Golf Success

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 15 September 2017

Well done to former student Jonathan Hewett, who is about to embark on a professional golfing career in the United States, playing in the West-Florida Golf Tour.

Whilst studying for his A-levels at the Colchester Sixth Form College he was a two time finalist at the British College Championship and took third place at the European Junior Open.

Looking back Jonathan says “I did really quite well in my A-levels but was also very keen to progress a career as a golfer. Mum and Dad, as you would expect, were keen for me to have a back-up plan, so to be able to combine getting a good degree with playing golf was a dream come true for me. My ambition has always been to join the US PGA tour and I am going to work very hard to achieve that but if I don’t make it I now have a really good degree to fall back on.”

Well Done Charlie

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 15 September 2017

July – the largest athletics event in and 8thWell done to student Charlie Dobson, also a member of Colchester Harriers Athletics Club, who was invited by Essex Schools to compete in the English Schools Athletics Championships on 7

The highest ranked athletes in each County had been selected to represent their County team in a full range of events on both the track and in the field.  This prestigious event, and highlight of the Schools athletics calendar, is often where the next generation of senior athletes have their first taste of success at a National level.

In one of the most anticipated sprint finals of the championships, the 200 metres, Charlie lined up next to the double English National Champion (Surrey’s Romell Glave, 100m and 200m).  As they entered the home straight Glave was characteristically metres ahead, but Charlie, making good use of his relaxed technique drove through to provide one of the most exciting races of the day to finish a mere five hundredth of a second behind Glave to take a spectacular second place, and yet another PB and Club Record in a time of 21.20s.

fastest year 12 athlete in this event throughout the UK. rd place in the country for 200 metres in the Under 20 category, and the 3thNot only did he collect a Silver medal, but this time places Charlie in 8

Charlie has also recently been selected, and run for Great Britain in the Manchester International. He ran in the 200m as a Junior against senior teams from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ulster, Denmark, and invitational teams from the British Athletics league. He finished 5th with a new personal best of 21.19s (wind assisted), and also finished as the quickest Under 20 in the race.

Weather smiles upon college festival

By Chris Throup, Student Services, 15 September 2017

Good to see that the rain held off for this year's "Knollfest"


By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 17 August 2017

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester have achieved excellent A and AS level results in this summer’s examination series overall.  Grades are ‘up’ from last year - and in particular are generally well up in those A and AS level subjects which have been reformed by the Government.

The year group of approximately 1300 upper sixth students who sat their A levels at the College this summer achieved a subject A to E grade pass rate of over 98% and an A* - B ‘very high grade’ rate of close to 50%.  90% of all the 18 year old students at the College have achieved 3 or more A level qualifications or equivalent in their sixth form studies – a level of achievement which is, once again, very significantly above the national average level in sixth forms at schools and colleges across England and Wales. 

100% pass rates were achieved in 37 separate A level courses including in Economics French, Further Maths, German, Italian, History of Art, Music, Photography, and Spanish.  The average score of the College’s top 100 upper sixth students is equivalent to grades A* A* A at A level and these ‘top end’ results, it is understood, will for the twentieth consecutive year, will exceed the results of the top 100 student achievers in nearly all of the selective grammar or independent schools in the country.


The overall A, AS and IB results achieved by the cohort of students this year are described by Ian MacNaughton, the College Principal as “Fantastic.  Our students’ achievements are really excellent and they must be very warmly congratulated.  We are really pleased with how well our students and staff have responded to the demands of the newly, Government reformed AS and A level courses”.

Well over 1000 of the upper sixth students from The Sixth Form College have now obtained the necessary qualifications to be able to proceed onto university degree courses including a very large cohort of students who have now achieved the grades required for offers for places on prestige degree courses including, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering, Maths, Economics, Architecture, Law, English and History, or have achieved places at Oxford or Cambridge or Russell Group Universities or Medical Schools or for other highly competitive universities or degree courses. 

Amongst the very large cohort of high achievers are;

Rose Arbuthnot from Holbrook previously a student at Royal Hospital School who achieved four A* grades at A level in Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.  Rose has now successfully achieved her offer of a place to study Veterinary Medicine at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

Daniel Raison from Copford who joined the College from Honywood School, achieved four A* grades at A level – in Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Extended Project Qualification.  Daniel will now study Medicine at the University of Exeter.

Jamie Leppard from Colchester previously a student at The Gilberd School achieved four A* grades at A level in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and will now study for a degree in Physics at Imperial College, University of London.

Madeleine Chia from Maldon previously a student at St. Benedict’s School, achieved three A* grades in History, Geography and Psychology, together with an A grade in Geology.  Madeleine will now study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Robinson College, University of Cambridge.

Liam McKenna from Colchester previously a student at Philip Morant School achieved top grades in English Literature, History, Mathematics and Chemistry and will now study for a degree in Law at Merton College, University of Oxford.

Dance and Performance Workshops

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 20 July 2017

During the Summer Term the students of the Dance and Performing Arts Department have had a number of opportunities to further their skills with workshops from former students and other professionals:

There have been a range of events,  including  "Musical Theatre" delivered by a former student (just graduated from Chichester University) to a "Flying Low" work shop (pictured) with ex student Hayley Lemon (recently graduated from University of Bedfordshire).

The focus of the sessions have been to begin the exploration of potential conservatoire/university courses within the Performing Arts disciplines. The sessions have also given the opportunity for our current students to discuss the pathways our ex students have taken since leaving The Sixth Form College.
“ It has been such a pleasure to welcome our alumni students back to inspire and work with our current students. They have all given up their time and energy to offer these sessions, it makes a real impact on our students and they have all thoroughly enjoyed the sessions”.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition

By Graham Rayner, D of E Coordinator, 19 July 2017

Congratulations to 19 year 1 students who have successfully completed their Gold DofE qualifying expedition in the Dark Peaks.  The three student teams were assessed over 4 days by an independent assessor who was very impressed with their navigation skills.  The weather was generally very good, although there was a heavy storm on the acclimatisation day.  Esther Gray, who has supplied the photos, said “our team build a strong bond and we all pulled together in the toughest times.  We really enjoyed it and we were joking that if there was a Platinum expedition where you had to do an extra day, we would probably do it.”  The teams now need to give a presentation in September to next year’s intake, advising them of the do’s and don’ts of a successful expedition!

English Department Trip to Stratford Upon Avon

By Alison Shelley, English Department, 19 July 2017

At the stage door with the actor who played the lead role in Salome!

JAMES HOSKING and ELOISE WISKIN (year one students) write:

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a place of juxtaposition: Tudor buildings are next to the local McDonalds and M&S, tourists from all around the world were scattered across the heightened British culture around them so the town felt simultaneously like a stranger and a home. It was dead within the centre of this contrast that we, a group of twenty-nine Shakespeareans (the teachers included) and a coach driver, found ourselves.

It was here that we experienced one of the greatest theatre experiences in England; from the gore of Titus Andronicus to the spiritual story of Salome and the dramatic intensity of Julius Caesar. In all, it really was impossible to compare the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to any other kind of performance, with its impressive ability to use both modernised and classical styles. Watching Titus Andronicus in a modern setting really changed the way we viewed the text and was definitely a once in a life time experience. After going, many of us would agree that watching Shakespeare live is not something to be missed.

Coming to the end of the trip, the true wonder of the three-day trip was expressed by all of us in an unwillingness to leave. Many of us could have stayed there another month, watching plays and just enjoying the experience offered! If you want a rewarding and fruitful trip, the English trip to Stratford-upon-Avon in the Summer term, is the one for you.

Photos from the Geology Fieldwork Visit to Arran

By Sue Court-Oak, Geography Department, 19 July 2017

Year 1 Geology Students have returned from the annual fieldwork expedition to the Arran which was a great success. They enjoyed engaging with a range of environments, as these photos demonstrate.

Colchester Youth Award Winners

By Carol McAuley, Assistant Principal, 14 July 2017

Congratulations to this year's Colchester Youth Awards winners, including everyone who has supported the  College 'Friends Not Foes' group (pictured) , which was recognised by a special 'Chairs Award' at the presentation event held yesterday evening at Colchester Institute

The group was established to welcome refugees in Colchester and have themselves in a wider range of issues, such as joining a social media campaign #Stand Up for the 347, to highlight the plight of the 347 unaccompanied children in Calais, preparing an installation for Holocaust Memorial event at Firstsite and providing very efficient waiting and washing up services for the four pop-up cafes organised by the Syrian refugees in Colchester ?

They have also been helping man stalls for Refugee Action, Colchester , contributing a very successful quiz to the College tutorial programme designed to raise awareness of facts and fiction surrounding the Refugee crisis and helping with one to one tuition alongside weekly Driving Theory lessons held in College for those Syrians who are trying to get a British Driving license.

Other award winners included Angus Thain , who received an award for academic achievement. As Madeleine Robinson, Head of Chemistry points out:

"Angus is an exceptionally committed and enthusiastic student who has shown outstanding help for other students.  He gives up hours of his free time every week to mentor younger students one to one in both Chemistry and Biology, patiently and painstakingly leading them through topics they are stuck on and cheerfully building up their confidence and guiding them through. 

Angus arrived at college in 2016 with an average GCSE score of 5.9.  In summer 2017 he achieved three A’s and a B in his AS levels, an exceptional “value added” achievement which reflected the thorough, conscientious and determined approach he had all year to his studies.  Angus is someone keen to share his enthusiasm for the subjects he studies.  He is aiming to become a Chemistry teacher and in his second year was eager to take up opportunities offered him at college to mentor students in the year below.  We have never known of a student mentoring so many or doing it so thoroughly and helpfully, and regularly every week too.  He has been a real asset! "

Arts & Culture Festival

By Olivia Browne and Bel Hathaway, Arts & Culture Committee, 13 July 2017

Well done to everyone involved in the annual Arts and Culture Festival today – hundreds of students from across the college came along to get involved and enjoy the sunshine.

 It felt like every corner of the college had something creative going on:

 The Performance Studio was transformed by a ‘Reality / Fantasy’ themed event, which involved students from Dance, Drama and Music

 We also had an excellent fashion show on the concourse and should say a big thank you to all the staff and students who came forward to volunteer as catwalk models

 There were also events covering everything from land art sculpture and art trails, graphics, sun prints, henna tattoos, face painting and postcard sales to animation, oil painting and book binding

Model United Nations Conference

By Tom Barker, Philosophy and Religious Studies Department , 13 July 2017

A big thank you to everyone who worked hard to make the recent two day 'Model United Nations' event such a success, especially our visitors from Colchester's Syrian community and the five former students who gave so much of their time to support the event.

A Quack Team

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 11 July 2017

We aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all of the members of our community, so we're delighted to welcome back the family of ducks who attend the college every year.

As always, we aim to put in place appropriate guidance and support - in this case three members of staff spent a rather busy evening guiding them away from the traffic of North Hill and towards the safety of the college pond.

Festival of Dance

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 7 July 2017

On Monday 3rd July The Sixth Form College dance studio hosted The Dance Network Association’s annual North Essex Schools Festival of Dance.  Local schools and Sixth Form Dance students celebrated their hard work, sharing their choreography and performance pieces.  As part of the programme, The Sixth Form’s Youth Dance Company - Dance Station led by Hannah Redfern (6th Form ex student graduated from Laban in 2015) performed their work.  Dance Station is one a number of youth Dance groups set up by the Dance Network Association to further the opportunities of young dancers in the area.  The event was the perfect conclusion to the first year of this exciting collaboration. Thank you to Emma Meek for organising the event and we look forward to starting the new academic year, welcoming new members from local schools and new 6th Form students.

Further information for the Youth dance arrangements can be found at:

- The Dance Network Association

*Image provided by Gemma Wright at The Dance Network Association

The Scar Test

By Alison Gaukroger, Head of Performing Arts, 4 July 2017

Professional Theatre Company "Untold Arts" performed “The Scar Test” by Hannah Khalil in the college drama studio yesterday.  The company was founded by ex-student Nadia Nadif .  It was a very powerful and moving piece based on verbatim interviews with detainees in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.  Drama and Theatre and Performing Arts students as well as staff and members of the public also took part in a Q and A session with the actors after the performance.  The production is now at the Soho Theatre in The West End, London until the 22nd July.

Creative Writing trip to North Norfolk

By Nicolai Luck, English Department, 3 July 2017

The Creative Writing Trip outside the windmill!
A little relaxation in the evening - but still related to words!

The 2017 Windmill Writing Weekend took place in glorious summer sunshine on the North Norfolk coast. Eleven students took part in a series of workshops to hone their craft, producing impressive pieces of poetry and prose inspired by their surroundings. Walking the coastal path, basking on the beach and participating in uber-competitive games of Scrabble made up just some of the other activities students enjoyed whilst revelling in the novelty of staying in a windmill equipped with a library!

Physics trip to CERN, Switzerland

By Steve Blay, Head of Physics, 2 July 2017

Claire Lucas uses a Clinometer at the History of Science Museum, Geneva
Becky Dunbar, Charlotte Maclachlan and Elizabeth Diamond at beamline level at the Large Hadron Collider

From being deep underground, metres from where new matter is being produced in the large hadron collider to sitting in the gallery of the UN while the Syrian Crisis is being discussed, a group of 26 physics students had a range of experiences that will stay with them long after the trip finished. A vast amount was packed into our 3 day visit to Geneva ranging from scientific discovery and world politics to playing in the fountains on the Place de Nations. A successful and enjoyable trip; plans are already underway for next year.

Art Exhibition

By Harvey Taylor, Head of Art & Design, 23 June 2017

A big thank you to all of the students, staff and parents who came along on one of hottest afternoon's of the year to attend yesterday's private view event, which served as the official opening to our annual exhibition.

A huge amount of excellent work is on display, drawn from a wide variety of disciplines, including Art, Textiles, Photography and Graphic Design.  Well done to everyone involved!

Visiting Speaker

By Carwyn Ball, Maths Dept., 22 June 2017

As part of the college’s recent 'Three Day Programme' of careers and progression events, Martin Nelmes visited from the University of Aberystwyth to talk about studying Maths, Physics or Computing beyond A-Level.

In the Maths talk he organised an activity concerning the definition of a circle. In the Physics, students had to choose a suitable landing site for a Mars rover and in the Computing talk he covered about robots, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

A big thank you to Martin for such an enjoyable and informative visit!

