East 15 acting school

What we're doing about COVID-19

Covid-19

Teaching Arrangements for Autumn 2021

Returning Students

As we come to the end of this year, we want to look forward to welcoming you back next term. We promised to say more about teaching arrangements for next year, so we want to give you the latest on some of the questions we know you want answers to.

How courses will be taught in 2021-22

We’re pleased to say that we expect most teaching will be delivered on campus. This will be made possible with appropriate COVID secure measures, such as supporting vaccinations across our student and staff community; regular COVID testing; managing a track and trace system; and supporting students to quarantine and self-isolate when required.

We will balance giving you the best possible campus experience with the need to maintain the safety of our community. If there are any restrictions and mitigations in place for activities taking place on our campuses, including for in-person teaching events, they will be based on the latest UK Government guidance for education and for the performing arts sector and the measures we want to take to keep you safe.

At East 15, most of our teaching will be continue to be on campus and in person. It may be that some modules and activities will blend in-person classes with some alternative teaching, learning and collaborative support to continue to deliver a high quality education. The hope is that Voice and Singing will be able to taught in person in the coming year, however we will only do so if it safe for staff and students alike. Over the past two years our team has developed a system of work that will allow some remote delivery and high quality learning if the state of the nation so requires.

We are dedicated to delivering a quality, transformative education and to supporting you to succeed in your studies and prepare for your future.

We want and expect you to join us on campus for the start of term.

At Essex, we are a campus-based university. East 15 offers you a distinctive, on-campus, living and learning experience, and you benefit from being on our campuses, sharing your Essex learning experience with fellow students and being part of our rich and diverse community. We want and expect you to join us on our campuses for the start of term. We are optimistic that progress with implementation of the UK vaccination programme will mean it is possible.

While we expect you to return to campus next year, we do understand that COVID-19 restrictions may affect your arrival. We will continue to offer a level of flexibility for those of you who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the first day of term (perhaps due to travel restrictions). Regardless of your location or method of accessing your learning, you will be able to register in the normal way at the start of the academic year through our online system.

At East 15 we will tell you the latest date by which you will need to arrive on campus as on-campus study will be required from the outset. However, normal arrangements relating to late registration and arrival will apply.

In case of periods of restrictions during 2021-22

If there are further waves of infection in the UK that result in restrictions being imposed, as we have in 2020-21, we will do all we can to make sure that your teaching and learning continues uninterrupted over the course of the year. While practical, creative arts subjects have been given the scope to carry on with face to face teaching, if absolutely necessary our approach also ensures that if things need to change, we can move to online only teaching for a limited period. We will continue to draw on our experiences of managing the pandemic in the 2020-21 academic year.

Even if your teaching moves to online only at some point during the academic year, you will be able to come onto campus and access our study spaces and wider facilities. In some circumstances we might need to control the number and capacity of on-campus activities to make sure social distancing is maintained and this might mean limiting the number of people using our facilities at any one time. All student services will continue to operate, whether in person or remotely.

Keeping you up to date

We are committed to sharing information with you as our plans develop. You may have further questions about your course and your plans for next year, which this update may not have answered. Please do not worry, we understand. When we know more, we will share the answers with you as soon as we can. We will provide regular updates over the summer, including more information about student life next year.


New Students

As we come to the end of this year, we want to look forward to welcoming you for the Autumn Term and give you the latest updates on some of the questions you may want answers to.

How courses will be taught in 2021-22

We’re pleased to say that we expect most teaching will be delivered on campus. This will be made possible with appropriate COVID secure measures, such as supporting vaccinations across our student and staff community; regular COVID testing; managing a track and trace system; and supporting students to quarantine and self-isolate when required.

We will balance giving you the best possible campus experience with the need to maintain the safety of our community. If there are any restrictions and mitigations in place for activities taking place on our campuses, including for in-person teaching events, they will be based on the latest UK Government guidance for education and for the performing arts sector and the measures we want to take to keep you safe.

At East 15, most of our teaching will be continue to be on campus and in person as it was at the end of the last academic year. It may be that some modules and activities will blend in-person classes with some alternative teaching, learning and collaborative support to continue to deliver a high quality education. The hope is that Voice and Singing will be able to taught in person in the coming year, however we will only do so if it safe for staff and students alike. Over the past two years our team has developed a system of work that will allow some remote delivery and high quality learning if the state of the nation so requires.

