Following Dv8’s successful merger with London Learning Consortium (LLC) we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Sharpe as our new Principal of Dv8 Sussex.

Jim Sharpe has been Principal at East Sussex College Hastings since January 2018, with responsibility for quality assurance for the entire East Sussex College group. Alongside this role, Jim is also Chair of the Advisory Board of a local secondary school. Prior to January 2018, Jim was Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality for Sussex Coast College and led the college’s successful Ofsted inspection to a grade 2. Jim has worked in schools and colleges across the UK for 25 years, as a teacher, curriculum leader and senior manager, in both the state sector and private sector.

Dv8’s founder, Dan Wallman, who now moves into a new role as Director of Youth Services with LLC and remains on the Dv8 Board of Directors, says “we are absolutely delighted to have been able to appoint Jim as our new Principal at Dv8. Jim brings with him a huge wealth of experience in successfully managing a large FE college group in Sussex, and is the ideal addition to lead the college into a new era as we continue to develop and grow our provision in Sussex.”

Jim Sharpe says: ‘’I am really excited to be taking up the post of Principal at Dv8. Over the last 17 years under Dan Wallman’s leadership, Dv8 has become renowned for the impact of its individualised, supportive education it provides to students across Brighton and East Sussex. I am really looking forward to joining the established leadership team and working with them and the Board of Governors at LLC, staff and students, to continue the Dv8 journey as part of the LLC family of providers.”

We wanted to update you on student timetables for the start of term on Monday 21st September 2020.

Individual learner timetables will be sent out by 5pm on Thursday 10th September to the email address that the student applied with. 

We are working hard to ensure that learner groupings and learning arrangements are optimal for both adhering to social distancing and the best outcomes for their studies. 

If you need to update your email address with us, or have any questions at all, please email us at

Due to the update released from Ofqual on Monday 17 August (click here), the system for receiving GCSE results is now as follows.

Students will receive their Centre Assessed Grades on Thursday 20 August – these are the grades Dv8 submitted to the exam boards.

Next week the Exam boards will confirm these grades. Grades will either stay the same or will go up. Students will not be penalised by grades going down.

Once we have your final grades we will release new results statements to you.

Students that have booked a time slot should still come into school as expected to collect their results. If you haven’t received an allocated slot please contact the centre coordinators below.

Should we receive notice of any further changes to the GCSE results we shall post updates on our website and on social media.

In March 2020 Dv8 Sussex received their latest full Ofsted inspection, in which a ‘Good’ grade was awarded for their High Needs provision and ‘Requires Improvement’ for 16-18 Study Programme provision. There were many positives seen by the inspection team, with the final report commenting that:

“Students appreciate and benefit from the inclusive environment at DV8. They like the small class sizes, the caring attitudes of tutors and support staff, and the welcoming behaviour of fellow students”.

“Leaders and managers at DV8 have a clear strategic intent for the curriculum. They use creative subjects to engage hard-to-reach young people in learning that aims to develop their wider social, personal and employability skills……the great majority of students, many of whom come from challenging backgrounds, complete their studies… Students who attend regularly develop self-confidence and personal resilience.”

Dv8’s provision for learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) gained particular praise, with the report grading this areas as Good and stating that “Students with high needs do better than their peers. A higher proportion attend classes regularly and achieve their qualifications. Many move on to higher-level qualifications and employment.”

Areas to improve upon included:

  • Improving attendance and punctuality
  • Ensuring all learners gained timely careers advice
  • Continuing to improve higher grades achievement in GCSE Maths and English.

Following Dv8’s recent merger with London Learning Consortium, Dv8’s founder, Dan Wallman, stated that “whilst there are areas to improve further, we are proud of the many positives in the report and would like to thank all of the teams who have worked so hard within our provision since our last inspection. We continue to provide a unique and essential service for young people who often have not achieved in mainstream education, and who feel safe, valued and achieve at Dv8. Our new partnership with LLC will help Dv8 go from strength to strength and support our aim to become an ‘Outstanding’ provider for young people in the South East”.

Paul Mitchell the chair of the Dv8 Advisory Board commented: ‘The Dv8 Advisory Board is delighted that Dv8 has improved its OFSTED grade to ‘Requires Improvement’. This represents good progress but with distance still to travel to the aspiration of a ‘Good’ grade in the near future. The board wishes to acknowledge the hard work of all Dv8 staff and the contribution of key individuals and partner organisations who have supported Dv8 on its recent journey’.

To see the final report please download here

For more information on LLC please see

Dv8 Sussex are pleased to announce our acquisition by The London Learning Consortium who are also joining the Bexhill Hive CIC. The acquisition is part of Dv8’s plan to further develop as an organisation and LLC’s intention to grow its young people’s provision in London and across the South

London Learning Consortium is a Community Interest Company that works for the benefit of communities and businesses across London and the South East. They deliver skills and education programmes in partnership with Voluntary and Community Sector organisation and share many common values with Dv8. As well as young people’s provision this step enables LLC and Dv8 to broaden the scope and scale of its adult provision and increase its training and curriculum offer to funders, employers’ and learners alike.

