St John Rigby College, Wigan

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St John Rigby College
SJR logo.gif
Established 1972
Type Sixth Form/Further Education
Religion Roman Catholic
Executive Principal Peter McGhee
Associate Principal Dominic Jones
Location Gathurst Road
Greater Manchester
England England
Local authority Wigan
DfE URN 130523 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,372
Gender Coeducational
Ages 16–19

St John Rigby College (abbreviated as St.JR, SJR or simply John Rigby) is a sixth form college in the Orrell district of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester situated in a 30-acre (120,000 m2) estate overlooking the Lancashire countryside. As a college for students who intend to proceed into higher education, students are accepted from across the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and Metropolitan Borough of Bolton areas of Greater Manchester as well as parts of Merseyside and Lancashire.

The school's A Level pass rate was 98% in 2009, well above the national average, as are its vocational courses at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Students go on to attend a wide range of universities across the UK and abroad including Cambridge. The college also works to promote Fairtrade and forming partnerships with people in other countries such as Brazil which is part of the work the college does with CAFOD, and also forming partnerships with other colleges with Loreto College, Manchester.


Originally a Christian Brothers boys' grammar school,and was named Blessed John Rigby RC Grammar School. John Rigby only being Beatified, not yet Canonized. In 1972 the school became a Sixth Form College under the trusteeship of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool. In 2012 the college celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

Saint John Rigby[edit]

St John Rigby College was named for the English Roman Catholic martyr John Rigby, who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Admittance to the college[edit]


St John Rigby follows a procedure when enrolling students into the college. Prior to the year of entry, application forms are distributed to High Schools in different areas, students who are looking to enrol at the college may attend an open evening. All students who accept a position to study at St. John Rigby College are invited to attend a New Students' Day in June.

Dependent upon the route taken will depend on the points necessary to guarantee a place in the college, (Route A) 40 Points, (Route B) 35 Points (Route C) 25 Points, (Route D) 15 Points. These will be calculated from the best 8 GCSE's which may be any or specific GCSE's may be required to be included in the best 8 at a certain grade. (See below for points table):

Grade Points
A* 8
A 7
B 6
C 5
D 4
E 3
F 2
G 1


If accepted, students can choose at what level they wish to study from. This consists of 5 levels:

  • Entry Level - Entry Level
  • Level 1 (Introductory Level) - NVQ Level 1, BTEC Introductory Award
  • Level 2 (Intermediate Level) - NVQ Level 2, BTEC First Diploma, GCSE
  • Level 3 (Advanced Level) - NVQ Level 3, BTEC National, AS and A Level
  • Level 3 (Degrees) - NVQ Level 4, BTEC Higher National, Foundational Degrees

As well as completing chosen courses, students are also required to study 'Values for living' and are also required to take on 'extended studies'. This can be a course completely different from the courses students have chosen to take (e.g., School Production, Driving Theory, First Aid). The majority of students who are enrolled at the college are aged 16–18 and are on Level 3 programs full-time. From here they then proceed to a range of universities across the UK.


The College is large consisting of 6 blocks and is situated on a single campus 3.5 miles west of Wigan on Gathurst Road, Orrell, near the birthplace of the man for whom the school was named (St John Rigby) and has one of its buildings named after his birthplace, the building being named Harrock House. In February 2006 the College opened its new Learning Resource Centre (LRC) which offers a wide range of services and support to students.

Sports facilities[edit]

The College boasts the largest all weather football pitch in the country and has extensive playing fields surrounding the campus. The Sports Hall has facilities for a wide range of sports, a fitness suite, as well as being used by students, the pitch is also used by others outside the college (e.g. Wigan Athletic F.C. have used the pitch in the past for practice).

College Chapel[edit]

As a Roman Catholic school, students can visit the newly built College Chapel, which is available at any time of the day as a place of prayer, reflection or quietness. The college Chaplaincy team currently runs a Fairtrade store which is open to all students and staff

SJR Community Team[edit]

The college is currently building up a community team involving a large number of students getting involved with open days, college events such as Rigfest (a night when student bands play their music) and getting involved with tea and coffee mornings and working with the chaplaincy team with other events.

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC)[edit]

The college Learning Resource Centre offers a wide range of service and support to students such as over 11,000 books in stock, DVD's and online resources.

Open Learning Centre (OLC)[edit]

In the Open Learning Centre, Students have access to over 96 network connected computers to aide them in their learning, with Computer Technicians available to help with any problems any time of the day.

Pearson Teaching Awards[edit]

In 2012, Physical education lecturer and head of department, Mr. John Ireland, was awarded the "Further Education Teacher of the Year Award in the North"[1] in the Teaching Awards. He was awarded due to numerous nominations by students past and present, as a thank you for his 32 years of passionate teaching to students in sport, which has led to some of the most great successes, including students going on to play for top teams such as 'Wigan Warriors'.

Student Council[edit]

The college considers the student council to be a very important asset as it gives students the opportunity to have their say in which they think the quality of college life can be improved and also into any future plans the college intends to make. The student Council is a governing body who are representatives of the students and on their behalf put forward any suggestions of improvement that any students think should be considered as well as organising college events. The college is currently focusing on building up a council team in partnership with Loreto College in Manchester and always encourages its students to be involved.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 53°33′16″N 2°41′53″W / 53.55444°N 2.69806°W / 53.55444; -2.69806