The College offers many opportunities to explore your creative interests, whatever your level of current skill.
Gold Arts Award (4th / Year 2)
See “get qualified” Band (Concert) (4th) Students who play band instruments at grade 5 standard can take part in this ensemble. We rehearse music from a wide range of styles, from jazz and big band to classical, preparing for College concerts. The rehearsals are entirely practical and there are no costs involved in this course. The skills of ensemble playing as well as development of instrumental and aural ability together with performing experience are sought after by employers and all establishments of higher education. Participation in a big band is a fun experience.
The course is aimed at two distinct groups: Those with some experience of working in clay who wish to extend their skills and perhaps develop ideas in this medium; Those with very little experience who wish to be shown the basic forming and decorative methods. Both groups will cover the basic pottery techniques of modelling, slab building and coiling. Those with some experience can work more independently if they prefer.
You are welcome at choir whether you are a serious singer, or a complete beginner. We sing a variety of music, both popular and classical and work towards a concert each term. If you are interested in joining, please come along. You don’t have to be able to read music, although if you can do, this will also be useful.
Computer - 3D Modelling (4th)
This is an introductory course in computer modelling, suitable for students who wish to learn how to produce computer-generated models. Students will learn how to model objects using an industry standard modelling application and make real-life physical versions of their designs using the College 3D printers. 3D modelling programs are used to produce 3D images used in product design and advertising, animations and computer game models (such as rooms, racing cars, characters, etc.). As part of the course, students will also learn how to apply materials and textures to a computer-generated 3D model to add realism, and how to set up lights and cameras. Students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate these skills by building and rendering a 3D model of their own choice.
Creative Writing (4th)
This course will enable you to develop all aspects of your writing. The course will inspire you through workshops and examples of good writing and you will have the opportunity to create your own collection of work. We will explore a variety of forms including prose, poetry, drama and non-fiction. You will have the freedom to express your own ideas, to experiment with different kinds of writing and to develop your own style. There will be opportunities to attend a residential weekend and to benefit from visiting writers. This course will give you a rich experience of writing and enable you to publish your work in the College magazine and other outlets. Sign up for a rewarding, constructive and inspirational experience! If you would like to continue this into Year 2, you will be able to do an Extended Project Qualification in Creative Writing.
Drawing and Collage (4th)
A lively course suiting students of all abilities. The students will explore a variety of drawing and collage techniques. The emphasis will be on a loose approach to media.
Dance – Choreolab (4th)
Student led session. Open class, students decide style of dance, type of work and what they do. If you don’t want to do “mainstream” dance and want to do “your” thing - then come work with us. Students of EPQ Dance look for dancers for their choreography here too.
Dance Club (4th)
Teacher-led contemporary dance class focusing on choreography, technique and performance. A good complementary class for A-Level Dance students and also for non dance students looking to gain experience in contemporary dance.
Dance Company (5th)
A company class and performance opportunity for A-Level dancers. This opportunity is designed to complement the A-Level Dance course by providing further opportunities for technique/ choreography and performance. The company will be looking to take work into local schools for outreach opportunities and perform in national/regional platforms. Delivered by a professional practitioner/choreographer.
Drama Club (Contemporary) (4th)
In this very practical course we will explore a range of performance styles through a range of plays and styles throughout theatre history. We will also focus on devising work and the range of techniques that can be used to create interesting and original pieces of theatre. You will increase your knowledge and confidence of drama skills, while developing communication and collaboration skills by working in small groups as well as the whole group, on occasion. There will be opportunities to perform work in a range of contexts, e.g. lunchtime performances or as part of other student projects. All students welcome.
Electronic Music Performance (4th)
Students will learn how to perform with Ableton Live, DJ and implement technology into live music, culminating in a live performance and broadcast on the College radio. Hardware, including push controllers, synthesisers, samplers and DJ equipment will be explored. Students will gain confidence in trying out new ideas and sharing and collaborating with others. Topics covered will include looping, beat-matching, mixing effects, building a DJ set and recording a live performance.
This additional study is an excellent addition to any art and design A-Level. If you are considering a career in fashion or costume design or would like to understand garment construction then this is the additional study for you. Throughout the year you will build a portfolio as you learn to use the sewing machines, create fabric patterns and garments. You will be required to make one final garment or costume to be showcased in a fashion show during the Art and Culture Festival mid-July.
Instrumental Tuition (5th)
Timetables for these lessons will be finalised once students have been given their academic subject timetables: they should be aware that notices, via the student bulletin, will announce when they are to meet the instrumental or vocal tutor to arrange lesson times. There is a cost for this individual tuition which is likely to be in the region of £150 for 12 half hour lessons (unless the student is taking A-Level Music). A student facing financial difficulties may apply to their senior tutor for further financial support. If there are any queries, please see the Head of Music.
Jazz Band (4th)
Any student who plays a big band instrument is welcome to join this ensemble. We perform a variety of big band classics and more modern pieces with a big band twist. This is a new ensemble that has only been running since 2019. We perform in College concerts and hope to go out to perform in the local area too. You do, ideally, need to be able to read music or have a really good musical ear to be able to join. If you are interested in Jazz and play a suitable instrument, please come along.
Music Theory (4th)
The college offers several music theory courses – see “get qualified”
Students who play orchestral instruments at grade 5 standard can take part in this ensemble. We rehearse and perform a variety of pieces working towards College concerts as well as external events. The rehearsals are entirely practical and there are no costs involved in playing in the orchestra; any external concert costs are borne by the College. The skills provide not only ensemble and instrumental elements but touch on the context of works and musical history. The ability to work together, to develop aural skills and to perform is keenly sought after by employers and higher education establishments.
The Printmaking additional study will allow students to learn and experiment with a variety of printmaking processes from monotypes to screen printing and everything in between. Throughout the year, we will cover a range of skills and processes, and we will work both on paper and fabric, showing how printmaking processes can be used across creative disciplines.
Rock Music Workshop (4th)
A great opportunity to meet other students who play instruments and use a classroom as a rehearsal space. You could be already in a band or looking for like-minded students to form a band. We meet once a week and have amps, microphones and drum kits that you can borrow (you will need to bring your own guitars). We offer support to beginners in guitar, drums or setting up the sound equipment but many students are already experienced musicians. Most bands play cover songs but some write their own songs or just enjoy jamming together. Once a year there is a ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition at the Colchester Arts Centre and bands audition to take part. This is a professional, ticketed event and the winning band wins a recording session in a local music studio.
Shakespeare (Drama) Club (4th)
Whether you are new to performing Shakespeare or have years of experience, this club offers a unique one-to-one learning experience. It all starts in College with a session a week of teaching, learning and workshopping Shakespeare or other dramatic pieces. Then students will perform their speeches to tutors who will then give feedback to develop your skills and inspire your acting skills. It costs nothing to join the course, but some students may have the opportunity at a later date to pay a fee to gain a formal award. These certificates are a great thing to have, but more importantly students participate in a creative working process, which can really develop confidence in an audition situation.
Storm Records (5th)
Storm Records is the College record label which publishes music performed by College students and is open to students who specialise in different disciplines, including music and music technology, but also to students who want to pursue business, advertising, accountancy, video production and fashion in the context of a record label. The record label will meet once a week to discuss and undertake actions that will improve sales, promote artists and generally advance the label to even greater success
Unplugged (and Plugged) on the Concourse (5th)
Another opportunity for students to showcase their musical talents. Groups and individuals are invited to take part in lunchtime concerts on the concourse in College. There is no audition process although the standard of individual performances is usually very high. Unplugged events take place every half term. (IMAGE – Female student playing acoustic guitar)