Peregrine Falcon visits College

By Michael Padmore, Conservation co-ordinator, 20 June 2017

A fledgling Peregrine Falcon made a surprise appearance at College this week, basking in the sunshine in the garden of the Learning Support building.  

We had been alerted to a breeding pair that had nested on top of the famous 'Jumbo' water tower earlier in the week.  Students and staff kept a careful eye on the family with a telescope and were lucky to be able to witness this very rare treat.

Exhibition - Private View Invitation - for students and their families

By Harvey Taylor, Visual Arts Dept., 8 June 2017


Sports Awards 2017

By Tori Yates, Sports Dept., 8 June 2017

Congratulations to all our prizewinners this year, including the basketsquad who were awarded "Team of the Year", Oscar Dawson who was named "Sports Athlete Scholar" and Yoyo Hobbs who is now "Sports Personality of the Year" .

New Garden Sculpture

By Sally Houchin, Art and Design Dept., 26 May 2017

Visitors to the newly landscaped garden area outside the Learning Support Dept. offices in 58 North Hill  will have noticed the striking ‘Crane’ bird feeder,created by A-Level Product Design student George Wilson,  that has now been cemented into place. 

Performing Arts Department Awards May 2017

By Alison Gaukroger, Head of Performing Arts, 24 May 2017

On Wednesday 10th May the Performing Arts Department held their first ever Awards Evening at The Sixth Form College.  Over 80 students were nominated for a variety of awards across the department to celebrate their achievement and commitment. Over 230 people attended and trophies were presented by Tia Monique Uzor who is an ex- student (Dance and Drama) currently lecturing at De Montfort University and studying for a  research PhD in "Diasporic Identity  through Dance".

There were 20 award categories and the winners were:

Award for Most original / innovative choreographer- Emilia Disco

Dance Ambassador Award- Emily Kaisa

Extra mile in Dance – Rosie Russell

Dedicated to improving In Dance- Zowie King

Drama practical Achievement Award- Lily Downes

Drama and Theatre Written Award- Rebecca Brice

Drama and Theatre commitment award- Roisin McDonnagh

Drama additional Studies Award- Constance Hopkins

Overall best contribution to music- William Hobson and Jamie Robertson

Most improved in music -   Han Smith

Best practical coursework – Holly Putt

Best composition coursework – Emerson Lee- Scott

Best Music Technology Coursework- Harry Dedhar 

Most Impressive Music Technology EPQ Project – Abigail Simpson

Greatest Contribution to Music Technology- Adam Miller

Most Improved Student in Music Technology- Tabitha Smith

Outstanding practical performance in Performing Arts / Performance Studies – Cerys Wilkin

Most improved student in Performing Arts / Performance Studies – Sally Parker

Outstanding Commitment to Performing Arts / Performance Studies – Ella D’Arcy-Jones

Overall contribution to Performing Arts / Performance Studies – Freya Scott

The Performing Arts Department Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Department – Kayleigh Gibson

Well done to everyone!

Football: Essex League 2 Trophy Final

By Mike Cura, Sports Department, 9 May 2017

Football: Essex League 2 Trophy Final
Colchester Sixth Form against Campion School
Half time: 2 – 0 ahead; Full Time: Won 6 - 2 

Players of the match: Sam Kendle, Adam Rayner, Cameron Ismail, Reed Heaney, Michael Whittle
Goal Scorers: Leo Tiffney, Cameron Ismail, Michael Whittle, Curtis Abel (2) and Ed Agbi

Having beaten Clacton, Davenant and Braintree on the way to the final we set off to face Campion School in the final. Campion finished third in their league as had we this year so we expected this to be a very evenly fought contest between two closely matched teams.

An even start to the game saw a close battle in midfield, which Reed Heaney and Leo Tiffney soon began to dominate. Early chances for Michael Whittle and Cameron Ismail were disappointingly thwarted by the Campion Goalkeeper but when Campion then missed a clear chance to score, the writing was on the wall.

Excellent work by Reed in midfield created the opportunity for Jordan Matthews to attack down the left and, having left two players in his wake, he cut the ball back for Leo to score from close range.
Campion tried to get straight back in to the game but our defence remained strong. Their main threat came from two direct players with pace down either flank, which was dealt with by calm, focused performances from Adam Rayner and George Zhai, with Callum Travers and Dan Whaymand first to every ball through the middle. The back four defenders plus Sam Kendle in goal, who looked comfortable in all situations, never faltered all game and formed the bedrock of the success on the day.

Having worked tirelessly to support Michael Whittle as our sole striker, Cameron Ismail played a cross field pass that allowed Michael to wriggle free and out-pace their centre back to drive a low shot past their GK for the second.

Campion came out quickly in the second half but with Curtis Abel linking the defence and midfield we not overly troubled. Having defended consecutive corners Adam Rayner rose high to head clear and Jordan broke quickly and found Michael with a diagonal pass. He held the ball up well before seeing Cameron sprinting to support. A perfectly weighted pass allowed Cameron to take the ball in his stride and shoot low past the goalkeeper.

Callum and Daniel remained solid as Campion threw everything at us. Reed and Leo continued to dominate the midfield battles and when Curtis rose high to head in the 4th from a corner midway through the second half the game was over. Ed Agbi came off the bench to drive in a shot from the edge of the box before Campion score a couple of consolation goals as we changed the team around to get all the substitutes a game. Despite the result never really being in danger at 5-2, Curtis sealed victory with his second goal from close range in the final minutes. 

Cambridge University Visit

By Dan Stebbings, College Oxbridge Team, 4 May 2017

The Oxbridge team recently took a group of students to visit Emmanuel and Homerton Colleges in Cambridge. The outreach officers gave them some very useful advice concerning the application process, including  guidance regarding interviews and personal statements. They also got a sense of what college life might be like and met a current undergraduate to give them a student perspective. The differences between the two colleges really got them thinking about which of the twenty nine at Cambridge might suit them best.

Over the coming weeks the Oxbridge team will be meeting one-to-one with interested candidates to start preparation for their application in earnest. The next step for these students will be reflecting on their further reading and starting to write their personal statements. The Sixth Form  College Oxbridge team will be supporting all potential applicants with this during the forthcomingh 3-Day Programme in June. Many students interested in applying for Oxford and Cambridge have already successfully applied to attend subject or college open days, including conferences and activity days at both universities.

We look forward to inviting parents and students to hear more about the process from Cambridge representatives in July.

The Oxbridge team also helps students prepare for additional admissions tests and arranges mock interviews. Our moodle site explains the full process and gives ideas for further reading and useful extension activities for the full range of degree options.

Charity Colour Run

By Tori Tates, Sport and PE Department, 28 April 2017

30 college students joined 270 students from South Essex College and Writtle University this week to run (and in some cases, walk) the colour run.   It was a fantastic and very messy day for everyone, raising £235.06 for Marie Curie and Homestart in the process!

Association of Colleges National Championships

By Tori Yates, Sport and PE Department, 27 April 2017

A number of College students went to Nottingham last week to represent the Eastern Region in the National College Championships in the golf, badminton and basketball finals.  It was a fantastic experience for all of the students who attended and they had already done well to get that far!  The highlight for the weekend was our golfer Josh Coleman winning a bronze medal with the Eastern Region team. Congratulations to everyone that competed.

Iceland Trip 2017

By Steve Flowerday, Geography Department, 26 April 2017

Sólheimajökull Glacier – whole group
Sólheimajökull – exploring the ice cave.

The Geography Department took 24 students to Iceland at the end of March. The trip focussed on Environmental Science and Geology and took in part of the North of the island, mainly the geothermal area dominated by the Krafla volcanic system near Mývatn, as well as the more popular spectacles of Geysir geothermal area (and the active ‘Strokkur’ geyser), Þingvellir National Park and rift valley and Gullfoss waterfall in the south-west. The students enjoyed the sightseeing, walks (including one up Hverfell tephra volcanic cone, which last erupted 2.500 years ago), snowball fights and glacier walking on the Sólheimajökull. Student feedback was extremely positive, one student said, ‘Whole experience was great but glacier walking was particularly amazing’. Another said, ‘I liked the spread of events from educational and factual pieces of information like Þingvellir Rift Valley and Dimmuborgir in comparison to the scenic views from the top of the Hverfell volcanic cone plus the fun and exciting points that allowed everyone to bond like the thermal baths or our massive snowball fight. It’s the even distribution of all three types of things that made the trip the best it can be’. Another successful trip!

Meeting the Ancestors at Stonehenge!

By Richard Millward , History and Politics Department, 26 April 2017

The History and Politics Department recently took AS Archeology students to visit Stonehenge on the annual trip.  They were privileged to have special access which enabled the students to gain a more personal experience not normally reserved for the average visitor. Students were taken around by archaeologist Julian Richards whose BBC television series Meet the Ancestors featured such sites.


By Jim Pruden, Geography Department, 25 April 2017

28 intrepid students studying Geology and/or Geography have returned unscathed from a trip to the tectonically active areas of Southern Italy, during which they also gained an appreciation of the Italian culture, both ancient and modern.  Using the hectic city of Naples as a base, the group ventured to the crater rim of Vesuvius, Europe’s only active mainland volcano, and to Solfatara with its gas emitting fumaroles.  The UNESCO heritage sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum provided an insight into the Roman way of life, together with the potential hazards that  Naples and this area face today.

A 10-hour overnight ferry journey saw the group disembark on Stromboli, an island formed by the upper part of one of the world’s most active volcanoes that rises from the sea floor.  A strenuous 3 hour climb to the summit allowed views from above the active craters, with five eruptions in the 45 minutes spent there as dusk approached.  A 2 hour descent by torchlight in the dark then followed.

Moving on to Lipari, the main island of the Aeolian group, allowed a short boat crossing to Vulcano where the group climbed 400m to the crater of the Fossa volcano and its colourful, but odorous fumaroles, along with spectacular views.  Mudbaths were available for those wished to chill out at the base.

The final leg of the trip was a crossing to Sicily, followed by a coach journey and afternoon spent in its atmospheric capital city Palermo, before a return flight to Stansted.  Apart from one afternoon of thunder and lightning, the weather was amenable and “Mother Earth” provided memorable experiences, giving the students a first-hand appreciation of the landforms, activity and potential hazards of volcanic areas.  Now for food other than pizza and pasta!!

The Sun Shines on the DofE Gold expedition!

By Graham Rayner, D of E co-ordinator, 18 April 2017

The College’s Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award group returned from the Yorkshire Dales positively glowing, not just with the pride of having successfully completed their practice expedition, but also due to the baking hot sun which they enjoyed.  The Easter expedition traditionally attracts terrible weather so it was a refreshing change for students and staff alike to have a week of beautiful weather to enjoy the Dales.  Attention now turns to the assessed Qualifying Expedition in July (with the small matter of AS exams inbetween!).  Photos supplied by Luke Prestwich who commented that “despite the great weather, the terrain and the navigation pushed us to our limits.  We’ll definitely be concentrating more on the contour lines when planning the route for our qualifier!”. 

Jack Petchey Award Winners

By Evette Hawkins, Careers Department, 11 April 2017

Seven College Students were presented with Jack Petchey Awards by the Mayor of Colchester for their dedication, resilience or commitment to study in a ceremony at the Mercury Theatre on Monday 27th March.

Congratulations to:

- India Thomas - her commitment, bubbly attitude and tireless work make her an asset to the charities team

- Nathan Rigg - a positive role model in the English department who inspires others through his commiteed approach.

- Oliver Nix - for being highly motivated in giving an outstanding contribution to College events such as the Arts and Culture festival

- Shannon Lacey (not pictured) - for excellent academic achievement and personal resilience

- Jack Sydenham - for outstanding commitment and achievement in Chemistry under trying circumstances.

- Thomas Bellis - achievement and inspirational attitude as a role model in the Music department, including being the first artist to release a song on the College's Storm Records label.

- Harrison Phillips-Pearce - for his outstanding contribution to Storm Radio, the College radio station

Also presented with a Leaders award was Graham Rayner for his work as coordinator of the College's D of E Gold Award group.

Schools Prom

By Fran East, Performing Arts dept., 29 March 2017

Well done to all of the students in the College Orchestra and Concert Band (seen rehearsing above), who recently took part in the Schools Prom at the Charter Hall. They opened the event with two excellent pieces: ‘Hungarian Air and Dance’ and ‘Chillers and Thrillers’ by John Williams.

It was a fantastic event with excellent music provided by Colchester Schools.

IB Art Private View

By Olivia Browne, Visual arts Dept., 29 March 2017

Students visiting the 'Private View' event for our exhibition of work produced by students on the International Baccalaureate course.

A big thank you to all the parents, staff and students who came along to support the event!

Sociology Conference

By Alan Mears, Sociology Dept., 29 March 2017

Yesterday the Sociology Department held its annual conference at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. This was the 13th year of the conference; while this could be unlucky for some; the day was a great success with nearly 300 AS level sociology students from the College, as well as Braintree and Notley Sixth Form College, in attendance. Students heard a range of speakers from the exam board as well as university lectures specialising in Sociology & educational research.

Red Nose Day

By Michelle Perrin, Charities Co-ordinator, 29 March 2017

Well done to everyone who helped to raise nearly five hundred pounds for Comic relief last week - especially Mike from the Maths Team, who won the raffle for the chocolate bouquet!

Engineering Experience Day

By Steve Blay, Head of Physics, 29 March 2017

A group of twenty  Physics and Electronics Students travelled to London for an Engineering Experience Day at South Bank University. Students had a chance to look around the campus and talk to student ambassadors as well as attending sessions on the different Engineering Courses available. This included Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Product Design. A highlight of the day was a visit to the 3D modelling suite. An interesting day out that helped students decide on the right university course for them.

Tea Party Trio

By Fran East, Performaning Arts, 23 March 2017

The String Trio comprising Max Hayden-Case, Esme Leydon and Matt Hilton played at a tea party in the Moot Hall on International Women’s Day Wednesday 8th March. The event was hosted by the Mayoress Julia Young.

Former Students Return

By Fiona Bush, Performing Arts, 23 March 2017

On Friday 3rd March, four students from the second year Creative Performance degree course at University College Colchester came into college to run practical performance workshops with two classes of A2 Performance Studies students. Megan Vickers, Hayden Carpenter, Bethany Parker and Angela Tattum (three of whom are ex-students of The Sixth Form) led two hour and a half sessions on devising material. They explored the idea of controlled play, creating energy, physical characterisation, and ensemble work, demonstrating the sorts of skills they have explored themselves in their degree course. Students explained how they are taught by a range of tutors working within the Performing Arts Industry, some of whom also teach at RADA, East 15, Guildhall and LAMDA. This experience was creative, fun and invaluable to our students as they are in the process of preparing their own devised material for their final practical Performance Studies exams in April. We have invited theses UCC students back to work with our first year Performing Arts students in the summer term as they will begin to research relevant undergraduate courses, some of whom may consider attending one of the reputable UCC courses!


