Celebrating award-winning students at Xaverian College  

Emma Jones, a Year 12 student at Xaverian College, has been named one of four winners in the prestigious Portico Sadie Massey Awards, which aims to encourage a life-long love of reading and writing in young people from all backgrounds.

Established in 2015, the Awards are named after Glasgow-born Sadie Massey and her desire to spread a love of reading and writing.

The Portico Library works with Manchester’s most respected ambassadors of children’s and young adult’s writing, with a particular emphasis on exploring stories based in the North of England, past, present or future.

Emma’s short story, Letting Go, has a nostalgic tone and focuses on processing the loss of a loved one.

Commenting on her win, Emma said: “My English Teacher, Mr Perry, encouraged me to enter the competition after we did some creative writing lessons. Initially I was writing to a prompt – to write about a meal – and it sort of spiralled into the meal being a source of nostalgia for the protagonist; the backstory – the loss of his father – came out of that.

“I was so surprised when I found out I had won! Taking part has given me more confidence in my writing and inspired me to get involved with new opportunities that are related to my subjects outside of College.”

Emma joined the College in September 2021, after completing her GCSEs at Loreto Grammar School. Emma is currently studying English Language and Literature, History and Sociology, and has aspirations to pursue a career linked to creative writing.

Joining in the celebrations is another Year 12 student, Izobel Davies, who has been named a runner up in this year’s Words For Your World Competition. Launched to coincide with the closing of COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the competition is led by the University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, in collaboration with Save the Children UK and UK-Med.

Students were invited to write a speech or letter, addressed to the UN, about their hopes and fears about the climate emergency, as well as specific policy recommendations, encouraging everyone to think in new and impactful ways.

The competition inspired hundreds across the UK, including Izobel, a former Priestnall School student, who is currently studying English Language and Literature, History and Psychology at the College. Izobel wrote a speech highlighting the urgent need to save the cities, culture and people that are being washed away due to rising sea levels, ending with a thought-provoking statement – “Unlike the ancient myth of the utopian city lost to the ocean, there will be no one left alive to pass on the story of how we chose our deaths.”

Guy Perry, English Teacher at Xaverian College, said: “It is extremely pleasing to see our students recognised for their fantastic work. These competitions present something rather beautiful to the critical and curious mind – the freedom they offer to explore ideas and texts allows students like Emma and Izobel to truly challenge themselves outside of the classroom. Both have bright futures ahead of them!”

You can read both entries online:

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 and 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.

Xav’s Positive Paper 2021-2022

This year we celebrated 160 years of Xaverian! There have been many changes over the years, however the fundamentals have stayed the same. The zeal and passion we have in abundance continues to grow and the success of our staff and students is inspirational.

To catch up on all of the fantastic things that have happened at Xaverian this year, grab a coffee and spend a few moments reading Xav’s Positive Paper 2021-2022.

Creative students showcase their work at annual Art Exhibition

Students at Xaverian College had the opportunity to showcase their creative talents at an end-of-year Art Exhibition, which took place last week (15th June 2022).

The annual event saw students from the College’s Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Photography and Textiles courses proudly present work from their portfolio to family, friends, and the local community.

A portrait by Luana Soares, alongside three talented music students, captured the attention of all guests as they walked into the entrance of the College’s Ward Hall building. Luana spent months perfecting her final piece, which was dedicated to her mother, who hadn’t seen her artwork before the exhibition.

Former Loreto High School pupil, Luca Rawlinson built a small installation for his final piece, with a focus on containment.

Commenting on his experience, Luca said: “I found Fine Art the most freeing subject as I was constantly able to explore different sides of my creativity. We’re always encouraged to collaborate with the teachers and other students, and this has really helped refine and shape the direction of my work. The facilities are also amazing, which allows you to experiment – I’ve recently tried out wax entrapment and print making to see how it could inspire my work.

“Studying at Xaverian has been the best two years of my life! Every lesson has been interesting and fun, I have made lifelong friends and I’m leaving confident in my ability to succeed, no matter which creative industry I pursue a career in.”  