As part of this initiative, Dv8 Sussex’s founder, Dan Wallman moves across to LLC and begins a new role as Director of Youth Services where he is to head up LLC’s young people’s activities and continue his strong connections with DV8. In taking up this new role Dan stated that “ I am really excited about the opportunities that this will now bring for both Dv8 and LLC and am so pleased to be able to continue Dv8’s extraordinary journey, after 17 years as an independent provider in Sussex, to now be part of the LLC family of providers. I’m looking forward to joining the LLC team in my new role and sure we will go from strength together, offering brilliant provision for young people across the South East.

LLC CEO Stephen Jeffery said that “We would like to thank Dan Wallman and the advisory board of DV8 in working so positively with us to help this development. This is a fantastic opportunity for two community focussed organisations to come together and ensure strong and independent young people’s provision across London and the South’.

DV8’s advisory Board Chair, Paul Mitchell, remains to Chair the new LLC subsidiary and had this to say ‘The Dv8 Advisory Board has worked closely with LLC and Dv8’s Senior Management Team to support the acquisition process and recognises the significant advantages and potential opportunities of the two organisations pooling their expertise and resources for the benefit of young people, employers and staff’.

On completion of the acquisition LLC’s Chair Dr Calvin Pike said, “Sharing a common determination to work for the benefit of communities and businesses across London and the South East, we welcome DV8 Training Ltd and Bexhill Hive CIC to our group. We are confident this development will continue to strengthen our services and enhance both provision and choice for current and future learners within the sector.”

Our Heads of Centre and Course Leaders have created this video introducing themselves to all of our new starters for September 2020. We hope that now you will be able to put a name to a face and know who you will be working with over your time with us.

More content will be coming your way soon, along with communications regarding enrolment and how to prepare for your start with us.

If you have any questions regarding your application or your course, please contact us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We can’t wait to meet you all and see you start your journey with us at Dv8! 


On Friday 19th June, we launched our End of Year Showcase virtually!

The showcase celebrates all of the hard work our students have been creating over the past year. It has been a crazy year (to say the least), however the students have worked incredibly hard regardless and we are very proud of them.

On the website, you can browse through the work created by our students from our sites in both Brighton and Bexhill. From fashion to gaming, media to music, there is a wide variety of different work on offer.

We hope you enjoy and a special thank you to Charlotte and Chloe for all of their work in creating the website.

You can visit the website here.

Finally, we wish all of you a wonderful summer and look forward to another year at Dv8 Sussex in September.

To all Students, Parents, Carers,
You may be aware that the Government guidance on the reopening of schools this week included the provision for Year 12 students to begin to return, where possible, to education settings from June 1st.
This guidance is intended to support young people who are in the middle of two year programmes with potential exams and large assessments at the end of next year. 
We will continue to prioritise the safety of all students and staff at Dv8 at all times. Before any decision is made to resume physical delivery in the centres in Brighton and Bexhill, we must first be sure that this can be done safely, meeting all key criteria set out by the government to re-open education and work settings settings and that the risks to students’ and staff health can be effectively managed. 
We are working closely with the Local Authorities in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex as well as our Advisory Board, to assess the position and we will not be making any decision on a date to re-start face to face learning at the Dv8 centres until we can assure the safety of all concerned. We will need to take into account the spaces in the centres themselves, travel arrangements of students, as well as the current academic and pastoral needs of our students. 
As there will be just three weeks of term remaining after June 1st, we will need to think carefully about the potential benefits to learners, against the potential risks we will be asking staff and students to take to come into the centres at this time. Following a survey in March of parents and young people in vulnerable groups, it was clear that the overwhelming preference was for students to continue to learn remotely.  We would like to know your views on any potential return to face to face learning in the centres and if you are the parent or carer of a young person in a vulnerable group, we will be emailing you with a short survey to complete next week. 
For the moment we will be continuing to offer our provision on-line, as we have been doing successfully since the lockdown began in March. There has been so much excellent work undertaken in this time and it is a credit to the students and teaching teams that many students are now successfully coming to near the end of their course and entering their final assessments for their qualifications. 
We thank you for your understanding and support during this very difficult time for everyone and we hope that all students and families are keeping safe and well. We will continue to keep you updated if there is any change to our current plans for delivery. 
Kind Regards,

The Dv8 Team

Dear Students, Parents/Carers,

We understand how unsettling the past weeks have been for you, in the rapid changes that the COVID-19 virus has had on our lives.

Our aim in this is to be fair to all students this summer and to make sure no one is disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented circumstances.

Dv8 has been committed to delivering our curriculum online since lockdown began, sticking to the timetable for lessons and delivering both new content whilst also allowing time for our students to develop and improve previously assessed work. 

We would like to thank the staff and students who have responded so quickly and positively to the many changes brought upon us in such a short space of time. Much good work has been going on through Google Classroom and through student submitted to complete vocational qualifications. 

