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Arts Award

The College introduced Gold Arts Awards to give pupils the opportunity to take an exciting new creative qualification.

Arts Award supports young people in all areas of creative arts and offers an inspiring arts journey. Each path can take a different direction – from fashion to film-making, from dance to design, from photography to poetry. Whichever route they choose to follow, pupils are always in the driving seat.

This unique qualification supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. The programme develops their creativity, leadership and communication skills. Through working towards an award they learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and future employment.

Arts Award motivates and celebrates young people’s artistic achievements. They can achieve an award through any arts, media or cultural activity, developing knowledge and understanding of their chosen art forms.

Crafty Fridays at St Wilfrid's Hospice

Year 12 pupils Polly Gordon and Mollie Oliver recently led an Easter Crafty Friday workshop at St Wilfrid's Hospice in Eastbourne. This activity is part of their Gold Arts Award.

The following report was prepared by the girls:

"In preparation for the workshop we made 60 ceramic Easter eggs. We did this by making two part moulds out of eggs and then used casting slip to make multiple casts. Once the eggs had been fired we took them to the Hospice for whoever wanted to join in and paint an Easter egg. Crafty Fridays are intended to bring in new visitors to the Hospice to encourage a more lively atmosphere so we decided an Easter activity would be fitting. At the end of the day when all the eggs were painted we took them back to the College to glaze and fire before dropping them back off at the Hospice for the workshop participants to collect.


On Friday 17 March Year 12 pupil Zara Poulton led a bracelet-making workshop at St Wilfrid's Hospice as part of her Gold Arts Award. here is Zara's report:

"I attended St Wilfrid’s Hospice on Friday 17 March to lead a Crafty Friday workshop. I taught those who came along how to make rainbow friendship bracelets. I learnt this skill on holiday from a teacher at a children's club. I really enjoyed hosting the activity and received lots of very positive feedback from the workshop participants."

Film Makers

Gold Arts Award pupils Tatyana Goodwin, Talaayah Gunaydin,  Katie Meikle, Izzy Mirisola- Jones, and Cece Plumptre recently completed the final edit of their individual films with Peter Dickinson of Smokescreen Studios in Eastbourne.

Thank you to the Smokescreen team for mentoring these young directors and film makers in devising their storyboards and editing with sound.

Annual Schools Project

A group of Year 10 pupils took part in the Towner Art Gallery annual schools project to produce costumes and props for the Eastbourne carnival. Under the guidance of Paul Render from Same Sky pupils decorated willow framed cups and saucers inspired by the work of Eric Ravillious and constructed by pupils from Cavendish school. Over 30 schools across East Sussex will be involved in producing the Towner entry for the Carnival Parade. This experience will provide evidence towards the pupils' Arts Awards.

Big Draw  

A small group of senior Gold Arts Awards pupils recently visited St Wilfrid's Hospice to participate in an art workshop with Sussex illustrator, Ed Boxall. Mr. Boxall is a Hastings-based artist, writer and print-maker. He is best known for his storytelling and illustrations for children's books. The pupils had an opportunity to interview Mr. Boxall about his practice and to work alongside him to create postcard sized portraits. Several of the portraits were added to the postcard collection at the Hospice as part of the Big Draw project.

For more information please visit:  St Wilfrid's the Big Draw

George Tomsett

For my gold Arts Award I decided the field of artistic expression that I wanted to explore more deeply was drama. As I am applying to university for English literature, I wanted to somehow combine writing into drama and the answer was simple; write a play. The process of drafting and redrafting ideas was somewhat difficult, and the patience needed to write a three-act play is enormous, so enormous I often doubted whether I had enough patience and determination to see it through. But once I had a clear concept of what I wanted the narrative to be like, of the overall tone, of the number and types of characters, the whole thing began to speed up. I started writing in early November and finished in late February. An early draft of the play I found in December is almost unrecognisable to the finished product, and I feel that actually finishing the script to a standard I was happy with was the most important thing. The play is called ‘Our Own Little Blizzard’ and has a cast of nine people, two of which are part of a chorus. There is a grandma, a boyfriend, two arrogant friends, a flirty GP and the protagonists are Harvey and Vicky, two siblings living together in London.  

During the Arts Week at the end of year 12, I was lucky enough to have Mrs Salway arrange for myself and 8 others to workshop scenes of the play with a professional director. Throughout the week, we condensed the play into a fifteen minute snippet that we performed the entire year group. The process of having others read and discuss my work was really gratifying and opened me up to the varying ways in which people interpret literature and characters.

Then I put on the play. From the 10th to the 12th of October the play ran from 7:30 to 8:50. For the five weeks previously myself and my devoted cast worked tirelessly to put on the show. I also directed the play, which really helped me get closer to my friends in the cast and allowed me to engage with my mental vision of what I wanted the play to look like. I also had to organise the programme, the music and the part of the set, but the cast were also really helpful in assisting me – I was so lucky that they were all so on board. The play was received really well, with people noting its subtlety and realism/naturalistic dialogue. I am really proud of what I have achieved and what the cast have achieved also, and I really look forward to finalising my Arts Award now the most difficult phase is over, and would urge others to undertake an Arts Award too!

