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.
Bridging the gap to university
Throughout the year we invite speakers into college to help you make the right decisions about your future.
In the past year we’ve enjoyed fascinating talks by representatives from Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Liverpool and Queen Mary University of London.
Annually we are visited by York, UCLan, Dundee, Arts University of London, Liverpool Hope and Chester universities.
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.
Priestley is an OxNet Hub
Priestley College is one of seven OxNet Hub Schools, and employs an OxNet Coordinator who acts as a link between Pembroke College, Oxford and Priestley College.
Attainment driven, informed by evidence and unapologetically academic in its focus, OxNet runs five intensive courses.
Each course includes participation in a Study Skills Day, a six-week Seminar Series, an Easter Essay Competition, Twilight Talks and our famous August Summer School, otherwise known as Access Week.
Priestley College is a regional subject centre for Modern Languages and has the title of North West Centre for Languages and Cultures.
The North West Centre for Languages and Cultures works collaboratively with Pembroke College, Oxford, Queen Mary University of London and Lancaster University strengthen the position of Modern Foreign Languages in schools and sixth form colleges in the North-West region.
This means that Priestley is a hub of languages-related outreach activity including, but not limited to, ab initio languages taster sessions, reading groups and a global film club.
Raising Expectations with Oxford and Cambridge
The Oxnet facilitates contact between Priestley College and the University of Oxford via Pembroke College. This is not the extent of the relationship between Priestley and the collegiate university.
Oxplore, an outreach initiative led by the University of Oxford, has a relationship with TCAT. This means that students are able to engage closely with the central university.
Each year, we are visited by guests from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge who give tailored advice and guidance to our students.
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.