Students’ talent and creativity shines through at annual Art Exhibition

Last week (6th June 2024), Xaverian College arts students celebrated the end of their arts courses with an art exhibition that exuded their talent and creativity.

The annual event showcases the work of students on Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Photography and Textiles A Level subjects and gives them the opportunity to proudly present their portfolios to family, friends and the local community.

Jaz Armstrong-House, former pupil of Chorlton High School, who chose A Levels in Drama & Theatre, Fine Art and English Literature, commented: “I found the art department to have a certain energy about it where it is more freeing for students to express themselves. The subject is coursework-based so this takes the pressure off not having to do exams at the end of the course.

“My final art pieces in the exhibition were based on the concept of performance art and how it brings people together. I was looking at the art of drag and getting into character and performing and people dressing up together. I was using Victorian tropes of the moustache and top hat to show how gender is being changed, which is personal to me as an androgynous person, and this approach was welcomed and encouraged by my tutors. I also went on from that to explore Batman as an influence, because I had seen a Batman series with a queer relationship in and that really emotionally connected with me.

Next year, Jaz is progressing to the Art Foundation course at Manchester Metropolitan University, followed by an offer from the University of Salford to study a Degree in Stage, Film and Performance Design, and said: “The course is a combination of film, drama and art but from the perspective of a designer and director. My courses have really inspired me to work in the film industry and my end goal, which would be perfect and amazing, is to be a Production Designer. This would involve creating a concept for a film and choosing the style for a film and storyboarding and telling people what I want to achieve from it. It will take a lot of work, but it’s my dream!”

Nieko Brown is studying A Levels in Graphic Communication and Photography and a BTEC Extended Diploma in Business, a former pupil from Dixons Brooklands Academy. He chose practical subjects as these complimented his learning style, and commented: “I chose Graphic Communication as I got a Grade 8 in my GCSE, so felt really inspired to carry on. I’d also done thumbnails for my friends’ YouTube videos or sometimes they’d need me to design various graphics for them. It’s been a journey that is continuing, and I really want carry on improving my skills.

“My artwork brief for my final project was based on shoes, and from this I created the shoe and the graphics for a complete branded marketing campaign. I started by making mood boards of images and I focused on two artists who have inspired me with their work, one who used a comic style and another who used colours in a unique way. I combined their styles with my own influence and created graphic images by hand and then digitised the images onto computer design software to edit them into posters, badges, web pages and online graphics.

“After Xaverian, I have an unconditional offer to study a Degree in Graphic Design at the University of Salford. I chose Salford as they have excellent links with the graphic design agencies in Manchester and really support students to find roles in the industry, which is where I hope to start my career.”

Jaz Armstrong-House
Nieko Brown

Eliza Chester, from Chorlton High School, chose to study A Levels in Classical Civilisation, History and Textiles at Xaverian. She commented: “I didn’t do art at high school so I was a bit worried about doing the course, but my tutor has been really helpful. She gave me so much confidence because I’m always worried that my work is not good enough and talking to her made me feel so much better. The course is ideal for me as you can choose the themes you want to follow, and it gives you the freedom to express your full creativity.

“For my project, I talked though some options with my tutor and decided on Punch and Judy. I love Punch and Judy shows and remember seeing them on the Llandudno seafront. It’s a fascinating story as Punch is really cruel and abusive, and he kills his wife, so I thought I would bring this scary story to life using textiles. I chose to take an illustrative approach, rather than abstract, and used images that already existed or drew my own and interpreted them to produce my final pieces.

“I’m going to continue my studies with an Art Foundation course at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I’m really looking forward to because I’ve been to lots of their arts shows and loved what I’ve seen. Following this, I’ll be studying a Degree in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool and am keeping an open mind at this stage about what my future career might hold!”

Felix Fletcher from Priestnall High School, is studying Biology, Graphic Communication and Photography A Levels and Xaverian alongside joining the College’s Basketball Academy. He said: “I’ve enjoyed the Photography course as it’s been a lot of fun, the teachers are great, and it is something I enjoy doing. We also get full-time access to computers, and the camera equipment and photographic facilities are really great.

