Priory School is a Local Authority Maintained Community School for young people aged 11 – 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties, many of their students also have a diagnosis of Autism. Following their recent Ofsted short inspection, Priory School continues to be recognised as a ‘Good’ school in all aspects of their provision.
At Priory School, they passionately believe that all young people with special educational needs and disabilities are entitled to access outstanding learning within their local community and they are committed to setting standards of excellence in special education that achieve the highest aspirational outcomes for all of their students.
Their new, purpose built school building is located in Hermitage Road, Upper Norwood and includes a dedicated Food Technology Preparation Kitchen, an ICT suite, Immersive Room, Gym, Lego Therapy Room, Therapy Centre, Outdoor Learning area and a Forest School which provides students with opportunities to flourish and learn new skills in a variety of learning environments outside of the classroom. The school further benefits from a purpose built Theatre Studio enabling their students to fully explore their dance, drama and creative talents in a realistic working performance space.
Their Post 16 provision provides students with their own Common Room and a fully equipped ‘Life Skills Flat’ that enables them to practice and develop both their social and independent living skills in preparation for adult life. They have also developed a wide range of work experience opportunities for Key Stage 5 learners that include hospitality, retail, farm work, hairdressing, etc. within the local community.
Priory School has been open for four years and in that time, this modern, purpose-built building has had no branding except for a logo outside on the school wall. The school lacked an identity and a place to be proud of for the students and the staff. The facilities within the school are fantastic but the warmth of the environment, although functional, had a cold, unfriendly and stark appearance.
All schools are important learning environments and they need to stimulate the children and give them a sense of belonging, particularly within the special needs criteria. Pylon Design were asked to develop a brand that gave them a presence but was also sympathetic to the needs of the students. The first task was to look at the existing logo which would form the base of the brand.
Priory School had been using a logo incorporating a tree for the four years since they opened and this is very appropriate as the school backs onto a wood which is also used by the students as a learning environment. Pylon Design proposed to keep the tree concept but develop it further creating an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary new logo and identity. The tree was redrawn, bold typography was introduced that also had rounded, soft edges to create a more friendly appearance, and strong, vibrant colours were suggested to add life to the look and feel. The result is a well balanced, elegant but powerful solution that can be adapted to other elements of the brand while retaining the new look of the school.