Welcome to Priestley College
- received top scholarships worth thousands of pounds
- secured BAFtA nominations for computer Games Design
- Won a prestigious mock trial contest
- represented the North West in swimming
- enjoyed victory in a national competition to design a phone app ahead of 22,000 other entrants
PRIESTLEY College became a sixth form in 1979 and has grown in numbers and reputation ever since.
By 2009 the College had doubled in size thanks to improvements in performance, the introduction of new curriculum and significant investment in the campus.
Principal Matthew Grant said: “We have made great strides in recent years, but we are not a college that stands still. We are constantly looking for ways to improve in order to make the biggest difference to the most number of young people.”
There are now more than 2,000 learners at Priestley with the latest investment a £1.5million technology centre that boasts more than 200 computers.
Currently, the Crescent building is being extended to provide extra café and study space whilst the drama studios are also being extended.
More than £15million has been invested in the campus since 1999 on projects such as the new the Learning Resource Centre and an All Weather Pitch.
Priestley’s growth in numbers has also gone hand in hand with increasing the range and scope of provision as well as significant improvements in quality.
By responding to student demand and national curriculum development, we have been able to broaden the choice by offering new curriculum lines.
Students now have the choice of more than 70 A Level and BTEC courses with hundreds of possible combinations available.
All this allows us to successfully pursue our vision to be recognised as an outstanding college that strives for excellence as well as achieve our mission to realise potential through inspirational teaching and learning in a wholly supportive and caring environment.
Built in November 2007, the Crescent Building which has 22 multi-functional teaching spaces, was a landmark development for Priestley. The building also houses the College’s main reception, a large student services area and a high street standard food court in the shape of the Crescent Cafe. The new building revolutionised the College campus and added a new architectural feature to the skyline of Warrington South.
The Priestley Building is the largest on campus and is home to our science laboratories, one of our two reception areas and all Performing Arts studios. Modern Foreign Languages, Maths, English are also taught here.
Learning Resource Centre
This outstanding learning resource has been designed to meet the needs of a modern day student. Indeed some of the facilities are better than you would find at some universities. It includes; over 150 PCs, separate study areas for express access, quiet study, group work and informal learning. We have also added high specification machines for students doing graphic work. In summer 2010 the College invested a further £300,000 in extending the LRC with a brand new conservatory. This new space provides students with even more invaluable study space. The LRC is currently open for private study until 6pm Monday to Thursday during term time so that you can catch up on your studies. Study Support staff are available to provide one to one support for those who need it.
The transformation of the campus originally began in 2003 as £1.7 million was spent on a range of new buildings. Most striking was the creation of the Sports Centre. The facility contains a full size sports hall, fitness suite, sports lab, teaching rooms, office space and changing facilities. The Fitness Suite contains a Techno Gym, comprising a treadmill, cycle ergometer, rowing ergometer, Smith’s machine and a full set of free weights. Away from the Sports Centre itself the College also has football, rugby and hockey pitches, four tennis courts, three netball courts and an all weather pitch. The facilities enable the College to offer a broad range of sporting activities and opportunities to students and also enhance current schools of excellence.
The College has invested over £150,000 to create new laboratories. These new facilities boast a range of high-tech equipment and facilities including fume cupboards and University standard analytical balances. An additional four very well equipped science laboratories offer state-of-the-art, university-standard apparatus for Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Physics, Applied Science and Science in Society students. The Chemistry and Applied Science Departments utilises two large, fully refurbished, flexible laboratories. The laboratories have computer access and there are six Analytical Balances of university standard. The Biology Department has two large laboratories, which includes Photo and Video Microscopy facilities with a wide variety of slides and there is also a greenhouse annexed onto one of the laboratories. Priestley has a resident network computer and a 10″ reflecting telescope and data logging equipment. The electronics lab is well equipped with specialist benches and test equipment and has access to oscilloscopes and signal generators.