By Sarah Pritchard, Performing Arts, 23 March 2017

Dance and Performing Arts staff took AS and A2 students to the annual Dance exhibition at the Excel London this month.  MOVE  IT,  is the UK’s biggest Dance event.  The students spent the day taking professional led classes, talking to potential Higher Education institutions, watching performances and shopping! There was something for everyone, including a freestyle stage for those who wanted to take part in the action.  A positive experience, encouraging the students to work hard to realise their ambitions. We look forward to doing it again next year

New York Trip - Art Department

By Bel Hathaway, Art Department, 20 March 2017

Ouside the Guggenheim
On Brooklyn Bridge

Twenty second year students from the Art department went on the New York trip in February this year. It was perfect timing as they had just received their exam papers so could build up their development and research. Their time was divided between going to galleries and museums such as the Guggenheim, The Met and MOMA and more cultural sites such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. The weak pound didn’t stop them shopping at Maceys and enjoying the delights of the numerous American diners near the hotel. We had expected from the weather forecast to have wet weather but other than one evening of torrential rain the weather was perfect for exploring New York.

IB Geography fieldwork

By Sarah Painter, Geography Department, 14 March 2017

The IB Geography students were involved in fieldwork between 6th-8th March to collect data for their coursework.  3 days were spent in Norfolk as students collected data in Fakenham about the environmental quality of the town before spending a day on the beach at Holkham collecting data about sand dune succession.  As can be seen from the image, the weather was generally fine and students are now looking forward to completing their coursework.

Paraguay Expedition Fundraising Update

By David Huggon, Modern Foreign Languages Department, 28 February 2017

In July a group of 17 students (including 4 ex students) will be working at a school in a rural part of Paraguay.  We are aiming to fundraise a total of £10,000 before July, all of which will be used to support the Santa María Educational Fund in the small rural community of Santa Maria de Fe, in the southern part of Paraguay. 

On Sunday, we completed our sponsored walk around Mersea Island about 12 miles in all. The last couple of hours were tough as we were heading straight into a wicked wind.  Over £2000 was raised from the event, on our way to our total of £10,000.  Many thanks to all those who sponsored us and we hope to see everyone at the next fundraising event!

Men's Basketball team marches on to the semi finals!

By Tori Yates, Sport and PE Dept, 27 February 2017

Last week, the College's men's basketball team travelled to West Thames College to play the quarter final of the Association of Colleges National basketball cup.   It was a very competitive game but the College team was stronger in the end, winning 64-54.   We await the semi-final draw which will be against either Exeter or Winchester.  We wish the boys best of luck for the Semi Finals!

German Exchange to Bremen

By Rosy Newhouse, Modern Foreign Languages Department, 23 February 2017

12 A Level German students, accompanied by College staff, spent the February half term in Bremen on the first leg of the German exchange with the Kippenberg Grammar School.  Students all bonded well with their partners, who they met for the first time.  During the week, the students experienced the German school system with classes starting at 8.00am and plenty of opportunities to develop their German.  In addition to this, we enjoyed many other interesting cultural events, such as the Bremen Samba Carnival, bowling and a guided visit to the Gothic Town Hall.   We are looking forward to welcoming the students and staff from Bremen back to England next month for the second leg!

World Toilet Day

By Keith Ellis, Sustainability Coordinator, 23 February 2017

On World Toilet Day, the Environment Committee held event supporting “Toilet Twinning”.

Toilet Twinning raises funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a basic toilet and to learn about hygiene a vital combination that helps end generational poverty.

Politics trip to European Parliament, Brussels

By Ian Levinson, History and Politics Department, 22 February 2017

32 A level Politics students joined the department's annual trip to Brussels during February to gain insights and improve understanding of the way the European Union functions.  The students, who will sit exams on the Politics of the Union and on International Relations, visited the key EU institutions of the Council, the Commission, the Parliament and the European External Action Service.  At the European Parliament, the students engaged in a lively debate with local Conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden on the future of the UK after Brexit.  The students also had the pleasure of visiting the Swiss Mission to the European Union where the students were able to question a top Swiss diplomat on life outside the EU from a Swiss persepective.

Prize Winner

By Steve Blay, Head of Physics, 22 February 2017

Congratulations to former student Christopher Dickens, who has just received the Edward Delaval Prize for outstanding performance during the first year of his Physics Degree at the University of Lincoln.

Spanish Exchange

By David Huggon, Modern Foreign Languages, 21 February 2017

College students and their Spanish counterparts on the Exchange in Mallorca

The Spanish Exchange trip, which took place during half term, was a great success.  There were 18 English and 18 Spanish students who got on really well.  Everyone throughly enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, both linguistically and culturally.  The fact that many of the Spanish families speak Mallorquin (a form of Catalan) made it all the more interesting!  It was College's first ever exchange with the school in Mallorca and both sides were delighted with the way things went. The weather wasn't great, though it was certainly better than the first leg to Colchester when it snowed and rained most of the week!     We are very much looking forward to repeating the exchange next year.  First year A-level student William Davies said, "I really enjoyed the Exchange.  Not only was it it great fun, it has really helped motivate me to perfect my Spanish."

Battle of The Bands

By Sarah Legg , Maths Dept., 10 February 2017

Well done to everyone involved in this year's excellent 'Battle of The Bands' at the Arts Centre, including winners 'Misprinted Lines' (pictured) - who win a day at a recording studio and the chance to represent the College at the forthcoming 'Rock Proms'

BTEC Performing Arts Showcase

By Jo Tyne & Fiona Bush, Performing Arts Dept., 2 February 2017

Our first year students performed a range of work for their BTEC (Level 3) practical assessments on Thursday evening, to an audience of friends and family and staff. Having studied and developed skills in acting, dance and musical theatre, students selected which art form they wanted to specialise in for their assessed performances. The evening’s work included extracts from John Godber’s play “Teechers”, Bob Fosse’s dance number “Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago, and the Ice Dance from Matthew Bourne’s “Edward Scissorhands”. Musical Theatre performances were accompanied by a live band of musicians from our music department.  Numbers included: “It Takes Two” & “Our Little World” from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods; “Impossible, It’s Possible” & “Stepsisters’ Lament” from Cinderella, by Rodgers and Hammerstein; “If Momma Was Married” from Gypsy by Styne / Sondheim; ending the evening with “The Worst Pies In London” from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.
As this is the first year the college have offered this course, we were delighted with the high standard of the performances. The students’ hard work and dedication to rehearsals over the last six weeks really paid off. The audience laughed (and cried), and were very positive in their praise of students’ in how creative and highly entertaining each performance was. Many thanks to all those who came to be our audience – see you next time!

More photos from the Performing Arts Showcase

By Jo Tyne & Fiona Bush, ., 2 February 2017


Chinese New Year

By Bel Hathaway, Arts and Culture Committee , 27 January 2017

Staff and students distributed traditional lucky red envelopes as part of celebrations to mark Chinese New Year.

GCSE Citizenship Day of Action

By Liz MacLean, Sociology Department, 26 January 2017

On the 26th Jan 2017, the GCSE Citizenship Students organised another very successful ‘Day of Action’ on the College concourse to promote, raise awareness of and support for  a variety of local, national and international charities and pressure groups including Macmillan Cancer Support, Amnesty International (their ‘Against child marriage campaign) and Action on Smoking and Health. This is the 10th and final year of students participating in this annual event; something new is planned for next year – watch this space!

Art in Essex Schools Exhibition in Chelmsford

By Sarah Hazelton, Art Department, 25 January 2017

This is our display for the Art in Essex Schools exhibition space at Chelmsford County Hall (in association with Essex County Council).

The display is up now until 20th Feb and shows a range of work from across our Art & Design Department.

Primary School Visit

By Fran East, Music Department, 25 January 2017

Music students recently visited  Myland Primary school to give an assembly about instruments and their sounds. The music played included the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. The event was very successful and was clearly enjoyed by both the primary children and college students.

Model United Nations 2017

By Tom Barker , Debating Society Co-ordinator, 24 January 2017

Representing the Sixth Form College: Binta Darboe, Christian Moore, Charlotte Hawrylak, Tatjana Chitauro, Gareth Coles, Joseph Allen, Ben Ellinor, Freddie Murfin, Lewis Crow, Liam McKenna.

Ten students from the College Debating Society represented Colombia and India at the 2017 Model United Nations in London. They spent three days lobbying, negotiating, writing, and debating resolutions on issues as diverse as solving the crisis in Syria, stopping the spread of weapons to terrorist groups, reforming the global financial system, controlling population growth, and how to protect the rights of refugee women.

Liam McKenna won best delegate on the Economics and Finance committee (to add to his offer of a place studying Law at Oxford University) but everyone impressed with the quality of their contributions to the conference. As ever, it was a really enjoyable weekend and many have made friends who we will see again at future Model UNs and university.

India Expedition to Russ Foundation, South India

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 17 January 2017

The College India Expedition group spent three weeks over Christmas and New Year at Russ Foundation in Tamil Nadu, Southern India.  

The students and staff spent six months organising fundraising events both as a group and individually in their own communities.  Then, over Christmas and New Year, they spent three weeks at the Russ Foundation campus near Madurai, sleeping under the stars, working in the fields and playing games with the children in the home for disadvantaged young people. 

Russ Foundation supports the most marginalised and disadvantaged in rural Indian society such as those living with the social stigma of HIV, poverty or gender discrimination.  They also visited a number of the Russ Foundation projects, gaining a fascinating insight into the various aspects of Russ Foundation’s community health work with those living with HIV/AIDS. 

Student Ed Smith said, “The staff and children at Russ perfectly testify to the long lasting impact this charity has on children from deprived areas in Southern India. Seeing the work and success at Russ Foundation was truly a life changing experience.”  Sophie Eggleton said “I am so thankful to have been part of such an amazing trip.  I will treasure the time spent at Russ and all of the fun with the kids!”

The Sixth Form College has been supporting Russ Foundation since it was founded 25 years ago, through weekly tutorial collections, fundraising for the Expeditions and the generosity of the donations of former students.

Annual Reunion & Awards Event

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 21 December 2016

It was good to see so many former students and their guests attend the Annual Reunion & Awards event at Charter Hall last night to celebrate the success of those who left us in the Summer.

As Principal Ian MacNaughton pointed out in his speech: 

"I am very pleased to report back to you tonight that, when we consider your achievements collectively, you were very successful indeed.

Well over 1000 of our second year College students entered for A Level examinations last summer and the average results you achieved were really excellent, with average results ahead of the achievements of students at all other colleges in Essex and Suffolk and in all the Essex comprehensive schools with sixth forms. 91% of our A-level students leaving us last summer achieved 3 or more A-level qualifications or equivalent IB points – which compares very favorably to the national average level for all Schools and Colleges of under 80%.  The average ‘value added’ results you achieved – the comparison between your package of GCSE results on entry and your package of results on leaving, also places your collective successes very significantly above the national average levels. 

Our International Baccalaureate students also achieved an outstanding level of success.Your average results of 33 IB points were very well above both the national and international averages. 

The highest achieving 100 students amongst you obtained an average UCAS point score equivalent to 2 A*s and 2 A grades at A Level and we understand that this is a higher score than the 100 highest achieving students in any school in the country, including in all selective grammar and independent schools.

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. Indeed approximately 1000 of last year’s leavers have, or will next autumn after a GAP year, progress to a wide range of exciting and challenging degree courses, or other opportunities in the UK or abroad. Others have found excellent employment or training opportunities either locally, in London and in other instances nationally or internationally.  

 I know just how hard so many of you worked during the time you studied at the College - to achieve your personal goals and fulfill your own aspirations.We value the success of every one of you".

Christmas Hampers

By Michele Perrin, General Office, 15 December 2016

Well done to everyone who made such a success of the annual Christmas Hamper Collection today. Students assembled and decorated well over 100 hampers to be distributed tofamilies  in Colchester and the surrounding area, including those donated to The Haven Project, refugee families, The Shake Trust and Social Services.

The standard of hamper decoration was higher than ever this year, as individual tutor groups competed for the 'Best dressed' Hamper award. There were several elaborate Santa sleighs and a giant Christmas cracker, but the prize goes to Tutor Group 510, with their  ambitious three stage Snowman.

Picture: Members of The Student Charities Committee with a rather impressive Christmas Tree themed hamper submitted by Tutor Group 212.

(L-R: Courtney Watling, Freya Shepherd, Wictoria Mickiewicz, Catherine Furlong, Dini Vazhappilly)

Christmas Carol Concerts

By Fran East, Music Department, 15 December 2016

Well done to everyone who put so much effort into the performances for both of the recent College Carol Concerts. There was a really outstanding level of instrumental and vocal skill on display this year, including some very impressive male solo work from Tom Bellis and Alex Frosch.

Performance Evening

By Ed Roles and Nora Aveston, Performing Arts, 15 December 2016

Well done to everyone who did such a fantastic job in putting together yesterday's Performance Evening.

On display was the work of a number of students who have been working hard on Shakespeare monologues for their RADA exams, interspersed with a range of material from Extended Project work in Drama, including excerpts from Ibsen, Chicago, Les Miserables and The History Boys (pictured). The standard of acting and dfirection was extremely high.

Congratulations on a very varied and entertaining evening.

2016 Annual Dance Evenings

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 15 December 2016

Congratulations to all the students who performed in the 2016 Annual Dance Evenings -  yet another wonderful display of the diversity available within the Dance Department. 

The two evenings were filled with explorative AS and A2 choreography, energetic Dance Club/Choreolab work, educational EPQ presentations and an insight into the new BTEC level 3 Performing Arts course. Also included were the newly formed Dance Station, our youth dance company. 

The Sixth Form also welcomed Dance students from The Gilberd School and Colchester Academy,  withboth schools sharing their fantastic performance work alongside our students.

Thanks you to all the parents, friends and family who came to support us! 

See you again soon!

Countdown to Christmas

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 14 December 2016

With hundreds of candy canes being delivered by Santa's elves, dozens of hampers due to be collected for charity, three carol concerts and  a huge outbreal of Christmas jumpers....the countdown to Christmas has begun at the Sixth Form College.

