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Posted on: 29/03/2018

Our Student of the Month March 2018

Jade is a second year student here at St. Charles Sixth Form College. She joined us Jadefrom The Moat School and is currently studying L3 Performing Arts and L2 Mathematics. She previously completed a BTEC L2 Art course achieving an overall merit and a GCSE Media at C grade. Jade particularly enjoys her Performing Arts course and states; “I have always been interested in Performing Arts and I like to perform.” Her main reason for enjoying the subject is that it allows her to step out of her comfort zone; “I’m autistic and I find it difficult to express myself in other ways and performance helps me express myself.” She also added that studying Media Studies and Art and Design in her first year helped with her self- expression and creativity.

There is a wide variety of college activities and events organised throughout the year at St Charles. Jade is an opportunist and is always willing to participate in a range of events as well as extra-curricular events outside college. Throughout the past two years at St Charles, Jade has demonstrated extreme dedication to the college community through her support of  these events. She has helped the Learning Support Department organise successful bake sales for the annual Macmillan BIG Coffee Morning raising lots of money for this very worthwhile cause. She was an active participant in  lunch events organised by the department  to celebrate International Women’s Day and she got stuck into some of their fun activities on site including Christmas parties, Easter egg hunts etc. Jade has a benevolent personality and is an active member of the College’s Charities Committee and attends meetings to discuss  fundraising events cross- college which ranges from selling coffee and biscuits during parents evenings to retreats off site in Kintbury, participating in college quizzes, organising Christmas hampers for the local community and getting involved in sponsored walks. Jade has also been an excellent tutor rep for her tutorial group for two years now always providing a helping hand and coming up with innovative ideas for tutorial activities. She willingly acted as a host on open eves in her role as tutor rep. carrying out the role admirably. Jade also threw herself fully into the College’s annual Christmas Cabaret production over the past years, performing in a number of acts with great energy and enthusiasm! Additionally, Jade has performed in events outside of St Charles to help other organisations to raise money as well as raising awareness. She worked with the Culture Makers in Westway Trust locally where a group of young adults are given control over their own creative projects. Jade had a budget of up to £400 and  chose to produce a short exploratory documentary which is called ‘Looking through Autism’ which can be found here. She has also been involved in local pantomimes which she has thoroughly enjoyed. She is indeed a busy and involved young woman!

Jade feels that her time at St Charles so far has been really worthwhile. She stated that ‘Learning support has provided focused help and support and are very attentive to my needs. Having teaching assistants (Larisa/Claire) in my lessons helps me feel comfortable and increases my confidence.’ Jade expressed that the Performing Arts department has also really contributed to her progression in her work; “Ms Nash is always available for support and is very observant. The course has helped boost my confidence significantly in performances and presentations and has encouraged and motivated me to experiment and be more creative. It gives me an opportunity to experience other aspects of performance such as singing and acting. I feel that this has made me a well-rounded performer. Furthermore, the content of the course has expanded my knowledge in the Performing industry and this has positively been reflected in my grades. I have had the opportunity to go on a variety of visits to theatres and performance workshops which have been excellent and we have had a range of speakers and performers in to work with us as well as drama and theatre alumni from St Charles, most recently from the well- known  Punch drunk Theatre Company which was excellent. There is always something extra going on in the Performing Arts Department to keep us motivated and learning! ”

Jade states that she has made great friendship groups within the college community through working with students who study Performing Arts and students who access  learning support. She added “My friends have made me feel so comfortable and they always support me”.  Aside from her Performing Arts studies, Jade has focused small group sessions with Ms Lancaster for Level 2 Functional Skills Maths. She comments “Ms Lancaster has gone through all lengths to try and make maths easier for me as it is a subject that I do not feel confident in. The focused group helps me feel less anxious and improves my concentration. Ms Lancaster is very patient with me and always makes sure I understand any questions I find challenging. My tutors Ms Gharakhanian and Ms Mbambe are very helpful and supportive of me also”.

Out of all aspects of performance, Jade’s strong passion is for dance and she has plans to study dance either at university or dance schools such as The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She aims to pursue a career as a dance teacher and continue to share her love for dance and performance with others. Ms Nash states;  ‘Jade has made excellent progress on the Performing arts course and is a joy to work with.  She has taken up every opportunity given to her.  Jade works extremely hard with her homework and coursework and always completes to high standards.  She has a great sense of humour and her kindness and support of others is much appreciated.  She dances beautifully and has real clarity and expression in her acting.  Well done Jade for being selected as 'Student of the Month! You deserve it!’
Ms Lancaster further added: “Since joining the college in September 2016, Jade has grown in confidence and has thrown herself into many projects. Working with Jade is a pleasure. She has excellent attendance and punctuality and is a great ambassador both for Learning Support department and for St Charles College in general”.  We are confident that Jade will continue to immerse herself fully in her studies and college life and continue to grow in confidence. We are proud of your journey to date Jade and are confident you will achieve your ambitions.