Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts is the beating heart of Priory, pulsating with creative energy, artistic inspiration and physical perspiration. We fill our school with life and our students with a sense of optimism, expression, awe and wonder.

It is our mission, our pleasure and our passion to provide all pupils with a wide-ranging expressive experience – opportunities to explore, be creative, be challenged – so that they may expand their horizons and discover their voices, with the confidence and physical ability to do so.

That is our vision, and this is how we realise it:

  • We provide a contemporary curriculum that develops mastery of skills, and elicits deeper understanding and appreciation of artistic and physical endeavour.
  • We create a safe, supportive environment that encourages pupils to explore ideas, make mistakes, reflect on them with feedback and improve.
  • We celebrate performance in all its expressive forms – productions and shows, exhibitions and workshops, recitals and concerts, sporting fixtures and competitions.
  • We provide opportunities and enrichment through a multitude of extracurricular clubs, trips, visitors and workshops.
  • We promote vocational aspirations in the Arts and avenues of progression in the Creative Industries.


The art department provides students with the opportunity to experience a diverse and creative approach to learning. Students will be challenged to take risks when developing their own ideas. We treat students as individuals and we nurture their creative minds and ambitions.

KS3- At key stage 3 students are introduced to a wide range of new techniques, materials and artists. Students will work through one module per term, developing their practical skills and critical thinking. Each module has been carefully designed to develop a balance of skills, knowledge and understanding. From experience we know that our students find their art lessons inspiring. We want our students to know about art and design and how it has shaped our history and contributes to our culture.

KS4- At key stage 4 art and design is an options subject. Students will build on the skills they have developed at KS3. The specification of study provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in art and design in ways that are personal. Across the course students will experience traditional and new media, they will work with 2D and 3D techniques and engage with the work of others. The teaching at KS4 fosters independence and enables students to realise their full potential.

Unit 1- portfolio of work (60%) A portfolio of work selected by the student from work undertaken during the course of study

Unit 2- externally set task (40%) Students are required to create a personal response to a given starting point.

Ms K Bruce – Curriculum Leader
Ms J Parfoot – Art Teacher
Mr M Podyma – Art Teacher


Music at Priory provides a rich and vast experience, seeking to progress pupil mastery of performance, composition, theory, history and technology.

Above all, we value and celebrate pupils’ efforts in performing to others. We sing together whenever possible, give opportunities to try out different instruments and provide stimulus to explore pupil’s creativity and musical ideas.

Alongside this, we offer a contemporary education in production and music technology, using the latest Logic Pro X software on our range of Apple Macs. Pupils use these to sequence and arrange music, as well develop their own composition skills, using a vast library of instruments and samples and sculpting their own sounds through synthesis.

We have a dedicated team of experienced, professional instrumental teachers, who can offer one-to-one tuition in a range of instruments, including guitar, piano, drums, voice, woodwind, brass and strings.


  • Pupils develop their knowledge of the fundamental building blocks of music through song study, instrumental technique, music theory and historical context.
  • We encourage performance through singing and playing, and develop confidence through a nurturing and safe environment within which pupils can try, make mistakes and improve upon their skills, supported by constructive and positive feedback.
  • We study a range of music spanning from traditional and classical, through jazz and blues all the way up to contemporary forms. Pupils will understand not only how the music works but also its context – how music can link to time, place, economy, social upheaval and adversity, can bring peoples together and allow individuals to have a unique voice.
  • We also introduce music technology from an early stage, with some basic sequencing projects. This provides pupils with an insight into how much of modern music is created and develops skills crucial to GCSE.


  • We run AQA GCSE Music, which takes all the skills built-up in the first three years and goes much, much further and deeper.
  • We drill down into the minutiae of musical development in performance, composition, theory and history.
  • Pupils will get a full, rounded experience involving all this disciplines, helping them to discover their true unique voice and style and develop the insight into just what kind of musical artist they want to be.

Mr J Firth – Music Co-ordinator
Mr D Barrow – Music Teacher and Head of Expressive Arts Faculty

Drama @ Priory

The Drama department believes it is our responsibility to provide an outlet for our pupils’ creativity by enabling them to participate in practical Drama lessons. We promote confidence, teamwork, physical control, vocal expression and enjoyment. We teach in two spaces, a purpose built and fully equipped Drama Studio with raked audience seating and a historic Chapel which is rich in atmosphere and equipped with theatre lighting.

Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 pupils will experience a range of different activities tailored around rehearsing and performing scripted and devised work. They will develop their confidence in working with others and their ability to express their ideas creatively. They will explore presentation and performance skills while developing their physical and vocal skills.

Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 pupils can choose to study Drama as an AQA GCSE qualification.

Extra Curricular Clubs
Every year pupils are encouraged to audition for the school production. Over the last three years we have produced shows in school including “Animal Farm”, “Back To The 80s!” and “Daisy Pulls It Off”,often working with other departments in the Expressive Arts Team. The Drama department runs a Key Stage 3 Drama club that meets once a week allowing pupils the opportunity to enjoy Drama activities outside of lessons and rehearsing towards small performances presented to friends and family.The Drama department also runs Theatre trips to London and we have seen many West End shows.

Drama Department Team:

Mr C Young – Curriculum Leader
Miss E Gapes – Drama Teacher
Mrs C Roberts – Drama Teacher and Assistant Headteacher

Physical Education @ Priory

“Inspire every child to develop their talents and abilities, by engaging them in a variety of physical opportunities and experiences, to achieve their full potential and develop a lifelong enthusiasm for an active healthy lifestyle.”

The department believe it is our responsibility to ensure that every pupil has access to an enjoyable Physical Education Curriculum that will keep them engaged in a healthy active lifestyle, whilst at Priory School, and beyond.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils will experience a range of different activities that will be tailored to their ability and needs to ensure they develop the physical, social and emotional skills that are essential to be successful in an increasingly competitive world.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to select a pathway for their core lessons to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for an active healthy lifestyle.

Pupils can also choose to study a Physical Education qualification as an option in Key Stage 4. Pupils will study either AQA GCSE PE or a Level 2 BTEC Award in Sport. Pupils can also choose to study a Level 2 BTEC Dance qualification during Core PE.

Extra Curricular Clubs

The PE department takes great pride in the number of extra curricular clubs that we offer allowing pupils the opportunity to participate both recreationally and competitively. We run a number of successful teams with many students representing at local, county and national levels.

Physical Education Team:

Mr D Rackley – Curriculum Leader
Mrs E Andrew – PE and Dance Teacher
Mr J Davies – PE and Progress Leader
Miss J Jordan – PE Teacher
Mr J Kent – PE Teacher and Curriculum Operations Leader
Miss H Madigan – PE Teacher
Mrs L Spear – PE and Dance Teacher