Prior Park Schools consists of Prior Park College (established in 1830), The Paragon Junior School (which joined in 2006) and Prior Park School, Gibraltar (which opened in September 2016). All three schools share a Vision for 2025 which offers the highest standards of pastoral care, based on Catholic Christian values, and the highest quality of education which is both exciting and full of opportunities for the pupils.
The Mission Statement of Prior Park Schools:
- to provide Christian education, and specifically Catholic at the College, of the highest quality for a boarding and day co-educational community.
- to develop as fully as possible the academic and other talents of each boy and girl, to ensure an education of the whole person.
- to provide pastoral care of an encouraging, supportive and disciplined nature for each student.
- to create an outward-looking ethos which builds links with parents and the local community, and also celebrates the richness of cultures from around the world.
- to enable Leavers to be confident, capable, compassionate and independent-minded.
Our ethos is to care for our students so that they feel empowered to develop their talents in many different directions. We also want our students to be rooted in the Christian values of:
- contribution to others
- openness to God
Prior Park Schools - A Vision for 2025
At Prior Park Schools we are committed to improvement. As a family of schools, and as an organisation, we know that regularly taking stock of our progress and thinking about our future enables us to provide the best possible educational and school experience for our children. Stating our Vision gives us a clear purpose and communicates it to everyone involved in our school community, including our pupils. A clear Vision inspires and motivates us to achieve the goals we set ourselves and encourages the involvement of those outside our family of schools to join us. Finally, a strong Vision for our schools gives direction to our leadership, ensuring that important managerial and strategic decisions are always made in its service.
1. We will continue to develop deeply rooted Catholic Christian values
Our Catholic Christian values define us and everything that we do. Our schools will continue to be welcoming, celebratory and vibrant lay communities for children and their families. As adults and teachers, our Christian values will be visible in both our conduct and our classrooms. We will encourage our pupils to live their lives with Jesus Christ as their inspiration. In doing so, we will help them find compassion, kindness, patience and forgiveness in their friendships with each other. Pupils leaving Prior Park will be ready not just for a bright future in work but also for the roles they will play in service to society and in fulfilment of the person God intends them to be. Our beautiful Chapels will continue to be the focus of our spiritual life and places where our pupils can reflect on the challenges of today and the wonder of God’s creation.
2. We will offer excellent pastoral care
We will offer the highest standards of pastoral care for our pupils because we know that when our children and young people feel supported and loved, they are more likely to excel in their studies and other areas of school life. Because we are committed to continued improvement, we will further develop and implement our already outstanding pastoral programme. We will also work with our pupils to help them navigate the issues that many young people face including mental wellbeing and developing their personal resilience. Our schools’ pastoral care will help our pupils to make the right choices and thrive in the modern world.
We will provide opportunities for our pupils to be role models who can lead and guide younger members of the community and we will strengthen our existing pupil committees. Prior Park young people will leave our schools as confident, compassionate, independent-minded individuals with a strong sense of social justice. Because of our commitment to pastoral care as part of a Prior Park education for every child, we will limit the size of our schools to ensure each child benefits from the attention and support they need.
3. We will offer an innovative and creative learning environment for our pupils (age 3–18)
We will continue to deliver a stimulating, exciting and challenging education led by our outstanding and committed teaching staff. Curriculum development will balance creativity with academic rigour so that we can raise attainment for all our pupils. At Prior Park learning will continue to be a positive and joyful experience where everyone is valued and all achievements are celebrated. We will provide an environment where pupils can experiment and develop intellectual curiosity, technological understanding and a sense of enterprise. We will always encourage them to learn from both failure and success. We will work in partnership with our parents and alumni to help us develop, refine and maintain the relevance of our educational offer.
We will encourage our staff to develop and share their teaching and learning expertise. We will ensure that all Prior Park pupils benefit from the best possible teaching by occasionally sharing staff between our schools. Where appropriate we will make links with other schools locally and internationally. We will also develop educational partnerships with local, national and international businesses so that our pupils can benefit from excellent careers advice and other opportunities.
4. We will continue to invest in our facilities
We will continue to invest in the first-class facilities that underpin our educational offer at Prior Park Schools. Music, art, drama, sport and outdoor education will always be pivotal to school life and, for that reason, we will continue to improve our studios, sports fields, theatres and equipment. However, we will always invest responsibly, ensuring that we remain as affordable as possible. As part of the covenant to parents we will, whenever possible, invest a minimum of 50% of each school’s annual surplus in that particular school’s facilities.
5. We will develop Prior Park Schools
To ensure that our family of schools is secure and thriving, we remain open to growing our community should appropriate opportunities arise at home or abroad. In such circumstances we will establish regional clusters of education from 3-18 years. Growth of Prior Park Schools will only ever be a consequence of the need to deliver on our mission; we are not interested in expansion for its own sake. If we do grow it will be to serve communities in areas of the world where our Catholic Christian education is valued and supported. We will always be mindful of the impact of expansion on our existing communities and staff. We will balance the delivery of our mission against the risks to our community before any such decisions are made.
Andrew Harvey Headmaster, The Paragon School
Peter Watts Headmaster, Prior Park School, Gibraltar
Gerard Hickie Chief Operating Officer, Prior Park Schools
James Murphy-O’Connor Headmaster, Prior Park College and Principal Prior Park Schools