We will continue to deliver as per our timetable until the end of term and have planned curriculum to support learners to achieve qualifications as planned, continue to develop creative skills and prepare for their next stage in learning or career. 

Vocational qualifications.

We have ensured that learners have been able to stay on track with work as closely to our pre-existing assessment plan as possible. We are working to exam board guidelines and at this time we expect to have an External Quality Assurance process to sign off work for this year.

However, we are still awaiting Ofqual instructions for how we deal with assessment that has not been able to be undertaken because of the lockdown. Dv8 will endeavour to keep you updated on this matter. 

Please be rest assured that going forwards all of our decisions will be in the best interests of our learners. 

Existing Ofqual guidance can be found here:

Whilst some learners have struggled to maintain full attendance in this period, please rest assured we remain committed to engaging with all students and ensuring that their learning continues during this lockdown period. 

We have been contacting all learners on a regular basis to ensure that they can be supported to engage, either through additional pastoral or learning support or through bursary support and equipment to allow for online access. 

If you are unsure what your young person has been working on, or where they are with their studies, please do contact the relevant Vocational Curriculum Area Lead listed below. 

Dv8 Bexhill:

Rich Cross (Music, Art/Fashion, MMD)

Paul Oliver (Games)

Kieran Faulkner-Mahon (Media)

Dv8 Brighton

Aaron Seigel (Music, Events)

Paul Oliver (Games)

Kieran Faulkner-Mahon (Media, FCL)

English and maths qualifications.

At Dv8 we offer two different routes: Functional Skills English and Math and GCSE English and Math. Following recent updates from Ofqual and our awarding bodies, please see below our plan going forward for this academic year. 


GCSE exams planned for May and June 2020 will not take place. Dv8 will submit a grade for each learner that is based on the work completed before 20th March 2020. This is in line with the instructions given by Ofqual during the Easter break. 

How will grades be calculated? 

Dv8 has been asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each subject, based on what we know about students work and achievements: 

  • a grade we believe students are most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned 
  • an order the performance of each student by grade, within each subject 

We are currently working on the process that will enable our teaching teams to standardise their judgements. This will consider a range of things like students’ classwork and homework and any mock exams taken before 3rd April; and general progress during studies with us. 

This information will be shared with exam boards at the end of May 2020 which will allow them, with Ofqual, to standardise the grades of all across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when (GCSE students in England) making those judgements. 

This means the final grade students get could be different from the one we send to the exam board. 

Important note: Ofqual and the Exam boards have specifically instructed all schools and colleges to not disclose this information to students/parents/carers. 

The Data Protection Act also provides an exemption from Freedom of Information requests on this information until after the exam results have been published. 

Please note that teachers and staff at Dv8 are not allowed to share the grades they will be sending to the exam boards or where they have placed you in the order of students. Please do not request this information as to do so would be in breach of our obligations and against national regulations. 

Functional Skills 

No further exams (online or written) will be sat this academic year. As with GCSE’s Dv8 will be required to submit grades (Pass or Fail) for all students who are on this pathway, a process provisionally booked for mid-June. Like GCSE’s tutors will decide this mark by looking at evidence (such as sample assessments, Mock papers) to ensure there is a fair judgement. As with GCSE’s our grades are subject to change as these are to be standardised across England, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged. 

This means, that this term, more than ever, is crucial for students on this pathway to engage in teaching and learning. If you have English or Math Functional Skills on your timetable, please ensure you attend all lessons and complete all work that is set by your tutor. 

If, for whatever reason, you feel like you need to contact your English and Maths tutor, don’t hesitate to email them. Please see email addresses below:

English GCSE Brighton-

English FS Brighton-

Maths FS Brighton-

Maths GCSE Brighton-

English GCSE and FS Bexhill-

Maths GCSE and FS Bexhill-

Careers Guidance

Our Student Services Manager, Nicola Lombardo ( is currently holding remote on-line 1-1 Careers Advice and Guidance sessions by video conference with all students who have not previously had one earlier in the academic year. If you would like further information advice and guidance on options for next academic year, either at Dv8, another college or in employment please contact Nicola as soon as possible to discuss this and arrange a 1-1 appointment if needed. Alternatively Nicola is happy to provide support in other ways for example by telephone, email or on-line Instant Chat if learners are not comfortable with on-line video conferencing.

Applying for Dv8 next year

If you would like to apply for a course at Dv8 next year, but have not done so yet, please apply now at Courses are filling up fast so please apply as soon as possible to ensure that we can give you the best possible chance of getting your place. If students are planning to go elsewhere to continue studying or into work we also need to know this so please let us know. Any learners with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) must ensure they have told us about future plans (if not DV8) so we can update their EHC accordingly. Please email with details of students intended destination fro next year. 

Bursary Support

Please get in touch if you need any further support through the Discretionary Bursary fund at Dv8. This fund is designed to support individual students to overcome barriers to learning and is available for use now. 

This fund can help provide tablets or computers for students to use to access online learning or provide access to software to enable work to be completed at home. 