“I went with maps and routes as my choice of brief because it allowed me to do street photography, and this is something I really enjoy. I go into the street and just try to catch people without them knowing and I found this produces the best and most natural photos.

“I hope to progress to Sheffield Hallam University to study a Degree in Photography. Following this, I will be looking to start a career in photography but will be keeping my options open to see what comes up after university.”

Eliza Chester
Felix Fletcher

Shaun Steele, Divisional Lead, said: “Our Art Exhibition continues to deliver a fascinating and vibrant mix of artistic styles and influences. Our talented team of teachers inspire our students to bring out their inner creativity to produce an exhibition that was enjoyed by all. It was great to welcome parents and relatives, as well as some former students, to see the culmination of, what has been, an amazing two years. Our students are going on to greater heights in the arts industry and I’m sure they will be successful in their chosen careers!”

Visitors to the exhibition were encouraged to leave their feedback, photos of their favourite work and messages of good luck for our students. The Digital Guestbook is still open for messages to be posted and can be accessed here.

The creative industries are set to soar across advanced and developing economies worldwide during the next decade, which will provide numerous exciting career opportunities, and studying a creative subject at Xaverian can help support you in landing your dream job.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 3000 students. To find out more, visit xaverian.ac.uk – This is your place!

Xaverians past and present perform a stunning Easter Concert

The Xaverian College Music department celebrated Easter in style with a concert at the Royal Northern College of Music on Wednesday 27th of March. Students impressed with a pre-event jazz band, performing jazz classics on the mezzanine above the Carole Nash recital room. In the concert hall there were performances of traditional and modern classics. 

The concert was in front of a sold-out audience, which included Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham.

The concert started off with great energy and enthusiasm with the Big Band, directed by Mike Cavanagh, who performed The Chicken by A.J. Ellis and I Wanna Be Like You, arranged by J. Wasson.

Following the Big Band’s vibrant start to the concert, the college’s Latin Percussion Ensemble, directed by Laurie Agnew, performed An Exploration of Rumba, arranged by two year 13 students, Isla Hutchins and Alex Freeman. This was followed by La Vida Un Carnaval composed by I. Delgado.

The String Orchestra, directed by Duncan Reid, started their set with Elegy for Strings by Edward Elgar, it was conducted by Elsa Vass-de-Zomba, one of the department’s music mentors and alumni. The strings then performed Serenade for Strings – Movement 1 by A. Dvorak, conducted by Duncan Reid. 

The Flute Group, directed by Jennifer Dyson, then played two pieces, W.A. Mozart’s Die Zaubertflöte Overture and Flirty Flutes by J. Short.

Next on show was the Brass Band, once again directed by Mike Cavanagh, another Xaverian alumni. The first piece performed was Carnival of Venice by J.B. Arban. The solo euphonium part was performed by the college’s Young Musician of the Year Winner 2024, Richard Bond, he dazzled the audience with his beautiful tone and exhilarating technique. The Brass Band finished their set with You Can’t Stop the Beat by M. Shaiman.

The penultimate performance of the first half saw the Clarinet Choir, directed by Ben Pinto, perform Scheherazade – The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship, by N. Rimsky-Korsakov.

To end the half, the Concert Choir, directed by Ged Marciniak, gave a beautiful performance of Nunc Dimittis by P. Smith and a dynamic rendition of Higher Love by Jennings/Winwood, with several vocal soloists. 

The second half started off with a bang again with the Soul Band, directed by Luke Moulsher, the students performed Want You Back by C. Fry and Juice by Lizzo.

Then the Gospel Choir, with their debut concert performance, sang My Life is in Your Hands by Maverick City Music and K. Franklin, and He Reigns/Awesome God by K. Franklin. They are directed by Peniel Amegee, another former Xaverian student. 

Next to perform was the Sax Group, directed by Anthony Brown, who played Pirates of The Caribbean by K. Badelt and Greensleeves, arranged by M. White.

