Learners Make and Sell with MyBnk

April 20, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Education, Big Creative Training

Our Big Creative Training learners put on their entrepreneurial hats to design, create and sell their own T-shirts and tote bags in Walthamstow Market as part of the MyBnk Business Battle project, supported by the London Stock Exchange Group, which helps youths from London’s poorest boroughs learn negotiating and customer interaction skills. Our learners managed to make a £50 profit from an interest-free £50 micro loan in four days of selling. MyBnk is a UK-based charity who’s mission is to teach young people how to manage their money and set up their own enterprise. MyBnk’s experts deliver practical enterprise experiences by giving young people access to interest-free loans and market places to set up their own initiatives.

“At the beginning of the week I wanted to be a rapper, but now I want to set up my own business.” - Aman Guhinya, BCT student


Academy March Newsletter

April 10, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Academy

bca newsletter 1

newsletter 2

This newsletter was created by Academy learners Ela, Lottie, Patryk, Tiayanna and Makkadus.

Wellbeing Boost For Academy Learners

April 3, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Academy, Big Creative Education


Students at our Academy had a whole day to concentrate on their own wellbeing as part of our school’s ethos of character education. Collaborating with youth services within the borough of Waltham Forest and local police, we  hosted a carousel of workshops for students to learn about maintaining good mental health, anti-bullying, how to manage conflict effectively, substance misuse and their rights in stop and search. Students also received a motivational lecture from Paul Oginsky, an expert in character education, where the aim is “to claim self-esteem as a foundation for the student journey”.

As our Academy is home to creative arts students, the day had its own unique flavour with performances and music throughout. The music students also held a charity gig for the Give a Gig campaign raising money for Youth Music. Our Academy runs a Wellbeing programme alongside vocational courses to provide a framework for students to learn. Singer/Songwriter Raphaella also visited our campus to speak on her work with the #iSTANDfor anti-bullying campaign where she spoke on her experience as a victim and performed her single ‘Beautiful Like Me’ to a room of lucky learners.

“Many of our students have experienced social barriers in their lives and, by focusing on wellbeing, the Academy helps students overcome them. We want to emphasise students’ positive values and enable them to have the resilience to succeed.” - Sacha Corcoran MBE

Students found the workshops interesting and insightful. One student commented, “the health of your brain is really important and it’s good to have a day to really think about things. I’m going to start challenging myself to improve my self-esteem”. Another student said, “I learned some shocking facts about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain. I’d rather have a cup of tea!”

Industry Guest – Danielle Walters

March 23, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Education, Drama


Drama learners at our Academy got the chance to meet Actress Danielle Walters, known from her role playing Candice in the E4 hit show ‘Chewing Gum‘ and her husband Ashley Walters, otherwise known as ‘Asher D’ who was an avid member of So Solid Crew as well as an Actor who has appeared in Top Boy, Bullet Boy, Anuvahood and more. During the morning of the visit, drama learners worked in groups to prepare a short piece to perform to the guests when they arrive later that day. Learners worked quickly and effectively to write, choreograph and rehearse their performance just in time for 15:30 when Danielle and Asher arrived at our campus. The session kicked off with the group performances followed by valuable feedback from Danielle and Asher on their pieces. The visit was rounded off with a Q&A where learners got the chance to quiz the pair on their experiences in the industry, how they obtained their acting opportunities and their future goals.

E4 Chewing Gum performing arts course

Industry Guest – Rambi Murufu

March 8, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Academy


Entrepreneur and Wellbeing Specialist Rambi Marufu visited our Academy enterprise learners and provided a background on her personal journey and inspiration behind her brand, Tirivamwe. She describes her brand as a blend of fashion, culture and identity, focusing on head wraps as an expression of womanhood, sisterhood empowerment.

During her talk she gave context on the history and symbolism of the head wrap touching on the cultural, religious and spiritual aspects as well as its relevance in today’s world. She completed her talk by giving our young learners a chance to try out some head wraps and concluding her visit with insight on what has helped her to be successful as an entrepreneur such as the importance of goal setting and building a network of trusted people that you can seek guidance and sound advice from.


Industry Guest – Ira Dubinksy

March 7, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Apprenticeships, Big Creative Education

Level 3 Digital Marketing and Live Events apprentices were treated to an insightful peek at how retailer Marks & Spencer developed their heart-warming 2016 Christmas advert campaign by the head of Marketing and Christmas, Ira Dubinsky.

