By Jan Harker, Assistant Principal, 4 February 2021

Staff and students are celebrating the achievement of a prestigious Platinum Level Science Mark Award. 

We understand that we are the first sixth form college in the country to achieve such an award. It is quality standard designed to recognise and celebrate inspiring practice in science departments across the UK.  Science teacher Elaine O’Brien co-ordinated the process here at college and it involved many months of assessment in three key areas: “Teaching and Learning”, “Leadership and Management” and “Curriculum”, followed up by work, with staff and students conducted by an external assessor. 

Following a thorough review of the science provision at the college, Dr Yeasmin Mortuza of STEM Learning Ltd concluded that:

The Sixth Form College Colchester has an amazing science faculty, in which every effort is taken by staff to ensure that all students perform well; and this is done without cutting any corners. Staff and students enjoy a highly productive relationship in which the professionalism of staff, as well as their passion and expertise, ensure that mutual trust, respect, and hard work are nurtured and sustained. Their excellent student outcomes speak for themselves.  Students who study here gain a passion for science and move on through to a wide range of promising academic and career trajectories. The college is very well deserving of a Science Mark Platinum Award”

College Principal Ian MacNaughton was delighted to see the college achieve this national award, pointing out that this was part of a long tradition of recognising scientific excellence at the college that goes back many years; for example, in 2000 The College was also presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education. The award, which was most specifically for the Science and Technology Enrichment Programme, was presented by the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. 

He said that: 

“This recent further award of the highest Science Mark level ‘Platinum Status’ is fantastic – but very well deserved. This latest recognition highlights the continued strength of STEM provision and opportunities at the College. It’s great recognition for the hard work of staff and students in areas such as biology, chemistry and physics – but we must also take into account the excellent work that is done here at college in broader areas of scientific research such as geology, electronics, psychology and environmental science. Well done to all involved!”

Epic New Zealand Journey

By Adam Bantick, History Dept., 2 February 2021

Well done to former college student Shay Broomhall, who is currently engaged in an epic journey from the top of New Zealand to the bottom. He is walking, running and canoeing the route, and has currently completed the North Island section. He is supporting Care4Calais who provide essential aid such as tents, food and clothing for refugees in France and Belgium. A link to his fundraising page is HERE


By Ian MacNaughton, College Principal, 18 December 2020

Jemimah Ngu is now studying at Exeter reading Business Economics, having achieved an excellent one A* and two A grades – all alongside her achievements as a published poet! - She takes The Departmental Award for Mathematics and The College Award for Contribution to the College Community


We are sad to find that the coronavirus pandemic means that we are not able to invite former students to our traditional Awards & Reunion Event. We are really sorry not to be able to meet with former students and celebrate their success. It has been another way in which this year has been so different for this generation of students: a generation that has dealt with very difficult times, that have demanded great patience, flexibility, resilience and resolve from all of them  We are proud of them.

These times have forced change and the need to innovate and think creatively upon all of us, and it is in this vein that we offer you our ‘Online Awards & Reunion Event’, which can be found here . It’s not the same as being able to meet students in person, but it nevertheless enables us to highlight and celebrate some fantastic success stories from this summer’s graduates.

2020 has clearly been an extraordinary year and this, in turn, led to a very different process by which A Level and IB students were awarded their final grades. Everyone should be very proud of those grades; they pay tribute to students, who, throughout a difficult period, impressed us with their resilience, humour and determination. It’s important to remember that beneath the statistics and the politics, a huge number of students achieved excellent grades which clearly reflect their high levels of skill, hard work and tenacity; indeed A very substantial number of last year’s leavers successfully attained the grades necessary to progress to degree courses, including large numbers progressing to some of the very most competitive degree course areas. Others have, despite very challenging circumstances found excellent employment or training opportunities. Their levels of academic achievement were really outstanding.  Very well done to you. We wish them luck, and hopefully calmer waters, in their future plans .

The College is an academic institution, and their academic successes are enormously worthy of note and congratulations. but I must stress that at the College we do not view student success and achievement just through the achievements of our most able students or solely just through the achievement of top grades.   Our aim is to be an inclusive college where every student is able to further their potential, develop and make progress.

Many students have achieved in a wide variety of ways including the development of skills important to their life and the lives of others, including developing greater confidence, the ability to work with and relate to other people, improved communication, organisational and decision-making skills and much greater levels of worldliness and maturity.  We very much hope that students who joined the College at age 16 and left us after a programme of sixth form experiences at age 18 or 19, have become better prepared to be happy and successful, in the worlds of higher education and  employment,  and also in their personal lives.  We would also like to recognise achievements and contributions made in the fields of sport, performing and creative arts, science, technology and enterprise and we are also paying tribute to their contributions to both the College community and to the wider community in the area .

I would also like to publicly thank the staff of the College for their hard work and dedication which helped our students achieve their successes and realise their goals – and also thank the teachers in local secondary schools for all their work in the years before our students joined the College. The College is, extremely fortunate to have an outstanding team of staff who set very high professional standards, work very hard, genuinely care and take a pride in the development of their students and appreciate their individual achievements and success. 

Our former students, have helped the College maintain its position as one of the premier colleges in the country in terms of the quality of its examination results and the range of student activities, experiences and wider achievements.  Despite the challenge of the ongoing pandemic and impact of government funding cuts affecting 16-18 education throughout England, the College can, I strongly believe, look forward to its future with considerable confidence.  Indeed, the College is better placed than most school sixth forms and colleges to respond to such challenges

Our former students have contributed much to the College’s ongoing success.  We in turn hope that they are able to look forward to your own futures in a positive way with positive attitudes, confidence, zeal and ambition.  If they make the same level of contribution to the worlds of higher education, community and employment that they made whilst they were students at College, then they will make a very positive and favourable impact. They can make a real contribution to the future betterment of society, as well as achieving excellent opportunities for themselves

The best advertisement for the Sixth Form College has always been its students.  They are excellent ambassadors for the College and we are extremely proud of them.


By Dan Plewinski, Performing Arts Dept., 17 December 2020

Well done to everyone who got involved in our first virtual concert!

You can see the concert HERE


By Kerstin Ross, Friends Not Foes , 16 December 2020

Refugee Action, Colchester came to us just two weeks ago, appealing for clothes, toys, and food items for hampers. The response to a bulletin announcement asking for clothes and toys was overwhelming, and Friends Not Foes had a big job bagging everything up. However, everyone was glad to be involved in some activity again! Several tutor groups put the hampers together, and they are looking fantastic. We would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who contributed clothes, toys, hamper items, money or time to this appeal.


Friends Not Foes


By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal , 13 December 2020

Well done to Michele in the General Office - she's made 1,300 masks, by hand, raising £3.5k for charities such as KidsInspire  and the Poppy Appeal .


By Michele Perrin , Charities Committee, 11 December 2020

A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard and was so generous with our annual Christmas hamper collection. It took us a long time to load up the lorry with so many goodies to be distributed to families in need across the area!


By Harvey Taylor, Head of Visual arts Dept., 12 October 2020

A big thank you to Tee for curating our recent art exhibition for Black History Month