Before the last performance of the night, the Chamber Choir sang O Radiant Dawn by J. Macmillan and Shenandoah arranged by M. J. Trotta. The Chamber Choir are directed by another of the college’s alumni, Eleanor Jarvis. 

The Orchestra ended a wonderful concert with powerful performances of Dvorak’s New World Symphony – Movement 4, Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti, and John Williams’ Star Wars – A New Hope.

The audience gave a standing ovation at the end of another amazing concert.

BTEC Business students at Xaverian College show entrepreneurial spirit in annual fundraiser

In a showcase of entrepreneurial spirit, BTEC Business students at Xaverian College recently put their skills and knowledge into practice and hosted their annual fundraising event, leaving a buzz amongst the College community.

Event management is a fast-growing business sector and the demand for employees with the organisational skills to deliver a successful event is increasing. As part of Unit 4: Managing an Event, Students are required to work as part of a team to plan, co-ordinate and manage an event. Prior to the event, students research, trial different planning tools, and set objectives to ensure the event is a success. They are also tasked with producing a financial plan and generating marketing campaigns to promote the event and their activities.

On the day of the event, each team hosted a stall, either selling products or offering interactive activities to raise money for Save the Children and the charity’s current appeals for Gaza.

Matthew Graham, former St Antony’s RC School pupil and Sonia Imran, former Manchester Academy pupil, are both studying the Business BTEC at Xaverian. Commenting on the fundraising event, they said: “The event has gone really well! It’s great that we are able to do something that helps raise money for charity, and the real experience, putting our knowledge to the test outside of the classroom, really sets us up for the future. Every team did something different which made it a really fun and vibrant day.”

Carolyn, Laila and Yaseen (the BTEC Business Teachers), said: “Our students have done a wonderful job again this year of planning and executing their fundraising event. It is always fascinating to see the different ways in which they interpret this unit and showcase their skills. Their hard work and creativity has, not only raised over £400 for their chosen charity (over £100 more than their target), but has exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit that we aim to instil in our students here at Xaverian. Well done everyone!”

The BTEC Business course at Xaverian College provides students with a thorough grounding in business-related disciplines, such as recruitment and selection processes, economics, business ownership, stakeholders, finance, the economy and marketing. Students have the opportunity to address challenges regularly faced by businesses and learn skills crucial to their career success.

This Is Your Place! Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

Pathways Day

Xaverian College working in partnership to empower the next generation

Students at Xaverian recently had the opportunity to explore their post-18 options and connect with industry professionals, as part of the College’s annual Pathways’ Day.  

Throughout the day, students met with representatives from a range of potential employers, from multinational corporations to local businesses and non-profit organisations, alongside further and higher education providers, to gather insights into the skills and qualifications required to thrive in their chosen fields. Students had the opportunity to drop into interactive careers workshops and discussions on topics such as CV writing, interview techniques, as well as a talk giving tips and advice on applying to university through UCAS.

“The Xaverian annual Pathways’ Day is a cornerstone of our commitment to providing students with the resources and support they need to succeed in their future endeavours. This year, the event is bigger than ever with over 60 universities and employers attending from sectors including health, finance, law, engineering, publishing and science.” said Lee Jackson, Careers Advisor at Xaverian College.

Melissa Sykes, Outreach Officer from Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We have a really strong partnership with Xaverian and a lot of their students progress to MMU each year. It is really valuable for us to come to these events and talk to students about our courses, the progression opportunities available, and also our first-generation scholarship programme that Xaverian students take part in each year.”

Kirsty McCollum, Associate from Mills & Reeve LLP, spoke to students, who were considering a career in law, in a workshop about their experiences and the various careers and different routes available into the profession, and commented, “It was great to see a room full of enthusiastic faces! Being able to talk about the many varied careers available in law is a really wonderful opportunity and we hope we’ve inspired students to consider a career in law following their studies.”

Xaverian student Brendan Heil, studying A Levels in Law, Accountancy and Mathematics attended the talks during the day, and commented: “It was interesting and insightful and I learned a lot about the roles of solicitor and barrister within the law profession. I have researched the various roles in law and criminal law appeals to me most and, after listening to the talk, I will look to enter the profession through an Internship.”

