Get Involved

There is a wide variety of very active groups at college.

Amnesty International (5th)

Around the world many thousands of people are imprisoned, and sometimes tortured, because of their government which dislikes their beliefs - people of all ages, nationalities and political or religious views. Amnesty believes that no one, so long as they have not used or promoted violence, should be in prison for their views. Amnesty International also believes that all prisoners should be given a prompt and fair trial and that no prisoner should be put to death, tortured or ill-treated. What do we do in the College? We have regular meetings in which we write letters concerning particular cases where people have been wrongfully imprisoned or physically ill- treated. We also spend time planning our campaign of future events. But we do need more members! If you are interested, do come and join us.

Board Games Club (5th)

This club is for anyone with an interest in games, whatever their level of experience. Board games, card games, dice games, roleplaying games – come along and try them out or bring your own. Whether you want to play traditional games like Scrabble and Monopoly, or newer titles like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, you are welcome to come along, on your own or with a group of friends. No knowledge of the rules is required and most of the games we will be playing are simple enough to get playing in a few minutes.

Charities Group (5th)

The Charities Group offers the opportunity for students to get involved in the many charitable activities that take place in College throughout the year, including Christmas hamper collections, Easter egg collections and fund-raising events. We are always open to new ideas and welcome people who will help run things and get as many students as possible involved. We work closely with a number of local and national charitable organisations and the group is guided and supported by a member of staff. We will meet once a week to catch up with what everyone is doing and plan future activities. It is anticipated that some members of this group will go on to form the Student Charities Committee. Every year we raise thousands of pounds for good causes, so if you want to make a difference and have fun, then come along.

Chess Club (5th)

Beginners and masters alike will be welcome to form part of the college chess club. Chess helps to develop qualities of forensic analytical power, decision making and the ability to function under pressure. We meet once a week at lunch and play chess! If you have never played before, we will teach you. There will be a tournament at the end of the year with prizes.

Christian Union (5th)

All welcome to come for a time of chat, friendship, Bible Study, discussion of the big issues of life, worship, hearing God, and hearing what God has been doing in people’s lives…

College Council (5th)

This is your college. The college council enables you to have a say in what goes on and to contribute towards making sure college is a lively and enjoyable place in which to study. To get involved, a student usually firstly becomes a tutor group representative and will then attend the monthly College Council meetings. The elections for the College Council Executive take place in the autumn term. Any tutor group representative can stand for a variety of executive posts or can become chairperson of one of the committees. College Council Executive This is the key co-ordinating body of the council and consists of the chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer as well as the chairpersons of each of the following committee’s: -

Arts Committee

- This committee organises trips and creative events for all the students. Each year the committee decides for themselves what they would like to do. Some recent favourites have been workshops in ceramic, paper and clay, a henna stall, and trips to “Harry Potter World”. Students will be involved in The Arts and Culture Festival that takes place in the summer term.

Culture Committee

- The Culture Committee is a safe space for people of all backgrounds. We mark international events such as Black History Month and Chinese New Year and work with other groups such as the Arts Committee and Storm Radio. The Culture Committee also contributes to tutorial material and College resources on issues such as racism awareness. We hold weekly discussions relating to news items and cultural trends and open these up to a larger audience as an informal debate called ‘Culture Conversations’.

Environment Committee

- The Environment Committee encourages students to take an active part in enhancing the local environment – both in the College and across Colchester. Activities include promotion of environmental and sustainable initiatives within the College, organising and running of events to raise awareness of green issues. Over recent years, the committee have been instrumental in driving college-wide recycling programmes, fast fashion clothes swapping events and raising awareness of carbon literacy. Another successful activity, backed by the Marine Conservation Society, has been a campaign to raise awareness of the effect of single use plastic in the oceans and the threat to sea turtles around the world face. In college, we recently launched the ‘our space… our litter’ campaign to encourage people to use bins. We also launched the ‘save a cup, bring your mug’ initiative and we are in the process of planting trees with significance to wildlife around college and reduce noise pollution. The Environment Committee is fun to join, a great way to make friends and participation is a huge asset for your UCAS application.

Social Committee

- All the fun activities are organised by this committee such as student parties and the ‘Knollfest’. As well as helping to organise these very popular events it is a great way of meeting people. Sports Committee We promote sporting opportunities within the College and arrange a wide variety of sporting activities and competitions based around current worldwide competitions and other popular but less known sports such as dodgeball. If you are interested in event organising, think this will be beneficial on your CV, and love sport, the sports committee is perfect for you.

Conservation Group (weekends) (5th)

The Sixth Form College conservation volunteers take part in practical conservation work on local nature reserves including Abberton Reservoir. We assist Essex Wildlife Trust wardens and the conservation volunteers with habitat management tasks including tree-planting, coppicing, and constructing boardwalks. We have also helped with the construction of a low carbon building at Bradfield on Sea. Work parties take place on Sundays (approximately one a month) in the course of the year. It is suitable for students on all programmes of study and especially for anyone interested in wildlife and environmental issues. It can count towards the volunteering components of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Dungeons and Dragons (5th)

Dungeons and Dragons is a collective storytelling game where a group of players take on the roles of characters in an ongoing fantasy story. This group uses the 5th edition rules and usually has multiple games running. Everyone is welcome, whether they are a new player or an experienced dungeon master. You don’t need to know many rules to get started. Feel free to come along, see what it’s all about and decide whether you want to join in.