Shaun Steele, Divisional Lead, said: “I am thrilled that we were able to host the Art Exhibition on Campus this year. With the support from our brilliant teachers, students have produced fantastic work – I am constantly inspired by their creativity and dedication to developing their skills. It was great to welcome so many friendly faces and see our students celebrating!”

Virtual Tour – Art Exhibition 2022 – Created by Dawid Nowak, Year 12 Accounting, Business and Media Studies student

Three students, Martha Parry-Hensley, Patrick Karran and Lucy Gardiner, have also had their work featured in the Sixth Form Colleges Association Art Exhibition. This year’s theme was ‘Planet Future’, showcasing students’ reflections on how the world is changing and what its future holds.

Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, commented: “This online exhibition is a way of celebrating the arts and recognising excellence in sixth-form colleges.

“The artwork, all produced by 16-to-19-year-old students in sixth-form colleges across England ̶ indicates how young people are feeling about our climate and the environment, and how they view the wider sustainability agenda. 

“But the exhibition also offers an opportunity to celebrate the importance and power of art in education, as well as the artists’ quality, creativity and talent.”

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 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Afzal Khan, Labour MP for Manchester, visit

Hear, hear! Xaverian College brings learning to life through enrichment opportunities!

Xaverian College strives to enrich the curriculum with real-life learning opportunities, ensuring students have the skills, experience and qualifications that will prepare them for their future career or higher-level study.

When studying A Level Politics, students learn through dozens of real-life political scenarios and broaden their worldview through debate, and a wide range of enrichment.

The department regularly welcomes elected officials, academics, and journalists to share their perspectives in workshops and lectures.

Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, who visited the College as a mayoral candidate, recently returned to talk about his experiences of developing the role, the impact of the role on the region and what further powers and policies he would like to pursue.  Andy talked about the success of ‘Our Pass’, the bus pass for 16–18-year-olds which he recently introduced, his work to reduce homelessness and a current policy project on ending violence against girls and women. He also provided an insight into his journey into politics and his experience in government before answering numerous questions from students.

Afzal Khan, Labour MP for Manchester, also visited the College to talk about his politics career and his views on the current state of politics and this year, year 13 students also had the opportunity to meet Lord German, former Deputy First Minister of Wales during ‘Learn with the Lords Online’, a live 40-minute Q&A session where young people, aged 7-18, can put their questions to a member of the House of Lords.

Alison Hall, Assistant Divisional Lead, said: “Having political figures from local, regional and national politics come in to meet and talk to students is vital to demystifying politics and showing that anyone who is passionate and determined can get involved in politics at any level.”

Alongside the array of guest speakers, the College also encourages and supports students to visit events across the country that will help enhance their knowledge, including yearly trips to Parliament, where students get to watch the Ministerial Statements from the public gallery.

May Bagnall, a former Alderley Edge School for Girls pupil, joined the College in September 2021 to study Politics, Psychology and Philosophy, Ethics and Theology. May attended UK Labour’s first gala dinner of the year, which was rumoured to be the largest North West Labour Party gathering for over 10 years, in March at the Grand Suite of the Vermillion restaurant in Manchester.

Commenting on her experience at the event, May said: “There were over 700 local business leaders and Labour Party members in attendance, it was a privilege to be there. Sir Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party and footballer, Gary Neville, hosted a discussion followed by a Q&A focused on local politics, grass root initiatives, and even drew comparisons between politics and football. Sir Keir Starmer MP went on to outline his plan for the next two years leading up to the general election before the event was rounded off by a raffle hosted by Angela Rayner MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

“I chose to study Politics at Xaverian because I’ve always had an interest in current affairs and the role of Government in taking decisions which affect our daily lives. My sisters also both work in politics, one in the Civil Service and one in Local Government, so we are always talking about all aspects of politics.

“The experiences I have had to date have cemented my aspirations to continue studying Politics at University. I’d love to work in a humanitarian role in the future – my dream job would be working with the United Nations!”

With plans to change the world in the future, this summer, Politics students are due to progress to some of the UK’s leading Universities, such as, University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Political Science and University of Leeds, to study a wide range of courses, including, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, International Relations and History.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Say hello to Tawfik, Roder and Magdalena, Year 13 students

As the 2021-2022 academic year comes to an end, we caught up with some of our Year 13 students to find out about their Xaverian experience!