Xaverian College students typically progress to degree courses at university, however in recent years, many students are pursuing sought-after higher and degree-level apprenticeships with high-profile businesses, such as Amazon and PwC UK.  Simon Artley, from Elevated Knowledge Engineering Apprenticeships, spoke to students about Apprenticeships and the benefits of free training whilst working on the job and receiving a salary, commenting: “Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity for young people to move from sixth form study into training, earning and starting their career. We specialise in supporting companies across Greater Manchester to recruit Engineering Apprentices, many of whom are post-18 and as well as post-16, into a wide range of exciting engineering roles.”

Gladys Obeng, who joined Xaverian in September 2023 to study A Levels in Mathematics, English Literature and Economics after completing her GCSEs at St Paul’s Catholic High School, said: “The College’s Pathways’ Day has helped me to become more informed about where I want to go in the future, the choices I’m going to make and how I’m going to get there. I have two options for my future of either becoming a solicitor apprentice or attending London School of Economics to study law with economics, and both will get me to where I want to be.”

Representing Speakers for Schools, a charity that works to raise aspiration among young people, Professor Linda Merrick CBE, Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music, commented: “It’s been a real pleasure to be here at Xaverian College today, meeting with some really interesting and motivated young people who are exploring their options for further study. I hope that working with Speakers for Schools and through the RNCM, we can encourage those who want to continue their music-making to consider the wide range of opportunities open to them and to follow their dreams.”

Lee continued: “At Xaverian we ensure all our students are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about the progression routes available to them. It was incredibly encouraging to see organisations working in partnership to help inspire the next generation.”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels, and several BTEC courses that can be studied as standalone subjects or combined with A Levels. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

Student athletes at Xaverian College compete in national championships

Thirty-two students from Xaverian College represented the North West at the AoC Sport National Championships last weekend, competing in basketball, table tennis, rugby and cross country, after qualifying to represent our region at the Championships through regional tournaments, hosted throughout the autumn term.

Highlights from the weekend include:

  • Libby Haslin, 2nd Place Table Tennis
  • Josh Colquhoun-Lynn, North West Team, 4th Place Cross Country – Josh finished his 5K in an impressive 17 minutes and 44 seconds
  • Men’s Basketball Team, 5th Place
  • Women’s Rugby Team, 6th Place

The Women’s Basketball Team narrowly missed out on winning the national title after a defeat to Richard Huish College in the final game.

Overall Xaverian students helped the North West region finish 4th overall, against eventual winners, the South East.

Martin Kilroy, BTEC Sport Curriculum Leader, said: “It was great to be back at the Championships this year. As always, students represented themselves and the College with the upmost integrity. Congratulations to everyone who participated in an outstanding weekend of sport.”

Now entering its 44th year, the AoC Sport National Championships is the largest annual student sporting event in the UK. This year, more than 1300 students from 94 colleges took part in 12 different sports at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Willow Sports Centre, Derby.

Cambridge Fellows’ conference demystifies applying and being a student at the University of Cambridge

Local Manchester sixth form students recently attended a conference organised by Murray Edwards College of the University of Cambridge and hosted by Xaverian College. The conference was open to students with aspirations to study at Cambridge and intended to demystify the application process and enthuse prospective students to be part of the prestigious university.

Xaverian student, Kristina, who is studying A Levels in Fine Art, Mathematics and Physics and is also a member of the College’s Oxbridge Programme, commented: “Prior to the conference, I had very little idea as to how the admissions process works at Cambridge, and I decided to attend to gain a better understanding of what was expected when applying to such a competitive university as this.

“One of the Murray Edwards College fellows who led the presentation also went through specific requirements for a variety of courses and, in doing so, made the process much easier to understand. I also got the chance to speak with the university’s student ambassadors who had first-hand experience of the process as well as insider knowledge, which really helped me finalise my decision to apply. The conference was definitely very informative, and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to attend.”

