizes in Priory?

We currently have 700 pupils who attend our school, with an average class size of 20-25 pupils.

How long are lessons and how many will there be?

Registration every morning is at 8:50am, and then there are five 1 hour lessons. You get break and lunch, we have a tuck shop and amazing canteen to provide healthy refreshments, and the day finishes at 3pm…although on a Friday we finish at 2:30pm and get to start the weekend early.

What were your recent GCSE results like?

We have had fantastic results at GCSE and A level over recent years, and this gives our pupils great opportunities after school. Many of our pupils go on to study at university or win places on exciting apprenticeships. Below is our excellent results received in the 2020 GCSE cycle.

Key Headline FiguresOutcome 2020
% of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C95%
% of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C inc
English and Maths
63%

What extra curricular clubs activities are available?

Extra-curricular activities are often the best opportunity to get the very most out of your school. It is also a good place to meet with people who have similar interests to you, which is a great start for making new and lasting friendships. For example, if you join our choir you will meet people who share your love of singing – and as we found out last year, they all had a love of pizza after rehearsal too!

We offer lots of activities, including instrumental tuition, and there are also school productions where you can showcase your drama skills. This year the performance is Alice in Wonderland, as you have never seen it before. Some clubs focus on supporting our local environment, others to coordinate charity work and develop your use of technology. And always be prepared to start a new club at your school if they don’t have what you are looking for! We also offer lots of sports clubs, and will also enter both local and national competitions.

We also offer school trips, including a ski trip, London music trip, French trip and visits to local businesses. Who knows, some of these interests you are developing may lead eventually to a job? So wherever you go, the first really big tip is to get involved in school clubs. Every year our most successful pupils have been involved in all areas of school life.

How do I apply for a place in Priory for September 2021?

Your child’s primary school will issue you with an application form (known as a Transfer Form). If you have not received a Transfer Form by the end of January 2021 you should contact your child’s primary school.

Your completed Transfer Form along with any information as requested by the Post-Primary school should be returned to your child’s primary school principal. Completed forms will then be forwarded to the Education Authority for processing.

Does my child get an iPad to use in school?

One of the best things about Priory Integrated College is the quality of the learning and teaching. Our teachers are exceptional and know how to make your learning exciting. They are experts in their subject but also in the way they teach. Each pupil gets an iPad to support their learning and we are the only school in Northern Ireland who has been awarded Apple Distinguished Status for continuous innovation in learning, teaching and the school environment .

What school transport options are available to use?

If you don’t live near the school you can apply for a free bus pass, we have 6 buses covering lots of different areas

http://www.priorycollege.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Priory-College-Bus-Routes.pdf

Provided you are willing to get yourself up on time to get your bus, there is no reason why you can’t join the large number of pupils who travel by bus to us each day.

How do I apply for transport assistance for my child?

All applications are handled and processed by the Education Authority. You can find all the information at https://www.eani.org.uk/financial-help/home-to-school-transport/how-to-applyfor-transport-assistance-for-my-child

My child is in receipt of free school meals. Do I need to reapply when moving schools?

Yes, when your child moves schools you have to apply again. The Education Authority (EA) for Northern Ireland is responsible for assessing eligibility for Free School Meals Details of this process can be found at https://www.eani.org.uk/financial-help/free-school-meals-uniformgrants

How is the criteria for Priory Integrated College applied to my child?

The information that is noted on the online transfer application is applied in the order set down in our admissions policy document. This is published at https://www.eani.org.uk/parents/types-of-school/school-type/post-primary/priory-college-holywood

Where do I go if I need help in school?

If you have a problem in school or are worried about anything there are lots of people in school who are here to help. Every pupil has a form teacher who would be your first ‘go to’ person.

They will know you well as they will see you every day. Your form teacher will remain the same from Year 8-Year 12. If the problem is more serious you can approach your Head of Year. The Leader of Pastoral Care and Welfare is Ms Ferguson who is also the Designated Teacher for Child Protection. You will see her picture is every room along with the rest of the school safeguarding team. It’s their job to make sure you are safe and happy inside school and at home, and you could talk to them if you needed help in that way. Any member of school staff will be there to help you if you need it and if they can’t they will know who the best person is to be able to make sure your issue is sorted out.

What does transition look like for pupils from primary school to Priory?

One of the big changes from primary school is having a different teacher for each subject.

You will have a timetable filled in especially for you, and you will soon get used to moving around the school during the day. Each of our lessons is one hour long and there are only five lessons a day. You move to your teachers after each lesson so the break between classes will be a welcome opportunity to refresh your brain.

My child has additional needs, who should I contact to discuss this?

Please phone the school and ask to speak to Mrs Bamford, our Special education needs coordinator. She will be more than happy to answer your questions and queries.

How do you communicate with parents throughout the school year?

We use a number of apps to conveniently communicate with parents throughout the school  year. We primarily use parentmail to send texts and emails about general school information. Satchel One is an app we use to keep you in the loop with what homework is being set for your child and when it is due. Finally, we also use the sims parent app to allow you to securely connect to our management information system. This allows you to monitor your child’s attendance, receive assessment window results and school reports.

Can we arrange to visit or have a tour of the school?

It is not likely there will be an opportunity to visit schools like some of you may have done last year. We have a really exciting and fresh new prospectus which can be viewed on our open night webpage. This will show you exactly how great our school is. There are also a number of videos to watch.

Do you have a Sixth Form?

Yes, we have a thriving Sixth Form where pupils get to study a range of A Level or equivalent qualifications. Pupils in Sixth Form have access to a range of opportunities outside the classroom including work experience, enrichment projects, peer mentors, charity events and the opportunity to travel to India with the Sahara charity.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our Virtual Open Day webpage.  We hope you got a flavour of the warmth of welcome you can expect from our school.  This short video captures what the ‘live’ experience was like last a few years ago and in this you can see more of our wonderful pupils.

(Please note that the examination results in the video are out of date and the correct results are in the prospectus and Principal’s welcome video.)