Top honours for class of 2013

Group shotPRIESTLEY College has honoured its class of 2013 for their academic success and achievements.

The college’s annual awards evening saw members of the cohort recognised for their contributions to student and community life as well as achievements since finishing their exams.

Principal Mike Southworth told more than 400 students and parents that he believed their studies had prepared them for life.

“The doors of colleges like Priestley should always open towards a place at life’s top table, not a seat at the back of the class,” he said.

“I think your achievements and confidence should make real the prospect of a more fulfilled life; a better job and an opportunity to make a difference in whatever career path you follow.

“We aim to make success and achievement a habit – one that will continue throughout adult life.”

David Mowatt MP was guest of honour for the evening and presented 110 awards – included 20 sponsored by local businesses and individuals – to some of the highest achievers.

Among the awardees were former Bridgewater High pupil Matthew Aitchison for English Language and Leah Hemmings, formerly of Great Sankey High School, for her Extended Project.

Since finishing at Priestley Matthew has gone on to Lancaster University to study English Language and Leah is focusing on American Studies and History at Nottingham.

Former Beamont Collegiate Academy pupil Jake Brinksman, Adnan Hussain formerly of Lymm High School and ex Bankfield pupil Rebecca Sutch received the ‘Contribution to College Life and the Wider Community Award.

Others were recognised for excelling in each curriculum area while others received Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Priestley’s regional, national and international sports stars were also acknowledged for their efforts.

Speaking during the presentation Chairman of Governors Reg Haslam said that 17 years ago he had been sitting in the audience feeling proud about the achievements of the first of his three sons.

“This year’s results are outstanding,” he said. “There are few inclusive colleges in the country that have consistently achieved such success for their students.”

In 2013 Priestley students secured an overall A Level pass rate of at least 99% for the ninth year running.

BTEC Level 3 and International Baccalaureate students also performed outstandingly well.

Mike Southworth said Priestley aimed to prepare young people for university or employment, which often required skills such as creativity, reliability, tenacity and self-confidence.

“As we all know, these are attributes are not captured by any league table, but these rounded and grounded qualities make all the difference,” he said.

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