Ira contacted BCE himself, having passed by the buildings constantly on his route to work and being naturally curious, decided to reach out to us, wondering if he could share some of the things he’s learned. Ira began his presentation with an ice-breaker showing the class a funny advert from Brahma Beer which helped set the tone of his marketing philosophy; you should always be ahead of the competition and your creative ideas should reflect that. With the atmosphere set, Ira gave learners a brief summary of his background. He started off making websites for clients in his native Canada at sixteen with a few friends, which evolved into a small business that he later sold. Buoyed from this humble success, he later took a position at the Adobe Canadas head office in Ontario. From the years of experience gained, he went on to study an MBA (Master of Business Administration) at London Business School which gave him the knowledge to land a prestigious position at M&S.

Before showing the Christmas advert, Ira stressed the importance of Christmas, not only in terms of Sales growth but also how unique it is to Britain. For example, we know that all of the public transport systems are shut down on Christmas Day, but to Ira this was perplexing as nowhere else he knew of in the world did this! Ira then presented the three minute advert which left the room highly impressed at the film-like quality and its touching narrative.

Ira later went on to explain how the concept of Mrs Claus was created by the advertising agency by looking at trends in customer data, listening to focus groups and generally switching their approach from a logical, sales driven campaign to one that had much more emotion that would connect with an audience. They were working with and how they not only created the advert, but also grew the character of Mrs Claus into an ambassador for M&S over the Christmas period. They created a custom Twitter emoji, promoted the iconic red dress she wore in the advert, and had a live Q&A Twitter and Facebook presence. All of this accumulated into widespread positive press in national newspapers, a top trending rank on Twitter and the biggest sales M&S had seen in six years.

Needless to say, it was a huge success for Ira’s team and we were blown away the scale and the detail they used to help create such a broad campaign and we all look forward to what M&S will put out for Christmas 2017.

Take a peek at the 2016 Marks and Spencer Christmas ad ‘Mrs Claus’ below!



New Games, Animation & VFX Course

February 28, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Education, Big Creative Training, Gaming

We’ve teamed up with Next Generation Skills Academy to offer learners a level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills!


This course provides an employer-led qualification designed to provide learners with a broad range of skills across the Games, Animation and VFX industries. Learners will explore the fundamental skills required across art, animation, visual effects, games design, principles of 3D design, maths and product programming and knowledge of the ecosystem of the industries. Those choosing to continue studying for a second year will continue to explore the technical industry skills such as working practice, project and production management as well as researching an emerging technology or commercial trend with current or potential future implications across the mentioned industries.

The qualification is supported by large employers and SMEs from across the Games, Animation and VFX industries such as Microsoft, Moving Picture Company, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Blue Zoo, who are just a select few names who represent the employer group. 

Apply for September 2017 Next Gen Skills Academy


Music Learners Visit Rinse FM

February 28, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Training, Music

Five of our level 2 music performance and production learners had the unique opportunity of visiting Rinse FM studios during SK Vibemaker’s show on Tuesday 21st February. Learners Raynell, Muszino, Raf and Raheim have shown a massive level of commitment to their musical and academic progression and have shown great interest in getting to know the music industry better including radio production. Learners were accompanied by their Tutor Rowntree and on arrival were greeted by DJ SK Vibemaker who welcomed them into the Rinse FM studio and explained the general set-up of the studio, including practice rooms and how to produce a radio show. SK Vibemaker spoke with students about their musical preferences, their career goals and even saved 5 minutes at the end of his show to have a chat with them live on air!


“The trip to Rinse FM was an educational and motivational experience. I’ve learnt that you need to strive and have faith to succeed, maintain your success and that you can’t forget where you came from.” – Raf (level 2 Music Production and Performance)


Listen to our learners’ interview below at 1:20!

Apprentice Case Study – Rhianna

February 14, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Apprenticeships, Big Creative Education

Former BCE Music Business Apprentice Rhianna speaks on her role at Chrome Dreams:

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship instead of a traditional classroom programme (A level/BTEC etc.)? 
I chose to do an apprenticeship over going to sixth form because after three months of doing my A Levels I became frustrated with the lack of practical experience and independence it offered. I went with my gut and chose an apprenticeship based on what I enjoy instead of others’ expectations of me.