Road Safety Awareness

By Carol McAuley, Assistant Principal, 6 December 2016

Representatives from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership are on College for 2 days this week, raising awareness of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the dangers of being distracted on reaction times when driving.  Young drivers, here in Essex and nationally, are a high-risk casualty group – but there are steps young people and their parents can take to lessen the risks.

Visit to Frederick the Great’s Palace

By Richard Millward , History Dept., 5 December 2016

History students on a recent visit to Frederick the Great’s Palace to see the splendours of Prussia’s greatest king. The palace is in Potsdam, just outside of Berlin, and the site also witnessed the meeting of 'The Big Three' in 1945 to sign the famous Potsdam Agreement.

Student Workshops

By Fiona Bush, Performing Arts Dept.., 2 December 2016

Phoebe Stringer is an ex-student who studied Performance Studies whilst at college. She has just received an offer to study Drama and Theatre at The Royal Holloway University in Sept. 2017. She came back to The Sixth Form on the 9 th and 11th November to run acting workshops with our new Level 3 BTEC Performing Arts students.  Phoebe led the students in exercises that drew on the principles of the work of Jacques Lecoq. This included developing physical characterisation, movement qualities, character motivations, mask work and comedic improvisations. Students learnt a lot of skills which provided them with new approaches that they can draw upon as they prepare for their final practical performance assessments taking place in February. A valuable experience for all concerned!

Two more photos from our recent student performance workshop

By Fiona Bush, Performing Arts Dept., 2 December 2016


Cheerleading Success

By Tori Yates, Sports Co-ordinator, 30 November 2016

Our group of cheerleaders went to Five Lakes on Sunday for a cheerleading competition. It was the first competition that they have entered and they came second!

We have a nice trophy on the way this week

Election Results

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 30 November 2016

Whilst America has been dominating the news, The Sixth Form College has also had its' own election to think about this term, as students have been voting to elect the new student council.

The results are as follows:


1st place: Lewis Crow; 2nd place: Kafayat Ayoola; 3rd place: Maximus Watkins


Angel Raju


Ruby Robinson

Photo: Outgoing Chairperson Odira Orah announces the result, whilst Senior Tutor Neil Kelly is on hand to oversee proceedings

Musical Success

By Ed Roles, Performing Arts, 30 November 2016

Dress rehearsals from the recent college production of "Poppy".

Well done to everyone who worked so hard to make this production such a success!

Storm Records - Gig

By Daniel Plewinski, Performing Arts Dept., 30 November 2016

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our recent Storm Records label showcase such a success.

Tom Bellis, Weather Wax and Misprinted Lines all gave fantastic performances

(Photo by Student Photographer Lucy Keedy-Davies)

Colchester Youth Dance Company

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 30 November 2016


Equestrian Success

By Lisa Cesareo, Equestrian Course Leader, 28 November 2016

The College Equestrian Teams recently competed at the NSEA National Schools Regional Points League Show Jumping on 12th November

The girls did really well and the results are as follows:-

•Show jumping Team (Height 80cm) Colchester Sixth Form came 3rd

(Team members were Imogen Hughes, Amy Thacker, Rose Arbuthnot and Olivia Phillips)

Imogen Hughes came 6th Individually

•Show jumping Team (Height 90cm)  Colchester Sixth Form College team came 3rd

(Team members were Imogen Hughes, Amy Thacker, Rose Arbuthnot and Olivia Phillips)

Imogen Hughes came 6th Individually

Well done  and good luck to all at the next competition NSEA Inter- Schools Eventer Challenge Qualifier on 26th November

Poetry Publication

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 28 November 2016

Congratulations to English teacher Richard Boden on the publication of his poetry anthology "The English Disease", in which his "wry, challenging and expert scalpel"  digs "deep into the DNA of being a quietly English Dad and poet".

Charity Auction

By Chloe Blackwell, Student, 24 November 2016

A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make last week's Charity Auction on behalf of the Russ Foundation a success. Since 1992, the Sixth Form College in Colchester has been instrumental in organising expeditions for students to visit and participate in the Russ Foundation located in South India. They have painted, decorated and maintained buildings and grounds, built a playhouse and participated in a number of agricultural activities including weeding, fertilising (using slurry from the dairy farm which they helped build), digging and the planting of tomato, aubergine and chilli seedlings and of coconut trees.  The young people who are able to participate gain immensely from the experience and undertake important manual tasks whilst in Madurai including the digging of foundations for the construction of new buildings and soak ways for a ‘green’ recycling pit.  The students fundraise for approximately a year to generate a large sum to donate to the charity.

The Russ Foundation aims to become a focus for the community. It provides a home for local children who are parentless or disadvantaged, and it offers local people training, education and some employment.  It is a registered charity in the state of Tamil Nadu and is located near the village of Chathirathondamanpathi, about twenty miles from the large city of Madurai.  The Russ Foundation itself is a Community Project administered by Indians in India. In recent years, the Russ Foundation has worked increasingly closely with another Colchester founded charity – the ‘Good Foundation’.This is now based on the Russ campus and constitutes a clinic/health centre and a number of community based outreach health workers. Key areas are disease prevention, pre and post-natal care and family planning advice.

Allotment Activity

By Keith Ellis, Environment Committee, 24 November 2016

The Environment Committee have continued their good work on restoring the College allotment. Today the second raised bed was cleared and potatoes and bulbs were planted.

Forthcoming Dance Event for Students and Parents

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 22 November 2016


Children In Need

By Michele Perrin, Charities Co-ordinator, 18 November 2016

It was so good to see everyone get involved in Children In Need this year.  For some days, different departments have been working hard to decorate Pudsey posters for a college-wide competition, with thirty entries displayed on the college concourse. We’re pleased to announce that the winners were the Chemistry Department, with a fantastic ‘lab-coated’ bear, and the Finance Team’s cash-covered contribution. We also had a ‘fill the Pudsey Bear” activity in reception – where students were asked to donate coins to cover a huge poster of Pudsey. This was accompanied by Pudsey-themed face painting and a hula-hoop competition – all organised by the Student Charities Committee. Well done to everyone who took part! We’ve not finished counting the money raised yet, but we are sure that we have well exceeded last year’s total.

Medics put through their paces

By Emma Cresswell-Maynard, Biology Department, 18 November 2016

Well done to all of our aspiring doctors and dentists, who have just completed a challenging programme of preparation for their university interviews as part of the college 'Medics' programme. This included one to one mock interviews as well as a daunting carousel of staff, each asking questions related to everything from technological advances in surgery to the loss of a much-loved family rabbit !

Netball Success

By Shelley Johnson, Sport Department, 18 November 2016

Congratulations to our first netball team, who made it through to the regional round of the National Schools Cup competition recently. They finished second in the County Tournament (Making them the second best 6th form netball team in Essex). They won their semi final with a golden goal (against Great Baddow). Unfortunately they lost to SEEVIC in the final but a great achievement to finish second. The next round is in Welwyn Garden City on Saturday 28th January.

Krakow Visit

By Rebecca McGarrigle, History Dept., 15 November 2016

A photo of our students with their German friends in the Jewish Quarter of Krakow during the recent Holocaust Memorial visit.

Black History Month

By Elliot Jackson, IB Visual Arts, year one, 31 October 2016

For my piece I decided it would be best to do a screen print. I found the iconic image of Olive Morris (an active member of the Brixton Black Panther Movement in the UK) with a megaphone which I thought would be perfect for my poster. I wanted the megaphone to represent a less violent ‘weapon’ in contrast to the guns that Emory Douglas, who made posters for the Black Panther Movement, regularly incorporated into his pieces. The megaphone represents that women have a voice that needs to be heard, it is a symbol of power. A voice can be the most inspirational and powerful weapon in order to spark change in society and in this case both feminist and racial equality!

Happy Halloween!

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 31 October 2016


Musical Production - Poppy

By Ed Roles, Performing Arts, 28 October 2016


One College Day

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal , 24 October 2016

Former student Harry Clark visited us for the day and took hundreds of photos - some of which can be seen above. We are sure that many more will appear on this website and elsewhere over the coming months.

Latest Edition of Pulse Magazine - Available Now

By Julia Glozier, English Department, 24 October 2016


#Stand Up for the 387

By Alison Shelley, English Department, 21 October 2016

Yesterday a group of 387 students (or thereabouts) gathered on a grassy bank  at the Sixth Form College to participate in our contribution to the  #Stand up for the 387 social media campaign.  The idea is to raise awareness of the 387 unaccompanied children in the Jungle in Calais, who are eligible come to the UK. The campaign is designed to put pressure on the authorities to process the paperwork necessary to get them over here and safe, especially in the light of moves by the French government to close down the Jungle.  There was impressive and enthusiastic student support despite the rain.  The campaign will continue through social media sharing of the photo!  

Thank You

By Michelle Perrin, Liaison with Student Charities Committee, 21 October 2016

A big thank you to all of the hundreds of students who volunteered as ambassadors to represent the college at our Open Evenings over the past two days - including  those who worked hard to raise funds for the Invicta Foundation, which supports ex-serviceman and their families.

Both evenings were a real success, with many visitors commenting upon your knowledge and enthusiasm - We really appreciate your support.

India Expedition Quiz Night

By Laura Cresswell, India Expedition Leader, 15 October 2016

On Friday 14th November, students going on the forthcoming India Expedition organised a quiz night in support of Colchester charity Good Foundation which works in partnership with Russ Foundation India.  Thanks to huge support from parents, students and staff, 25 teams competed on the night in a packed Performance Studio and tackled questions on a range of subjects from quizmaster Andy Beatty, former chair of Governors.  The event raised a fantastic £1000 so many thanks to all those who supported it.

15 staff and 4 students will travel to the Russ Foundation campus near Madurai in South India over Christmas and New Year to live, work and play with disadvantaged young people at the Children's home and visit community heathcare projects that the charity runs.  In the lead up to the expedtion, the students are raising as much money as possible for the charity.  Their next event is an Auction of Promises on Friday 18th November.

Association of Colleges - Regional Basketball Competition

By Tori Yates, Sports Dept., 13 October 2016

Our male basketball team went to the University of East Anglia yesterday to compete in the Regional Cup.

I'm pleased to report that they won, often beating teams that are  two divisions above us. There was a convincing win against all teams that we played, even beating local rivals SEEVIC in the final, with a score of 17-10.

They will now go on to represent the East of England at the National Finals in April.

Well done!

Geography Field Work

By Sarah Painter, Geography Dept., 13 October 2016

AS Geography students collecting fieldwork data in Felixstowe last week

Stanway School Visit

By Alison Shelley , School Liaison Tutor, 10 October 2016

A big thank you to all of the Student Ambassadors that came along this morning to represent the college in the year 11 assembly at Stanway School- It really helps prospective students to get a sense of what college life is like.

London Institute of Banking and Finance Awards

By Sarah Bowler, Business Department, 7 October 2016

Congratulations to everyone who did so well in their Financial Studies Certificate exams, especially Dominic, who achieved a score amongst the top 1% in the country, and thank you to David and the team from LIBF who came in to present them with their awards.

Cake Sale

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 7 October 2016

Well done to all the students who worked so hard to raise money for The Russ Foundation in yesterday's cake sale - sixty pounds was raised by the team outside Graham Rayner's office alone. By the time I got there, so much had been sold that there was little left to photograph.

One thing is clear, they are better at baking than I am at food photography...

Explosive Visit to Cambridge

By Steve Blay, Head of Physics, 30 September 2016

A group of 35 Physics students recently visited the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, where they attended a series of talks and demonstrations from companies including BP, Rolls Royce and Marshall Aerospace, as well research teams, who discussed, amongst other things, the British Antartic Survey, Materials Science, explosions and fracture physics.

Inflatable Football

By Tori Yates, Sports Department, 16 September 2016

It's been a hot week - so well done to everyone who was brave enough earlier this week to come along and run around playing soccer whilst wearing a giant inflatable ball!

Good to see the bouncy castle back for Knollfest

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 16 September 2016


By A Frost, Assistant Principal, 19 August 2016

Students at The Sixth Form College, Colchester have achieved excellent A and AS level results in this summer’s examination series, with levels above national average.

The year group of approximately 1300 upper sixth students, who sat their A levels at the College this summer, achieved a subject A to E grade pass rate of over 98% and an A* - B ‘very high grade’ rate of close to 50%.  Over 90% of all the 18 year old students at the College have achieved 3 or more A level qualifications or equivalent in their sixth form studies – a level of achievement which is, once again, very significantly (approx. 15%) above the national average level for all national sixth forms at schools and colleges.  The cohort of students at the College have also achieved a strong ‘value-added’ scores i.e. when their overall package of A and AS level results achieved by the end of their Sixth Form Studies are related to the package of GCSE results they achieved at age 16. 

100% pass rates were achieved in 24 A level subjects including in the subject areas of: French, German, Italian, History of Art, Law, Music, Philosophy, Photography, and Spanish.  The average score of the College’s top 100 upper sixth students is equivalent to grades A* A* A at A level and these ‘top end’ results, it is understood, will for the twentieth consecutive year, these will exceed the results of the top 100 student achievers in nearly all of the selective grammar or independent schools in the country.

Well over 1000 of the upper sixth students from The Sixth Form College have now obtained the necessary qualifications to be able to proceed onto university degree courses including approximately 400 students who have now achieved the grades required for offers for places on prestige degree courses including, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering, Maths, Economics, Architecture, Law, English and History, or have achieved places at Oxford or Cambridge or Russell Group Universities or Medical Schools or for other highly competitive universities or degree courses. 

Three A Stars !!

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 19 August 2016

Well done to Rebecca, Amy and Rachael, all of whom achieved three "A star" grades !


Rebecca White  from Coggeshall, previously a student at Honywood Community Science School, who achieved straight A* grades in A level Economics, Geography and Spanish and will now study for a degree in Economics and Spanish the University of Leeds.

Amy Partridge from Braintree, previously a student at Friend’s School, who achieved A* grades in A level Mathematics, French and Extended Project Qualification and an A grade in German.  Amy will now study a degree in Modern Foreign Languages at UCL.

Rachael Perkins from Braintree, previously a student at Tabor Academy, achieved 3 A* grades in A level English Literature, Geography and World Development and an A grade in History and Rachael will now study for a degree in Geography at the University of Cambridge.

Additional Studies

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 30 July 2016

Photos illustrating a small number of the huge range of 'additional studies' and activities that are available for new students to choose from when they enrol at the end of August

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Teams Qualify!