Student Ambassadors from the university hosted a Q&A session at the conclusion of the conference where they took questions from the audience about studying at Cambridge and all aspects of student life.

Lydia, who is currently attending Hazel Grove Sixth Form in Stockport and studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, said: “I heard about this conference from my teacher at school and immediately snapped up the opportunity to take part. I’m not sure which university I want to apply to next year, so I came to get more of an insight into what it’s like to be a student at the different colleges at Cambridge and how to apply.

“The first session talked about the application process for Cambridge and took us on a walkthrough of the deadlines, what we needed know, and how to enhance our applications so they stand out, which was really useful as it’s very competitive to get a place, especially on the Medicine programme, which is what I want to study. They also talked specifically about the Medicine Degree and how the course is structured, what is involved in each year of the course and what it can lead to as a career.

“I wasn’t sure about applying to Cambridge but it is definitely more on my radar. I also hadn’t thought about going to an all-girls college but attending the conference has really opened my eyes to the opportunities available and I’m looking forward to applying next year.”

Damian Williams, Pastoral Head at Didsbury High School Sixth Form, commented, “I brought my students here today because they are interested in applying to Cambridge and we felt that the conference would give them a better understanding of the application process and what to expect in terms of the student experience. It’s also given my students more clarity on their career choices and choosing a career path that is right for them.

“Our students have found the conference to be thought-provoking and informative. They found it helpful to listen to student ambassadors from the university who have been through the same process and who spoke openly and honestly about their academic and social experiences of what life is really like from their perspective.”

Jenny Ayres, Oxbridge Co-ordinator and Politics Teacher at Xaverian College, leads on the Xaverian College Oxbridge Programme, which supports students who aspire to Oxbridge to learn more about these universities and gain support with applying and the admissions process. Jenny commented: “Events such as these are crucial for students who wish to learn more about the universities and submitting a successful application. Competition for places at Oxford and Cambridge is intense and activities such as these are essential to ensure students understand about the institutions more fully and are able to submit an exceptional application.”

Senior Tutor at the University, Andrew Rudd, commented: “It was a pleasure to visit Xaverian College. Everyone from Murray Edwards was struck by the dedication and sheer academic talent of the students we met. I say to those who attended: aim high in your university applications. You have bright futures ahead.”

Former Xaverian College student shares journey from classroom to acclaimed spoken-word poet

Xaverian Alumni and award-winning spoken-word poet from Salford, Esther Koch, recently visited the College to catch up with students who meet once a week as part of the Creative Writing Club.

Since leaving Xaverian in 2013, Esther’s career has flourished, and she has achieved numerous accolades. She has produced work for festivals, such as Sounds From The Other City, with her words, she closed the Team GB homecoming ceremony from the Tokyo Olympics at Wembley Stadium in 2021 and has also produced educational content for BBC Bitesize.

Esther spoke about her College journey and her work with Young Identity, alongside sharing writing techniques that have helped her, such as ‘journaling’ and using ‘earworms’, as a starting point for a piece of work, and also encouraged students to use everything around them as a source of inspiration.

Lillian Long, former Flixton Girls School pupil, who is currently studying A Levels in English Language & Literature, Film Studies and History, commented: “Esther’s workshop was incredibly informative! I find her poetry fascinating, and her bubbly personality shines through in her work. It was great to be able to chat to someone who has been a student at Xaverian, and she asked us lots of questions about our experience and took an interest in our creative process.”

When asked about her time at Xaverian, Esther said: “I chose to study at Xaverian because I knew it would help bridge the gap between school and university. I always really enjoyed science in school, so I chose to study A Levels in Chemistry, English Literature and French. French ended up being my favourite subject – I think studying a language is all about communication and I loved learning about etymology. My teachers were incredibly supportive and without their encouragement I wouldn’t have achieved what I have today! They were dedicated to creating opportunities for us to develop outside of the classroom, and my most memorable moments are from activities I did as part of the enrichment programme, such as creative writing workshops and an amazing trip to Paris.”

