Sixth form boarding in an Academy
Sixth form boarding in an Academy – Chris Liston, Head of Boarding at The Priory Academy LSST
This is a genuinely exciting time for The Priory Academy LSST after the opening of our brand new sixth form boarding house in September 2012. Up to 60 sixth form boarders are accommodated in single en-suite study bedrooms, with three well-equipped common r ooms and a large dining area all set in the grounds of the school.
Alongside Robert de Cheney Boarding House is The Priory’s new sports centre, complete with a 60 m indoor running track, climbing wall, six badminton courts, a dance studio and an extensive fitness suite and, outside, a 400 m synthetic running track. In 2011, the school also opened its Newton Centre, a state-of-the art science building with sixth form research facilities, planetarium and labs. With its own study centre in rural Normandy, The Priory is confident that it offers some of the best learning and extra-curricular facilities in the country.
This is an academic school – results make it one of the top-performing schools in the country. Last year, 98% of students gained at least five A*–C GCSE passes including English and Maths. It has a large and well established sixth form with a choice of more than 40 A-level courses. In its most recent Ofsted inspection, both the school and the sixth form were judged ‘Outstanding’. Indeed, the inspectors were highly complimentary about the sixth form, observing that ‘students value highly the positive relationships with teachers and other staff that set the highest expectations of their achievement and engagement, and support well their academic and personal development’. Most students go on to university and, as a result of exceptionally good specialist support, there is a strong tradition of students going to Oxbridge, medical schools and Russell Group universities.
Boarders have the opportunity to take part in the school’s thriving CCF and Duke of Edinburgh programmes as well as gain access to a significant range of sporting and arts clubs and societies. Furthermore, a number of students interested in teaching as a career will gain entry to the Teacher Bursary Scheme.
Continuity of provision for sixth formers
The decision to offer boarding at The Priory was an easy one. A number of students in Lincolnshire and surrounding counties travel considerable distances, on a daily basis, to access the school’s high-quality teaching and wide range of courses. Furthermore, with RAF Waddington, one of the largest bases in the country, just three miles away, the school now has the ability to offer continuity of provision for the children of Service families who are posted away during the sixth form years.
As a science specialist school, boarding is also likely to attract students with a genuine interest in careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and many other related areas. It is also likely that, with the new sports centre, outdoor athletics facilities and swimming pool, the boarding house will attract students who are keen to pursue a range of extra-curricular sporting activities.
Preparation for university life
The aim of the boarding house is to prepare sixth form students for university life. Living away from home in fully equipped individual study rooms, having access to a wide range of courses, enjoying wonderful extra-curricular activities, taking opportunities to travel, and benefiting from outstanding care, guidance and support are all important factors in making the successful transition from school to university. Staff at The Priory Academy LSST are committed to helping boarders make the most of their opportunities and take the next exciting steps in their lives.
Chris Liston took up his post as Head of Boarding at The Priory Academy LSST in 2012. He was previously Head of Crowden House at Cranbrook School in Kent, a position he held for four years. A teacher of History and Politics, he has worked in State boarding for nine years after graduating in 2002 and spending time teaching conversational English in Heilongjiang province, China. Chris and his family – Nicola and son Oliver – are pictured here.