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 29 July 2016

L-R: Robbie Kinghorn, Keshav Pandya and Jed Shaftain-Fenner read the map

The College's Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award teams romped home in style in Yorkshire as they completed their Gold Expedition. Having battled through the weather in the Peaks earlier in the year, conditions in Yorkshire were a little more settled with even some sun occasionally peeking through the hill fog. The three teams were praised by their external assessor who commented on the camaraderie and excellent teamwork of the groups, as well as their map and compass work.  No-one was lost (for very long, anyway) and a real sense of achievement was felt by everyone.  Second year student Ellie Street said "I know I've achieved something that many people wouldn't make the effort to do. It wasn't easy at times but we all stuck together and it feels great to have finished."

Tag Rugby Tournament

By Tim Grimsey, Sport and PE department, 19 July 2016

College's Principles of Coaching and Leadership through Rugby students organised a major Tag Rugby tournament, the biggest ever organised in Colchester.  The students coordinated the event from scratch which involved 45 teams from local primary schools playing against each other in nine groups of five teams.  It is a massive undertaking to draw together so many teams from across the area but College students were excellent in all aspects of their role and really did the College proud. There was no overall winner due to the format of the competition. Many teachers from the Primary Schools went out of their way to praise the College students and said they would definitely be signing up again next year.  Leadership Through Rugby student Michael Johnson said "It was a fantastic day which helped me really improve my skills as a ref and it was really nice to see how much the players enjoyed the day and improved, as a team, as the day went on."

Fond Farewells in Chemistry....

By Madeline Robinson, Head of Department, 15 July 2016


Arts & Culture Festival

By Olivia Browne and Bel Hathaway, Arts and Culture Committee Co-Ordinators, 14 July 2016

We have been delighted by everyone’s response to what must be our biggest Arts & Culture Festival yet.

The whole college has been involved, with acoustic music in the library, 3D modelling in Maths and stop-frame animation in the Physics Department , alongside excellent performances and exhibitions in areas such as Dance, Drama, Music, Graphics and Photography.

There was a catwalk fashion show on the concourse and the outside areas had a true festival vibe, as the sun shone down upon everything from West African drumming to sun prints, henna stalls and street food – all to the accompaniment of a Storm Radio outside broadcast

Well done to the Arts and Culture Committees and many of the college teaching departments for all of their hard work.

More photos from today's Fashion Show

By Shana Chilton, Admissions Team, 14 July 2016


More photos from today's Fashion Show .

By Shana Chilton, Admissions Team, 14 July 2016


Award Winning Success for Brave Student

By Shiv Cordy-McKenna, Psychology Department, 11 July 2016

Congratulations to Anya Lovett who has just received a Colchester Youth Award in the 'Personal Journey' category.

Anya started at The Sixth Form College in September 2015, proving herself to be a competent, diligent student, who made good progress in all subject areas. In February, 2016, Anya was sent home from college, not feeling well. She collapsed at home that same evening and was hospitalised for testing. Anya has been diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. She had all the symptoms of a stroke, but her tests were clear. She has had to learn to walk and talk again over the past few months and has made incredible progress

Since her release from hospital, Anya’s only concern has been her studies.  Anya was very proactive during her convalescent period, insisting on email updates from her tutors and continuing to read around her subjects.  Anya took some persuading to agree to a reduced timetable for the remainder of her AS year, but since returning to college, has fully committed to her remaining subjects and is progressing well.

Anya’s commitment and dedication to college has been impressive and in spite of her quite serious and frightening medical condition, she has not let it deter her from achieving her full potential.

Visit to Essex University on Tuesday 5th July 2016.

By Melisa White, Maths Department, 7 July 2016

Eleven students and two tutors attended the Winsten Day hosted by the Mathematics Department at Essex University. Over the course of the day the students attended a series of lectures / workshops covering a variety of topics ranging from poker to prime numbers which gave them the opportunity to get a taste of studying Mathematics at university. It was a highly informative and inspirational day.

"I'm a student - get me out of here!"

By Keith Ellis, Sustainability Co-ordinator, 7 July 2016

Some pictures of brave souls who met the giant millipedes and stick insects that joined us on the Environment Committee Stand at last week's Additional Studies Fair.

Mock Trial

By Emily Cheffins, Law Department, 7 July 2016

On 6th July students from the Law department had an opportunity to put their AS Law studies into action. They participated in a mock trial based on a real life double murder case set in Jersey, taking on the roles including defence and prosecution barristers and solicitors, witnesses, court staff and a jury. They did a great job and the atmosphere was one of professionalism and friendly competition.

This event, organised by law teachers Sally Fox and Jim Shaw,  offered a brilliant opportunity for students thinking of following a career path in law to test out their skills and improve their CVs or UCAS applications.  It was also an excellent fun event to reward the students, who have worked hard all year for their exams.  Well done to all involved!

Hospital Visiting Hours

By Jayne MacNaughton, Science Team, 7 July 2016

Students from the college "Medics" course recently visited The Catapult Cell and Gene Therapy Centre at Guy's Hospital in London.

Pictures from the current Art Exhibition

By Harvey Taylor, Head of Art and Design, 7 July 2016


Pictures from our current Art Exhibition

By Harvey Taylor, Head of Art & Design, 7 July 2016


Worldbeating Success

By Karen Burns, International Baccalaureate Co-ordinator, 7 July 2016

Well done to International Baccalaureate student Maddie Bishop who has just achieved the maximum possible score of 45 points in her diplma – a really remarkable achievement.  Across the world just 0.2% of all the IB students awarded the Diploma achieve this score. Maddie has now achieved her place to study a degree in English at Kings College, University of Cambridge.

Maddie was recently nominated for a Colchester Youth award as a true "all-rounder".  In every subject her tutors have struggled to give her enough praise.  In addition to her academic programme she also found time to chair the College Cultural Committee, organising events such as Chinese New Year celebrations and an Arts and Culture festival, to volunteer in a local bookshop and to contribute to the College Magazine. She also completed the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.

Well done Maddie!

International Baccalaureate Success

By Karen Burns, International Baccalaureate Course Co-ordinator, 7 July 2016

The Sixth Form College is celebrating another year of outstanding exam success for the group of International Baccalaureate students.

 We are really proud of the students' successes.  As a group, they have achieved a very impressive achievement level of an average of 33 points – which is positive ‘value-added’ in that this figure exceeds the predicted grades that are calculated from their GCSE scores. The IB is a global qualification, taken by students all over the world and, in this context, the achievements of our students compares extremely well to the international average of 29 points.

 College Principal Ian MacNaughton congratulated the students and said : "The students have proved, yet again, that the International Baccalaureate course is an excellent all round sixth form education and also an excellent route into some of the most prestigious establishments in the country. We are very proud of their success. It's very pleasing to see students using the course as a springboard to further success in a wide range of university and employment opportunities.

One student, Madeleine Bishop achieved the maximum possible score of 45 points – a truly remarkable achievement.   (See full details in seperate article above)

Photo: L-R

Eleanor Dangerfield - Achieved a very impressive 32 points and will now study Ecology and Wildlife Conservation at Kent or Bournemouth

Marni Andrews – Will study Psychology at St Andrews having achieved an excellent 39 points

Jordyn Levy - Heading to Newcastle to study Modern Languages, having achieved an excellent 38 points

Yasmina Lees – Scored an excellent 33 points, including the very highest grades in both French and Art.

Physics department trip to CERN, Geneva

By Elaine O'Brien, Physics Department, 27 June 2016

Early on a drizzly June morning a group of thirteen first year Physics students and three teachers set off on the college’s inaugural trip to Geneva to vitis the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, better known by the acronym CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider.

The highlight of our trip was our visit to CERN. We enjoyed a presentation given by Dr Mike Tyrell, a retired British Physicist who helped to build the original particle accelerator in the 1970’s. His presentation outlined the work of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the 27km long structure that is located approximately 100m beneath the Swiss-French border. Exploring the Physics behind accelerating particles such as protons and anti-protons to the 99.9999% of the speed of light and seeing the equipment needed to achieve it gave us all a new insight into Physics.

In the three days in Geneva we managed to fit in a raft of activities and visits. These included measuring distances at the History of Science Museum, eating Ice Cream at the Botanic gardens, exploring the internet at the ICT Discovery Centre, shopping in the old town, watching particle tracks in the cloud chamber at Microcosm, playing in the fountains at the UN square, relaxing with a drink by the lake and more.

Geneva was certainly a great hit, with free use of public transport, a great Youth Hostel and loads of sunshine. The trip was a success and we hope to repeat it with another group of students next year.  Throughout our stay in Geneva not only did we have the chance to view tourist attractions and experience local customs, but most importantly we were introduced to one of the most innovative and highly acclaimed research centres in the world.

Ronnie the Raptor visits College

By Keith Ellis, Environment Committee, 26 June 2016

The Enviroment Committee has arranged for a Ronnie the Raptor, a dinosaur made of recycled electrical items, such as phones and irons, to watch over the entrance to the Midsite building for the next week. Ronnie belongs to Recycle for Essex and makes the point that up to 97% of electrical items can be reused to make new products.  For more information see

Stratford upon Avon English Dept trip

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 17 June 2016

25 AS, A-Level and IB students have just returned from the English Department’s annual trip to Stratford-upon-Avon which was a great success.  Students’ enthusiasm didn’t flag despite a relentless Shakespeare-related schedule of houses and performances.   English teacher Alison Shelley said, “This year we saw Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, and least performed, Cymbeline, in the main Royal Shakespeare Theatre.  The trip ended with a very powerful interpretation of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus in the smaller Swan Theatre, where which of the actors plays which main part (Faustus or Mephostophilis) is decided by the striking of a match at the start of the performance. For many the high point remains the Behind the Scenes tour, when in small groups students are taken round all areas backstage from wigs to actors’ dressing rooms, with gossip on the cast if they were lucky!”

3 Day Programme

By Evette Hawkins, Careers Dept., 16 June 2016

It's good to see all of the AS Level students back this week, as they return from their exams to begin work on their second year courses.  

However, before teaching commences, we have to attend to the important matter of the annual College "3 Day Programme".  This programme serves as the main launch activity  for careers information for the  first year students. During the event a choice of 300 talks are available, with sessions being delivered by a huge variety of guests including employers, Higher Education representatives, gap year providers, former students and College teaching staff.

This is an opportunity for students to explore careers or courses they are interested in for the future, before they settle back into their programme of study.

Art Exhibition Private View

By Harvey Taylor, Head of Art & Design, 24 May 2016


Extended Project Qualification

By Emily Cheffins , EPQ Co-ordinator, 11 May 2016

We are used to getting all sorts of interesting and unique Extended Projects from students - but we've never had a voice-controlled robotic hand that operates underwater before..!

Science Olympiad Success

By Sue Sabec, Chemistry Dept., 11 May 2016

Well done to all of our recent Biology and Chemistry Olympiad Award winners. The exams are not on recall and so revision cannot help - it is all down to ability in analysis and deduction.This year's exams were tougher than ever and so we are thrilled to get so many medals. On top of this, two AS Physics students, Jack Rimmington and Jamie Leppard, recently achieved “Silver Awards” in the prestigious AS Physics Olympiad that is organised by Oxford University.  This places them in the top 10% of Physics Students in the UK -  well done!

L-R (first photo): Biology Award Winners - Oliver Dedman, Sam Edney, Zoe Chinnery

L-R (second photo): Chemistry Award Winners - Laura Alfs Silver medal; Tom Leach Gold medal; Tegan Norster Bronze and Jolee Finch Bronze. Also awarded a silver but unable to attend due to art exam, Rosie Allard.

Dance Exams

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 29 April 2016

We have just completed the final Dance exams of 2016 this term.  Both AS and A2 Dance students have done the college proud again with hard work and determination.  Some wonderfully mature, creative and original choreography and performances.  Well done to all!

The pictures show some of the dance students in the green room waiting for their exams!

Spring has Sprung in College

By Tim Harrison, Premises Department, 29 April 2016

Spring has truly arrived at College as this wonderful display of bluebells in the 'secret garden' shows!

College Student is London Marathon's Youngest Runner!

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 28 April 2016

Congratulations to second year student Rebecca Manners who celebrated a memorable 18th birthday as the youngest runner in this year's London Marathon.  Her parents have entered the race before but this year Becca decided to take up running and train for the marathon herself.   She ran a time of 5 hours 47, which was comfortably inside her target time of 6 hours, and raised £1400 for VICTA, a charity for visually impaired children. 

Equestrian Success

By Lisa Cesareo, Equestrian Studies , 27 April 2016

On the 23rd and 24th April 2016 four of the Colchester Sixth Form College’s equestrian team set off for a weekend away at Bury Farm for the NSEA national interschool county championships. The team consisted of Chloe-Ann May on Noah, Emily Kerr on Magic, Olivia Phillips on Reggie and Amy Thacker on Sunny - They had a busy weekend ahead! On the Saturday they all arrived after a long drive to Bury Farm, and settled the horses into their stables. That evening Chloe Amy and Livvy were to jump in the 90cm warm up round, with Emily jumping in the 1m. Chloe jumped clear in this, and the rest of the team jumped very well around a technical course. Out of an extremely competitive class with over 65 combinations competing, all four girls did extremely well.

Sunday morning came around, with an 8am course walk and horses to plait the girls had a busy day ahead. They were fairly late to jump in the 90cm, which had almost 150 combinations taking part and all 4 girls had to jump a round both inside and outside. The Sixth form team came a very respectable 22nd place, with Chloe jumping double clear and Emily a very fast 4 faults . The girls then moved on to the 1m class, jumping outside first where both Emily and Chloe jumping clear, and Livvy and Amy riding very well for the team. The indoor track was the most technical of the show, and for some of the team the biggest course they had jumped round. By this time all the horses were tired having already jumped four courses, so it was just Emily, Livvy and Chloe to take on the course. Emily jumped first and set the standard with a double clear, Chloe jumped second and just had the very last pole down having had a clean sheet of 4/4 clears previous to this round, and Livvy rode a fantastic round but felt the course was a big ask of her young horse so retired.

All four girls rode brilliantly all weekend over challenging and up to height courses, well done.

Key to photos (L-R)

Emily Kerr and Magic, Livvy Phillips and Reggie, Amy thacker and Sunny, Chloe-Ann May and Noah

Helping Hands

By A Frost, Assistant Principal, 26 April 2016

Sir Bob Russell visited us on Monday to literally add a helping hand to an artwork produced by student Annabel Ashley, in order to show solidarity with refugees.