Esther, who is also an alumni of Young Identity, Manchester’s celebrated spoken-word collective, with whom she collaborates and delivers workshops for young people in the community and within schools, says meeting the Young Identity team while she was a student at Xaverian changed her life.

She continued: “Through my connection with Young Identity, I have been able to launch my career as a spoken-word poet and, alongside releasing my own collections, I get to inspire young people and share my fulfilling experience of becoming a writer. I know I will be writing for the rest of my life. I love that I get to constantly be creative and hopefully in the future I’ll be releasing my very own novel!”

Guy Perry, English Teacher at Xaverian College, said: “Hearing about Esther’s success is truly inspiring, and I’m really pleased that Xaverian has been able to play a part in her success to date.

“Our Creative Writing Club brings together students from across the College who aren’t necessarily studying an English A Level but want to develop their techniques and add to their creative writing talents. It’s just one of the many enrichment opportunities available to our students as part of the ‘Xaverian Xtras’ enrichment programme.”

If you’re passionate about communication, or love to read, then English is a course you’ll find irresistible. At Xaverian, students can choose to study A Levels in English Language, English Literature, or a combined English Language & Literature course. As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses.

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Revision

Ready, set, revise!

It’s exam time and we know that it can be stressful. You’ve studied hard and, naturally, you want to do well. To help you stay calm and focused during your exams, we’ve put together our tried and tested revision tips:

  • Start revising as early as possible – We all know how easy it is to put off revising, but the more time you have to prepare, the more likely you are to remember what you have learned. Starting early will also help you avoid any last-minute panics!
  • Create a revision timetable – Plan out the topics for each subject you will be revising and break down the content to create a revision timetable. Why not follow the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks down your study times into 20-30-minute slots and 10-15-minute breaks in between these study periods.
  • Think about your environment – When it comes to revision, be aware of the environment where you study and any distractions that could affect your ability to revise properly and adequately. Before you sit down to revise, think about your surroundings. Are you comfortable? Is it well lit? Are there any noises in the room or is there anything else that will distract you?
  • Take regular breaks – Taking regular breaks and having proper rest are just as important as revising to ensure you are alert and receptive. Make sure you sleep well, for around 7-8 hours every night, eat healthily and take regular exercise.
  • Try different revision methods – Revision techniques include writing notes on flash cards, completing past papers, creating mind maps, working in groups with friends, and recording yourself talking and then playing this back. Finding what works for you involves trial and error, but there are lots of different techniques you can try out. One of our favourites is the Scribble Technique, which is essentially a memory game that encourages you to recall information. This is called retrieval practice, or the Blurting Technique, which is remarkably similar, and can be done on a larger scale when revising a whole topic instead of a subtopic. You could create a prompt sheet that triggers memories of the topic, which you can glance at if you get stuck.
  • Make sure you have a positive attitude to learning – Having a positive attitude lets you relax, remember, focus and absorb information as you learn. In fact, positivity can make it easier to achieve your goals.

Good luck in your exams! Remember… You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose – Dr Seuss

Ameika, Ben, Charlotte, Jacob, Jonathan and Kate

Xaverian’s Pastoral Tutor Team

Influential women take centre stage as Xaverian College celebrates International Women’s Day

Throughout the month of March, Xaverian College has been celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with a series of activities led by influential women across Greater Manchester.

Focused on this year’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, each event has provided staff and students with an opportunity to share their experiences and advice on how to challenge themselves and those around them within their personal and professional lives.

With close links across the community, the College has partnered with numerous talented women to make the celebrations as impactful as possible.

To kick start activities earlier this month, Xaverian Alumni, Nasima Begum, who is now a performance poet, producer, actor and creative practitioner writing about loss, the feminine and spirituality, visited the College to deliver a spoken word workshop.

On 8th March, International Women’s Day, the College came together to raise money for The Pankhurst Trust by wearing purple and green. Students were able to find out about inspirational women related to their subject areas on a ‘Radical Women’s Trail’ and encouraging messages we’re shared on notice boards all around the Campus. During the day, students we’re also joined by Diane Modahl MBE, Head of Inclusion (England Talent Pathways) at Sport England, Cecilla Goodwin, Owner of Winley Ford Solicitors, along with two colleagues Erin Cowley and Sahar Hanford, and Grace Swinnerton, Relationship Director (Healthcare) at NatWest for a series of though-provoking lectures.

