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Barrow Sixth Form College attracts record number of academic high flyers

A record number of high-flying students have been welcomed into Barrow Sixth Form College this year as part of its ground-breaking Honours programme.

The 40 students have joined the programme at the Rating Lane campus after achieving top grades in their GCSEs at school.

They will have the chance to specialise in their favourite A level subject with additional mentoring from expert tutors who challenge the students to bring out the best in them academically.

Subjects in the programme include mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, law and history. Helen Rastelli, who runs the honours programme at sixth form, said it was now in its fourth year.

“Our Honours students are stretched and challenged and have additional support in subjects for which they show a flair and want to extend their knowledge. It helps develop key skills needed for university such as independent learning, research and report writing.

“We have a bumper crop of students joining us from schools this time round. It is fitting to have 40 academically talented students on our specialist programme in the sixth form’s 40th anniversary year.”

“Lancaster University supports the programme and it’s a testament to the success of the initiative that we now spot former students on the Lancaster campus in their Honours hoodies.”

The 40 students are from schools including St Bernard’s, Dowdales, Walney, Furness Academy and the college’s partner school Chetwynde.

Charlotte Wills, who went to St Bernard’s School and is studying A levels in biology, maths, chemistry as well as the extended project, said: “It’s great to be a part of the Honours programme as it allows me to access expert mentoring from staff at the college and support with my personal statement for university.”

Nathan Powell, who went to Chetwynde School, studies biology, maths, physics A levels and the extended project. He was nominated for a place on the Honours programme by his school in Year 10.

“Being part of the programme has given me extra challenges and support in areas I’m strong, so I can further my skills,” he said. “The independent learning sessions are also helping me pick up important research skills for when I head to university.”

Leanne Taher-Bates, Head of Outreach and Student Success at Lancaster University, said:

“We are delighted to see the Honours programme is flourishing at Barrow Sixth Form and we know that the students who have joined us from this scheme have been well prepared for their academic studies at university. Lancaster is committed to widening participation and supporting social mobility at every stage of the student journey in order to raise attainment and empower young people to achieve their potential.

“This partnership is ensuring some of the most able students in the Barrow area have the expert guidance they need to enable them to reach their goal and continue their academic studies at the highest level, including at a top 10 university such as Lancaster.”

Students are identified by their school in Year 10 and nominated for a place, with meetings taking place in Year 10 and Year 11. To be accepted onto the Honours Programme, students need to achieve an average GCSE score of at least 7.0, which means mainly grades 7, 8 or 9 (legacy GCSEs at A or A* grades).

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