TAUNTON'S Priorswood Primary School has been transformed into "a calm, safe and happy place to learn" under the guidance of head of school Carly Ellis.

Along with the dedicated staff team, everyone has worked hard to make the school the best it can be.

As Mrs Ellis says: "We have moved the school forward and I am very excited about the future."

This school year has seen 146 children on the school roll and a further 34 enrolled in the nursery.

The school in the Wedlands area was opened in 1949 and since September 2018 has been one of 10 schools in the Redstart Partnership.


Mrs Ellis says: "It is my vision to work as a team, together with parents, to ensure that each and every child here has the best opportunity possible to prepare them for future life.

"Children are at the heart of everything we do here at Priorswood."

"We want our children to leave school with a lifetime love of learning, with the highest aspirations for what they want to achieve.

"We aim to provide them with a broad and balanced curriculum which fully engages them whilst providing them with the essential knowledge they need to navigate their way through the modern world.

"We want every child to access high quality learning every day in every lesson.

"We want to give them strong values such as excellence, collaborative service, compassion and courage."

She added: "We treat each child as an individual.

"We believe that in order to enable our pupils to learn effectively, they need to have their uniqueness recognised and valued, feel safe in their environment and have the oral, social and literacy skills to support them with the demands of life.

"We encourage children to have an appetite to gain skills, knowledge and understanding."

Mrs Ellis said: "We are incredibly proud of our uniqe surroundings, wonderful children, supportive parents and encouraging staff.

"We strive to build good, honest relationships with all our children, parents and carers."


Children receive access to opportunities beyond the curriculum through trips and after-school clubs, helping them "know about the wider world".

Mrs Ellis said: "Teachers go above and beyond in order to provide experiences that children won't ever forget - from cutting up a real heart to travelling to London."

All pupils access the on-site forest school, taking in a beautiful woodland, stream and meadow.

There is also a mud kitchen, small pond and outdoor classroom.

There are future plans to plant fruit trees, herbs and soft fruits to harvest and use in forest school cooking.

"We are blessed with amazing grounds which provide all sorts of fantastic opportunities for children to improve their social, emotional and physical development.

"Forest school helps to improve children's confidence and self-esteem through exploration, problem solving and learning how to safely manage and take appropriate risks depending on their environment."


Here are some of the things children say about Priorswood Primary School:

"The teachers are so kind, helpful and supportive."

"We feel like we're part of a family and proud to come to learn here."

"Our class is full of surprises."

"We get to do lots of different sports."

"We're learning to be musicians, historians, artists and much more."


Parents are overwhelming contented with the education their children receive, with 98 per cent saying their children are happy and 97 per cent saying they would recommend Priorswood to another parent..

Here's what some of them say:

"My child is supported well in all aspects of his education. He is happy to go to school every morning."

"Lovely school. I am so happy I made the choice to move my son here."

"The (nursery) staff are beyond fantastic."

"What a brilliant school."

"I just wish all schools had teachers like you."


Priorswood has a wellbeing team that focusses on children and staff.

Staff have the option to have informal check-ins with Mrs Ellis.

She says: "Good staff wellbeing is essential for cultivating a mentally healthy school, for retaining and motivating staff and for promoting pupil wellbeing and attainment."

One member of staff said: "I really enjoy working here.

"They are a very fun and supportive staff who care enormously about all the children in school."

There is also a school council composed of children from Reception to Year 6.

They meet regularly and have focused on developing the outdoor area.

Next year they will focus on the core values of excellence, courage, collaboration and compassion.