Celebrations ended this week with the newly-launched Inspiring Women Awards ceremony, which highlighted female students who have shown incredible resilience, courage, fortitude, leadership, passion and kindness.

Helen Parkin and Marsell Mackintosh, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Co-Leads, said: “At Xaverian College we believe that celebrating International Women’s Day is not just about acknowledging the achievements of women, but also about fostering a culture of equality and empowerment. Here’s to all the women who lead, empower and make a difference, not just today but every day!”
As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

Xaverian College students secure Oxbridge offers

Nine bright minds from Xaverian College have received offers to study at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge.

The journey to securing offers from these prestigious universities is rigorous and highly competitive, requiring not only exceptional academic performance but also strong extracurricular involvement and a compelling personal statement.

Among the students receiving offers are aspiring scientists, linguists, historians, and mathematicians, each demonstrating exceptional aptitude and passion in their chosen fields.

Orla Chidgey, former pupil at The Barlow RC High School, is currently studying A Levels in Biology, English Literature and History and has received an offer to study History at the University of Cambridge. She said: “When I first joined Xaverian I aspired to pursue a Degree in Law, however when I joined the Oxbridge Programme, I was quickly encouraged to pursue a subject I was truly passionate about, which led me to History. The College has been really supportive throughout the application process, particularly in arranging lots of mock interviews, as this is one of the most daunting aspects.”

Louis Kidger, who has received an offer to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford, added: “I am also pursuing a Degree in a subject I love! PPE is a versatile subject which lends itself to numerous careers, which is really exciting and over the next few years I’ll have the opportunity to surround myself with some of the world’s leading minds.”

Diogo Figueiredo, completed his GCSEs at Chorlton High School, before joining the College in September 2022 to study A Levels in Ancient History, Biology and Mathematics, said: “I’ve always known that I wanted to apply to the University of Oxford. I knew that the College would support me, and one aspect that I found really useful was the opportunities they provided for us to get involved with ‘super-curricular’ programmes, as this allowed me to seek advice from experts in my subject of choice. I would encourage anyone interested in Oxbridge to stay curious and to start challenging themselves academically as early as possible.”

All students were part of the College’s specialist ‘Oxbridge Programme’, a unique and tailored programme that prepares students to apply to these universities.

Jenny Ayres, Oxbridge Coordinator, said: “It’s a really exciting time of year, as our students’ offers come in and once again, they have done exceptionally well to secure highly competitive offers on such a diverse range of subjects.

“Our Oxbridge Programme really is like no other! Working in partnership with our careers team and the universities, our students receive bespoke support and excellent opportunities to give them the best possible chance of gaining a place, however our continued success is due to the hard work and academic rigor of our students!”

Tony Knowles, Principal, added: “The College has a long-standing tradition of fostering academic excellence and supporting students in their pursuit of higher education. In recent weeks, hundreds more students at Xaverian have received offers from other top UK universities, including, Durham University, University of St Andrews, The University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, University of Warwick and more.

“I’m incredibly proud of their achievements – a big well done to them, and to our fantastic staff and wonderful families who are supporting them in taking their next steps!”

Other students with offers include:

  • Anree Bektashi-Brown (Home Educated) – University of Oxford, Biology
  • Elsa Vass-De-Zomba (Stretford Grammar School) – University of Oxford, Music
  • Hannah Warburton (Flixton Girls School) – University of Oxford, Modern Languages (German) and Linguistics
  • Jenna Stieger (Glossopdale School) – University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences
  • Livia Boyle (Glossopdale School) – University of Oxford, History
  • Nicholas Youmbi-Youdom (The Barlow RC High School) – University of Oxford, Economics and Management

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2800 students. To find out more, visit xaverian.ac.uk – This Is Your Place!