Members of the college’s prestigious Graduate Enrichment Programme received awards for their efforts in helping other students settle into college life and plan for their futures.
Former Priestley students who are now studying at universities have also joined the programme and are helping the current crop of learners to make an easier transition to higher education. These include Joe Brown who is reading Law at Oxford and Matt Bird who is studying PPE at Oxford.
“The most powerful part of the Graduate Programme is the students hearing this advice from their peers and not from us,” said Senior Tutor Mark Salmon.
The Graduate is unique to Priestley and works with those students aiming to achieve places at top universities.
Its goal is to unlock students’ full potential through specialist coaching, additional challenging work and visiting lecturers.
Former Bankfield School pupil Becky Sutch, who completed the Graduate Programme and is going to York to study English Language and Linguistics, said: “The Graduate taught me a lot about decision making and being around like-minded people made me realise what I could achieve.
“Having friends that thought in the same way, or wanted to achieve the same things, made me so much more determined to strive and be ambitious.”
In 2013, leading lecturers and professors from Oxford, Cambridge and York supported the Graduate by judging Priestley’s unrivalled essay competition.
Former Bridgewater High School Chris Hammond is heading to Oxford to study Medicine after completing the Graduate alongside Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology A Levels.
He advised other students to sign up to the programme.
“You’ll be glad you did after all the help with important decisions that you receive,” he said.
Ashley Carley, who will be studying Genetics at Sheffield University, agreed.
The former Penketh High School pupil said: “The Graduate opens up so many opportunities and enables you to access so much valuable support and advice. I would not have been nearly as successful without it.”