Media & Performing Arts Centre
Students have access to a leading and high profile Performing Arts and Media centre. The centre houses a dance studio with sprung floors and mirrored walls as well as a modern rehearsal studio for Drama and Performing Arts. Elsewhere there is a Media Editing Facility and a full Music teaching suite with recording studio and soundproofed practice rooms, all with the latest cutting edge technologies. The facilities complement the existing fully equipped performance theatre, within the hall which has also been refurbished and modernised in recent times.
Art & Desing Centres
Following an extensive refurbishment and redevelopment these centres provide the broadest and most diverse ranges of Art and Design courses available in a truly creative and inspiring environment. There are several workshops and studio spaces, each supported by a wealth of dedicated equipment and machinery, for subjects and activities including Textiles, 3D Design Technology, Graphics, Computer Games Design, Photography, Ceramics, Glass and Fine Art. The Graphic and Photography suites accommodate high specification PCs which are installed with a range of industry standard multimedia software and are networked to A3 Laser duplex colour printers. The Arts Centre also has an exhibition space for the display of current and ongoing student work.
Lewis Carroll Building
The Lewis Carroll Building is home to our computing and ICT courses. The state-of-the-art, £1.2million development is home to more than 200 computers and was opened by Dr David Whan, a trustee of the New Engineering Foundation. Priestley was the first sixth form college in the country to receive STEM assured status – making it one of the UK’s top education providers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Study Support at Priestley is based on the ground floor of the Learning Resource Centre. Our friendly and experienced team includes:
• Learning Support Manager
• Learning Support Tutor
• Learning Support Assistants
We can provide advice, guidance and support at any point during your time at College, to aid you in your studies and to help you to achieve success.
Study support is flexible, tailored to your needs, and is aimed at all levels. We can help you with structuring your assignments, getting your ideas down on paper, improving your spelling, helping you to get organised, managing your deadlines and workload, revision and exam techniques or in any other area you would like support. Sessions can be weekly, a short course of sessions, a single session, or drop in when needed, according to which you would prefer.
If you have a disability or learning difficulty such as dyslexia, we recommend that you contact us early to allow us to fully discuss your needs with you. We are experienced in supporting students with a wide range of difficulties and disabilities.
Should you need exam concessions, we can assess your needs and organise arrangements such as extra time, use of a word processor, scribe or a separate room. If you already have a report from an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher, or evidence of exam concessions at school, we can organise the recommended arrangements once we have a copy.
If English is your second language, we can offer regular one-to-one sessions and ESOL workshops to support you in your studies and to improve your English.
In 2015, Priestley students secured a 99% pass rate – the eleventh successive year a cohort has enjoyed this achievement at Priestley – with 100% passing in 39 subjects.
Among them was Katheryn Thompson, formerly of Penketh High, who achieved As in English Literature, History, Maths and an A* in Law. She is now headed to Oxford to study the Classics and English.
Principal Matthew Grant said the A-Level results followed another set of outstanding BTEC results earlier in the summer when Priestley saw a 100% pass rate in all extended diplomas.
“This year’s results really do mark us out as the area’s leading provider of A-Level and vocational courses,” he said.
Students achieved 200 As and A*s and an impressive overall 68% of grades were awarded at A* to C.
Vocational students also delivered outstanding results with 68 securing triple distinction stars and 124 with triple distinctions.
As always many vocational students also took A-Levels alongside their main programme and many achieved top marks in both.
Among them was former Bridgewater High School pupil Amy Dewsnip who was delighted with As in A-Level Drama, English Language and Literature and History to go with her double distinction star in Performing Arts.
She will now pursue her dream of becoming a professional actress and the next stage is studying at East 15 Acting School in Essex.
Daniel Monks, who formerly attended The Heath in Runcorn, took home As in 3D Design, Biology, English Literature and Language and a B in Geography.
He’s now headed to the University of Manchester to study Audiology and wants to help people identify and solve hearing difficulties.
How to apply
If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Priestley College directly.