Foundation Programme

The Foundation Programme allows you to dream bigger, aim higher and go further in education as well as in life.

This route will equip you not only with an academic qualification, but also the technical and employability skills you need to succeed on an apprenticeship, in the workplace or at university.

A Foundation year paves the way for you to study a Level 3 programme such as A-Levels, BTECs or T-Levels – all of which can be taken in your second and third years at Priestley.

It does this by giving you the support and experiences you need to excel at the next level while also allowing you time to carefully plan your next steps after college.

By the end of your Foundation Programme you will have the confidence, skills and aspiration to go further than you might ever have dreamed was possible.

What courses are available on the Foundation Programme?

Art & Design

Explore and develop your ideas and produce final outcomes in a project at the end of the year. Experience projects in graphics, textiles, fine art and 3D design.

Business & Travel

By the end of your BTEC Level 2 you will have a grounding in a range of areas including Enterprise in the Business World, Finance for Business and the Principles of Marketing. Other specialist projects and/ or additional modules will develop your industry-related expertise and enhance your academic and employability skills.

Computer Arts

Earn a BTEC Level 2 in Art & Design skills while through an HPQ build a digital world or complete a certification exam in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Take on a live brief with a big company or magazine so that you can demonstrate your skills in a real-life scenario.

Further Maths (L2 GCSE)

This course is a foundation year for students who would like to study AS Maths but have arrived at Priestley with an average GCSE score between 5 and 5.5, or a grade 6 GCSE Maths. The course covers the areas of algebra and geometry, which are crucial to further study in Maths, in greater depth and breadth. This qualification places an emphasis on higher order technical proficiency, rigorous argument and problem solving skills. Students who are successful on this course will be able to study AS Maths in their second year at Priestley.

Health & Early Years

Our combined course is the perfect start for anyone considering careers in health or the education of children (up to 12 years old). Additional qualifications can be attained in everything from Mental Health Awareness to manual handling and food hygiene. Work experience is also an option. You will secure the knowledge, understanding and skills to progress onto Level 3 and achieve your career goals.

Media & Film

An introduction to media products and audiences, potentially leading to the creation of your own radio shows and setting up webcasts. The perfect start towards preparing for a career in the film industry by developing technical skills, working in teams, understanding industry practices and being able to review film productions.

Public Services

Cover topics such as the role and work of the Public Services as well as the responsibility of protecting communities. There will also be the opportunity to secure an Extended Certificate in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community, as well as a Level 2 in First Aid.

Science (Trilogy GCSE)

This is an exciting opportunity to improve your GCSE Science results in a year and lay the foundation for Level 3 study on courses such as T-Level Health, Health & Social Care, Engineering and A-Level sciences. You will need to be willing to work in teams on practicals as well as independently outside the classroom and be determined to improve on your GCSE results. You must already have at least a grade 3,3 in Combined Science or grade 3s in separate sciences.


This Level 2 Certificate can lead to other sports courses and additional qualifications such as in First Aid, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, umpiring qualifications and the TQUK Level 1 Award in Volunteering. You will benefit from our partnerships with Warrington Wolves, Warrington Schools Partnership, Livewire and Active Soccer.

A three-year passport to success

We see a successful Foundation year as a passport to a further two years studying a Level 3 programme such as A-Level, BTEC or T-Level.

After completing three years at Priestley you will be ready for your next challenge in Higher Education or industry depending on what you decide is best.

That is the beauty of the Foundation Programme, it leads to more opportunities at Priestley or beyond.

• Develop academic skills
• Improve soft skills
• Enhance employability
• Begin subject speciality
• Assess Level 3 option skills
• Develop English & Maths skills

• Level 3 subject specialism
• Or change subject specialism
• Enhanced academic skills
• Strengthen soft skill development
• Expand employability skill set
• Results for English & Maths

• Preparation for university & UCAS application
• Improve soft skills
• Enhance employability
• Begin subject speciality
• Assess Level 3 suitability

Go further with essential life skills

Success in life does not just depend on qualifications, it is about the skills that will make you a valuable asset to any business once you have secured your academic goals.

Therefore, there is a focus in the Foundation Year on developing the following abilities in order to make you as competitive a candidate for jobs, apprenticeships and university places as any of your peers.

Gaining valuable experience

It is hard to put a price on experience, that is why we organise work experience as part of your Foundation year.

Priestley has well-established links in the Cheshire business community and these are growing all the time. That is why we can find the perfect work placement for you whether your interest is Childcare, Sport, Media, IT, Computer Games Art or Business.

As we prepare you for your future you will benefit from:

This aspect of the Foundation Programme will help you understand your own values and qualities, more about careers, as well as help you become more assertive and confident.

Supporting your every step

It is important to know that you will have support at every turn here at Priestley. From your first term at college when we will hold a Welcome Fayre to help you plan ahead, to regular contact with Progress and Personal Tutors.

There will also be extra support to ensure your English and Maths skills are at the necessary level to ensure you achieve your goals.

If you need to resit your GCSEs in these subjects you can do so at Priestley and our pass rates are excellent.

Priestley’s Foundation Programme will help you in many ways including:
• Focussing on the skills you need to succeed such as note taking, presenting and working in teams
• Giving you the confidence to speak in groups, express your opinions and think critically
• Developing your ability to proofread and conduct research

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