To access this fund please contact your Curriculum Area Lead to put in a request and we will aim to support as best as possible.

Pastoral Support

We understand that this has been a difficult time for many and we have continued to support many students remotely. Students can access our student services support line on 07511 347095 if they would like to talk to either Nicola (, our Student Services Manager  or call 07732716447 to speak to Rachael (, our Student Services Co-ordinator in Bexhill. 

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us on the following numbers: Bexhill 07759 254056, Brighton 07384321153.

We will continue to keep you updated as this ongoing situation develops, and we are following government, local authority and exam board instructions and guidance as we receive it. 

We wish you and your families well during these difficult times.

The Dv8 Team

Dv8 is committed to ensuring that we can provide support to you and to keep as much of our provision available to you over the coming weeks. 

As of Monday 23rd March, until the Easter break (Friday 3rd April), learners will be expected to “attend” lessons via online forums and work with their tutors as instructed.   

The following measures will be in place to keep curriculum delivery in place as we are committed to ensuring learners achieve their stated outcomes for 19/20. 

  • Teaching and learning will go ahead using online forums to communicate and deliver lessons (google Hangouts). 
  • Students will use the existing Google Classroom for their subject to see all assignments and set pieces of work. They can also communicate directly with tutors via this remote classroom, submit work and receive feedback and are familiar with doing this ordinarily.
  • Tutors will be liaising with all learners to work out their specific needs and set targets for work completion. 
  • Maths and English sessions will continue, despite the changes to exams, and we will endeavour to keep you all updated as more information is received from the Government and the awarding bodies.
  • Online delivery and resources will be available – including regular online face to face contact. 
  • Learning support staff will be incorporated into these arrangements based on individual needs to ensure EHCP learners remain supported.
  • Personal and social education session will also be timetabled in to offer additional learning around topics of importance such as mental health and wellbeing
  • Careers guidance interviews will also take place, and these will be individual online appointment slots that will be coordinated by the Dv8 Careers Adviser

What students need to do (Vocational course).

Students should check their Google Classroom to find their timetable for their vocational course. They must plan to attend these virtual sessions and complete tasks assigned. 

If you wish to contact the Lead staff member for your subject area the emails are as follows:

Dv8 Bexhill:

Rich Cross (Music, Art/Fashion, MMD)

Paul Oliver (Games)

Kieran Faulkner-Mahon (Media)

Dv8 Brighton:

Aaron Seigel (Music, Events)

Paul Oliver (Games)

Kieran Faulkner-Mahon (Media, FCL)


What students need to do (English and maths).

if you have an English or Maths lesson scheduled on your regular timetable, your tutor will be available online at those times. They will be in contact with you via email or Google Hangouts. Please be aware that tutors will be marking in your attendance on every session. If, for whatever reason, you feel like you need to contact your tutor, don’t hesitate to email them. Please see email addresses below: 

Dv8 Brighton:

English GCSE –

English FS –

Maths FS –

Maths GCSE –

Dv8 Bexhill:

English GCSE and FS –

Maths GCSE and FS –

Covid-19 Education Safeguarding Information and Guidance: Talking to Children.
Here are some resources produced by ‘NHS Partnerships’ and family support group ‘Safety Net’ to help you communicate the right message to children in managing any anxiety or worries they might have;

Also, click this link for ‘Useful Links & Resources for Mental Health & Wellbeing” specifically focused around Covid-19.

Emotional Support – We’re here for you.

If you need pastoral or emotional support in these strange times, you can speak to Rachael from DV8  student services anytime via google hangouts.  Just add her into your contacts.  and you can email her and set up a time to chat. 

Rachael can support you with any worries you may have about your studies and talk to you about how to manage your wellbeing during this difficult time. Remember there is nothing so small or so awful that you can’t talk to someone about it.  Dv8 are here for you.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us on the following numbers: Bexhill 07759 254056, Brighton 07384321153.

We will continue to keep you updated as this ongoing situation develops, and we are following government, local authority and exam board instructions and guidance as we receive it. We wish you and your families well during this difficult time.

Dear Parents and Carers,
Dv8 SMT have taken the difficult decision today that we will close both the Bexhill and Brighton campus to staff and students from Wednesday 18th March.  This decision has been taken due to severe staff shortages, rapidly falling student numbers and to protect the college community from unnecessary potential exposure to Covid 19. We will aim to return to college on Tuesday 21st April,  the first day of term after the Easter break, (staff inset day on Monday 20th).
From Monday 23rd March all lessons will be delivered on-line and learning and assessment materials will be available to via the existing Google classroom system. More information on how to access on line lessons will be available on the Dv8 website from end of day on Friday 19th. Students will be kept on track with their assessed work and  we will take the exam board advice regarding GCSEs as things develop.
We hope that this decision does not cause too much disruption for our families and we are committed to doing all that we can to support students ongoing learning and achievement in their qualifications. Any students who do not have access to a laptop or computer / tablet families are urged to contact Dv8 so that we can address this need. 
Staff will be available to be contacted via email, or on the Dv8  mobile numbers: Bexhill 07759 254056  Brighton 07384321153.
Yours Sincerely, 
DV8 Senior Managment Team 

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are writing to reassure and update you on our college contingency plans regarding the ongoing situation with Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Senior Management team have been putting in plans for various contingencies and continue to monitor Government advice around Covid-19. We are basing our college risk assessments and planning on the guidance that has been provided by Public Health England, the NHS, DFE and Local Authority.