Tawfik Al-Terawi
High School: Albion Academy
Subjects studied: Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics  
Roder Eshun
High School: Co-op Academy North Manchester  
Subjects studied: Accounting, Business and Spanish  
Magdalena Bielec
High School: Loreto Grammar School
Subjects studied: History, Law and Spanish

Why did you choose to study at Xaverian?

Tawfik: “Xaverian seemed like a really friendly and supportive place to be. The Campus stood out and I had heard great things about the Science department.”

Roder: “The reputation! Everyone always talks about how amazing the teachers are and how successful students are as they progress with their careers.”

What has been your favourite subject?

Magdalena: “It’s so hard to pick just one, I like them all for different reasons! But I do love History, each lesson is always really engaging.”

Tawfik: “Biology! It is my favourite, but also the one that challenges me the most, which keeps me motivated to work hard. The teachers apply real-life scenarios to our learning, which makes it more interesting.”

Roder: “Spanish!!! Our classes are so much fun and our teachers have encouraged us to succeed from day one. They have made my experience here so enjoyable.”

What has been the most memorable moment?

Tawfik: “Taking part in enrichment activities, in particular, competing in the British Biology Olympiad Round One earlier this year!”

Magdalena: “The friendships and connections I have made with everyone within the Xaverian community.”

What has been your proudest moment?

Roder: “Walking out of my exams feeling confident that I have tried my very best.”

Magdalena: “I don’t think there is just one moment, but looking back at how much I have improved in each subject since starting makes me super proud.”

Tawfik: “Receiving an offer to study medicine at the University of Oxford was an extremely proud moment for me and my family.”

How has College helped you prepare for the future?

Magdalena: “I think I’ve learnt the true value of hard work. I know if I continue to work hard, I can achieve anything!”

Roder: “Xaverian has helped me make informed decisions about my next steps and taught me that everyone can achieve their greatest ambitions if they work hard.”

If you could describe Xaverian in three words, what would they be?

Tawfik: “Memorable, challenging, joyful!”

Roder: “Enjoyable, happy, spiritual!”

Magdalena: “Fun, fulfilling, friendly!”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Xaverian College students win Talking About Voices competition

Emilio Fox Castineiras and Faith Axon-Kendall, Year 12 students at Xaverian College, were recently crowned winners of this years Talking About Voices competition, led by Manchester Voices.

Manchester Voices is a research project which explores the rich tapestry of accents, dialects, and identities that make up Greater Manchester. The project is based at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The Talking About Voices competition, one of six strands of the project, is an opportunity for secondary school and college students in Greater Manchester to learn about audio production while also reflecting on issues around language and identity. The objective is for pupils to make a short podcast episode about language and identity, with plenty of ideas, training and support provided along the way.

Emilio completed his GCSEs at Chorlton High School before joining Xaverian to study English Language, Film Studies and History. He commented: “The theme of our podcast was primarily focused on bilingualism, and our thoughts on whether or not we had different personalities when speaking in two different languages. However, because Faith has lived in Andalucía and my family are from Galicia, we also got to talk about the differences between our regional Spanish accents and dialects.”

Faith, who also studies English Language, alongside Media Studies and Spanish, added: “It was our English Teacher, Mr Perry, that encouraged us to enter the competition. It was great finding out we were this year’s winners! We both think it is really important for young people to reflect on issues surrounding language and identity as it is part of everyday life, and are keen to continue learning new languages in the future.”

Dr Holly Dann, Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University, commented: “We created Talking About Voices in 2020 as a way to give young people from the region a voice in our research, and also as a way to provide resources based on the project to the local community.

“Language is an integral part of who we are. We can tell so much about people just from the way they speak, and it is a really important way to express our identities. Young people are so often – and always have been – faced with corrections and criticisms of the way they speak. As linguists, we are interested in and celebrate all different ways of speaking, and understand the great value of speaking with, for example, a regional accent and dialect. We hope that reflecting on issues around language and identity help young people to see that value too.

