Fast track to success for Zohra and Ciara

Zohra Najimi and Ciara Glennon have completed their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in record time.

TWO students at Priestley College have taken a step towards securing their futures in medicine and dentistry.

High fliers Zohra Najimi and Ciara Glennon completed their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in record time and are predicted high grades when the results are in.

Increasing numbers of universities are making lower offers to students with a high grade in EPQ because it demonstrates they already have many of the skills to succeed at degree level.

“I don’t take any essay-based subjects so it was really useful for me to develop those skills,” said Zohra, who is studying A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

The former Cardinal Newman RC High School pupil, who is also Vice President of the College Council, wrote 14,000 words exploring the subject: ‘Antibiotic resistance: The silent tsunami?’

She referenced 44 sources including the NHS, World Health Organisation as well as other Government records and professional journals.

Now her goal is to study medicine at university while Ciara wants to focus on dentistry.

The 19-year-old completed her EPQ on whether ‘the fluoridation of water should be illegal?’ early to give herself more time to study her A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Philosophy.

Ciara, who previously studied at Loreto Grammar School, said being a dentist would allow her to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

“I always thought I would aim for a career in science because it’s just the way my brain works, I see patterns in everything,” said Ciara, who lives in Appleton.

“I was raised by a single mum who is a doctor so it never crossed my mind that I couldn’t pursue a career in dentistry.”

Priestley’s Head of Humanities Ian Hughes, who oversees the EPQ, praised both students and said: “The standard of their projects suggests that, not only are these two very capable young scientists, they will also achieve very high grades.

“The EPQ has been a perfect preparation for such demanding undergraduate courses as medicine and dentistry so we wish them well in securing their places and their time at university.”

Two in a row for Priestley’s tech teams

PRIESTLEY students have won the Barclays Tech Innovation Challenge – the second consecutive year a team from the college has scooped the top prize.

Jack Sigley and Sam Maher, both 17, and 16-year-olds Josh Furby and Mark Swift impressed senior staff from the bank with their innovative way to encourage people to give to charities.

“We certainly thought our idea was a good one, but some of the other presentations were slicker than ours,” said Mark, a former pupil at Future Tech Studio School.

“We had prepared better for questions than some of the other teams and were able to give really strong answers.”

Barclays had challenged North West schools and colleges to develop an alternative way for charities to receive donations.

The Priestley quartet presented their idea to a room full of their peers and Barclays staff at Radbroke Hall in Knutsford.

It centred around an adaptation to the Barclays app, which would allow users to donate odd amounts of change in their account directly to charities.

“Part of what we had to do was look at the experience our teams had and divide up jobs like designing the interface and producing the business plan,” said former Lymm High School pupil Josh.

Barclays awarded prizes for best presentation, best use of technology and the main honour of best overall idea, which went to Priestley.

Tutor Alasdair Reid said the experience of working with an international company had been invaluable for the college’s BTEC IT students.

“They get so much from it, not least the experience of presenting their idea on such a big stage to so many people,” he said.

“We’d like to thank our mentors from Barclays – Pamela Ward and Jim Pluck – and look forward to entering the competition again next year.”

All set for a performance to remember

YOUNG dancers and production artists are all set to showcase their talents to Warrington audiences.

Tickets are on sale for the Priestley College students’ annual performance, which this year is called ‘Kinesis’ – the Greek word for movement.

“I’m looking forward to this show so much, it’s just been amazing to be a part of it,” said student Jess Hilton.

Jess – and Priestley’s other second year Production Arts students – have taken on different roles including stage management, lighting and marketing.

They’ve also designed and built the sets and sorted out the projections.

“We also sit through every rehearsal to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that everything will run smoothly on the night,” said Jess, a former pupil at Culcheth High School.

Priestley’s dance students have extensively rehearsed their group work, solos and duets.

They have choreographed the performance pieces, discussed the music, lighting, costume, makeup and props.

Both A-Level and BTEC students have taken part and the work goes towards their final marks.

“The dance show is a big moment for the second years because it’s one of the major shows we work on before heading off to university,” said 18-year-old Meg Perks.

“We work closely together and communicate well as a class. Our main focus is making this show the best that Priestley has ever seen.”

Every year dozens of Priestley’s Performing Arts and Production Arts students secure places at the UK’s leading theatre schools.

Many have returned to pass on their knowledge to the current cohort who have already received offers from those top establishments.

Priestley Tutor Mark Edgington said: “We attract the best of local young talent and they go on to great things after studying here. Our current cohort are no exception so whoever buys a ticket is in for a treat.”

The performances are on Monday and Wednesday, 13th and 15th February, starting at 7.30pm.

For tickets call 01925 624457. You can follow Priestley Dance on twitter @priestley_dance

Spanish students head to MMU

University trips are vital part of helping our students transition to the next stage of their education.

Here, Spanish student Louise Fairclough briefly explains what she took from a recent Spanish visit to MMU.


On the 1st November 2016 four languages students from Priestley College went to Manchester Metropolitan University for a Spanish language day.

The day involved attending several talks about various aspects of the Spanish language, such as when to use ‘ser’ instead of ‘estar’ and the subjunctive tense, and also the opportunity to attend an Italian language taster session.

We also received a booklet containing valuable information to help us with our A level studies, and though the group was a mix of AS and A2 students we were all able to learn something valuable and relevant to our courses.

Overall the day was extremely useful and highly recommended for those studying Spanish, as we were able to extend our knowledge of the language and ask questions about areas we were unsure about, as well as finding out more about studying languages at university.

Priestley’s footballers topping the league

Priestley’s footballers are top of the North West Colleges’ League with just two games to go. Last week they defeated Bury College 8-2.

On Wednesday they compete in the ESFA Cup semi-final away to York College.

League table –