The advice and guidance remain, that all schools, colleges and training providers should remain open and as such Dv8 will continue to offer classes as normal.

We are currently assessing possible outcomes should advice from Government change around this and particularly how students’ learning could continue remotely in the event that we are advised not to open the building. In particular we would like to know which students have access to the internet and to computer equipment at home.

If you do not have access to the internet or a computer at home that your son, daughter or looked after child can access for college work, ​please can you let us know ​and we will assess what additional support can be offered to ensure that some college work can be accessed. We will store this information privately and securely and only use it to help allocate support in the event of the college having to set work remotely in the coming weeks.

Exam Preparation and Ofqual Advice

We are planning to run our Mock GCSEs as normal next week and will continue to monitor Government advice on contingency planning should GCSE exams be disrupted. Please see current Ofqual statement on this
at ​

More Information on Covid-19

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: ​0800 046 8687

Email: ​ Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Travel Advice

Some parents have asked for guidance about travelling, particularly with the Easter holidays on the horizon. The most up-to-date advice can be found
here: ​

In relation to families who have travelled from Italy,​ ​Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, they advise that you call NHS 111.

We are asking families to ensure they are following the relevant advice around preventing the spread of the virus, so if you have travelled to a category 1 or 2 area then please follow the relevant advice, which can be found here: ​

Key advice for parents
Please stay at home for seven days if you have either:

●  a high temperature, or

●  a new continuous cough.

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital with mild symptoms.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. The NHS will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms

Report your child’s absence to the school in the usual way.

Advice on staying at home (self isolation)

Until any further advice is issued, It is important that all other students continue to attend college as normal to enable them to make progress in their course and take planned exams.

School Hygiene

We are undertaking further cleaning and reiterating the importance of good hygiene around site at all times and we have good supplies of hand sanitiser, handwipes and disposable surface cleaners within our centres for staff and students to use.

Ongoing advice

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and we will update should advice change in the coming days or weeks. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this difficult time.

Yours Sincerely,

Dan Wallman
Managing Director, Dv8 Sussex

For those travelling by car to visit the Brighton campus,  here are our best parking suggestions so you can park safely and be only a short walk away;
– NCP Churchill Square – Cannon Place, Brighton BN1 2FB
– NCP Church St – Brighton BN1 1US
Street Parking is a bit of a lottery as we are so central with the Queen Square area being a bus and taxis only zone.  Therefore, please don’t try to drive to us as you are likely to get caught and fined via a parking camera. 
However, there is on-street parking up Dyke Road, from Upper North Street onwards.
Five inspiring women from the creative industries

Hello, My name is Callum and I’m studying on the Media Production course at Dv8. I wanted to write my first guest blog in support of International Women’s Day. Read on to discover five inspirational women who have had amazing careers in the creative industries and have stories that we can all learn from.

Coco Chanel



Fashion Designer


Fashion designer Coco Chanel, born in 1883, in France, is famous for her timeless designs, trademark suits and little black dresses. She had a brief career as a singer before opening her first clothes shop in 1910. 

Chanel was sent to an orphanage where she learned the trade of a seamstress. School vacations were spent with relatives in the capital of Moulins where Chanel learnt to sew with more flourish than the nuns at the monastery had been able to teach her. Chanel never went to college so she learned her practical skills and foundation knowledge on sewing because of the nuns that raised her. Chanel went on to be a very well known fashion designer and was the only fashion designer who featured in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Why are we inspired?

We think Coco Chanel is inspirational because she came from an unprivileged background without a qualifications at college, worked extremely hard and her brand is now one of the most renowned fashion labels globally.

Jeniffer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence




You probably know Jennifer Lawrence from her roles in the Hunger Games, but did you know she didn’t finish her education and dropped out to pursue her career in acting? 

She was discovered while vacationing in New York City with her family age 14 and quickly landed a part in the TV series The Bill Engvall Show, followed by roles in films that included The Burning Plain, Winter’s Bone, and X-Men: First Class.

With her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actress of her generation. She is also the only person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar. 

Why are we inspireD?

Jennifer once said that she “never felt smart” which is why she dropped out of school and yet, she was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. This just goes to show that with passion and hard work, anything is possible. Don’t be put off by bad grades because ultimately it’s about having a positive mindset and never giving up on your ambitions.




Modelling, Film Producing, Record Producing, Singer-Song Writing, Dancer, Music Video Director (plus lots more!)