Rebecca Nurse

For her Gold Arts Award Year 13 pupil Rebecca Nurse curated an exhibition entitled PAPER|COUTURE. This involved contacting a range of artists that worked in a variety of media to seek their agreement to have their work displayed in the exhibition. Through curating her own exhibition Rebecca gained a valuable insight into the work that goes into carefully selecting coherent artwork and the pressure that must be dealt with to succeed. From start to finish she was learning the process and putting together the exhibition for around ten months. By communicating with her artists she was able to experience a whole variety of personalities and approaches towards art.

Eastbourne College sixth-form art and textiles pupils were encouraged to enter their work as a part of a competition and some were chosen to exhibit alongside the professional artists. This was very well received by the public and the pupils enjoyed many compliments about their work from the other exhibiting artists. The exhibition was a huge success.

Megan Good and Bertie Beeching

As part of their Gold Arts Awards, Megan Good and Bertie Beeching worked collaboratively to produce and direct a production of “The Thirty Nine Steps” in order to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice. While the college provided some excellent support from the staff, this comedy-thriller was truly a student production in all aspects, featuring Ed Towey and James Tomlinson in the cast, and a volunteer backstage crew comprised solely of pupils at the College.

The play was enthusiastically received over all three performances, as the audience was taken on an adventure of a lifetime, as dashing hero Richard Hannay, attempts to clear his name after being implicated in a mysterious murder. Featuring Great British derring-do, double-agents, desperate murders, beautiful women, handsome heroes and more than a little humour, the quartet of actors were praised for the break-neck speed and attack with which they performed. With over 139 character changes in under 90 minutes, the audience were kept continually on the edge of their seats as more colorful characters appeared and locations changed in mere seconds.

The whole rollercoaster of a show was hugely entertaining, and the professionalism with which the team executed the project from start to finish surpassed the expectations of all. Much more importantly, in just three evening of collections, £890 pounds was for St Wilfrid’s, and it is safe to say that both Megan and Bertie feel their leadership project was a resounding success and are massively thankful to all those who got involved.

Michelle Chin

Michelle Chin staged an exhibition to illustrate the cultural diversity of China through photograph of hands and recorded interviews with the local people. As an aspiring artist, she hopes to develop the content of her work through capturing and presenting social and political issues from an alternative perspective. As a result of Michelle's passion for humanitarian work, the cultural merchandise and photographic prints sold at the exhibition will support the urgent needs of Chinese orphans.

Michelle commnted, "For my Gold Arts Award, I have worked with artist Mark Hewitt to extend my reportage photography by adding spoken word and sound. Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, I have interviewed some of my subjects about their lives and their views.

I chose to photograph hands instead of faces because I think that they reveal more about the person. In our society our appearances can be easily changed with make-up, fashion and even surgery, but our experiences and our history is written in our hands.

During my Shanghai visit I volunteered at The Will Foundation orphanage. Seeing first-hand the work that they do to offer children the opportunity of an education, love and care made me want to do more to help them. I decided to donate all profits from the sale of my prints and postcards to this cause."


Marianne Smith

As part of her Gold Arts Award, Marianne Smith organised a charity fashion show to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

This is a charity that College pupils have been actively supporting for over four years. In addition to securing sponsorship and support from Cornelia James (glove maker to the Queen), Marianne also received support from several local businesses.

Marianne commented: "The Charity Fashion show was a great event which allowed me to gain an insight and experience the busy fashion industry. This tested my communication and leadership skills - working with companies outside of school and creating a strong team of pupils who helped backstage. I feel like the weeks I spent planning and organising the event really paid off as the evening was a huge sucess raising over £1000 for Teenage Cancer Trust."

Teenage Cancer Trust Fashion show

Tom Page
Tom J Page produced and performed alongside professional actor Philip Mandelli Poole in the comedy thriller ‘I Am Hamlet’ by Richard James, directed by the College's Theatre Practitioner, Gavin Robertson.  This project was part of Tom’s portfolio of work for his Gold Arts Award.

The play was enthusiastically received over three performances drawing particular praise for Tom’s rendition of Simon Prentice, a young actor dreaming of playing Hamlet.  His poised and intelligent reading of not just the role but of the Shakespearean sections he was called upon to deliver was much admired by all who saw the show. Tom, who has already worked professionally and will apply to drama school next year, is an actor with a very bright future.

Tom's leadership project was 'Get Connected'. On completion he commented, "It was a great opportunity to work with everyone connected with the project. Having been actively employed with theatre beforehand, it was really nice to help those with disabilties to also get involved  because I believe it has a place for everyone."

Get Connected
I am Hamlet

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