Hundreds of newly enrolled students found out more about college life and the wealth of other support available to them at Freshers Fairs across Capital City College Group (CCCG).
City and Islington College (CANDI), Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) all hosted welcome events.
CANDI held a combined fair for students enrolled at its Sixth Form College and Centre for Applied Science along with fairs its Centre for Business, Art and Technology and Centre for Lifelong Learning.
A ‘Welcome Fest’ was held at the WestKing’s King’s Cross Centre and another fair took place at the college’s Soho Centre, and Michelin-star chef Michel Roux welcomed Hospitality and Culinary Arts students to the college’s Victoria Centre.
Among the organisations attending the CANDI and WestKing fairs this year were IMECE, Papyrus, Octopus Communities. Islington Youth Council, NHS, All Change, Lift, Step into Dance, Kooth, We Speak, Brook, Go-Forward Youth, Flint & Flame, The Caterer, Koppert Cress, Compass Group, Arts Emergency and the Craft Guild of Chefs.
CONEL’s Tottenham and Enfield Centres hosted fairs, which included stands from Let’s Talk IAPT, National Citizen Service, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Metropolitan Police, Proud North London, Pirate.com, Reed Wellbeing, ReachOut, The Rebel School, Pure Gym and Terrence Higgins Trust.
We want to enrich our students’ lives with more than just qualifications. Our aim is to help them develop a broad range of skills and qualities that employers look for, including communication, teamwork and problem-solving, as well as ensuring they have a great time at college.
Throughout each year CCCG’s colleges run a range of enrichment and extracurricular activities to give them greater insight into their studies and future careers and to support their health and wellbeing, including trips, guest speakers, sports, clubs and societies.
Students can get to know their peers through a range of student-run activities including our Student Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Learner Voice, or college clubs and societies – from football and table tennis to debating and a poetry club.
Students can volunteer to become a Student Ambassador, study buddy or a peer mentor. These important roles help our students develop their confidence and interpersonal skills and look really good on a CV, job application or university application.
Our centres have on-site canteens and cafés, serving a daily menu that includes healthy options. Canteen meals are great value for money and are a good opportunity to relax with friends between lessons. All of our centres have libraries and some have on-site gyms, so you can keep your body fit as well as your mind.
Find out more about Student Life here.
Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) Performing Arts lecturer Rob Alexander has shared his top tips for aspiring actors in The Stage.
Rob featured on the renowned publication’s website that covers all aspects of theatre, drama and entertainment news, features, reviews from across the country on 9 June.
In the article, he shares how he started in acting, what prompted him to move into teaching, his advice for drama students and what he would change about the industry.
Rob said: “The Stage contacted me through Twitter asking if I’d be happy to discuss the provision of the creative arts in further education and how it fits into the jigsaw that is the economy, as part of a series of weekly guest articles in arts training articles they were running.”
Rob, who will be leaving WestKing this summer after nearly two decades at the college, recently wrote and performed his latest one-man show Keeper of the Flame, which premiered at the Young Actors Theatre in Islington and will be performed during Camden Fringe this August.
His acting career includes film and TV roles in The Fifth Element, The Chief, and Devices and Desires, while his stage work includes The Caretaker, Sunset Ship and Alice in Wonderland.
Rob said: “It’s been a pleasure working at WestKing with some wonderfully creative and hugely talented students over the years, many of whom are now friends, including one who is directing my new show!”
Read the article: Course Leader Rob Alexander: ‘The creative arts enrich, embolden and enthuse all our lives. Promote it, don’t demote it’
Please note, registration is required to view the article.
WestKing is home to some of the best theatrical stage and production facilities in London. Our tutors have experience in all aspects of performance and will harness your talent by developing your vocal, improvisation and collaborative skills, as well as giving you the resilience and confidence needed to work in this highly competitive industry.
Our acting alumni includes Babatunde Aléshé, Jamali Maddix, Tobi King Bakare, Francis Lovehall, Romario Simpson, Amy Revelle, Shaday Barrowes and Babiyre Bukilwa.
Apply now for a Performing Arts course here.