“We really enjoyed listening to the Xaverian entries. We were impressed by how well the students managed to bring in their own reading and learning in linguistics to their episodes. In particular, we loved how Emilio and Faith were able to blend in their own personal experiences with more academic descriptions of language in Manchester, Andalucía and Galicia.”

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 and Literature course, where you get to study Shakespeare one lesson, and then wield your own words to wax wonders on the world in the next.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Say hello to Jemma, Dominic and Zaara, Year 13 students

As the 2021-2022 academic year comes to an end, we caught up with some of our Year 13 students to find out about their Xaverian experience!

Jemma Ward
High School: Chapel-en-le Frith High School
Subjects studied: English Language and Literature, History and Politics
Dominic Seymour
High School: Home educated
Subjects studied: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics
Zaara Sharif
High School: Manchester High School for Girls
Subjects studied: Business, Criminology and Media Studies

Why did you choose to study at Xaverian?

Jemma: “I choose to study at Xaverian because of the diverse community and vast range of opportunities available.”

Zaara: “I was instantly drawn towards the diverse community and the great reputation!”

What has been your favourite subject?

Dominic: “Further Maths! I love that each lesson challenges me!”

Jemma: “Politics! It allows me to better understand and analyse the world around me.”

Zaara: “Criminology! It is so much fun and my teacher has been amazing!”

What has been your most memorable moment?

Jemma and Zaara: “Summer on Campus, getting to spend time outside with friends in the sun in between lessons. It is nice to see everyone coming together and enjoying themselves.”

Dominic: “Competing in the British Maths Olympiad Round One earlier this year!”

What has been your proudest moment?

Zaara: “I organised a fundraising event last year which raised over £1,000 for the MS Society.”

Dominic: “Receiving my offer to study Maths at the University of Oxford!”

Jemma: “When I got my mock grades. I felt my all of my hard work was paying off and I was consistently improving in all subjects.”

How has College helped you prepare for the future?

Dominic: “I have always felt incredibly supported by staff and other students – there is always someone to turn to, which is amazing. Xaverian really is a community where you are encouraged to believe in yourself and your abilities.”

If you could describe Xaverian in three words, what would they be?

Jemma: “Community, safe and opportunistic!”

Dominic: “Inspiring, friendly, fun!”

Zaara: “Memorable, challenging and interesting!”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Xaverian College compete in the AoC Sport National Championships

Students from Xaverian College represented the North West at the AoC Sport National Championships last month (April 2022).

Twenty students participated, competing in cross country, football and volleyball, after qualifying to represent their region at the Championships through regional tournaments, hosted throughout the autumn term.

The Men’s Volleyball Team had a storming weekend, winning all group games and knockout rounds, before going head-to-head against Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) in the final. The team placed 2nd nationally and were credited for their exceptional sportsmanship across the weekend.

The Colleges Women’s Football Team also performed admirably, winning five and drawing one of the eight matches played. The team competed against some of the top football academies across the country and placed 5th nationally.

There were also strong performances from Jaydon Johnson and Ali Qozman, who participated in two 5km cross country races, with Jaydon securing 15th place overall.

Phill Anthony, Physical Education and Sports Teacher, said: “It was great to be back at the Championships this year. Congratulations to everyone who participated in an outstanding weekend of sport. Students were credit to themselves and Xaverian – well done!”

The AoC Sport National Championships is the largest annual student sporting event in the UK. This year, more than 1500 students from 91 colleges took part in 12 different sports at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Willow Sports Centre, Derby.

Greater Manchester Colleges’ Safety Roadshow

Working together to create safer communities

This week, Xaverian College hosted the Greater Manchester Colleges’ Safety Roadshow, to promote a range of support services available within the local area to students.

The Roadshow, which was first introduced in February 2022, aims to address the underlying causes of violence, and work together with communities to prevent it.

Throughout the day, students had to the opportunity to meet with professionals, participate in discussions and gain access to specialist resources.

Sarah Martin, Safeguarding Manager at Xaverian, commented: “I am really pleased that we have been able to welcome the Greater Manchester Police Roadshow. It is extremely important that we create opportunities for our students to connect with local organisations and it is great to see them sharing their experiences alongside gaining valuable tips for keeping themselves and others safe.”

