New Student Information

Welcome to the new student information area for students who are holding an offer from us to join Hills Road Sixth Form College in September 2017.

Please find below more information about the following:

Sports Training Dates 2017

Learn to Row

Advice about IT access and portable devices

and the following if it is relevant to you or you are interested in finding out more:

Participation in College Music

There will be a final opportunity in early September to audition for an ensemble. Full information will be given at that time.

Sports Training Dates

More information

Learn to Row Course in association with Cantabrigian Rowing Club

If you are a novice or have limited experience of rowing, this is an opportunity for you to receive coaching and become a proficient rower.

As part of the enrichment programme there is an opportunity to join the ‘Learn to Row’ course. This course happens on a Saturday for 10 weeks in the autumn term. Start date and times to be confirmed.

If you wish to join this course (as your enrichment) you need to be able to commit every Saturday afternoon and be able to make your own way to the CRA boathouse or the Cantabrigian boathouse on the River Cam.

Full addresses are as follows:
CRA Boathouse, Kimberley Road, CB4 1HJ
Cantabs Boathouse, Pepys Court, CB4 1GF
There is a cost of £30 that needs to be paid by on Friday 8th September, 2017 using Wisepay.

In previous years many ‘Learn to Row’ students have progressed really well and so enjoyed the experience that they have joined one of the college competitive crews at the end of the course and continued rowing in the spring and summer terms. Although this is optional, if this is something you choose to do then we need to ensure that your timetable frees you on a Wednesday afternoon to join the squads in the spring term.

If you definitely want to secure a place, please complete the online application here by Tuesday 29th August, 2017. There are limited places (20) available, places will be confirmed on a first come first served basis. We will notify you by Monday 4th September.

Advice about IT access and portable devices

At Hills Road we provide all students with an Office 365 College account. Office 365 is a cloud service. This means that your work is stored by Microsoft on the internet within an individual Hills Road College account area. Your work can be accessed easily using devices that have an internet connection, including personal portable devices that you can bring into College and use on our WiFi service. The files that Office 365 works with are primarily Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
In College there is often a high demand for our open access fixed PCs at peak times in the day. At these times if you use a personal device you can review and edit your work independently.
We offer the following advice to students regarding suitable personal devices based on the experience of current students. Office 365 works well on the following:
  • Laptops, tablets and phones running on Microsoft Windows
  • Tablets and phones running on Android or Apple IoS
A full Windows laptop has the added benefit that the complete version of Office software can be downloaded and installed by our students for free. This integrates fully with your online files. At present the experience of students using MacBooks is less successful; they can edit and review their work within an internet browser. However access to the full Office software that is in theory available free to download and install has been much less reliable. This might improve in the future, but this may be the result of a lack of full compatibility between Apple and Microsoft products.

Producing work or 'browsing'
As you all know browsing and emailing on a phone is easy but typing and editing text is much less straightforward. It can be done, but 1000 words for an essay would be difficult. In light of this we recommend that you have a reasonably sized keyboard. Laptops generally have good keyboards, on screen tablet keyboards can be ok if they are of a reasonable size, but smaller tablets would certainly benefit from a Bluetooth keyboard. Bluetooth keyboards are relatively inexpensive accessories and can make a massive difference to the speed that text can be entered.

Support for personal devices
We endeavour to provide an appropriate level of WiFi connectivity that is compatible with a wide range of devices. Our IT Service department is happy to offer support regarding connection. However these devices remain personal to you and as such are your own responsibility to maintain.
If you have any questions before you join us regarding personal devices on our network, please email

Participation in College Music

All students are very welcome to participate in Music at Hills Road, regardless of whether you are studying Music A level. These are the current ensembles we offer:
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Orchestra
  • Jazz Orchestra
  • Folk/Roots Group
  • Instrumental Awards (chamber music e.g. piano trio, wind quintet, string quartet, saxophone quartet)
  • College Choir
  • Jazz Choir
  • Chamber Choir
Please click here to register your interest in participating in any of these musical activities.

Auditions Some ensembles are audition-only, some are partly auditioned, and some do not require an audition. Please see the list below for clarification:

Audition essential: Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra (all woodwind and all brass and all principal positions auditioned); Instrumental Award Ensembles.

Partly auditioned: Symphony Orchestra (all woodwind and all brass and all principal positions auditioned; other strings, audition preferable but not compulsory), Wind Orchestra (audition preferable, but not compulsory).

Not auditioned: College Choir, Jazz Choir, Jazz Orchestra, Folk/Roots Group. Percussion players are not required to audition and nor are harpists.

Auditions will be held between Thursday 22nd June 2017 and Tuesday 11th July 2017 inclusive.

  • Woodwind, including Saxophones, and Brass with Mrs Kate Murdoch
  • Strings and Piano with Mrs Helen Higgins
  • Voice with either Ms Julia Caddick or Ms Helen Groves
The current audition booking session is now closed.
There will be a final opportunity in early September to audition for an ensemble. Full information will be given at that time.

Please do not telephone the Department to organise an audition time. If you really cannot make any time during the audition period, then a final audition period will be offered at the beginning of the Autumn term.

All auditions will be held in the Music Department at Hills Road Sixth Form College. A list of rooms being used will be displayed on the day. You need to prepare a 2-minute piece of your own choice (no accompaniment required and none provided) and be prepared for some sight-reading. Minimum instrumental standard suggested for auditioned places is Grade 5. Singers ideally need previous choral experience, but no grades required. Please note that audition results will not be published until early in the Autumn Term.

Instrumental Award Scheme
The purpose of this scheme is to create small ensembles (which could include jazz/rock) of the highest quality. Award holders will be placed in an appropriate ensemble and expected to rehearse regularly (an hour a week) and will receive coaching from professional musicians. The ensembles would be expected to perform in Hills Road Chamber Concerts, and to participate in community performances.

The minimum standard required for an instrumental award place is Grade 7 but is typically Grade 8+. If you would like to be considered for an Instrumental Award please sign up for an audition in the normal way, as outlined above.