Colchester Sixth Form College

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The Sixth Form College Colchester
Colchester Sixth Form Logo.png
North Hill

, ,

TypeSixth form college
Local authorityEssex
Department for Education URN130680 Tables
PrincipalIan MacNaughton
PublicationInsider magazine

The Sixth Form College, Colchester is a sixth form college in Colchester, England. Established in 1987, it provides further education in the north Essex area.


The College is located on the former site of the Gilberd School.[1] Recently constructed parts of the building were designed by local architects Martin Wilesmith and Bob Ward of the Roff Marsh Partnership.

In 1994 Blur played a show at the college – three out of four members of Blur have links with Colchester, with drummer Dave Rowntree having attended the Gilberd School.

In 2013, the college served as the backdrop for a submission in the official Brian May and Kerry Ellis crowdsourced music video for "The Kissing Me Song". A portion of the submission can be seen in the subsequent concert release "The Candlelight Concerts: Live in Montreux 2013".


The College offers courses and qualifications to more than 3100 students – including a large range of AS-Levels and A-Levels; GCSEs; and since 2003, the International Baccalaureate. It is mandatory for students studying AS/A-levels to take at least 3 academic subjects; most AS-level courses cover seven periods per week, while most A-level courses cover eight periods per week.

Additional studies[edit]

An extensive Additional Studies programme is run to suit individual interests or to support a career aim. Most courses run over two terms for between one and three periods a week, and some lead to nationally recognised qualifications.

The college's music Additional Studies are notable. It has an orchestra, a band, a choir, and has many music events throughout the year. Instrumental lessons are provided at college at a subsidised cost, and students taking music A-level or IB receive half an hour's free music tuition each week. The Essex Music Foundation also pays for the college's students to take grade 5 and 8 instrumental and theory exams, using the exam board ABRSM.


  • Art and Design
    • Art
    • Photography
    • History of Art
    • Sculpture
  • Biology
    • Biology
    • Applied Science
  • Business Studies and Economics
    • Accounting
    • Business Studies
    • Applied Business
    • Economics
  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry
    • Science in Society
  • Computing
    • Computer Science
    • ICT
  • Critical Thinking
  • English
    • English language
    • English Literature
    • English Language & Literature
  • General Studies
  • Geography
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • Environmental Science
    • World Development
  • History
    • Archaeology
    • Classical Civilisation
    • History – Modern
    • History – Tudors
    • History – Medieval
    • Politics
    • Ancient History
  • Law
    • Law
    • Citizenship
  • Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Further Mathematics
    • Use of Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • Media and Film Studies
    • Media
    • Film
    • Communication & Culture
  • Modern Languages
    • French
    • German
    • Italian
    • Spanish
  • Performing Arts
    • Dance
    • Drama
    • Music
    • Music Technology
    • Performance Studies
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
    • Physics
    • Electronics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
  • Technology
    • Graphics
    • Technology (Product Design)
    • Food Technology
    • Textiles

Student initiatives[edit]

Committees and representation[edit]

The Sixth Form College, Colchester has a College Council which is made up of tutor group representatives, generally one per tutor group. It is designed to help students raise issues and concerns about life around College and seeks to resolve these issues or concerns. Within the College Council, there is also The College Council Executive, which is made up of elected, executive positions of Chair (leading representative of students, chairs all Council and Executive meetings and maintains links with the community), Vice-Chair (deputises for the Chair when necessary and works with the sub-committees when required) , Treasurer (responsible for the College Council Budget and Expenditure) and Secretary (prepares agenda for and minutes of all meetings and deals with correspondence). The Executive is designed to spearhead changes and student-led activities around College and drive positive change. The Executive also has sub-committees for Arts, Charities, Culture, Environmental and Social, which elect a chair to sit on the Executive.[2]

The Chair and the Vice-Chair sit on the College Governing Body[3]

Coffee bar – Russ Shop and Ethical Café[edit]

A student volunteer-run facility that serves hot and cold drinks, and snacks. It is a Fairtrade, not-for-profit organisation supporting the Russ Foundation in India. It is open from September to May each year.

College magazine[edit]

The college produces a magazine. All the articles are written by students. In the academic year 2009/2010 the magazine was named "Insider", following this in the academic year 2010/2011 the magazine was called 'Banter', 2012/2013 was named 'Vision', and in the academic year 2013/2014 the magazine was called 'Perspective'. It was called 'Pulse' during the 2016/2017 academic year when it was, yet again, renamed—this time to "Insider", again.

Storm Radio Logo

Student radio[edit]

The college has run its own radio station (Storm Radio) since 1995. The shows are presented by students from both years and make use of mixed genres of music, while the station itself functions and is treated by the music industry as any other commercial radio station. The station can be received on 999AM/999MW in the College area and across the IT network in most classroom locations. It can also be picked up in certain areas around Colchester Town Centre. It usually broadcasts for 2 and a half hours a day, although for a one off special in 2002 it broadcast for 24 consecutive hours.


The college was assessed as 'Outstanding' by OFSTED in 2007/08,[4] including 'outstanding' assessments in all 11 inspection categories. It was rated 'Good' in its most recent inspection in December 2017.[5]

Academic results[edit]


In 2017, the average A-Level grade was C-, and the progress score was −0.12, which is below the average progress score for schools and colleges in England.[6]

International Baccalaureate[edit]

The average International Baccalaureate score for students at the college was 33 points in 2015[7] and 2016,[8] and 32 points in 2017[9] and 2018.[10] This is slightly above the international average of 29 points.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sixth Form College, Colchester – College History". Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  2. ^ "College Student Council". Colchester Sixth Form. 12 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Governing Body Information". Colchester Sixth Form. 12 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  4. ^ "College inspection report" (PDF). Ofsted. November 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  5. ^, Ofsted Communications Team. (14 December 2017). "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  6. ^ "The Sixth Form College Colchester - GOV.UK - Find and compare schools in England". Find and compare schools in England. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Results 2015". Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Results 2016". Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Results 2017". Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Results 2018". Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°53′28″N 0°53′42″E / 51.89111°N 0.89500°E / 51.89111; 0.89500