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The College offers many opportunities to those who have ambitions to pursue a variety of career goals or academic interests.

Archaeology (4th)

Archaeology is ideal for anyone with an interest in the past and is fascinated by monuments like Stonehenge and the Pyramids. We will look at various methods archaeologists use to discover the past and find out what they can reveal from the origins of humans to why Stonehenge was built. We also look at other debates in the archaeological world like the return of the Elgin Marbles. No previous experience or knowledge required, only if you are keen, you will love archaeology. If you particularly enjoy Archaeology, you can progress to an EPQ in the subject in year 2.

The Coffee shop – Critical Thinking (4th)

For centuries, thinkers have gathered in coffee shops to openly discuss the intellectual issues of the day. Our coffee shop aims to stimulate the same spirit of enquiry and debate. After a short course to sharpen up your thinking skills, we will let them loose upon a wide variety of topics and debates, with different guest speakers each week to introduce to a wide range of ideas. Some of these will link directly to A-level and university study, others will take your thinking where you never expected it to go. You will not be set homework, but speakers will often suggest further reading if you wish to pursue matters further. Come along on time and with an open mind and we will provide everything else, including (sometimes) the coffee!

Consolidation Course (Improving Subject Performance) (4th / Year 2)

The College offers a wide range of course consolidation courses aimed at improving subject performance in a range of subject areas. These courses are provided for second year students as they approach their final assessments and examinations.

Digital Skills Academy (4th)

As a Digital Skills Academy learner, you will be part of a community where you will be supported to complete online courses and join online training events. On programme completion, you will receive mini course completion certificates and gain industry- recognised awards that will help you stand out from the crowd. This is an online programme, with face-to-face support, open to all students. Sign up now to develop the skills required to be successful on your College course, at university and gain the digital skillset local employers are looking for!

Enterprise (4th)

Enterprise is a course which develops the skills and mindset needed to make the most of life’s opportunities and challenges. Students will take part in a number of activities to prepare them for the Young Enterprise 10X Challenge. This is a national competition where the participants have four weeks to research, create, plan and run their own business with a £10 pledge. This additional course would suit anyone who is considering starting their own business in the future or if they are studying a Business, Accounting or Economics A Level. Enthusiasm and team work are essential!

Lawyers (4th)

Lawyers is a programme of learning and activities designed for students who are interested in a career in law. It is mainly aimed at student’s who are not studying A-level Law or B-TEC Applied Law. The course will cover the basics of the English legal system and looks at how the law is made and used! Core skills such as debating and public speaking will be covered via activities such as mock trials and presentations. Career paths will be considered including looking at the variety of legal professions and the availability of alternative training paths such as apprenticeships. Guidance will be given on personal statements, interviews and, where appropriate, the L NAT examination. A range of speakers will be invited, many of whom are former college students, to talk about their jobs and routes to their careers. Meetings will take place once a week

Library Champions (5th)

The College library runs a volunteering scheme for students who have a passion for books, information skills and giving back to the College community. You will have the opportunity to learn the role of a librarian and complete a number of our everyday tasks such as shelving, displays, stock selection and customer service. The library champions are invited to volunteer in the library around their timetable with no set hours for the role. Champions contribute ideas and enthusiasm into the library team, and help to ensure that the College library meets the needs of its student body. Previous experience is not necessary, and volunteering can be tailored to suit each student’s interests and strengths. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable employability and study skills for progression after College.

Medics (Year 1 – 5th /Year 2 – 4th)

The Medics group helps students prepare for entry to University to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science. These meetings are a vital part of the preparation for course application, interview and for the courses themselves. The meetings will provide help with UCAT and B-MAT, advice and guidance on personal statements and University choices. Each student will experience a mock individual and multi mini interview, they will have plenty of practice in the medics meetings where we will prepare and discuss interview questions, ethical scenarios and current news. Additionally, students will benefit from meeting and listening to the experiences of qualified ex-students and guest speakers. All students hoping to apply for these courses must attend Medics additional study. Medics meetings take place on a weekly basis in both Year 1 and Year 2.

