STUDENTS are taking to heart the words of one of history’s great figures as they form a society designed to boost aspirations.

A packed lecture theatre at Northallerton College attended the inaugural meeting of the Johnson Group, inspired by 18th-century wordsmith Samuel Johnson who wrote: “Your aspirations are your possibilities.”

The group has been formed by teacher Anna Cox to help students follow their dreams.

An Oxford graduate herself, she said: “It is aimed at those who intend to apply to competitive courses at prestigious universities and those who need to be encouraged to aim high.

“It formalises and extends the existing support and guidance given to our students and there will be specific guidance on how to apply for particular courses.”

She said the group would also get the chance to experience wider educational, cultural and philosophical experiences outside the curriculum, designed to stretch the mind and open up new possibilities. These included a ‘professional speed dating’ session.

The group meets every Friday lunchtime to address a specific theme with talks from outside speakers.