We are dedicated to delivering a quality, transformative education and to supporting you to succeed in your studies and prepare for your future.

We want and expect you to join us on campus for the start of term.

At Essex, we are a campus-based university. East 15 offers you a distinctive, on-campus, living and learning experience, and you benefit from being on our campuses, sharing your Essex learning experience with fellow students and being part of our rich and diverse community. We want and expect you to join us on our campuses for the start of term. We are optimistic that progress with implementation of the UK vaccination programme will mean it is possible.

While we expect you to arrive on campus for the start of the academic year, we do understand that COVID-19 restrictions may affect your arrival. We will continue to offer a level of flexibility for those of you who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the first day of term (perhaps due to travel restrictions).

Regardless of your location or method of accessing your learning, you will be able to register in the normal way at the start of the academic year through our online system.

At East 15 we will tell you the latest date by which you will need to arrive on campus as on-campus study will be required from the outset. However, normal arrangements relating to late registration and arrival will apply.

In case of periods of restrictions during 2021-22

If there are further waves of infection in the UK that result in restrictions being imposed, as we have in 2020-21, we will do all we can to make sure that your teaching and learning continues uninterrupted over the course of the year. While practical, creative arts subjects have been given the scope to carry on with face to face teaching, if absolutely necessary our approach also ensures that if things need to change, we can move to online only teaching for a limited period. We will continue to draw on our experiences of managing the pandemic in the 2020-21 academic year.

Even if your teaching is required to move online-only at some point during the academic year, you will be able to come onto campus and access our study spaces and wider facilities. In some circumstances we might need to control the number and capacity of on-campus activities to make sure social distancing is maintained and this might mean limiting the number of people using our facilities at any one time. All student services will continue to operate, whether in person or remotely.

Keeping you up to date

I hope this is a helpful update. We are committed to sharing information with you as our plans develop. You may have further questions about your course and your plans for next year, which this update may not have answered. Please do not worry, we understand. When we know more, we will share the answers with you as soon as we can. We will provide regular updates over the summer, including more information about student life next year.

We are looking forward to welcoming you as part of our Essex community next year.


COVID-19 update
  • Following the Government's announcement of new nationwide restrictions for England, we are continuing to run studio-based teaching and rehearsals where possible and safe, taking account of government guidance, including social distancing as appropriate. We are also supporting on-site teaching with some remote learning and preparation to enable you to continue with your studies under the current government restrictions.
  • Whilst we continue to adapt to the situations we find ourselves in, our focus as a School is to ensure that we can deliver conservatoire training in a safe environment and therefore weekly voluntary Rapid Antigen swab testing continues to be offered on-site across both campuses.
  • We will continue to monitor the progress and effects of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and react accordingly to any developments that make our plans impossible to deliver. If we need to adjust our plans in light of changing circumstances, we will contact our students with updated information about this.

 

A statement from the Federation of Drama Schools 

Federation of Drama Schools Statement
The FDS is committed to being adaptive, innovative and agile as we face the uncertainties of the time ahead and positive in pursuit of successfully navigating this pandemic as a sector united in the common pursuit of creativity, community and excellence. 
Federation of Drama Schools COVID-19 Statement - 8th April 2020

FDS COVID-19 Statement

Read more

East 15 Acting School is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) which represents twenty of the United Kingdom’s leading providers of professional conservatoire performance and technical training. 

 

As a community of artists, creators, and innovators, we have come together during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide support, guidance, reassurance and inspiration to our students, staff, graduates, alumni, colleagues and friends within the creative industries. 

The scale and impact of the coronavirus crisis has been significant upon our sector and related industries, which holds dear the ethos of embodied practice and the necessity of physical interaction in pursuit of understanding and celebrating the human condition. Whilst we are unable to determine the duration of the outbreak we are united in meeting the societal and educational challenges we collectively face with a shared determination and limitless imagination.

Download the full statement regarding the FDS response to COVID-19. 

 

Visit the Federation of Drama Schools website for more information.