We're grateful that Sir Bob is with us again on Thursday, when he will debating EU membership with students and Clive Underdown from 'Business 4 Britain'.

Event in support of Refugees

By Camomile Shumba, A Level Student, 26 April 2016

Inspired by the momentum of ‘Welcome Refugees Colchester’, we thought it would be incredibly powerful for our Sixth Form to be involved. To us, as younger people, we know the importance of every generation standing up to injustice, and we knew that if we made a collective pro-refugee sentiment others would follow. We feel that our event, with live music, a bake sale in aid of Unicef, interactive art exhibitions (made by students), myth busting, and many other aspects, showed the Sixth Form, and our generation, in its best light; showing a commitment to charitable, and humanitarian, issues. On top of that a few of our members attended a pledge assembly, promising to do more ! We are hoping to find ways to help the young refugees in Colchester truly feel welcome.

AoC Sport National Championships

By Tori Yates, PE department, 25 April 2016

Last weekend, the Sport and PE dept took a group of students to Newcastle to participate in the AoC Sport National Championships.  It was a fantastic weekend with thousands of students from all over the country participating in a wide range of sports.   Our students were not only representing the college but representing the East Region of the country in a range of sports including swimming, trampolining, golf and tennis.  Everyone did a fantastic job throughout the weekend against some very difficult competition and we didn’t come away empty handed.   Although there was snow on the ground outside, our successes came indoors, away from the elements.  Congratulations to Trampolinists Kimberley Rayment, Charis McKenzie, Hannah Pile and Olivia Legg who won Silver while Olivia Sherred and Matha Duley (pictured) came away with a bronze medal in the Swimming.  Congratulations to them and everyone who took part.

Karaoke On The Concourse Today

By Gaby Wheelhouse, Admissions Department, 22 April 2016

To raise money in support of refugees

New Carpets

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 22 April 2016

After 28 years of loyal service, the carpets in the college reception area have been replaced - with a tasteful new grey look now in place. We gave up trying to work out how many pairs of feet had crossed the old ones - but I think certainly a few million ?

German Exchange to Bremen

By Rosy Newhouse, Modern Foreign Languages Dept, 20 April 2016

English and German students in Bremen town centre at the “Bremer Stadtmusikanten” (The Town Musicians of Bremen) statue.

Twelve A-level linguists spent part of their Easter holidays in Bremen, staying with German students from the Kippenberg Gymnasium.  Together, they took part in many cultural and social activities including visits to Bremerhafen, Hamburg, the “Universum” Science Museum and a bowling alley! 

The German students visited Colchester in March and sampled the delights of Cambridge, Dedham and Colchester Castle.

Amy Partridge, who is currently studying A-level German said “I had a fabulous time in Bremen on the German Exchange. I really clicked with my German Exchange Partner and her family and we had a lot of fun. I am already making plans to return to Bremen in the summer.  I spoke a lot of German and feel that I my understanding of the language got much better in a short time. I would definitely recommend this trip to other students doing German.” 

Plans for next year’s exchange are already well under way.

College Students' Robotics Success!

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 14 April 2016

The Robot!
Callum Bartlett (L) and Robbie Kinghorn (R) looking tense during the nail-bitingly tense Semi-final

First year students Robbie Kinghorn and Callum Bartlett narrowly missed out on a place in the grand final of the VEX Robotics National Finals at Birmingham NEC at the end of March 2016.

Having completed in several regional heats, they reached the semi-finals where they faced tough competition from Stowe school Seniors.  An amazingly tense match was drawn on 199 points each before they narrowly lost on the rematch.

Despite this, Robbie says “we had a really good time and can't wait for next year's game to be announced, so we can get started!”

Robbie and Callum, who both study AS Electronics at College, also reached the finals in 2015 UK VEX Robotics competition and took part in the world championship in Kentucky USA.  They have been designing robots for over a year.  Their highly-rated robot was build at Rapid Electronics, began life at the start of the summer holidays and has been modified all year between heats. 

Three other College students known collectively as Team ROUSE (Robotics Obsessed Undeniably Sad Enthusiasts) got to the quarter finals but have also separately qualified for this year’s World Championship in Louisville and want to leave the 2016 competition as the first British team to win.

Edward Hale, James Pearson and Isabella Langdon along with former College student Hannah Rouse will arrive in the Louisville on Sunday, April 19 where the four-day competition is being held.

Everyone at College wishes them the best of luck!

Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award - Practice Expedition to Peaks

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, , 12 April 2016

The College D of E Gold Practice expedition has just returned from the Peak District and was remarkable for the fact that the rain actually let up for two days running! The participants enjoyed two acclimatisation days with the leaders (see pictures) before four days walking the routes they had planned and camping overnight. 

It was a very successful expedition where all of the teams learnt a lot about themselves, their navigation skills and their kit which will come in handy for the Qualifying Expedition in July when they will be assessed and hopefully pass!

The photos show Ellie Street, Olivia McKay and Rose Arbuthnot at Higher Shelf Stones and team Charlie exhibiting their culinary delights (L-R Niamh O’Hanlan, Jed Shaftain-Fenner, Adam Brassington and Keshav Pandya)

Biology Conference

By Emma Cresswell Maynard, Biology Department, 24 March 2016

Fifty Biology students attended the Essex University Biology Conference on Tuesday 22nd March. They had an insightful day hearing from lecturers about human blindness, stem cells, synthetic biology and understanding genes. Students also had the opportunity to develop their practical skills in sessions ranging from DNA extraction, building your own bug, chromatography and the smell of the sea!

Colour Run

By Tori Yates, Sports Department, 23 March 2016

Last week fifteen college students travelled to Writtle College to participate in the first "Colour Run" held specifically for colleges. They had the choice to run or walk 3km or 5 km and on the way paint was thrown at them making the whole day a lot more fun. One of our students, Josh Newlyn, managed to beat 250 students to finish first over the 5km distance. Well done Josh! A fantastic day and hopefully another one to come soon.

Paris Trip

By Bel Hathaway, Art Department, 23 March 2016

  ery successful, with students dividing their time between galleries, sightseeing (The Eiffel Tower) and shopping. vArt and Design trip to Paris in Feb 2016 wasThe

Litter Awareness Day

By Keith Ellis, College Sustainability Co-ordinator, 23 March 2016

Staff from Colchester Council were invited in recently by the Student Environment Committee and they spent time in and around College, increasing awareness of just how much of a problem litter can be. The UK is one of the most heavily littered countries in Europe. A significant proportion of the population still thinks it is OK to drop litter, particularly when they are in their cars. Not all of us are aware that dropping litter can get you a fixed penalty fine of £75.00.

As Keith Ellis, College Sustainability Co-ordinator, explained: "It's not often that we have rubbish delivered TO the college, but we're really grateful to the wardens from Colchester County council who came onsite with a lorry carrying the equivalent of one day's rubbish from the streets. It really helps to promote awareness of the problem and I was really pleased, as always, to see such a positive response from the students to this environmental initiative."

Visit from Italian Students

By Claire Robinson, Modern Foreign Languages Department, 23 March 2016

Nineteen students from the Liceo Onesti in Fermo (Marche) in Italy visited the College for three afternoons last week.  They gave presentations about the well-preserved Roman water storage cisterns in their home town to our Latin and Classical Civilisation students. They also discussed language and culture with IB and AS students, who served up typical English teatime fare, including home-made scones with jam and cream, to welcome the visitors.

German Exchange Visit

By Rosy Newhouse, Modern Foreign Languages Dept., 23 March 2016

in the Easter holidays.visiting Bremen for the German leg of the exchange! The Colchester students will be sampling traditional English restaurant fare at the Chinese buffet together. The German students took part in classes at the College as well as going out on day trips to Dedham, Cambridge and Colchester Castle and for a weekwelcomed twelve  students and two teachers from the Kippenberg Gymnasium in Bremen has just The Sixth Form College

Model United Nations

By Tom Barker, Philosophy Department, 18 March 2016

Ten students represented the College at the national Sixth Form Association Model United Nations conference from 11-13 March 2016. As Iraq and Venezuela, they researched and wrote resolutions, lobbied, negotiated, and debated on issues such as:

  • How to stop terrorists getting hold of weapons of mass destruction

  • Tackling the black market in illegal medicines

  • Use of the death penalty

  • How to preserve the cultural heritage of the Middle East

  • International spying

Three of the eight policy resolutions passed by the conference were from our college and the students won awards for persuasive speaking, quality of resolutions, effective lobbying, and even best dressed delegates. Their research and debating skills meant both our countries were recognised as in the best six of forty delegations at the conference. Last year, we won the best delegation prize. The weekend is hard work but great fun. Our second years are looking forward to continuing with the Model UN at university, so we’ll be looking for new people to take part next year. Join the debating society if you might be interested.

Spanish exchange to Mallorca

By David Huggon, Modern Foreign Languages Dept, 17 March 2016

19 students and 3 staff enjoyed a seven day Spanish language exchange trip to Palma de Mallorca in the Mediterranean.  The students stayed in families, and during the week they had lessons with two native Spanish speakers from the language school.  We also visited a local secondary school where our students went in to various lessons, including PE and dance, media, psychology and English.  We visited the world famous caves of Drach in the East of the island where we were treated to a candle lit performance of classical music played by professional musicians floating on a candle-lit boat in an underground lake.  One of the highlights of the trip was a bike ride along the shores of Mallorca basking in the balmy spring temperatures. This was our 27th consecutive language trip to Spain but our first to Mallorca.  We’d certainly like to go back next year!

Visit to Royal Courts of Justice

By Sally Fox, Law Dept., 11 March 2016

The Law Department undertook a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice at the Strand in London on the 2nd March this year. The aim of the trip was to allow students to have the experience of participating in a mock murder trial (the case of R v Rouse 1931) and also to sit in on a real life appeal case in some of the most powerful courts in the country.

Prior to the trip students were selected to play different roles in the mock trial, including the role of judge, jury members and barristers for both the defence and prosecution. The students put on a fantastic display. They prepared and executed their legal duties with pride and enthusiasm which was a pleasure to watch as well as providing a unique opportunity for the students. During the afternoon the students were allowed to go an sit in an appeal court. They watched a number of different types of cases, both criminal and civil cases, observing some of the best Judges and Barristers in the country at work.

 “I thought it was a really interesting and worthwhile experience. Anyone who is interested in law or wants to carry on with law in the future should definitely take the opportunity to visit the Royal Courts of Justice if they have the chance. I enjoyed the mock murder trial because it was a fun way to engage in something inside an actual court room. I found watching an actual court case very eye opening and I was surprised to see how tense it gets during a court case. It has inspired me to carry on with law and maybe even take it on at university. I would definitely go again if I had the chance, it was a great day out with college!”

AS Law Student

Year 1 and Year 2 Medic Students Meeting

By Anne Steward, Biology, 11 March 2016

Medic students sharing their knowledge
Giving advice to Year 1 students

Year 2 medic students shared their experiences on study and University applications with Year 1 medic students.

UN World Wildlife Day - Event on the Concourse

By Keith Ellis, Environmental and Sustainability Co-ordinator, 3 March 2016

Students finding out more about the UN World Wildlife Day

An event took place on the Concourse, aiming to provide information about the "United Nations World Wildlife Day" to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.  African and Asian elephants were the focus of the day, under the theme: “The future of elephants is in our hands”, but other animals such as hedgehogs were included too!

Jack Petchey Awards

By Evette Hawkins, Business Department, 2 March 2016

Anne Steward receives her award

Seventy seven students from eight schools and five clubs in Colchester received prestigious Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards at special annual events held at the Mercury Theatre on Monday 29th January 2016.  Six students from The Sixth Form College were present out of the nine that received awards this year. The awards were presented by Cllr Theresa Higgins, Mayor of Colchester. The event honoured Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 who each received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £200, which has already been spent for college resources and activities. They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements but mostly for doing their best. Anne Steward was also celebrated with a Leader Award as she has demonstrated, in an outstanding way, an ability to motivate young people through her work on the Medics and Pre-Clinical course. She received a medallion and a framed certificate. The well attended event was a celebration of their achievements and we wish them all well in their future endeavours.

LGBT History Month

By Mark Goacher, History Department, 2 March 2016

Students taking part in the LGBT History Month Drag Race

On February 25th students took part in the college’s annual celebration of LGBT History Month on the concourse. The highlight was the drag race in which students chose the best drag King and drag Queen.

Art History Trip to the Tate Galleries

By Andy Brooke, Art and Design Department, 2 March 2016

Art History trip students on their way to the galleries
Art History trip students at the Tate

Students enjoyed a recent Art History trip to the two Tate Galleries in London, with river boat included!

Equestrian Team Success

By Lisa Cesareo, Equestrian Course Leader, 26 February 2016

On the 15th and 16th February the Sixth Form College Equestrian Team were busy competing at Wix Equestrian Centre against other schools and colleges in the county. The dressage team which consisted of Hannah Everitt, Rose Arthunbot, Millie Yeend, Amy Thacker and Livvy Phillips came a very respectable 7th place. The Tuesday saw the most success for the team though, this time in showjumping, with Livvy Phillips and Amy Thacker returning for a second day, accompanied by Chloe-ann May and Emily Kerr. The teams did fantastically against incredibly strong competition to win both of their classes- the 90cm and the 100cm as a team, qualifying for the national championships at Bury Farm in April! Individual placings went to Emily Kerr who obtained a third in the 90cm and a 2nd in the 100, Livvy 5th and Amy 6th in the 100cm. The team will now continue training with Claire Gradley in preparation for these big championships. 

Battle of The Bands and Rock Prom

By Sarah Legg and Michael Spearman, Rock Club, 26 February 2016

Courtney from C.R.A.S.H.

Well done to everyone who took part in the Colchester Sixth Form College ‘Battle of The Bands’ and ‘Rock Prom’ which recently took place at Colchester Arts Centre.  This is a fantastic opportunity for students to try out their performances in front of a supportive crowd and utilise the expertise of the sound and lights crew at the Arts Centre to make the everything look and sound good. 

The full line up for Battle of the Bands was:
7:30        Electric Wednesday
7:50        Torn Together
8:10        Zephyr
8:30        Suddenly Nutmeg
8:50        Crash

Torn Together won the Battle of the Bands and the the prize was a day in a recording studio and the chance to represent the college at the Rock Prom. Unfortunately they were not able to be present at the Rock Prom and we’re thus really grateful that C.R.A.S.H were able to step in and perform instead. This five piece band performed some of their own numbers and a few covers and was particularly well received by the audience.  They were rhythmically tight and well-rehearsed, making an impact on the crowd.

