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:

Advice about IT access and portable devices

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

Induction day for new Art & Photography students

29th June 2017

College Sports Trials

Deadline to complete by 14th June

Drama - Musical Theatre Production Auditions

Deadline to complete by 14h June

Duke of Edinburgh

Deadline to complete by 14th June

Instrument/Singing Tuition

Deadline to complete by 26th June

Participation in College Music

Deadline to complete by 14th June
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.

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

Induction day for new Art/Photography students

More information

College Sports Trials

Hills Road has over 35 teams in 20+sports to offer you competing in county, regional and national competitions. Due to our major team games being played in curriculum time, i.e. Wednesday afternoon, we need to try to ensure, where possible, that those students committed to playing for the College are timetabled to be free for training and matches at these times. We shall therefore be holding sports trials in order to identify the students most likely to play in College teams.
The major team games involved are rugby, cricket, netball, men's & women's football and men's & women's hockey.
Tennis, basketball, table-tennis, volleyball, squash and women's rugby are not affected by this restraint as fixtures and training are mostly outside curriculum time.
Venues for trials are as follows:
Men's & Women's Football & Men's Rugby - Luard Road playing fields
Netball - Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Hockey - University Hockey Grounds, Wilberforce Road (next to athletics track)
Rowing - Cantabrigian Rowing Club boathouse, Kimberley Road
Badminton - Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Tennis - Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre

Men's Football - Attendance on both days is essential as numbers of participants are high and this is the only fair way to assess everyone's capabilities.
Cricket - Trials will not be held for this but please indicate if you would be interested in learning how to play on the form in the link below.
Women's Rugby - Trials will not be held for this but please indicate if you would be interested in learning how to play on the form in the link below. Beginners welcome!

In addition to the sports mentioned above, Hills Road compete in numerous other sports. Please indicate your sport and competence on the online form.

Please make a note of the trial dates and times. No further information will be sent out. We will expect you to turn up at the time and place indicated if you have ticked the box to state that you will be attending the trials and you have read, understood and agree to the statement on the form.
Please wear appropriate kit for the sessions. There are changing facilities at all the sports venues.

Please complete the following form.
Thank you,
Ann Hemming, Head of Sport.

Drama - Musical Theatre Production Auditions

Auditions will take place for the College Musical Production on Wednesday 28th June 2017.
The Musical Production will take place at the end of the Autumn Term.
Deadline to complete the online form has been extended to Wednesday 14th June.

(The summer 2018 production will NOT be a musical and auditions will take place once you have enrolled at Hills Road).

Musical Theatre Auditions
The aim of the auditions is to assess overall skills as potential members of the musical company. We have yet to confirm which show we will be doing, and therefore, further auditions will take place in September for specific roles. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Audition format:
  • a short movement sequence to be taught in groups.
  • a pre-prepared song of your choice, preferably from a musical. Please bring a backing track or sheet music or be prepared to sing acapella. Seen individually.
  • either prepare a short monologue and/or be prepared to read a section of a script. Seen individually.
We will send out an audition schedule with exact timings on or before Tuesday 20th June. It is reasonably safe to assume you will get the morning or afternoon slot you request, so you will just be waiting for an exact time.

If you cannot join us on Wednesday 28th June, due to unavoidable circumstances, an alternative slot can be arranged on the morning of 19th July. Please indicate this where applicable on the online form.

Your parent will be required to sign the contract section of the online form. Please ensure that they are available to do so when you click the link to arrange your preferred audition slot.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Please complete the following form if you would like to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme here at Hills Road.

Instrument/Singing Tuition

The College employs a group of highly qualified instrumental and singing teachers to provide musical tuition for those students who request it during the next academic year.
Tuition is offered on woodwind, strings, brass, voice, guitar and bass guitar. Unfortunately, piano tuition is not available. The 30 x half hour lessons will take place in students’ study periods, after the end of the College day or during the lunch hour and will be arranged on an individual basis. Please note that this is a contract for the whole academic year and that no refunds can be given other than in exceptional circumstances.

The allocation of instrumental/singing lessons is based on the following criteria:

  • The student’s timetable;
  • The availability of the music teacher (i.e. the number of sessions that can be provided);
  • The number of instrumental /singing lessons that the student requires (if more than one instrument).

Every effort will be made to provide students with their first choice instrumental/singing lesson. Second choice lessons will be allocated once all first choices have been resolved. It may not always be possible to provide second choice instrumental/singing lessons.

The cost of lessons will be £20 per half hour session. As the College has to contract with its instrumental teachers, to provide tuition for the complete academic year, it will be necessary to ask you to pay the full amount of £600 or the first instalment of £250 by the booking deadline of Monday 26th June 2017.

There are two options for payment:-
Full Payment Option
– We use PayPal as our payment processor. You will need a debit or credit card or be able to make payment by PayPal (you do NOT require a PayPal account to make payment; payment can be made via PayPal as a guest). Required by Monday 26th June 2017.

Instalment Option
– We use PayPal as our payment processor. You will need a debit or credit card or be able to make payment by PayPal (you do NOT require a PayPal account to make payment; payment can be made via PayPal as a guest). Required by Monday 26th June 2017.

£175 via WisePay by 1st January 2018.
£175 via WisePay by 1st April 2018.

Confidential Financial Assistance
If your financial circumstances make payment difficult please contact Mrs Tracey Southwell, Student Services, by email: or telephone: 01223 278010 in confidence to discuss the matter. We expect to be able to offer some support to students who are eligible for the 16-19 Bursary Scheme, if lessons are needed to support the performance element of A Level Music.

At this early stage, we cannot promise that the lessons will take place; this will depend on the interest shown by students. Needless to say, your payment will be refunded if tuition cannot be arranged. If you would like your daughter/son to have instrumental or singing tuition at Hills Road please complete the online form by Monday 26th June 2017.

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.