Beyoncé is one of the most well known celebrities globally. Beyoncé never dropped out of High School, but she didn’t enrol in College or University, she was working on music instead. Beyoncé first captured the public’s eye as lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She later established a solo career with her debut album “Dangerously in Love”, becoming one of music’s top-selling artists with sold-out tours and a slew of awards.

Beyoncé also has a clothing brand named “Ivy Park” which is an activewear clothing line co-founded by herself and London based fashion retailer Topshop. 


We’re inspired by Beyoncé because she empowers women to be successful and fulfil life long career ambitions. She’s multitalented and a business woman. Did you know her song ‘Flawless’ quotes words by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from a speech called “we should all be feminists”.

Bonnie Ross

Bonnie Ross


Game Developer, Film Producer and Business Executive.


Bonnie has worked on some of the biggest games in history including Gears of War, Mass Effect and Halo. She started off her career obtaining a computer science degree and coaching middle-school girls basketball. When Microsoft entered the market of publishing PC sports games in the early ’90s, Bonnie jumped at the chance to do something different. 

Bonnie became a Producer on Microsoft’s NBA Full Court Press before working on even bigger titles mentioned earlier. In 2007, Bungie purchased its independence from Microsoft, leaving the publisher holding the Halo franchise.

Ross was listed in Fortune magazine’s 2014 article “10 powerful women in video games”, which noted that she was “responsible for defining the vision and leading the Halo franchise, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide” and had “helped grow the Halo franchise beyond gaming” with books, video series and TV series.


We are inspired by Bonnie Ross because she combined two things she had a passion for (Basketball & Computer Science) and used those skills and experience to propel herself into the games industry career. Plus, the game industry can be seen as a male dominated environment and she has rocketed through it!

Anna Moulson

Anna Moulson


Anna Moulson has been working in the live events and music promotions industry in Brighton and beyond for over 15 years.


Anna is the Founder of Melting Vinyl in Brighton, one of the largest music promotions companies in the South East, working with a stylistically diverse range of local, national and international artists. She’s toured Europe as a Tour Manager, and is passionate about the development and promotion of both new local talent and established artists. 

WHY are we inspired ?

We’re inspired by Anna’s determination to turn her passion into a career. When Anna first relocated to Brighton and set up an events company it was only as a hobby, so to go from that to now being one of the most successful and established event promoters in the area is something to marvel at. Anna’s story teaches us to seek out opportunities and not just wait for them to present themselves to you. 

Dv8 Sussex Logo - Empowering Creative Thinkers

Monday 18th March 2019

We are very pleased to be able to announce that the ESFA have now approved, by exception, that Dv8 can continue to be funded to offer 16-18 Study Programmes from our centres in Brighton and Bexhill.

This also immediately lifts the temporary suspension of in-year recruitment to our programmes, allowing Dv8 to offer our second round of Traineeships as planned after the Easter Break.

This decision was made after much scrutiny by the ESFA local and national teams, and was ultimately approved by Senior Management within the ESFA .

We would like to thank the ESFA teams for their decision, which we recognise is exceptional, with Dv8 being one of only a very few providers to be allowed to continue to be funded following an Inadequate Ofsted grading.

The decision was heavily influenced by the extraordinary public support that we received from parents, young people, employers, Local Authorities, partner organisations, colleges, and a number of MPs following our recent public campaign. The online petition to save Dv8 ( received nearly 3000 signatures and we received hundreds of messages of support, which were all forwarded on to the ESFA.

The supporting statements all told a common story of Dv8 providing a unique service locally, where young people can come and feel valued, feel safe, achieve and progress into meaningful lives. Many messages highlighted the unique nature of Dv8’s offer locally and that young people who succeed with us, would not necessarily engage or be successful elsewhere if we were not to continue.

This obviously comes as a huge relief to everyone at Dv8 and we are immensely grateful for the support that we received from within our local communities, which did so much to ensure that we can continue to offer our provision in Brighton and Bexhill. We cannot thank you enough.

Since our Ofsted inspection in November, we have been working closely with the Local Authorities in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex, who have now joined our expanded Advisory Board, to design and implement a clear plan for improvement, addressing all areas identified in the inspection report. We have already made significant progress in many areas and expect an Ofsted monitoring visit imminently, which we hope will recognise this in their published report.

We would like to thank everybody who signed the petition and wrote in letters of support to the ESFA and in particular, the teams at the Local Authorities and our local MPs in Brighton and Bexhill who supported our representations to the ESFA.  We would like to also thank our entire staff team, our students and parents at Dv8, whose commitment and support throughout this period has been essential and they have all been brilliant throughout.

We will be contacting all applicants for courses starting in September 2019 to begin the interview and enrolment process as soon as possible. We will of course be accepting new applications as of today.

Having come through this process, we now feel a newfound connection with our communities. Our mission and purpose have become clearer than ever and the impact we have had on the lives of young people and families has been made more evident than ever before. We will now push forward and become an even better organisation for it.

We will continue to “empower creative thinkers”, encouraging our young people to be ambitious, think creatively and take risks to solve problems, work together to achieve their goals, to learn from experiences, both good and bad, as a force for positive change.