IB Private View

By Olivia Browne, Visual Arts Dept., 26 February 2016

New York Trip

By Natalie Meadows, Sociology Department, 24 February 2016

Twenty four Sociology and Health and Social Care students spent five days in New York finding out about this diverse and multicultural city. The varied schedule included visits to Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, art galleries such as MOMA, and museums such as the Jewish Heritage Musuem and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.”

Marseille trip

By Claire Robinson , Joint Head of Modern Foreign Languages Department, 23 February 2016

Sampling the pancakes!
Walking in the Calanques

Students of A2 French studying the play Rhinocéros, by Eugène Ionesco, decided to travel to France’s second city, Marseille, for the weekend, to witness what is probably the only live performance of the piece this year.  The focal point of the trip was a riveting performance in a tiny (40-seater) theatre, where students were welcomed in person by the director as honoured guests from England!  We also followed a friendly guide through the rocky paths and garrigue vegetation of the famous calanques under blue skies and above a sparkling Mediterranean, and sampled couscous and bouillabaisse as well as our own cooking at the quirky Hotel Vertigo tucked away in the narrow streets and markets of the Vieux Port. 

Geography Dept Expedition to Sri Lanka

By Sarah Painter, Geography, 23 February 2016

Studying the impacts of tourism on Unawatuna beach

18 Geography students participated in a fieldtrip to Sri Lanka for 10 days during February half term.  The trip involved visiting an NGO called Sevanatha in Colombo to look at their role in improving the underserved settlements, as well as looking at the rebranding that has taken place in the city and visiting a tea packing company.  They then took a train ride to Ella and walked up Little Adam’s peak through the tea plantations. 

The students camped in Udawalawe national park where they visited the elephant transit home where the orphaned elephants are looked after, as well as having a safari through the national park.  They also visited the local primary school where the we were entertained with a number of performances and then took on the locals in a friendly international game of cricket.  The final few days were spent on the south coast at Mirissa and they visited Unawatuna beach to look at the impacts of tourism.

Photo of a previous visit to college by dancer Luke Jessop (see article below)

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 10 February 2016

Dance Success Story

By Sarah Pritchard, Head of Dance, 9 February 2016

Ex-student Elodie La Fosse is currently overseeing the Dance Ambassadors scheme whilst on final year placement with The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) and Youth Dance England (YDE).  This scheme was in search of 20 enthusiastic, dedicated young people aged between 16 - 25 to be Dance Ambassadors and represent these organisations and advocate the work that they do. The Dance Ambassadors programme aims to develop career potential, gain an insight into the different areas in which they work and receive training on related topics.  Another ex-student Bethany Storie has been successful in her application and has been awarded one of the 20 Dance Ambassadors roles.  Bethany, who is currently in her first year at De Montfort University has also just completed an internship with Akram Khan Dance Company after being chosen from hundreds of applicants.

For more info follow the link below:


At present, Bethany is  in her second year at De Montfort University, Leicester, studying Contemporary Dance. Bethany first began dancing at the age of 4 immersing herself within the styles of Ballet, Tap and Modern. She then progressed, adding disco, freestyle, street and Hip-Hop to her repertoire.

Dance is important to Bethany as it is more than just a hobby to her, it is her lifestyle choice.

 Bethany applied to become a Dance Ambassador as she wanted to learn more about ADAD, Dance UK, NDTA and YDE and the new organisation. She wants to advocate for dance, promote dance and help others experience dance in a way she has been lucky to experience it. Bethany believes being a Dance Ambassador will give her an incredible opportunity to learn and grow within the dance industry as well as helping others to do so.

We are also looking forward to one of our ex-students Luke Jessop returning to work with our newly formed BoyZ CluB.  BoyZ CluB is a male only group of student who meet one a week to build their Dance experience and further their performance skills for other Performing Arts course.  A number of these students do not follow an academic pathway in Dance but have found confidence and creativity in this weekly club.

Luke will be working with the group for four evenings, exploring movement styles and material for a choreographic project that we have been working on this term.  Since leaving The Sixth Form, Luke graduated from University of Bedfordshire with a degree in Dance and Professional Practice, performed in a number of creative projects, joined 2 Faced Dance Company  before touring as a company member with Brussels based Ultima Vez.  Luke has returned to talk to the AS and A Level Dance students and work with them on a number of occasions but to have him here leading creative workshops will be a real treat for the BoyZ CluB. 

The image above  is from 2013 when Luke came in for a past workshop.

College Annual Careers Fair

By Evette Hawkins, Head of Careers, 2 February 2016

The College Annual Careers, Universities and Year Out Fair was held on Tuesday 26th January in the multi –purpose hall.

The event was well attended by enthusiastic students.  Students were able to meet a wide range of employers, including Delphi Diesels, e2V Technologies and Larking Gowen who provided information and guidance relating to school leaver and graduate options.

Over 40 universities were represented, including Essex, University Campus Suffolk and East Anglia. Universities from further afield included Aberdeen, Bath and Southampton. There were 12 representatives from the Russell Group Universities including King’s College London and Sheffield. Also on hand were representatives from the Armed forces and year out providers.

Exhibitor’s comments about the morning were: ‘fantastic interest’, ‘lots of students willing to talk to us’ and ‘a great event’.

We’ve had some fantastic exhibitors here for the day. We’d really like to thank them for all their enthusiasm – our students really do appreciate it.

Government confirmation of very strong levels of 2015 student examination achievement at the College

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 21 January 2016

The College level of academic achievement compares very positively to the average figures for 18 year olds in all state sector Schools and Academies, Sixth Forms and Colleges in England (including those in Grammar Schools).  The Government have now published Performance data for 2014/15 academic year end.

This compares very favourably to the national average figure of 77% for all Schools and Academies with sixth forms (including those in the independent and Grammar School sectors) and Colleges.  The Government data reveals that 91% of the 18 year old (upper sixth) students who sat A levels in the College in summer 2015 achieved 3 or more A level sub jects in the A* - E range – therefore, providing students with excellent progression opportunities for university or competitive employment.

The Government published data also reveals that 18 year olds at the College achieved an average academic sixth form point score of 827 points – well above the national average of 764 for all state sector Schools and Colleges.

Students enrolling at the College are also statistically, on average, far more likely to complete their year of study (a 3 year average of a 97% Retention Rate) than the average level in sixth forms in all Schools, Academies and Colleges throughout England.

Playhouse Creatures

By Diane Johnston, Performing Arts Dept., 15 January 2016

Photos from this week's stunning production of 'Playhouse Creatures" - more details next week!

A Night at The Opera

By Fran East, Music Dept., 15 January 2016

A group of fourteen A-Level Music students  went to see Tosca at the Royal Opera House on Friday.

It was an excellent production and enjoyed by all – even the ‘heavy rockers’!

Awards & Reunion Event

By Adrian Frost , Assistant Principal, 13 January 2016

At the end of last term, over a thousand students and guests gathered at Charter Hall to celebrate the success of the students who completed their studies at college in Summer 2015. We were also pleased to welcome "YouGov" founder Joe Twyman- a former college student who was our guest speaker at the event. The photograph below shows a small number of the many award winners who attended on the night:

Key for Award and Reunion Event Photo (see above)

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 12 January 2016



Orla was an articulate and enthusiastic member of her tutor group and was passionate and excited about almost everything she did. She had a strong interest In history and was involved in amateur dramatics, Duke of Edinburgh and the National Team for Target Rifle. She had a mature understanding of the plays studied and devised and performed an intelligent and thought provoking adaptation of the short story The Yellow Wallpaper.  Orla takes a College Award for Academic Achievement and is now at East Anglia studying History.


James was a particularly well organised student who maintained a high level of sport. He won the PE Scholar Athlete award for Academic work and his performances in athletics. He also acted as a mentor for other students and is awarded the Syd Kent Award for Personal Achievement. He is now at Brunel University studying Physiotherapy .


Takes the Lloyd's Bank Award for Consistent Effort studying Computer Science At St John's College, Cambridge. He For demonstrating one of the most professional approaches to study in Computing seen in many a year and as a result achieving top marks in his coursework. Jared was an excellent student in Physics and was always prepared to test himself against the best. This was true of his entry into the Physics Olympiad where he completed the preparation in his own time.


Ben was an outstanding student who worked hard and did very well to achieve his dream of studying medicine. He takes the College Award for Academic Achievement and is now at East Angla  studying Medicine.                                                                                                                                                              


Sasha achieved excellent results in Business Studies and takes a College Award for Academic Achievement, Sasha was the Sports Committee Chairperson and is now at Durham University studying for a Combined Honours in Social Sciences



Jacqui consistently achieved at a very high level in Art History.  She showed an infectious enthusiasm for the subject and was highly motivated to put in the effort in order to find relevant material.  Jacqui takes a College Award for Academic Achievement and is now studying History of Art at Warwick University.


Rochelle was probably the perfect IB student. She was incredibly positive and cheerful. Always thoroughly engaged and passionate about all of her subjects. Academically she worked very hard and in addition she gave a lot of time to wider College activities including her role as Treasurer of the College Council, as a member of the College Amnesty group and helping out with a lot of charity and fundraising events. Rochelle takes the College Award for Contribution to the College Community and College Award for Academic Achievement. She is now at Birmingham University studying International Relations with Political Science.



Orchestra performing at Awards & Reunion Event

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 11 January 2016

With thanks to Sarah and Karen Cooper for the photo..

Principal's Speech from Recent Awards & Reunion Event

By Ian MacNaughton, Principal, 10 January 2016

I am very pleased to report back to you tonight that, when we consider your achievements collectively, you were very successful indeed. 

The examination successes you achieved in the summer were really excellent –by both local and national standards.  The average ‘value added’ results you achieved – the comparison between your package of GCSE results on entry and your package of results on leaving, places your collective successes very significantly above the national average levels. 

Well over 1000 of our second year College students entered for A Level examinations last summer and the average results you achieved were really excellent, with average results ahead of the achievements of students at all other colleges in Essex and Suffolk and in all the Essex comprehensive schools with sixth forms.   91% of our A-level students leaving us last summer achieved 3 or more A-level qualifications or equivalent IB points – which compares very favourably to the national average level for all Schools and Colleges of under 80% in 2015.

Our International Baccalaureate students achieved an outstanding level of success.  Your average results of 33 IB points were very well above both the national and international averages. 

The highest achieving 100 students amongst you obtained an average UCAS point score equivalent to 2 A*s and 2 A grades at A Level and we understand that this is a higher score than the 100 highest achieving students in any school in the country, including in all selective grammar and independent schools.  

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.   Indeed approximately 1000 of last year’s leavers have, or will next autumn after a GAP year, progress to a wide range of exciting and challenging degree courses, or other opportunities in the UK or abroad.  Others have found excellent employment or training opportunities either locally, in London and in other instances nationally or internationally.  Your levels of academic achievement were really outstanding. 

Many of you have achieved in a wide variety of ways including the development of skills important to your life and the lives of others.  These include 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 many of you who joined the College at age 16, 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 your personal lives. 

We will also hear and see later that we are recognising achievements and contributions made in the fields of sport, performing and creative arts, science, technology and enterprise and we are also paying tribute to your contributions to both the College community and to the wider community in the area - particularly where you have helped others.

We are very proud that you as a group made a fantastic contribution to the wider community, including putting together generous Christmas hampers for the needy, raising money on a weekly basis for the Good Foundation, organising Christmas pantomime trips for underprivileged children, Charity theme days throughout the year which helped raise funds for local, national and international charities, individual action to help elderly and disabled people, work to support the oppressed through Amnesty International and also in undertaking challenges in local and international community work.  Your positive attitudes and contributions in helping others were quite outstanding. 

A number of our students who left last year are currently involved in international community placements, including through GAP projects and also at The Russ Foundation Community in Southern India - which we continue to support on an ongoing basis. 

Over 20 of you completed the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, many others worked in local Primary Schools or were involved in Sports activities in the Community and many of you excelled in visual and performing arts and cultural activities in the College during the time you spent with us.  Dance, music and drama flourished and there were a whole series of outstanding productions, concerts and performances over the 2 years you were with us.   Excellent Visual Arts exhibitions and displays illustrated the significant student talents in these fields and many of you gained excellent practical experience in the field of media including those actively involved in production and broadcasting on the College Radio Station.

More than 300 of you represented the College in competitive sports fixtures in a wide range of different sports and over forty students represented their County or were selected for regional, national or international level competitions.  Again, we will hear of more individual detail later.

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

The best advertisement for the Sixth Form College has always been its students.  You were, and still are excellent ambassadors for the College and we are extremely proud of you.  

Forthcoming Production

By Diane Johnston, Performing Arts Dept., 8 January 2016

Advanced Foundation Programme Christmas Awards

By Graham Rayner, Assistant Principal, 4 January 2016

Xena-Lee Moore is presented with an award by PC Ben Redmond and Martin Sparks

Students on the Advanced Foundation Programme celebrated their achievements just before the Christmas break with their annual awards ceremony.    Along with a healthy dose of mince pies, a Personal Tutor and Senior Tutor award for academic progress was presented to each tutor group.  Students with 100% attendance were also presented with certificates as well as those who had been nominated by their teachers for exceptional performance in a particular subject. 

PC Ben Redmond was on hand to present the awards and he drew on his experience ten years ago as a student at College to encourage students to focus on their career goals.  The Advanced Foundation Programme students take mainly GCSE subjects in their first year with the aim of progressing to AS levels in their second year.  Following stunning GCSE results last year, the second year cohort all deserve congratulations but the big award for academic achievement went to Shannon Lacey TG 405.

Former Assistant Principal Martin Sparks presented the award for outstanding third year to Charlie Panayiotou TG 401 who said, “I really wasn’t expecting to win this award so I am a bit shocked.  It wasn’t ideal to have to resit some GCSEs in my first year but it was the right option for me.  I just got my head down.  I am now applying for Business Information Systems degrees so I have come a long way.”

Christmas Hampers

By Shiv Cordy-McKenna , Student Charities Committee Liaison, 18 December 2015

Thank you  to everyone who helped make such a success of this year's Christmas Hamper event. As in previous years, well over a hundred hampers were put together for donation to a range of charities within the Colchester area. Every year the decoration of the hampers gets better and better  - Well done to every tutor group that put one together!