Feminist Society (5th)

Want to learn more about equality and feminism and fostering mutual respect regardless of gender? Then why not join The Inclusive Feminist Society. It’s a safe space for everyone to have open discussions, take part in fundraising, community events and talk about how to influence change both in and out of College. Oh, and we have lots of laughs! Friends Not Foes (5th) This group started life three years ago as “Welcome Refugees” but the students involved changed the name to reflect the group’s wider concern with tackling discrimination in society. Friends Not Foes is very much student-run and has engaged in activities ranging from providing practical help for Colchester’s refugee community (creating a Holocaust Memorial Installation for Firstsite, helping with the Syrian Café also at Firstsite, teaching driving theory, arranging a community picnic, a vintage clothes sale) to visits to relevant lectures at the university. The group also contributes to the College tutorial programme. We meet once a week to discuss the current issues and to arrange volunteering activities. We are especially proud of our homework club which runs after College once a week to support children from refugee families and which reflects our continuing and positive relationship with those who have found refuge in Colchester and the wider community. Friends Not Foes have won a Colchester Youth Award and the Group of the Year Award at the Essex Teaching Awards. Everyone is welcome.

Holocaust Memorial Programme (4th / Year 2)

The Holocaust Memorial Programme is an additional study that encourages students to learn about and reflect on the Holocaust. It is not an overly historical approach and will include focus on literature, art, psychology etc. The programme includes a three-day trip to Poland and a visit to Auschwitz (cost to be paid by students and subject to numbers). This opportunity is open to all 2nd years, regardless of what you study. There is no examination at the end; it is however a way of showing universities that you have a deep interest in learning outside the classroom.

LGBTQ (+) Student Club (5th)

This is an informal social group for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary gendered or questioning, as well as for their friends. There will be discussions and debates as well as celebration of LGBT History Month and other awareness days. Mainly, the aim of the group is to provide a safe space to meet with others and to socialise. All welcome.

Robotics (5th)

Interested in design, electronics or just assembling things? We have a robotics kit available for a small group to use for a project. Watch the bulletin or contact any member of the physics team for further details

Trips and Visits (5th)

The College organises local fieldwork, day trips, national and international residential trips and many students will have opportunities to participate in residential field trips and day or part day visits; for example, there are annual field trips organized by the Biology, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Visual Arts, Music, Drama, Art History, Sociology and English Departments. The Modern Languages Department regularly offers exchange visits. In addition, there are many other field trips and visits open to all students. Recently, groups have visited Iceland, Paraguay, France, Peru, India, Sri Lanka, USA, Italy, Belgium and Germany. The Social committee has also arranged trips to Alton Towers, Harry Potter World and West End Musicals. All departments build visits into their programmes of study and there are many more general opportunities for theatre, sport, dance and music trips. Students should ensure they check the student bulletin and Moodle frequently. Departmental trips will usually be initially aimed at students within those curriculum areas but where there is space for other students to apply, they will be advertised in the student bulletin on a first come first served basis.

Tutorial Programme

- Every student in the College is a member of a tutor group and participates in the College’s tutorial programme, which takes place during timetabled tutorial lessons once a week. The tutorial programme has been developed to meet the needs of students in preparing them for the worlds of higher education, employment and life beyond college. The programme involves some periods of essential administration as well as covering particular issues, which will be of value to the student in order to prepare them for playing a full and active part in society. Students are given specific advice and guidance on keeping themselves safe, and developing a wider understanding of key issues such as mental health awareness, the ‘prevent strategy’ and online safety. We hope students will play a full part in discussion of a wide range of relevant issues. A central part of the programme is the opportunity to review progress and conduct action planning on a 1 to 1 basis with a personal tutor. Students’ contributions to the programme are very welcome, including comments on its success in covering topics which they feel are relevant to them.

Understanding Mental Health (4th)

Everyone has mental health. If you are interested in understanding more about mental health and how to improve emotional wellbeing, this course is for you. You will learn about common mental health difficulties and their impact. You will also learn some techniques to help deal with challenges, such as anxiety and exam stress.

Neurodiversity (4th) - NO LONGER AVAILABLE 

We are sorry but the team who delivered this course on our behalf are no longer available to teach this course for September '24

Neurodiversity brings with it a range of challenges, but also some positive qualities, and you’ll learn about both. This is the course for you if: You have autism; You don’t have a diagnosis but you think you may have some autistic traits; You want to know more, so you can better understand the neurodiverse people in your life, or you are intending to pursue a career in, for example, education, healthcare or social care, where you will need to understand neurodiversity.

Diverse Writers Book Club (5th)

This is a student and staff group that meets once or twice a half-term to discuss books (all genres) by writers from diverse backgrounds. The group started partly inspired by Black Lives Matter but also to address a collective sense that at present, the curriculum does not adequately represent the work of writers of colour – and we now look to broaden our reading list to include books by queer authors, translations of non-English texts, and more! Our purpose is partly to extend our reading horizons but also to use what we discover to make recommendations to exam boards to diversify what is on offer on English courses. Choice of books is driven by students, and the Book Club is a great way to meet like-minded readers and discuss important issues.