For any further information on our programmes for 2019/20 or to apply to join a Dv8 course, please see or call 01273 550 432 to speak to one of our team.

We very much look forward to welcoming our next group of students to Dv8 and to completing this academic year successfully, continuing to support young people to be successful in work and life.

Many thanks,

Dan Wallman
Managing Director, Dv8 Sussex

To read the original statement regarding our response to Dv8’s most recent Ofsted report click here. To read about the petition click here.

Pride to Youth: Drag it Out Poster

TBC Events host a show as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival

Pride to Youth: Drag it Out is a fun, fabulous and flamboyant cabaret style drag event in the heart of Brighton to celebrate the young LGBTQIAPP+ community. Expect the unexpected from this interactive and all inclusive event. Watch live performances from a plethora of outstanding young queens, capture the essence of the event in our photobooth, discover more about LGBT culture and learn about the history of drag. Strut on down for an extravagant evening with canapes and mocktails, empowering young people to explore and discuss drag this Fringe.

We’re making drag accessible to young people and giving them a safe and creative way to explore and discuss all things drag. We believe there is a gap at Brighton Fringe for an interactive and inclusive drag themed event with the aim to empower the LGBTQIAPP+ community.

We want everyone to leave the event feeling positive about themselves with a more informed view of drag culture. Our goal is to raise awareness and broaden our audiences perception towards the art, and encourage them to attend similar events in the future.

TBC Events is a student led company run by young people studying on the Event Management course at Dv8 Sussex; a creative college for 16-19s based in Brighton. Pride to Youth: Drag it Out is an event planned and produced by youth, for youth.

Please help support their Go Fund Me campaign here.

The money you donate will go towards paying acts, renting a venue for the event and the Brighton Fringe fee, plus other interactive activities they have planned for the day.

If you’d like to attend you can book your ticket in advance here.

Follow TBC Events on social media!
@TBCeventsB – Twitter
@tbcevents_btn – Instagram
@TBCeventsB – Facebook

3D Character Artist, Natural Motion

We were thrilled to welcome 3D Character Artist George Brierley from Brighton’s Natural Motion Games into Dv8 to help inspire the next generation of game developers and 3D Artists!

George shared a vast amount of his own personal games industry insights and character production pipeline. He also took the time to see and give valuable feedback on our Games Development students models and concepts. If you’re interested in developing your game design and 3D skills then read on below for some of George’s personal tips and advice!

  • Characters need to read well from silhouettes. You should be able to make a strong guess at who they are just from black and white.
  • We humans tend to look at faces first.
  • When creating an asset or piece of work, remember that it will most likely go on your personal portfolio. Produce your best work!
  • Character base meshes are a thing, just not when you’re starting out… If you join a games company, they’ll probably have them for you to use and start with.
  • Anatomy is super key to concept artists. Take a course, learn about bone structure. This will significantly improve your modelling and sculpting.
  • Anatomy tip – pores and wrinkles run perpendicular to muscle fibres.
  • You have deadlines and not a whole lot of time. It’s hard work but really rewarding to see the end product.
  • Box modelling is a really good skill to develop.
  • Sculpting is where you put in your detail such as wrinkles, pores, scar tissue, cloth, etc.
George Brierley 3 D Artist
  • Don’t be tempted to go into detail too quickly. Get the base shapes correct first. If there’s not enough topology or it’s not in the right place then you’ll get stretching on the texture sheets.
  • Square topology is better than rectangular.
  • When your 3D models are imported into a game engine they get triangulated. Hence why square topology is better than rectangular.
  • Edge loops are key when learning to model and will allow you to manipulate your model easily.
  • Use your own clothes as a guideline for UV seams.
  • Substance Painter is industry standard and great to be familiar with.
  • Remember, a concept is an idea.
  • The best thing about criticism is that you can collate it all and choose the best feedback to implement.
  • Work from reference images whenever you can. Your imagination is great, but that’s not always what is needed for a brief.
  • Keep your retopology uniform throughout.
  • Plan -> Maya / Blender -> Sculpting -> Retopology -> UV Mapping -> Texturing

Huge shout out and thank you to George for giving his time and expertise. Check out some of his work on Artstation here.

If you’re aged 16-19 and have the ambition to make your own games, model and design your own concepts, write narratives or even project manage whole games, take a look at our Level 2 & 3 Games Development course in Brighton and Bexhill.

Jake Music Video Production - Industry Guest Speaker

Be human. Talk to People. Stay Focused. Stay Passionate.

One of the most inspiring things about having industry guests deliver sessions at Dv8 is to see just how passionately they speak about their craftsmanship after they’ve spent years creating content / products and mastering their skills. This was absolutely the case for Jake, a Video Production & Motion Designer who gave his time to share his experience and industry tips with our Introduction to Music, Media & Digital students. 

View The RedRed Video’s website and Jake’s portfolio here.

