Excel programme

Priestley is a stepping stone on the way to securing your future in the world of work. For many students this will be via university whilst others will go straight from Priestley into prestigious jobs or apprenticeships.

Our focus is to ensure that you reach your full potential in all qualifications you take and that you are given every opportunity to hone those skills and talents that every leading university and employer seek from today’s generation of young people.

In addition to the broad range of activities and individual support you will receive via your Tutor Group and Personal Tutor we also offer a range of specialist opportunities including:

In year two,  students hoping to progress directly  onto a law related degree or a law related job can benefit from the highly successful pre-law enrichment course. This includes advice and guidance on university and job applications and a real focus on developing key legal skills such as advocacy, interviewing and legal research. Students will enter mock trial competitions against other colleges and also enter the prestigious Priestley College Mooting Competition based on Supreme Court scenarios. Students will work with local magistrates and enjoy trips to local courts and a local police station. The course will also involve legal seminars run in conjunction with the University of Law.

This programme has been extended to include an option for those who are considering becoming a Secondary Teacher as well as those looking to go into Primary Teaching.

Here students gain the latest insights into the leading medical professions through work with Universities such as Liverpool and Manchester, whilst also benefitting from guest speakers including practitioners and current medical students and visits.

This is ideal for those seeking careers in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science.

Recent speakers and workshops have included: 

  • Dr Helena Lee – Organ Transplantation Specialist based in Manchester Royal Infirmary 
  • Fastbleep – Manchester Medical School Session with seven medical students. Workshops on Physiology, suturing, First Aid, Blood Pressure and advice about admissions.
  • Dr Astrid Prams  (A&E Doctor) – Workshop on bandaging – All students acted as patients and doctors/nurses. Very hands on and messy! (Speaker/Workshop)
  • European Medical International – Organisation which helps students get into medical schools in Europe (Speaker)
  • Andy Roscoe – SEN Specialist with focus on communication and Empathy (Speaker)
  • Dom Crawley – Former Priestley student studying Medicine at Newcastle University. Great advice given and tips on UKCAT (Speaker)

Unique to Priestley the Graduate Programme aims to raise the aspirations of the very best students to ensure we unlock your potential. It gives you every opportunity to be ready to apply for some of the most competitive degree courses in the country and/or to apply for top companies in the UK and abroad.

Through the Graduate you will benefit from:

  • Specialist coaching
  • Exciting opportunities at leading universities including, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Durham, London, York and Warwick
  • Challenges that take you out of your comfort zone and help prepare you for application and interviews
  • A bespoke support group
  • Visiting lecturers
  • Specialist advice and guidance

Leading lecturers and professors from Oxford, Cambridge, York, Leeds, Salford, Liverpool and Chester Universities judge our unrivaled annual essay competition where first year students are given invaluable feedback prior to completing university applications.

Priestley College is a centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which means it can independently run the course and issue gold, silver and bronze honours. Head of Sport Nigel Howells, who oversees DofE activities, said: “It means we can run our own programme, but obviously working within the guidelines of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. “We are finding that for some students the Duke of Edinburgh is one of the reasons they choose Priestley and now we will be able to fit it in around their studies.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award’s goal is to create a world where young people can reach their full potential whatever their circumstances. It provides a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and teamworking. Its ethos is to enable every young person of every background to do their DofE and succeed, regardless of any barriers. Nigel said that was in-keeping with Priestley College’s principles.

“All young people should be given every support necessary in order for them to achieve,” he said.

The engineering scheme allows students to develop real life solutions to production problems. In recent years teams from Priestley have successfully worked with top engineers from Sellafield on a number of tasks developing team work, problem solving and presentation skills.Through our links with leading Universities our scientists have benefitted from practical demonstrations from leading lecturers from Nottingham University and Computing students have benefitted from our close links with the University of Salford.

Solvay is a highly respected international chemical company with a local base. It has supported the running of the Priestley/Solvay Science conference looking at issues around the sustainability agenda for the benefit of Year 10 pupils whilst working alongside our current students.

Our Maths and Science students are challenged each year to enter the Olympiad programme where they set themselves against the best students from across the country through a series of tests and assessments. Previously our students have collected as many as 30 Gold, Silver or Bronze medals in a year and have even gone on to represent the UK in the international finals – on one occasion this event for Chemistry was held in Vietnam.

This is aimed at AS/A Level language students and is an excellent opportunity for language learning and to build your confidence.

Our inspirational performance companies give you every opportunity to hone your skills and talents through practical experiences with regular performances of the highest standard. These are the choir Breathe, contemporary dance company Oxygen and theatre company Respiration.

Our specialist Guidance Team works to ensure that every opportunity is taken to engage leading local, regional and national employers in activities that ensure students are ready for the world of work.