Lancashire Life - - EDUCATION -

It has been an event­ful year for St Pius X Prepara­tory

School. Here we look at some of the highlights

Teach­ers, par­ents and pupils have cel­e­brated a year of firsts for St Pius X Prepara­tory School. The Catholic school, based in Ful­wood in Pre­ston, took top place for SATS results in the

North West, putting them in 18th place na­tion­ally on the Sun­day Times In­de­pen­dent Schools Rank­ing.

For many years they have been in the top 100 schools, but this is their highest rank­ing. Swim­ming is part of the cur­ricu­lum at Pius, and two pupils made the IAPS (In­de­pen­dent As­so­ci­a­tion of Prep Schools) na­tional swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion at the London Olympic Aquatic Cen­tre. Mark Tompsett, last year’s un­der-10 25m cham­pion, this year added sil­ver to his success.

This is a non-se­lec­tive, vi­brant school with a modern out­look, which also holds tra­di­tional val­ues. It sees it­self as not just a com­mu­nity, but a fam­ily, with an ethos of in­clu­sion. There is a school coun­cil for years one to six, with two rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each class, voted for by their peers. Through this, children are

able to voice their views and put for­ward ideas.

At Oak House Nurs­ery the two to four year olds each have a cur­ricu­lum tai­lored to their in­di­vid­ual needs. The very small classes in re­cep­tion en­able in­di­vid­u­als to be nur­tured to re­alise their full po­ten­tial.

French is taught from ages three to ten. From ju­niors, the children are taught in sets for English and Maths, then in year six French is re­placed with Span­ish. Each child has access to an ipad, which is reg­u­larly used in parts of the cur­ricu­lum. Par­ents are not ne­glected in the school’s pol­icy of in­clu­sion but are wel­come to be in­volved. There is an open door pol­icy, plus a weekly news­let­ter and reg­u­lar in­for­ma­tion up­dates on so­cial me­dia and the school’s web­site.

As well as high cur­ricu­lum stan­dards, the school broad­ens pupils’ out­looks with a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties. Sport plays an im­por­tant part in this, not only of­fer­ing tra­di­tional sports; look in the sports store and there’s a may­pole. This tra­di­tional danc­ing is taught by a for­mer teacher, and the school team re­cently gave a dis­play at My­er­scough Col­lege Coun­try Fair in Bils­bor­row.

Another un­usual sight was wheel­chair races and blind foot­ball as part of a Dis­abil­ity Aware­ness Day which also saw pupils learning to use crutches. The day was led by Owen Hall Jnr, man­ager of the Eng­land am­putee foot­ball team.

In spite of the dread­ful spring weather, many pupils joined the be­fore-school run­ning club, led by a mem­ber of staff who is a Pre­ston Har­ri­ers coach and for­mer in­ter­na­tional ath­lete.

Also avail­able are a host of ex­tra cur­ric­u­lar clubs like ski­ing, cod­ing club, swim­ming, ten­nis, and cook­ery, plus yoga and acro­dance – a com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional dance with pre­ci­sion ac­ro­bat­ics.

The school of­fers a wide range of trips, in­clud­ing a three-day net­ball and foot­ball tour to York. Year four pupils at­tend a two-day out­door pur­suits res­i­den­tial in the Lake Dis­trict res­i­den­tial at Pat­terdale Hall, while year six children go on their an­nual res­i­den­tial to Am­ple­forth Col­lege.

Learning about Bri­tish Val­ues is of great importance at St Pius

The children also sup­port Barubari School in Nepal and funds are raised through­out the year

New head­mas­ter Andrew Platts

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