Our florists regularly have the chance to get involved in exciting enrichment activities, and the beginning of 2017 has been no exception.
Students were invited to create flower displays for the glitzy annual cover party for Radio Times – the best-selling TV magazine – at London’s famous Claridge’s Hotel on 31 January. The brief was challenging to say the least: using a bronze, navy blue and ivory colour scheme, students had to develop both large displays and a huge 14ft floral arch which was positioned in the hotel’s ballroom as a show-stopping centrepiece.
The florists rose to the challenge, and their beautiful displays were much-appreciated. Following the event, the client wrote: “I just wanted to thank your amazing team and students for the gorgeous flowers last week. I hope they enjoyed doing the flowers as much as we loved looking at them!”
Our floristry students are also looking forward to the return of an inspiring guest speaker, Sacha Ansell of Cherry Blossom UK, who will visit the College on 6 March. A floristry employer, entrepreneur and inventor of new floristry products stocked in retailers such as Hobby Craft, Sacha is also in the process of creating her own TV programme and is keen to share her experiences with our students.
Tutor Louise Roffey says: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our floristry learners such a diverse range of experiences. The chance to work at high profile events, and to hear speakers like Sacha who have such valuable industry experience, really complements what they learn in the classroom.”
Lewisham Southwark College’s Technical Theatre students are reaching out to schools and highlighting an exciting backstage job opportunity – costume design. The students recently took their ‘Costume Challenge’ workshop to Deptford Green Secondary School where they challenged school students to create costumes for famous characters using just brown paper and parcel tape.
Run as an after-school activity, the workshop not only gave school students the chance to try their hand at a practical task, but also encouraged them to use essential employability skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving, leadership and working to a tight deadline.
Our Technical Theatre students, who facilitated the workshop, demonstrated strong leadership skills in managing and delivering the workshops to industry-level expectations.
Tutor Ian Shillito says: “Our students’ enthusiasm for Technical Theatre was infectious, and the children were inspired to produce some really creative designs. This was a great opportunity both to showcase our course and to get school students thinking about a career in the industry.”
There are now plans to roll the workshop out across other local schools this term.
The College’s Technical Theatre courses cover the many different disciplines that come together to support a performance – set design, sound and lighting, stage management, costumes and make-up – preparing students for successful careers with major production companies and on national and international tours.
A kind act, word or compliment can brighten a person’s day or even change their life for the better. That’s why we’re supporting international Random Acts of Kindness Week on 12 to 18 February – culminating with Random Acts of Kindness Day on 17 February – at Lewisham Southwark College.
On this day and week, people are encouraged to perform small acts of kindness for the people around them – whether that’s a friend, loved one, or total stranger. An act of kindness can be anything from ‘paying it forward’ in your favourite coffee shop (buying a cup of tea or coffee for a future customer), to leaving a nice comment on someone’s blog or Facebook group.
Here in the College we’ll be celebrating with a ‘Wall of Kindness’ where students and staff can leave kind comments and quotes about their friends, families and teachers on colourful sticky notes. The walls will be displayed at both our Lewisham Way and Southwark campuses for two weeks, from 6 to 17 February. We’ll also be setting up a ‘Free Table’ where people can freecycle things they no longer need, and supporting the week online with fun activities including quizzes and some surprises!
With Random Acts of Kindness Week about to begin, it’s time to think about how you can make someone’s life better with a simple kind act. To get inspired, follow the hashtags #GetKind and #RandomActs to see what other people and organisations are up to. You can also share your acts of kindness with us on social media using these hashtags and we’ll like, favourite, and share the ones we like best.
You can find some of our favourite acts of kindness, as well as links to other ‘Kindness’ resources, on our official Random Acts webpage:
Our Technical Theatre students got one step closer to their dream of winning the Royal Opera House Design Challenge – a hugely prestigious national competition for budding set and costume designers – when they exhibited their work at a special event in College on 7 February.
The talented students are hoping to repeat the success of two years ago, when a Lewisham Southwark College Tech Theatre student was awarded as winner.
The design competition is run by the Royal Opera House in partnership with Creative and Cultural Skills, and challenges each student to take on the role of either set designer or costume designer. This year, entrants had to decide on a director’s vision of the classic 19th century opera Madame Butterfly, developing ideas for the re-imagining of the opera in a time or location well known to us today. The work forms part of the Level 3 Technical Theatre Arts UAL Diploma course.
The students’ entries, which tutor Ian Shillito describes as “current and clever”, will now be judged internally and a shortlist (one applicant from each discipline) will be put forward for the next stage of judging at the Royal Opera House.
The overall winners in each category will get the chance to exhibit their work and attend a special day at the Royal Opera House, including a backstage tour and performance.
For our technical theatre, drama, dance and music students, the beginning of the year has seen some amazing opportunities – from working with renowned theatre companies to attending a university masterclass!
Our tech theatre students are busy working on the Royal Opera House’s prestigious annual Design Challenge – trying to repeat last year’s success when they won – as well as helping backstage with the English Touring Theatre on upcoming productions of ‘Silver Lining’ by Sandi Toksvig and ‘Nell Gwynne’. Somehow, they are also finding time to think about Higher Education opportunities: they’ll soon attend a masterclass by University of South Wales and are also due to go on a backstage tour at RADA in February.
Meanwhile our drama students are also benefiting from a host of great opportunities. Year 1 students are currently taking part in a 6-week series of acting workshops delivered by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as well as preparing for a site-specific production of Brecht. Year 2 students have two performances coming up, both of which will be staged at our exciting new Southwark campus. One of these productions will be in partnership with exchange students from Riga Cathedral School in Latvia as well as the College’s FD Music students.
It’s also a busy and exciting period for our dance students as they prepare for their final shows which will take place at the LW Theatre (for HNC students) and Peckham Theatre (for Level 3 students).
Head of Performing Arts, Jon Fell, says: “The way our students have seized these opportunities shows how proactive, hardworking and professional they are. What they’re learning through these hands-on activities will be invaluable as they progress on to work or further study.”
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