With no lights and no camera, can there be action? Without a stage to perform on and an audience to receive it, can live performance exist? This is the dilemma facing the performing arts industry across the globe during the Coronavirus pandemic. At WestKing, lecturers are tackling this challenge head on by finding new and experimental ways to allow students to hone their craft whilst in lockdown.
The end of year performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream turned in to a nightmare for Year 2 Performing Arts students when the Coronavirus hit the UK. The perfect location at the Story Garden in central London had been found, and since early January hours of rehearsals had been put in. But with theatres and stages across the UK sitting in the dark, and end of year exams cancelled, it all seemed futile.
Positive that there will be light after lockdown, lecturer Rob Alexander regrouped and found a revolutionary way to allow students to perform. Through the camera lens on laptops and tablets, students are now performing a socially-distanced version of the Shakespeare play from their homes via Zoom. Each day an act is practiced, performed and recorded with the entire play being completed within a week. Once restrictions are lifted, the recorded performances will be edited together by our technicians at WestKing’s Creative Arts Studio to produce one seamless performance.
Student Gabriela Madalina said: “Of course, watching your plans fall away is not a pleasant way to finish college. However, as I thought more about it, there’s nothing new here that an actor shouldn’t be ready for and maybe this is the final challenge college will bring upon us. The online meetings turned out to be the perfect solution and allowed us to continue with the performance. Radio theatre has been around for a long time but somehow it is overshadowed by all the performances meant to impress the eye. Now we get to impress the ear. Sure, it’s not what we were preparing for, but that’s what actors do: we improvise.”
Rob Alexander said: “Like playing an instrument, acting is a skill which has to be practised, and exams being cancelled was no reason to become complacent. In fact, it drove our students to dig deeper and much like a radio performance, learn to perform in isolation. They have had to adapt quickly, for example, getting their timing right and waiting for different cues so there isn’t a lag. This is an experience that they would not have had without the lockdown.”
Our Year 1 students have been working hard too. In conjunction with film and theatre company Broken Hearted Youth, they were set the challenge of writing and performing a monologue which could be unrelated to the lockdown but has the underlying theme of isolation. Artistic Director at Broken Hearted Youth , Michael van der Put said: “For a number of years we have had a rewarding collaboration with Westminster Kingsway College. We were in the early stages of planning a theatrical production around the theme of mental health when the lockdown arrived.
“Luckily for us, being a film and theatre company affords us some flexibility in our approach. In planning what comes next, we’re able to look to Rob and the team to see the adaptations they make in teaching and evaluating their students. This in turn informs our approach to the creation of future work. It’s early days in this period of change, but we know the passion and enthusiasm from both Rob and his students will weather the storm.”
Students have come up trumps with a rich tapestry of stories and will perform and record the final piece from their homes. One student, Nami Olivia, centred her monologue on the faults in the American justice system and racism in the 1920’s – 1950’s. She said: “It is focused on a woman called Aubrey Browne who grew up in downtown Detroit and moved to New Orleans where she got caught up in a murder investigation. Despite the fact she was 17 years old and the evidence was in her favour, she was tried as an adult, found guilty and spent 25 years in jail. The monologue is set the day before she’s due to die by lethal injection and she’s reflecting back on her life.”
Another Year 1 student Alexandra-Stefania Chiran said: “I really enjoyed working on this project I think that it’s really exciting that we get to write our own script from scratch. I’ve been working on a monologue about a girl that is isolating herself from all of her friends and family and everyone is starting to get worried about her. They try and get her to talk to someone about how she feels.”
With Patrick Stewart reading a Shakespeare Sonnet a day on Twitter and the Royal Shakespeare Company enlisting help from the likes of David Tennant with homework, performing artists are very much fighting back. The adaptability at WestKing is the perfect illustration that even though we are locked down, things are very much looking up.
Although the regions also have thriving theatre scenes, London is still the UK’s performing arts hub, as it’s home to West End theatres, TV studios and more. Learn with us and your career options after college include TV and film, radio and theatre in areas such as acting, dance, direction and choreography. Please click here to find out more about studying Performing Arts at Westminster Kingsway College.