Christmas Carol Concert

By Fran East, Performing Arts Dept., 18 December 2015

December. AS and A2 students took part with the orchestra and choir and the organ was played by an A2 student Will Moore. As well as congregational carols and readings by college staff and students, there were a number of ensemble items both choral and instrumental. Mince pies and mulled wine completed a most successful event.thThe College Carol Service took place on Tuesday 15


By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 18 December 2015

Looking for the secrets of eternal beauty?

Or an Oasis revival?

Or the best place to buy a Christmas jumper?

Or, on a more serious note, a consideration of issues around Trident, dystopian fiction or university fees ?

Look no further than the last edition of student-produced magazine 'Pulse' ........

Award Winning Chemist

By Sue Sabec, Chemistry Department, 9 December 2015

Congratulations to second year Chemistry student Izza Shaheed. She recently  won a Jack Petchey Award and is spending her £200 on two colorimeters for the department.  These extend opportunities for exciting practical work -  Izza is herself using one of them for her individual investigation, as seen in the photo.

Evening of Dance - 9th December 2015

By Sarah Pritchard, Performing Arts Department, 9 December 2015

The evening was a success!  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the students perform with such pride in their work and determination to both challenge and entertain.  To see such a diverse exhibition of work made me feel very proud of the students.

Tree Planting

By Michael Padmore, Conservation Group, 8 December 2015

The Sixth Form conservation volunteers have been busy this term with visits to Fingringhoe Wick and Abberton Reservoir.  Over 60,000 trees have been planted at Abberton over the past 12 years to mitigate the effects of enlarging the reservoir and college students have been among the most enthusiastic participants in the work.  On our visit to the reserve at the beginning of December we used a new type of tree guard made from recycled cardboard which, unlike the old-style plastic guards will naturally decompose as the trees grow.  By contrast, the October work party at Fingringhoe Wick involved removing alder and willow trees to maintain the sunny glades and shallow pools that suit dragonflies and other insects found on the reserve.  Whatever the weather, new volunteers will find a warm welcome at the first work party of 2016 when we will be constructing a boardwalk at Twinstead.  Contact Michael Padmore for more information.

This Is Sparta

By Mark Brassington, Teacher of Classical Civilizations, 7 December 2015

Paul Cartledge is a world-renowned authority on Ancient Sparta and Emeritus Professor of Greek Culture at Clare College Cambridge. Last year we saw him speak about Alexander The Great and he was very inspiring. This year he was invited to the college to speak to first and second year students following A level courses in Ancient History, Classical Civilization and Archaeology . Prof. Cartledge talked in depth about the elusive and harsh realities of the Classical Spartan state, which many people know from the Hollywood film ‘300’. About 60 students attended.

Students that I spoke to found Paul very approachable and insightful. The students took a great deal away from the lecture both in terms of the A Level syllabuses, but also and perhaps principally in terms of their wider interest in the subject. A good number of students plan to take their interest in the classical world through to Higher Education. Experience of this type of university style lecture from a world authority is invaluable experience and preparation for further study. All students, whether or not they plan to take the subject on at a higher academic level in the future were very grateful to Prof Cartledge for his time and ability to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject.

He was also very interested in the Roman bath excavations on our site and the fact that we are the only Sixth Form College in England with its very own Roman walls!

Splendid Productions’ visit to The Sixth Form College Performing Arts Department

By Fiona Bush, Performing Arts Dept., 7 December 2015

The aptly named “Splendid” team performed their newly adapted version of Homer’s “The Odyssey” in the college drama studio this Wednesday afternoon. They brought to life the Old Man of the Sea, the epic storms, the hopeful Penelope, the Cyclops, some sheep, some suitors, some ponchos, a washing line; all exploring the many roles of Odysseus in Greek Mythology. AS and A2 Drama and Performance Studies students became fully interactive with the performance; becoming part of the storm, playing the instruments that represented the storm, reading the map for Odysseus’ men, creating the personae of panic by running around the stage area (dressed in a poncho) and braving the obstacle courses that Odysseus has to battle in the sea (whilst dressed in a blue poncho and carrying some wooden men in a small boat!). Much fun was had by all students, staff and the three strong cast, whilst moments of thought provoking naturalism contrasted with the Brechtian Epic style.

A practical, physical workshop followed, where the lovely Kerry, Gen and Cordelia from Splendid led our students in a challenging set of explorative exercises. The students pushed boundaries they didn’t all realise they had, they came together as one big chorus and battled it out with Gestus led characters, ‘lunge offs’ and larger than life ensemble responses to their physical creations.

As all these students embark on their final exam performance projects, both devised and repertory, they will take much inspiration from today’s performance and workshop experiences. So much advice and guidance was given by Team Splendid that students will keep with them for a long while. The overall experience was coined by students as “really inspiring”, “amazing”, with one student tweeting the company to state how she had “learnt so much about both Theatre and myself” – and all in one afternoon! Good work Splendid Productions! We hope to see you again next year.

Trampolining Success

By Jo Lawrence, Sports Dept., 7 December 2015

On Wednesday 25th November the girl’s trampolining team from the college went to Suffolk New College to compete in the Regional round of the Association of Colleges alongside fourteen other female competitors from SEEVIC, Chelmsford College and Suffolk New College. The girls performed really well in both the ‘set’ and ‘voluntary’ routines. All student had to perform the same ‘set’ routine and then they could apply their creativity and skill for the ‘voluntary’ routine and apply a tariff that reflected their own ability. All of the college competitors entered the elite competition which put more pressure on them to perform at a very high standard. And with only one opportunity to perform their routines, the pressure was on. However, the girls should be really proud as five of the six  girls were selected to represent the East Region for the Association of Colleges Final in Newcastle next April. I would like to thank the girls for their great performances and dedication to training.

Overall final results were as follows;

1st place – Kim Rayment
2nd place – Olivia Legg
4th place – Hannah Denson & Charis McKenzie
6th place – Hannah Pile
10th  place – Beth Lewis.

World Toilet Day

By Keith Ellis, Sustainability Co-ordinator, 23 November 2015

Thursday was 'World Toilet Day' and the Environment Committee held an event supporting Toilet Twinning, which raises funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a basic toilet and to learn about hygiene a vital combination that helps end generational poverty.

Basketball Success

By Tori Yates, Sports Dept., 19 November 2015

A very convincing win for the boys basketball team at home to South Essex College in front of a record crowd. The support from the students helped us to a 99-23 victory. Well played boys and thank you to all the supporters.

Holocaust Memorial Programme - Poland Trip

By Rebecca McGarrigle, History Teacher, 16 November 2015

11 students recently returned from a three day trip to Poland as part of the college’s Holocaust Memorial Programme.

Our students met up with some German students and were shown round Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow. They learned about life for the Jewish community before and during the Second World War and heard the testimony from a Polish child survivor of Auschwitz. The students also went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Germans and on the final day of the visit they met up with some Polish students to take part in a workshop focusing on contemporary issues related to the Holocaust followed by a tour of Krakow given by the Poles.

All three nations formed some close bonds on the visit and can be seen together in the photo. Many of our students will be keeping in touch with their Polish and German counterparts,

College Council Elections

By Neil Kelly, Head of Student Services, 13 November 2015

It was great to see such vibrant democracy in action at yesterday's hustings, as, in a packed Drama Studio, students made their bid for election to various posts on this year's College Council. They will play an important role in the coming months, working alongside Governors and on the various College Council committees. including the Sports, Arts & Culture and the Charities Committees.  It was also good to see such a wide field of candidates, including Marge Simpson, who was the only candidate to bring along her own bodyguards.

Iceland Field Trip

By Tim Harrison, Senior Management Team, 13 November 2015

Some photos from the recent half term field trip to Iceland

Children In Need

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 13 November 2015

Congratulations to everyone on The Charities Committee and in The General Office for organising such a fantastic range of events for 'Children In Need', including 'guess the mileage' on the yellow 'Pudsified' car and 'guess the weight of the cake'. Also a big thank you to Paige from Aspects at Playgolf who helped us out with the sponsored legwaxing. Well done to Jonathan Miles and Ollie Nix (pictured) and all of the other brave students who took part. The counting isn't over, but in all we think that nearly five hundred pounds was raised.


By Victoria Yates, Sports , 6 November 2015

Zumba classes  in the first half term with a number of  girls and boys joining us in the sportshall. This was a  new activity for the college and a big success. Zumba has now finished but is being replaced by boxing this half term and  we are hoping that this will be a great success as well.


By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 6 November 2015

It was certainly a busy lunchtime in college today: On the Concourse student bands were playing, whereas, elsewhere in the building, applicants for degree courses in Medicene were being put through their paces by a team of staff in preparation for university interviews.

Stained Glass Windows

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 2 November 2015

The recent Open Evenings gave us a great chance to show off the recently installed stained glass windows in the Performance Studio Building. These not only provide us with a distinctive welcome for visitors at the foot of the drive, but also offer  spectacularly lit access to an additional Psychology classroom.

A great photo of students in action during our recent Open Evenings

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 26 October 2015

A big thank you to James and Odira and all of the hundreds of other students who came along to help out....

Government confirmation of a strong level of 2015 student examination achievement at the College.

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 12 October 2015

The Department for Education is currently preparing the A level 2015 Performance Tables (which they will release in January 2016).  As part of that process, the College has recently been notified that 91% of the 18 year old (upper sixth) students who sat A levels in the College in summer 2015 achieved 3 or more A level subjects in the A* - E range – therefore, providing students with excellent progression opportunities for university or competitive employment.  The College level of achievement compares very positively to the provisional figure of an average of just 77% of 18 year olds in all Schools and Academies, Sixth Forms and Colleges in England, (including those in the Grammar School and Independent School sectors) completing and passing 3 or more A levels. Students enrolling at the College are also statistically on average more likely to complete their year of study (a 3 year average of a 97% Retention Rate) than the average sixth forms in all Schools, Academies and Colleges throughout England.

A Big Thank-You to our Ambassadors

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 12 October 2015

Last week a number of our students visited Stanway School to speak to year 11 students, giving them a lively and informative insight into life at College. Students also visited The Gilberd and Ramsey Schools. We're very grateful to all of the students who play some kind of ambassador role here at college, whether it be helping out at events, showing visitors around or visiting local schools. Hundreds of students from across the whole college will be meeting visiting students and parents during our Open Evenings on 21st and 22nd October.  Across the year, we've calculated that there must be nearly five hundred ambassadors in all !

Official Opening of The Syd Kent Pavilion

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 12 October 2015

Last Friday marked the official opening of our new student social and study spaces, though in truth students have been using both facilities for a few weeks now and we are very pleased with the response to our new facilities.

We hope that they weren't disturbed too much by the formal opening, but it was a good chance to recognise the outstanding contribution of outgoing College Governor Syd Kent, who has been a driving force behind the college since before it started nearly 30 years ago! The New 'Syd Kent' Pavilion is a fitting tribute to his hard work on everyone's behalf over the years.

Syd is pictured below (left) being congratulated by Chair of Governors Andy Beatty

Students Using the New Pavilion

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 12 October 2015

Game Developer Meetup

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 2 October 2015

Well done to Sixth Form College Student and local entrepreneur Daniel Colaiani who runs DoubleUp Gaming, A Colchester based online media publication. He is organising the very first game development event in the region of North Essex, in partnership with the Games Hub  and the  University of Essex.  The meetup will include a visit from expert guest speaker Andy Touch from Unity3d and is designed to bring the talented community of game developers together on a quarterly basis in one space, to provide them with a space to network, demo games and interact with expert industry speakers.

French Exchange to Lyon

By Madeleine Bishop, Student, 30 September 2015

College students prepare for a day's lessons at the Lycee in Lyon

This year's French Exchange to Lyon has been a great success! The trip lasted ten days and we spent the vast majority of this immersed in the French culture and language.  The city of Lyon is a beautiful and diverse place to stay and the French correspondents very welcoming and friendly.  Whilst subject to extremely high temperatures (Southern France was in the midst of "la canicule", a heat wave period in which temperatures reach the high thirties) students managed to gain useful experience speaking French and enjoy themselves while doing it.  One student commented that "The families are really welcoming and make an effort to put you at ease" while others praised the range of delicious French food that the host families cooked for them!

New Student Study Space

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 29 September 2015

It's quite right that a lot of attention has been focussed upon the new Pavilion Building, but the more attentive among us will also have noticed a number of other study spaces popping up around the site over the past year or so. This one, for example, is tucked away on the top floor - with its distinctive angled windows being the only clue to its former life as office space for the Senior Tutor in Division 9.

Geological Success

By Sue Court-Oak, Geography department, 29 September 2015

Congratulations to student Laurence Child  - not only was he a Chemistry Olympiad Award Winner and a Colchester Youth Award Nominee earlier this year, but we have also recently learnt that he achieved the second highest mark  in the whole country in this year’s A level Geology exams. Well done Laurence!

In the footsteps of the Bard...

By Camomile Shumba, Student, 17 September 2015

A group of 30 students recently visited Stratford-upon-Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre: recently expanded and renovated, it is the most wonderful, theatrical venue.   Our group of students clearly enjoyed a dark, contemporary interpretation of The Merchant of Venice on the Friday evening and a stunning Othello on the Saturday night.  Student Camomile Shumba takes up the story:

“To say the least, we were impressed with the astonishing building that was the Youth Hostel! Beyond where we were staying, there was the beautiful town of Stratford upon Avon full of boats, people and the sun shining. Roaming around Stratford was fun, but the main events were the two plays.  The Merchant of Venice blew us all away with its exciting twist.”

Trip leader and English tutor Alison Shelley writes that “Stratford-upon-Avon is a great place to visit but it is the students that made the trip – they were a fun, enthusiastic and lively group.  We hope they took away new ideas about Shakespeare and theatre in general.” 

Arizona Field Trip

By Sue Court-Oak, Geography Department, 15 September 2015

Below is a stunning photograph from this year’s Geology field trip to Arizona. Students spent time walking on the rocky surface of Bonito Lava Flow, as well as visiting The Sunset Crater Volcano - one of the most colourful and pristine cinder volcanoes in the region . 

They also travelled along the Crystal Forest Trail - Named for the presence of beautiful crystals that can be found in the petrified logs, as well as a trip into remote badlands country.

(“If you've ever pictured yourself stranded on an alien planet in a 60's sci-fi flick, this is where you'd actually take the picture.”)