Sixth formers at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, are working flat out to achieve top grades needed to take up their places at universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.

Last year the college broke its own record for Oxbridge admissions with eight students going on to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Vice principal Mark Hall said: “Our Year 13s have been an exceptional group, motivated and committed to making a difference in the lives of others.  We seek to educate so that students go on to be the kind of leaders of society who want to improve things through serving others.

“It is encouraging to see students thinking about how their future pathway will make an impact. For example, we have at least 14 who are hoping to study medicine, dentistry or pharmacy and some are considering working in the developing world.”

Peter Winch, 18, of Sunnyside, has secured an offer of a place at Cambridge University to study German and Classical Greek.

“Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, a positive culture and an open and friendly attitude,” said Peter, the son of Emmanuel College Principal Jonathan Winch.

“I have really enjoyed my time at college but am very excited about the prospect of studying at Cambridge with the long term view of becoming a teacher like mum and dad.”

He is expected to be joined at Cambridge University by fellow student Douglas Thomas, 18, of Blaydon, who has an offer to read classics.

“The interview was really challenging as I was asked to translate and comment upon a passage of Latin,” he said. “I didn’t feel it had gone that well so was delighted to receive my offer.”

Hoping to take up places at Oxford University are Jacob Armstrong, 18, of Winlaton, and Joel Willmore, 18, of Bensham.

Jacob has an offer to read English and German at Wadham College while Joel is looking forward to reading German at St Peter’s.

Some of the students joined Emmanuel College in the sixth form to study A levels, taking up the ten places a year offered to young people outside the traditional catchment area.

Nathan Cordey, 17, of Consett, claims it was the best decision of his life as he prepares next year to read chemistry with business management at York.

Niall Carolan, 17, of Newcastle, agrees. “The attitude to learning wasn’t the same at my previous school and you were discriminated against if you wanted to get on,” he said.

“Emmanuel College cares about every student, allowing them to thrive regardless of their ability.”

Niall has an offer to read engineering at Durham University and the chance to take up an internship with the Williams F1 race team.

Other notable offers include Sharon Lau, 18, of Stanley, who plans to study a masters at King’s College London; Rachael Ward, 17, of Low Fell, who has secured a prestigious scholarship at Cambridge Performing Arts College; Muhammad Abdullah, 17, of Newcastle, who has an offer to read medicine at Manchester University; Jason Boyle, 18, of Felling, who has an offer to read maths and physics at Manchester; Nicola Hall, 18, of Low Fell, who has an offer to read medicine at St Andrew’s; and Ciaran Grant, 18, of Gateshead, who has an offer to read social policy at LSE.

Anyone interested in sixth form opportunities at Emmanuel College should contact Carole Clark at