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By Disabled People for Disabled People

Celebrating Priory school’s Platinum Jubilee — By Khaleel Chima

Celebrating Priory Schools Platinum Jubilee — By Khaleel Chima

Back in 2003, my class were tasked to represent the world’s history, for the celebration of Priory School’s Golden Jubilee. Exploring how society had developed within the 50 years during that time. Unfortunately, that was one of the last piece of work we did for the school as time had come to embark on a new chapter in life.

I started Priory during year 1 in 1998. Instantly, I liked the school. Patrick Laver was my classmate. I planted the millennium rose bush a year later which appeared in the newspapers. I spent the mornings in the special education needs (SEN) class, and afternoons I was in the mainstream class until year 3 where I moved into a mainstream class fulltime. While in year 4, Mrs Evans the Headteacher at that period left and Mrs Laver took over.


Throughout the years my love for Priory grew. I was a teachers’ pet and kept making new friends. Our year six production was ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, where I played a balloon seller. The final farewell was a trip to Barton Hall, in Devon.


So, this year marks 20 years since my year group and I left Priory. A few days after chatting with one another on a Facebook group chat, I came across an invitation for staff and pupils throughout time to attend the school’s Platinum Jubilee. Immediately, I confirmed my attendance straight away.


I was welcomed by Mrs Saran, the PA to the Headteacher. I entered a room filed with photos from the last 70 years. Soon after, I had a blast from the past. some teachers from my childhood came, including Miss Dance and Mrs McNally. We had spare time to catch up.

I met Mrs Foster. Headteacher of Priory today. She was very friendly and led everyone into the main hall where the chamber choir performed, and a talented young boy placed the piano. Once finished the afternoon tea, all went outside to watch Mrs Foster plant a small tree in front of the school. The same area where I planted mine, over two decades ago.


The legendary Mrs Laver, along with her son Patrick joined us and had a tour mainly led by two very polite and intelligent school pupils. I saw a few more familiar faces such as Mrs Reith, the Year 6 Leader who use to be my science teacher, Mrs Karpowicz the Pupil Services Administrator, and two Teaching & Learning Assistants. Mrs Oliver and my brother’s old friend Mr Thompson. However, the biggest surprise was seeing another one of my classmates Mr Perry, who is a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Separately, Mrs Foster showed me the updated lift which I used back in the day.

Overall, I had a fantastic visit. from mingling with people which I knew during my school days, to meeting a new team. There were many wheelchair users in the past, unfortunately, there are none current within the school. Nevertheless, Priory has excellent facilities which can cater for all needs. It was easy to move around in my chair and the lift seemed easy to use. The disabled toilets were superb with fully mobile hoists.

With well-mannered pupils and outstanding staff, Priory School is still on top. Inspiring many future generations to come.