The Youth STEMM Award (YSA) (4th)

The Youth STEMM Award (YSA) is an achievement-based award for students in Years 1 and 2 and is designed to support and inspire the next generation of STEMM professionals. This award enables students to further their passion, knowledge and skills in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine). Each student, supported by the STEMM coordinator, sets personal goals and monitors their progress through to the completion of the award. Students are encouraged to regularly articulate and share their personal journey at the weekly meeting. Students initially embark on a Bronze Award and progress onto Silver and Gold Awards. To be eligible for this additional study, students must be enrolled on a minimum of two STEM-related subjects. Why should you do the Youth STEMM Award? The YSA is an excellent way to enrich your CV when applying to university to study a STEMM-related discipline. The STEMM Award boosts confidence and encourages students to identify areas in which they need further development, such as skills related to engaging the public, which requires students to demonstrate the use of social media or technology and deliver events to connect with the broader community. This award expands STEM skills and provides evidence of experience developed in and beyond the curriculum, which can be used to secure work experience and to support university and apprenticeship applications. Students exercise and develop communication and collaborative skills by working with their peers and acting as STEM role models at College and in the wider community What does it involve? Participants log STEMM-related activities across four core strands: Inspiring the next generation; Engaging the public; Developing skills and knowledge; Shaping your future. Many of these activities can be covered by work undertaken for STEM-related courses and by researching and applying to university courses. In addition, you will have the opportunity to engage with scientists and learn first-hand what is required to become a successful STEMM professional. Furthermore, you will have the chance to interact with students inside and outside of the College in the role of mentors and by running/ assisting in STEMM related activities. You will underpin your core subject knowledge and understanding by completing independent research projects like an EPQ. There is also the opportunity to attend a conference at the UEA showcasing the work of STEMM professionals and your own research projects (if desired), giving you the chance to develop your presentation skills and network with professionals. The award is assessed by logging activities to the YSA website, which will then be verified by your assessor at College. Once completed, the portfolio of activities is then moderated by the team at YSA, and, if successful, you will be invited to the annual awards ceremony, where you will receive your medal and certificate. Please note, there is a cost of £12 to cover external administration. Time table commitment: one lunch time per week.

Mock Trial Competition (5th / Year 2)

Mock trials are an excellent way to boost skills for future legal careers. Opportunities to get involved with this group will be advertised at the end of Year 1, when the law department hosts its annual in house “law in action” week. This then leads on to the opportunity to apply to be part of the team for the national “Young Citizens” bar mock trial competition. The team meet weekly to rehearse and prepare for the regional heat, where students play the parts of barristers, witnesses, jurors, clerk and usher in real Crown courts. If successful in the regional heat there is a further competition for the national final.

Oxbridge Application support (5th / Year 2)

An extensive support programme is provided for students who are potentially interested in applying for degree courses at either the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. The programme commences during the induction and enrolment periods for students wishing to receive specialist coursing advice. Throughout the first year of study a specialist team of staff provide briefings and general information, organise support from former students currently studying at Oxford and Cambridge, provide one to one support, guidance and advice, including helping students apply for conferences and study days. Subject support is also provided including support in preparation for the extra tests Oxford and Cambridge set for a number of chosen degree courses (taken in November). A visit to Cambridge during the Spring Term including Emmanuel College is organised. Students receive support throughout the application stage, as well as preparing them for the interviews in December. A Moodle Oxbridge facility is provided – and up to date and useful materials are regularly posted. All arts subject Oxbridge applicants are advised to undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) towards the end of Year 1. Some Science applicants will also be advised to complete an EPQ. Any students wishing more details should speak to Ian MacNaughton (Principal) or Adam Bantick (regarding Arts applications) or Dan Stebbings (regarding STEM applications).

