Autumn Highlights 2017/18
It has been an exciting and fast-paced start to the year. With the introduction of the Games Design and Film and Television courses, we are now the biggest we have ever been. All the new trainees have settled well and we are really looking forward to starting 2018 as the Year 13's start to lock in their plans post-ELAM and the Year 12's start to show us what they are really capable of. There are a lot of exciting announcements and projects lined up for the new year which we are looking forward to sharing shortly.
Our new approach to paperless reporting hopefully means we can share more information, photos, videos, games and information than ever before. Please read the department overviews below to see some of the specific highlights and updates from each area.
We hope you all have a restful and happy break!
This year has kicked off with a celebration of all things poetry. From National Poetry Day, new content on Instagram and ELAM Voices (check it out here), Poetry Society on Wednesday lunchtimes with Anna and an awesome English masterclass with Ben Holden, editor of 'Poems to Make Grown Men Cry'. We are also running our prize-winning National Theatre scriptwriting programme, New Views, on Wednesdays after school and Katy has already run some great sessions, several theatre trips and has taken our A level group to meet Kwei-Armah, the writer of the play they are studying for their exam and newly appointed Artistic Director at the Young Vic Theatre .
GCSE trainees have been revising hard for their exams in January (fingers crossed for these hard-working stars), Level 3 trainees have just received the feedback for their first poetry and commentary assignment and are currently reading the hilarious and uproarious 'Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao'. Finally, AS and A level have been looking at the underside of Victorian England in preparation for exams on Dracula and Rossetti including narcotics addiction, Peep Show culture and the strange and fascinating custom of photographing the dead and fashioning jewellery from their hair!
Games Design and Film and Television
This has been an incredibly busy and productive start to the first year of our Digital Media Programme, all kicked off by ELAM hosting the European Women in Games Conference in our first week of the new year.
Games trainees have been creating their own Rollerball Games and in particular some excellent Endless Runner Games (you can play some of them here) and where they have learned the basics of Games development programmes like Maya and Unity. They are currently working on a very exciting Virtual Reality Horror Environment Game which will be submitted after the Christmas break.
Film and Television trainees started the year with an Advertising production designed to get them working hands on with our excellent facilities. They have been learning the basics of how to film and edit as well as how to record and source sound. They are now working on collaborating with the Music trainees to produce a music video, which is a much more experimental form of film-making and will be handed in after the Christmas break.
In addition their curricular work there has been some incredible opportunities for enrichment. Some of our trainees have visited Mo-Sys VR capture studio, we’ve also offered for trainees to take part in a special Fight Choreography recording filmed live at ELAM. We’ve had awesome Masterclasses from Framestore Visual Effects Studio, award winning music video and short film director Oscar Hudson, influential Indie Game Developer Mike Bithell and a host of other great key industry professionals.
At the start of 2018 we will be taking our Digital Media trainees along to the prestigious VFX Festival as well as giving our Games trainees the opportunity to work on a Games Jam with Creative Assembly while our Film & TV trainees will be working with professional industry clients while working on an exciting Live Brief Project.
With a full term behind us now, it is time to take stock on what has been a jam-packed term!
In Songwriting with David, trainees took influence from some of the greatest protest songs of the 20th century to help craft their own song for political or social activation, with 6 of the best being performed at the London Southbank Centre. They’re now working on a seasonal banger which will be submitted after Christmas.
Trainees have learnt how to use Logic Pro X, an industry standard software used for writing music, producing their first composition taking influence from some classic chord sequences. On top of this, they now know how to setup and configure a music computer workstation consisting of an audio interface, MIDI keyboard, iMac, mixer and monitors. This has all been going down in Sequencing with Ed. Ed has also been guiding our first years through the various job roles in the music industry, helping them to identify their skills sets and to work on plans to help them make the most of their time at ELAM. Now, trainees will have a CV, personal statement, a professional website, Linkedin account and a video interview recording - all aimed to help the trainees prepare themselves for the world of work AND the two week industry work experience which will start in just over 1 month.
With Jamie, as well as taking their first aural test, learning to communicate using Solfege, reading and writing using staff notation, all trainees are preparing themselves to perform a graded piece on the piano!
To top it all off, trainees took to the stage at a sold out Camden Assembly (see above) for their Working as a Musical Ensemble performance. Katie, Jamie and Nathan from the project team were delighted with the vibe the trainees brought on stage and were impressed by the progress they had made over the last 6 weeks! Thanks again to everyone who came along to support.
The second year for our 2016 cohort has been full on, with trainees picking up new units in a range of new areas. In Industry with Ed, the trainees have launched record labels with the aim to promote and release original material later on in the year. They have been learning about contracts, licensing and royalties as well as distribution channels and platforms.
Lead by David (and co-taught by Nathan and Katie) the trainees have been preparing to put on their own event. Thank you to everyone who came to support at the Pre:View event at ELAM in October; on the night, the trainees gave the audience a small insight into what they will be performing at their own event which will be put on towards the end of January, early February. The team have been mentoring the trainees through booking venues, deciphering Tech Specs, building marketing strategies, perfecting the perfect set and budgeting and forecasting!
Katie has been busy this term, leading the trainees through two new units: Music & Society, where trainees explore the important role that music plays in society and the effect that technology has on music consumers and music makers. The second, Composing Music, which exposes trainees to musical composition in the wider context (not just songwriting). They have already created an original piece in collaboration with the Film & TV department and are currently working on original music for games!
Finally, in Aural, Jamie has been training the trainees’ ears, enabling them to communicate what they hear. This is a skill that many trainees have never developed - yes we can sing a note or we can play a chord, but telling another musician what note or chord it is, or what interval it is, is a tricky task. They have been using EarMaster, championed by Jamie, to help them develop their aural auditioning skills and expanding their musical vocabulary.
Outside of lessons, trainees have been exposed to a number of amazing industry masterclasses, songwriting workshops, extended day workshops and more. Our choir will be performing alongside The Compozers at the Roundhouse over the holidays which promises to be an uplifting night of music!
This year in maths we have been working hard on embedding a range of study support options to support trainees in their independent study and development of key skills. These range from the resources online on google classroom, kerboodle, mymaths and integral to the study sessions on Wednesdays after school.
This term our Level 3 trainees in year 12 have been studying percentages, exponentials and probability. While year 13 have been developing their exam technique and recapping key topics in preparation for their exams in May. GCSE and AS have been following the course presented in the online textbook which links through to a wide range of support material and A2 have been following a bespoke course which is designed to ensure that they have completed the C3 module by Christmas.
This term has also seen us engaging in the maths inspiration day where selected trainees learned about the maths of juggling!