Colchester Sixth Form College

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The Sixth Form College Colchester
Colchester Sixth Form Logo.png
Established 1987
Type Sixth form college
Principal Ian MacNaughton
Location North Hill
Local authority Essex
DfE number 881/8600
DfE URN 130680 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 3200+
Gender Coeducational

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 has consistently ranked highly on the AS/A-level performance tables[1] in which the results have been above the national average and the average for Essex. The College was assessed as 'outstanding' by OFSTED in 2007/08,[2] including 'outstanding' assessments in all 11 inspection categories.


The College is located on the former site of the Gilberd School.[3] 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 recognized 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
    • Computing
    • 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 includes committees for Arts, Social, Charities, Environmental, International and Sports (primarily student-run). Executive positions include a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Public Relations officer.

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 2010/2011 the magazine was called 'Banter', in the academic year 2012/2013 the magazine was called 'Vision', and in the academic year 2013/2014 the magazine was called 'Perspective'. It is called 'Pulse' as of the academic year 2016/2017.

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.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "The Department for Education - Performance Tables - School Details". 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-11-23.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "College inspection report" (PDF). Ofsted. November 2007. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  3. ^ "The Sixth Form College, Colchester - College History". Retrieved 2013-11-23. 

External links[edit]

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