Aimee secures Cambridge offer

A STUDENT who enjoys solving linguistic problems has conquered one of the biggest challenges of all – how to secure a place at Cambridge.

Aimee Cartwright, who is currently studying A-Levels at Priestley College, faced a day of interviews and tests at the university before receiving an offer.

In doing so, she becomes the first member of her immediate family to secure a place at university.

“My parents were both hoping I would get in, but none of us expected it because only one in five people receive an offer,” said Aimee, who is 18.

“I started to take an interest in studying at Oxbridge when I was at high school, but it was only when I took The Graduate at Priestley that it started to feel realistic.”

Aimee currently studies A-Levels in French, English Language and Religious Studies at Priestley and needs two A*s and an A to reach Cambridge. In Year 1 at Priestley she also took Sociology and believes the extra AS-Level helped her application stand out.

She is also on Priestley’s Graduate programme, which is designed to help students secure places at the UK’s top universities as well as prepare them for if they are successful.

Aimee, a former Great Sankey High School pupil, hopes to study French as well as Spanish for Beginners at Cambridge.

During an interview for each subject she had to answer questions in French and English and then speak a sentence of Spanish to prove some knowledge of the language. There was also a written test on the day.

Aimee was inspired to take up languages after seeing her grandparents attempting to learn Spanish after moving abroad.

“I’m not a very scientific or mathematic person, but I love problem solving in languages,” she said.

“There’s not one right answer because when you translate a phrase people can interpret it in different ways and that’s one of the things I like about it.”

National finals for Priestley’s volleyball players

PRIESTLEY’S volleyball team has qualified for the national college finals for the second consecutive year.

Despite having to replace four of 2017’s departing second years the team have repeated their achievement to represent the North West in the AoC Sport National Championships.

“We had to ask around after the second years went to university to try and make up the team and we found some players who wanted to take up volleyball again,” said player Dan Burrows, who is coaching the team.

“Given how the team came together we gelled really well and everyone is able to make practice and seems to be enjoying it. I think I put this team on a par with last year’s but we still have time to improve because the finals are not until April.”

Priestley qualified after finishing top in the regional tournament held at Manchester University. They enjoyed wins over Salford and Winstanley colleges, winning two sets to one and 26-24 respectively.

“Both were difficult matches because both teams got into our heads early on, but we were able to power through and showed real character,” said Dan, a former Birchwood Community High pupil who studies BTEC Sport Performance and Excellence at Priestley.

As well as the national finals Priestley have also won through to the quarterfinals of the AoC Knockout Cup where another matchup with Winstanley awaits.

A more professional approach has helped the Priestley team succeed this season with each match being recorded so that tactics, strengths and weaknesses can be analysed.

Sports Tutor Katie Radford said: “The team are a dedicated bunch of lads and have done incredibly well so far.


“They work well as a unit and are really looking forward to representing the North West in the national finals.”

Warrington High School for Girls reunion


Priestley College in Menin Ave Warrington is now a prestigious sixth form college, but many of its students will not be aware that previously it was the site of WARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS – a single sex grammar school from the old days of the 11 plus, which ran in parallel to the boys’ Boteler Grammar School

Autumn 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the final intake of girls into the old Warrington High School, before it morphed into Priestley College and the Warrington High School Old Girls Facebook Group are holding a special reunion dinner at the Park Royal Hotel on 20th October 218 which they would like as many old girls as possible to attend.

This is a reunion of each and every pupil from each and every past year of Warrington High School for Girls – both the Menin Avenue and Palmyra Square schools. It’s a chance to meet up with old friends and perhaps make new friends, to share memories – good and bad – and to have a lovely evening.

Tickets cost £50 each which includes a 3-course dinner and DJ.

To reserve your place, please send an email to and details will be sent by return of how to pay your deposit of £30.  More details of the event are available on the WARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS Facebook site.

Priestley teams up with Oxbridge to raise aspirations

Dr Peter Claus.

Priestley College is working with two of the world’s leading universities to raise the aspirations of young people.

Priestley is hosting several events over the next couple of months with academics from Oxford and Cambridge and some of the college’s former students who are now studying at Russell Group universities.

It is hoped these events will inspire young people who might otherwise not have planned to attend university.

“There are still fewer young people from the North West applying for places at the UK’s top universities than there are from other parts of the country,” said Mark Salmon, a Senior Tutor at Priestley.

“We are determined our students will not see any university place as unobtainable and to raise their aspirations by working closely with the Russell Group, particularly Oxbridge.”

In January Priestley will be hosting a masterclass that will be attended by more than 100 young people from the region.

The theme of the masterclass – which is designed to take students way beyond the A-Level syllabus – is ‘Consequences’ and several tutors from Priestley will be leading the lectures.

Oxbridge have also asked Priestley to host an event aimed at giving Year 12s the skills they need to secure places at Britain’s best universities.

Former Priestley student Greg Horne who is now studying Law at Oxford.

Academics and members of their two universities’ admissions and liaison teams will advise students what they need to do to stand out from the crowd and submit a competitive application. Tutors will also receive advice on writing references.

Students who have applied to Priestley – and who have predicted grades that suggest they could study at one of the UK’s top universities – have been invited to ‘An Evening With Oxbridge’ next month.

They will hear from academics Dr Catherine Sumnall (Cambridge) and Dr Peter Claus (Oxford) about the admissions process and how their tutorial teaching systems can benefit those who are academically motivated and engaged.

“Events like the one being held at Priestley are important to help provide the extra information and inspiration that some young people need to achieve their full potential,” said Dr Claus.

Captain America?

PRIESTLEY football captain Joe Salter has his sights set on ‘cracking America’.

Joe is in line to secure a soccer scholarship thanks to his talent and the college’s links with Soccer Scout USA.

The winger, who also plays for Witton Albion, hopes to play in New York state.

“The approach over there is different to the UK because you train like a professional athlete at the school and colleges’ level,” he said.

Scouts are currently watching videos of Joe in action and he has passed the English and Maths exams required to be accepted into an American college.

In February he will be travelling to America with some of his Priestley teammates to play in a short tour when he hopes to attract some more attention from the American scouts.

“At the college level you can be playing in front of thousands of people so it will be a great experience for me,” he said.