Pre-foundation Art (4th / Year 2)

This course is intended for A-Level Art and Design students who are planning to progress to Art and Design degree courses, through a Foundation course or direct entry. It will help prepare yourself and your art portfolio for entry to competitive courses either at foundation diploma level or degree level. We look at the careers and courses available in Art and Design and entry requirements. You will be given assistance with your foundation and degree applications alongside guidance on how to answer questions at interview about yourself and your art portfolio. We will also help you write your personal statement. Outside speakers include the current course leader for Foundation Diploma at Colchester Institute and ex-students who show their work and discuss their experiences. The course runs in parallel with the Art EPQ but you do not have to do the Art EPQ and Pre Foundation together. It is solely aimed at those students who do Fine Art, Photography, Graphics or Textiles A-Levels. No special equipment or materials are needed.

Pre-teaching for Primary Schools (5th)

Pre-teaching is for students intending to study primary education at university. Students are encouraged to find a work placement in a local primary school in order to gain experience which will be helpful for their University interviews. This is not a taught course, but students will be given guidance on how to source a work placement. Students hoping to become primary school teachers must be intending to study at least one, preferably two, subjects taught in primary schools at A-level. Students will be advised to complete placements either during breaks in their College timetable or over a 2-week period during the summer term. A maximum of five college days will be missed with the summer term option. A DBS check may be required for each student at a personal cost to be confirmed

Study skills (5th)

Throughout the year the Learning Hub hosts a number of courses aimed at supporting your studies. We cover, revision skills, managing your time in an exam, essay writing, organisation, supported homework, preparing for exams, improving your handwriting and more! Keep your eye on the student bulletin for courses on offer or pay us a visit and see what we have to offer.

Work experience (4th)

Employers, universities and other colleges are often looking for candidates who can demonstrate that they have done more than pass their exams! Employers, in particular, value relevant and current experience of ‘the world of work’. So, if you fancy your chances in the business world or want to work with animals, children or “people”, work experience may be just what you need. This course will initially be undertaken as a structured work preparation programme with the opportunity for students to develop their experience by applying for actual or virtual work experiences. A proactive approach is a must as students will take the lead in researching and applying for their own work experience opportunities

UCAS Application support (5th / Year 2)

All students who are making higher education applications will be fully supported by a range of experienced college staff. In the summer term of the first year, the ‘Progression Event’, includes advice from experts in applying for higher education courses and sessions on topics such as ‘writing a personal statement’ and an induction to the UCAS website. During the UCAS application process, extensive support is available from personal tutors, senior tutors, the careers team and our dedicated UCAS administration staff to ensure that students make a highly effective application. There are higher education briefing meetings for parents in the spring of the first year and May of the second year which are advertised in our newsletter. Get Communicating Whether it’s in a different language, on the radio, or in a formal debate, the college offers plenty of opportunities to sharpen up your communication skills.

(IMAGE – 2 female students using microphones mounted on stands)

College Magazine (4th)

This course is an opportunity for students who enjoy writing about local, national and international stories to develop their journalistic skills and to get their work out to the public. As well as working towards a bi-termly, in-house magazine, students have the option of joining our Young Reporter scheme run by Newsquest Media. This exciting scheme provides the chance for students to work as real journalists for eight months and all of their articles are uploaded onto the Colchester Gazette website. Have a look to see the wide range of stories published. reporter/ As well as having your stories published on the Gazette website, those of you who complete the scheme receive a letter of recognition from the regional editor and the chance to compete against hundreds of students to win prizes and attend a media award ceremony. There are also frequent opportunities to apply for the chance to interview a celebrity or bid for free tickets to shows that you can review. You also have mentoring sessions (via Teams) run by the scheme organiser which offer practical advice from someone within the industry itself. This work experience is great for using on CVs, UCAS applications and is obviously very useful if you want to go into journalism.

