Creative Media Review of the Year

Staff and students from The Henley College are celebrating completing a new Creative Media Production course accredited by University Arts London (UAL) with 72 per cent of students gaining higher grades and a 100 per cent pass rate. The course replaced the BTEC Extended Diploma course at The Henley College in 2016.

Curriculum Leader Sarah Wilson said: “UAL is far more industry-based and students have longer to do their practical projects. They get to choose what they want to do and their specialism so I really do think it has worked. Our grades have improved after swapping to UAL and the students seem to enjoy it a lot more. Distinctions are a lot harder to get with the UAL course, the work has to be outstanding and meet industry standards and we’ve managed to get 17 Distinctions from our second-year students which is a massive achievement. We’ve got Distinctions out of students who didn’t think they could achieve it, but because they have been able to focus on projects they have a passion for means they have worked harder and they’ve managed to get their high grades."

Seventeen second-year students out of a cohort of 46 (37%) achieved the highest Distinction grade, (equivalent to three A Levels at grade A*). Sixteen students (35%) achieved a Merit, (equivalent to three Cs) and 13 students (28%) gained Pass grades.

Seventeen first-year students out of a cohort of 45 also achieved Distinctions for their Final Major Projects.

Students’ end-of-year work was shown for a week at the Old Fire Station in Henley town centre. Second years produced a wide range of work including short films, TV adverts, music videos, documentaries on mental health and radicalisation, photography and radio drama for their Final Major Projects.

Sarah added: “We have had a lot of lovely projects this year. Umar Hussain produced an outstanding piece of work. His specialism was stylised editing and he produced a music video which stood out above and beyond. Izzie Larter produced a music video which involved the whole class. She filmed with a group in Brighton and the science department helped us out. Catherine O’Loughlin produced the most amazing short-film which had everyone who watched it absolutely gripped. For her to be able to pull this off in her final Major Project is something we are all very proud of.“ Catherine gained a Distinction for her Final Major Project which has gained her a place to study Film at the University of Reading.

Student Alex Pausey said: “The teachers are supportive, they’re funny, they make us work hard but they make it enjoyable too. I’ve learned so much from doing this course.” India Funnell added: “Teachers go above and beyond to help us.” Ryan Felisi said: “It’s helped me build up my confidence. At the start of the course I was very shy and I wouldn’t talk to anyone but now I can speak to everyone.”

As well as enjoying academic achievement, 31 students from the course spent a week in New York during the Easter break, visiting the Museum of the Moving Image, the Empire State Building and Central Park. A number of students crossed the Brooklyn Bridge at dawn and watched the sun rise in Times Square.

Students are going on to study at university in Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester, London, Leeds and Liverpool and Reading.