How did BCT help prepare you for your Apprenticeship? 
During the pre-apprenticeship period I completed a short qualification which prepared us on some practices in the workplace and our rights in the workplace giving me more confidence in what I was getting myself into. BCT are also incredibly well connected with employers and there were a number of opportunities and interviews on offer to us making the task of finding an employer far less daunting.


How did your Assessor support you whilst on your Apprenticeship? 
My assessor was Dave who was always on hand when we had questions or needed to some or advice whether it’s relevant to the course or our career development/professional lives generally. BCE assessors are easy to contact, approachable and genuine. I would often receive phone calls from my assessor to check in on how my job and the course are going to ensure each student gets equal attention and support.


Would you recommend an Apprenticeship and why? 
I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone because aside from having a more flexible and trustworthy style to it, going to work will boost your confidence massively, help you find your direction and connect you with people you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to meet until much later in life if at all. Doing this in addition to getting a Level 3 qualification is all-round beneficial to the student.


What have you been up to since completing your Apprenticeship? 
After I completed my apprenticeship I accepted a permanent position with my employer and furthered my experience and knowledge. During this time I also became involved with a local festival prompting me to get into promoting independently – I have my second gig coming up in May. Aside from developing in these areas I am now looking to move on from my current employer and further my education with a degree apprenticeship in Business Management, I’ve got an interview with the BBC for a scheme beginning in September. Fingers crossed!


What did you enjoy most about the BCE Apprenticeship programme? 
I liked the flexibility and respect gained from being a full time employee whilst being able to ease into adulthood with the support of amazing class teachers and assessors.


What skills have you learned from working on your placement and how will they help your career development? 
I have learnt administration skills which, even if you changed your mind/career path, are transferrable so there’s no need to feel stuck in any direction! I have learned more about professionalism and learning how to communicate and conduct myself to make the best of opportunities and advance in my career.


What’s your best memory from your Apprenticeship? 
The best memory from my apprenticeship was realising how invaluable it has been to me, when I reflected on the people I have met, the events I have helped coordinate and the prospects I have now. I realised that everything I had set out to learn about music and working in music I have learned and I have put into practice.


If you studied at a sixth form/college before, how would you say the experience differs? 
I studied A Levels for three months before choosing an apprenticeship and, personally, I felt more limited, more restricted, and less valued than when I was presented with the array of job opportunities and opportunities to learn through a number of routes for someone who had just finished their GCSEs. I feel that A Levels tend to blinker students and convince them there’s only one route to university or to their dream career when this is simply not the case.

Academy Principal on Patrol

February 6, 2017 - Posted By in Big Creative Academy, Big Creative Education


Principal of Big Creative Academy, Sacha Corcoran MBE became the first Principal to go out on patrol with the Waltham Forest Metropolitan Police. She believes it is paramount to understand the environment that her students come from in order to make their educational environment feel as safe and as comfortable as possible. As she is the first principal to conduct this, ITV news took the opportunity to  cover her patrol. They began with conducting a few one-to-one interviews with students who echoed the importance of the intrinsic link between the student environment and education, as well as giving their general thoughts on the police. Local Schools Officer PC Rakesh Samplay and Sacha both expanded on the influence of gangs in the local community and explained that despite the gritty relationship between the police and local gangs, students felt comfortable around Rakesh when he is stationed at the college.

“Education has changed and in order to educate within the classroom walls we must understand the world that our young people live in. As wellbeing and safeguarding is a priority for Big Creative Education, I asked the local schools officer PC Rakesh Samplay if I could come out on patrol to learn more about the borough that the students come from. It’s important to see first-hand the problems and risks young people face.
I embarked on my 8hr shift patrolling through local areas to see what it takes to keep our young people safe, seeing areas that now have dispersal zones to avoid  anti-social behaviour.
It was only 4.20pm and already three calls involving youths fighting, one with a weapon, were coming in across the borough. This was followed by the need to search for a missing 12yr old, as is so often the case of runaways taking up police time. I was struck by the need for agency support to deal with this problem a feeling that grew during the shift as many of the calls were social work drink or drug related. Not crime.
My time with the officers showed how multi agency approach, including schools, is so important. The more we can do to prevent the causes of crime, anti-social behaviour and drug and alcohol abuse means a valuable resource like the police can be used to deal with other matter such as the effects of social and community erosion.
I really enjoyed the experience and would urge other heads of schools to get to know their community and the environment in which their students live.”

- Sacha Corcoran MBE, Principal of Big Creative Academy