Debating Society (4th)

The Debating Society offers you the chance to discuss the issues that matter to you. Each week, a team of up to six students debates an issue and tries to persuade the audience to vote for their side. The topics are yours to choose, from moral dilemmas to international affairs and social issues. No one has to take part in public speaking but we welcome people who are keen to debate and every year we hope to enter teams in local and national competitions including the Model United Nations. Anyone considering a career in law, politics, acting or teaching has a lot to gain by taking part in debating. It is a challenging and exciting way to develop your confidence and fluency.

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) General support (4th)

Mainly for ESOL students who need to learn: Punctuation & word terminology and rules Figures of speech Language features Writing techniques for emphasis Basic sentence structure Basic paragraph structure Especially useful for those who are studying for English GCSE/basic A-Level requirements

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Higher Level support (4th)

For ESOL students who already have English GCSE 4 or above. Mainly for students who need to learn: Higher level sentence structure Essay planning techniques Paragraph structure Analysing questions Higher level reading essay comprehension Summarising / expanding information techniques Proof reading techniques etcetera…

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Short Term support (5th)

For short term ESOL support (1 ~ 4 weeks). Seen through referral from the student/tutor/teacher, in discussion with the ESOL teacher (David P) and Learning Support (Alison D). Mainly for students who need support with one or two specific issues to do with their language. Times arranged according to timetable free periods.

GCSE Spanish or Italian (4th)

See “get qualified”

Holiday Italian (4th)

Would you like to learn another language without having to worry about taking an exam? Hoping to go to Europe travelling or on holiday to Italy? Want to look more impressive when ordering food in your favourite Italian restaurant? This is the additional study for you. No experience of Italian is necessary, although some previous study of a foreign language would be helpful.

Introduction to Japanese (4th)

Anime? Would you like to speak Japanese? Japan for a gap year? If you are thinking about learning Japanese then this course is for you! There`s lots of fun while you are learning. Topics to be covered include, introducing yourself, speaking, listening and writing, shopping, origami, how fun & mindful an activity it is, writing calligraphy in Japanese, and learning Japanese culture & history. Do you know there was an African Samurai in the 16th century and English Samurai in the 17th century in Japan? For those who really enjoy the course there will be an opportunity to continue their studies into their second year.

Latin for beginners (4th)

This is a one-year course, one lesson per week. You need no previous knowledge of Latin or of the ancient world, although a general knowledge of the world of ancient Greece and Rome would be useful. If you are studying another language or History, English or Classical Civilisation, Latin would be a useful complement to your studies. Apart from enjoyment, there are many benefits of learning basic Latin. It will make you think about your own language, e.g. what is the origin of words like television, fax, birth by caesarean section, habeas corpus, Colchester? Where do expressions like e.g., i.e., NB, PS come from? It will also help you improve your knowledge of English grammar. You will learn something about an ancient culture and the way they lived. You will be able to put it on your UCAS form and the subject is particularly relevant for students considering applying to Oxbridge.

Mandarin Chinese for beginners (4th)

Are you interested in Chinese culture and language? Are you thinking of travelling or taking a gap year? Are you fascinated by Chinese characters? The course will enable you to greet people, introduce yourself and your family, buy things and identify objects. The focus is on spoken & listening skills, but will also cover basic character recognition. No previous knowledge of Chinese is needed.

Introduction to British Sign Language (4th)

Our Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) is the perfect first step on your British Sign Language BSL journey. The Introduction to British Sign Language course is designed for students who want to gain a foundation in BSL and learn about the deaf community. This is ideal for anyone who is curious to learn the basics of British Sign Language. Sessions are fun, practical and designed for all students. Do you want to know how to sign your name? Learn the BSL alphabet and key signs in various topics such as weather, food and drink and hobbies and interests. This course will give you the key skills in sign language, teaching you all the fundamental signs that form the basis of British Sign Language

Storm Radio (5th) Storm Radio is the sound of The Sixth Form College. Student volunteers present three shows a day, guided by experienced second year producers. You will gain presenting skills, confidence and experience with broadcast equipment. As well as playing music, we record podcasts, review new releases and organise live DJing events using a Numark Omni controller. Several volunteers have gone on to senior positions at university radio stations across the country.