The College welcomed organisations such as, NHS North West Ambulance Service, Kooth, Greater Manchester Police, Eclypse, The Children’s Society, Remedi and TravelSafe Partnership.

The GM Navigator Project, commissioned by the Violence Reduction Unit, are one of the teams’ visiting schools and colleges across the region as part of the Roadshow.

Hannah Barton, GM Navigator Project Lead said: “This roadshow is a fantastic opportunity to meet young people and enable them to understand where and how to get support if they or someone they know needs it.  Giving young people the space to discuss youth violence and sharing knowledge of where they can get help is so important in tackling issues of safety within the community.”

Rebecca Bromley-Woods, Education Lead at GM Violence Reduction Unit, commented: “Through conversation we can bust the myths around violence and knife crime which are often exacerbated by the media, and promote how young people can keep themselves and their friends safe.

“Actions can often have unintended consequences, and anyone can find themselves in a situation where they need support to make a change. The organisations attending the Roadshow are highly experienced in supporting young people through difficult situations as well as delivering prevention activity.”

Support is the golden thread connecting Xaverian values, allowing students to grow and achieve their ambitions. The Colleges dedicated Pastoral team are available to support students through anything, big or small, from day one.  

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit Xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!

Billie-Jean Davies

Young athletes at the top of their game

Athletes from Xaverian College are set to further their sporting success overseas after being awarded prestigious scholarships by American universities.

Billie-Jean Davies, Ellise Rennie and Betty Hall, are young athletes that have been enthusiastic about achieving their sporting goals long before joining the College.

Billie-Jean, who has been playing football since she could walk, recently committed to West Virginia State University (NCAA Division 2) for Fall 2022.

Commenting on her success, Billie-Jean Said: “Football has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember. My Dad and brothers all played football, so I am following in their footsteps. This is a once in a life-time opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited. I’d love to be a sports teacher in the future, so this is an important part of gaining the necessary skills and experiences needed to inspire other young people. I will fly over to the United States in August to start the preseason with the rest of the team, I can’t wait!”

Billie-Jean currently plays for two local teams, Stoke City Reserves and Bolton Futsal and coaches an Under 7s club.  

She continued: “Staff at the College have been extremely supportive and always encouraged me to achieve academic and sporting excellence. Mrs Hall and Mr Duggal have been great role models since day one. They even helped me create a plan that keeps me organised at busy periods. I have made lots of memories at College, but I think my favourites are qualifying for the AoC Sport National Championships and winning the Kahoot quiz in Business every single week!”

Ellise and Betty, who have also been playing since a young age, aspire to be professional footballers in the future and are excited to make their mark in America.  

Ellise said: “I have been playing football for my entire life and I absolutely love it! I joined my first team when I was 6 and after a few years I was scouted by Manchester United. It’s still one of my greatest achievements. I now play for Manchester City Girls, which has given me the opportunity to travel all over the world playing football. This summer I will be moving to St. Augustine, Florida, to study at Flagler College!

“My time at Xaverian has been fantastic. It is a really nice environment to study in and all staff are supportive of students ambitions.”

Betty, who currently plays for Manchester City girls, FC United of Manchester Women and Bolton Futsal Club, received offers from Division 1 and 2 teams all over America.

Betty said: “It was really hard to choose but I am pleased to be joining Ellise at Flagler College. Xaverian has always been incredibly fun and supportive. In my first year I got to meet girls in Year 13 who had applied to study in America and following their journey has really motived and inspired me. I am still exploring the different football careers I could pursue but in the meantime I’m hoping to win lots of matches before I return to the UK.”  

Xaverian College continuously emphasises the importance of extra-curricular activities, encouraging students to go above and beyond their core study programme to further develop their skills. 

Antonio de Paolo, Vice Principal – Curriculum, said: ‘’It is inspiring to see our students developing as sportswomen alongside gaining their qualifications. Our dynamic and exciting environment aims to give young people the confidence and skills needed to achieve and even exceed their goals. We are passionate about supporting our student’s personal development and are committed to enhancing their College experience. We are immensely proud of Billie-Jean, Ellise and Betty’s achievements.’’

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!