Excel Programme

Priestley helps you to excel in learning and in life. Whether your goal is to go to one of the country’s leading universities, or to secure prestigious employment or an apprenticeship, we provide the inspiration, challenge and the support you need to get there.

The various aspects of our Excel Programme are tailored to ensure that, on top of your results, you leave Priestley with that little added extra to make you stand out. 

Take a look at the opportunities that are available and imagine yourself taking part. They are challenging, but also fun. Among those students who have benefitted from aspects of Priestley’s Excel programme in recent years are Thomas Shaw and Madgey Thompson. We visited them both at the University of Oxford to hear about their experiences.

Just announced...

We can confirm our full list of guest speakers for the first term of the year. These inspiring lectures take place on Wednesday afternoons and cover a range of subjects including Science, Engineering, Infant Neuroscience, Politics and more.

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Bridging the gap to university

Throughout the year we invite speakers into college to help you make the right decisions about your future.

Representatives from UCLan, Dundee, Arts University of London, Liverpool Hope and Chester universities are just some of those who attend.

They offer advice on how to apply to university, writing personal statements, degree apprenticeships and early applicant interviews for Oxbridge. 

Another tool you will have to assist you is UNIFROG. This online platform will help you to make the best choices and submit the strongest applications.

Priestley also organises a number of study days at University College Oxford for those students aiming to study at Russell Group universities. 

Each year we dedicate Choices Week to helping students gather all the information they need for university. More than 100 sessions take place.

Raising aspirations with Oxford and Cambridge Universities

Priestley is a hub for OxNet – a programme run by the University of Oxford and Pembroke College aimed at making higher education more accessible.

OxNet is unapologetically academic in its focus, and has had significant impact in the local communities in which it has worked since 2008.

This happens through a rigorous academic programme featuring seminars (run at Priestley), and Easter and Summer conferences. 

Oxford also has a relationship with TCAT which involves our year 12 students accessing specialist STEM and languages support sessions, academic talks, experimental facilities and the latest research. 

Priestley also takes part in HE+, a collaborative project with the University of Cambridge. HE+ is a year-long programme that includes academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, information and guidance sessions, and a visit to the university.

Helping you to excel

All your teachers will help you to reach your full potential, but we also have a team dedicated to raising the aspirations of Priestley students.

Chris Peacock is Head of Humanities, Languages, Health and Education and Excel lead.  He has a BA from Liverpool University in Sociology and Criminology and worked in countries such as Nigeria and China before entering teaching.  During these years he learned how to speak Mandarin. 

Connie Bostock is our Graduate Tutor and Oxnet Coordinator. She graduated from University College, Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). During her degree, Connie received a University College Tutorial Award for her consistent academic performance.

Ian Hughes graduated with a BA (Hons.) in French, is an examiner for AQA and has an MA in Education. He is passionate about getting more students from state education into the best universities.

Jenny George is a former Bridgewater High School pupil who studied at Priestley College. She went on to secure a 1st Class Philosophy Degree from the University of Warwick.

Excel at Priestley brochure

For more details about how Priestley helps you Excel take some time to read our brochure. It adds more detail to what you have read on this page and gives you a better idea of the ethos behind the Excel Programme.

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