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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.

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