 

Information for our current students, applicants and staff

Guidance for current students can be found on the University of Essex website via the button below.

Guidance for new applicants can be found on the University of Essex website via the button below. 

You can also find specific information for new East 15 students here and learn more about what learning and assessment looks like under the current COVID-19 restrictions at the bottom of this page. 

Guidance for staff can be found on the University of Essex website via the button below. 

 

Learning and assessment during the pandemic

 

We understand that you will have a lot of questions about what learning and assessment looks like under the current COVID-19 restrictions, so our team has provided some questions and answers. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries.

Q&A

How will I be taught and assessed? And how is this approach different to what would have been delivered previously?

Teaching comes in various styles at East 15: workshops, supervised rehearsals, skills classes, coaching, lectures, seminars, tutorials; assessment will be continuous and based on satisfactory participation in sessions, performances, portfolios, single and group presentations.

 

Our successful third term of 2019-20, when due to government guidelines face-to-face teaching had to be suspended, we found for some, teaching the face-to-face experience can be supplemented with effective online techniques that enhance the learning experience and respond to our changing industry. Our ‘Summer Season’ moved online, and students creatively embraced all medias, including film, audio, animation, digital performance and even Minecraft!

 

This year, group sizes may be smaller, some exercises can be viewed online, alternating with studio time, however the learning experience for our students will remain practically orientated. The bulk of the teaching will still be studio-based, with student bubbles created to enable performance. We have set aside additional weeks for taught classes in the 2020-21 calendar year that will allow us greater flexibility in delivering teaching under social distancing guide-lines.

What are some of the benefits of these changes for me?

Students will be able to safely access practical and vocational training with changes that effectively mirror what is happening in the industry as it adapts to the challenges of Covid-19. Students will now leave with more technical and creative skills enabling them to make work online and thrive in circumstances where the immediate prospects for live performance are compromised. You will leave East 15 with a greater volume and higher quality of digital footage to support your self-promotion and employability. The use of smaller groups offer more personalised learning and the live-streaming of student productions allows work to be seen by a wider audience than in a theatre building. Fundamentally, your training will instil the flexibility and resilience required for drama practitioners in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world. 

How will the quality of education be guaranteed?

The retention of studio driven learning maintains quality of learning and all of the education will be delivered by our experienced teaching staff and a high proportion of freelance professionals who are currently active in the industry.

 

If adjustments to the amount of face-to-face teaching are required in light of changing circumstances, we now have tried and tested strategies to ensure that a dynamic range of classes can continue and learning outcomes can be fulfilled through online provision. Additionally, our new structure of term dates builds in the capacity to reschedule key activity to other points in the year if face-to-face teaching has to be temporarily suspended. All of our training provision is discussed and reviewed by external examiners who are similarly established educators at other universities and drama schools and/or active drama practitioners pursuing successful professional careers and we will continue to receive regular feedback from our students to ensure that we maintain high standards that we are known for around the world.

Are there any significant changes to course structure and availability of modules?

Students at East 15 follow a set of core modules for each course, and all modules to complete your studies are on offer in this current year. Overall course structures remain intact with minor adjustments, and we are ready to flex the timing of these if it is possible to benefit from any future relaxation of social distancing measures while keeping you safe. Any changes or alterations that have been made to courses are the result of our constant process of reviewing provision to ensure industry relevance and to take account of student feedback.

Safety first

Below are some of the strategies and measures we have introduced for the coming term to allow as much of our teaching as possible to be face-to-face:

  • Extension to the usual term dates and using evening sessions to teach our standard hours of delivery which allows for reduced numbers in studios 
  • Staggered start times to control movement around our Campuses 
  • Creation of student “bubbles” to enhance performance and learning opportunities in smaller groups 
  • Opportunities for staff to teach remotely while students work as a bubble in a studio space 
  • Enabling the live-streaming of performances from our theatres 
  • Offering, where effective, a limited number of hours of on-line teaching for relevant subjects 
  • Running some outdoor classes  
  • Rescheduling those activities most reliant on physical interaction to the latter end of the academic year 
  • Most submissions of written work will be online, reducing the need to handle printed hard copies
  • Increased cleaning and sanitation of studios and common areas, and increased hand sanitising stations
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