Jake's Top Tips for Succeeding in the TV and Film Industry

  • Actors are great but they cost a lot of money – do you have enough budget? 
  • You may have a lot of films / work but not all of it needs to be in your portfolio. Cherry pick your best work. Quality over quantity. 
  • When you’re just starting out, be diverse with your work. Produce content for all kinds of genres and styles. 
  • When a client comes to you and doesn’t have a clear vision of what they want to make, use it as a chance to experiment; actors, lighting, location, SFX, etc..
  • Offer your experience to clients. You have first hand experience of what tends to work and doesn’t. 
  • Take time out to storyboard and draft out concepts. You can always pull these out to show to clients.
  • It’s great to have an online presence but just be aware that you will need to put time aside into managing these. If you have too many it can take up a lot of your time. Someone could leave you a negative review if you don’t respond to their query quickly enough.
  • Be human and talk to people – not a corporate robot! Discuss ideas over a coffee, not just via phone and email.
Jake Music Video Production - Industry Guest Speaker
  • If you’re shooting film in a public location, make sure that you get the proper permission to do so. If you turn up with your clients and equipment and get asked to move, it’s going to be embarrassing and look highly unprofessional.
  • If you are passionate about the services you offer and work you produce, then every day you will network with people naturally. 
  • Don’t be afraid to be pedantic. If you’re at a set and you’ve got loads of equipment, don’t be in a rush to leave. Ensure you pack down properly and have all of your kit. You’ll be annoyed at yourself if you lose a thousand pound piece of equipment!
  • Back up all of your work after shooting. And then back it up again on another device. You can never be too safe.
  • Remember that when working with bands, they aren’t trained actors. They’re performers. Standing in front of a camera might not be natural to them. Take your time with them. If they’re looking tired or getting a bit agitate, take a break, help them to refocus and relax. 
  • Remember that videos are forever so make sure you put in 110% effort and take your time to get everything right. 
  • Have good communication with your client leading up to the shoot. Make sure they know the schedule and running order of the day.
  • One man film crew: low budget, full control but more responsibility, light and manoeuvrable.
  • Larger crew: Bigger budgets, more outgoings, spread the workload among a team – manage that team, bigger vision and more time required. 
  • Equipment hire costs can be expensive so budget correctly. 


Strong Ideas / Clear Goals

Plan Well

Execute Even Better

Stay Focused

Stay Passionate

We want to say a big thank you to Jake for giving up his time to inspire the next generation of film makers and creatives!

If any of our students or aspiring film makers want to check out Jake’s presentation with some really useful information that he delivered, he’s kindly shared it here. 


Update 27th February 2019

We just wanted to update that our case is still being reviewed at the ESFA and we await a final decision. The huge weight of public support for our case has had an impact; however, it is still being scrutinised at the highest level and we are yet to gain confirmation that we can continue to be funded next year.

We would ask that if you have not already done so, to please still send messages of support for Dv8 directly to the ESFA at (that is the correct address with EFA in the line). At this point every bit of support sent through will help to get the right decision at the ESFA.

Thank you again for all of your efforts to help Dv8 remain open and delivering our programmes to young people in Sussex. We hope to have positive news soon.

Update 14th February 2019

Thank you all for your incredible support over the last few weeks.We have hundreds of supportive statements through from young people and parents, support agencies, employers, Local Authorities and MPs and they have been hugely appreciated.

I just wanted to update that your messages have been heard by the ESFA team. The process is ongoing, however we hope to be able to report positive news soon.

Thank you again for your support and we will update on progress as soon as we can.

Update 12th February 2019

Thank you all for your huge support in our campaign to keep Dv8 open and offering our unique service for young people in Sussex. Over 2500 people have now signed the petition and hundreds of messages of support posted. Please keep sharing so we can get up to 3,000 signatures.

The case conference to decide our future is on Wednesday morning. We will not be able to attend the meeting, so can only keep putting evidence their way to support our case. 

We would encourage all to please also write directly to the ESFA if you possibly can by late afternoon today (12/02/19). Please email to 

This week we were also very encouraged to receive letters supporting our campaign from Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton & Hove, and Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle.

Please see Caroline’s letter here

Please see Huw’s letter here.

Thank you all again for your support, it is hugely appreciated. We hope to be able to provide further positive news after Wednesday’s meeting at the ESFA. 

Update 30th January 2019

Allow Dv8 to continue to recruit for this year and deliver from September 2019 – Sign our petition or send statements of support to

As you may be aware, Dv8 Sussex was recently inspected by Ofsted, and received a final grading of Inadequate, despite our best ever year of results in 17/18. We published a statement detailing our response to the inspection on 18th January.

The Inadequate grading has now however triggered a process within the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) that has led to an immediate suspension of student recruitment within this year and our 2019/20 contract being placed on hold, pending review. There are currently around 25 students planned to join Dv8 programmes in February and March this year that will now not be able to do so and over 100 current applicants to date for September’s courses.

We urgently need the support of parents, students, stakeholders and partner agencies to help us make our case that we are a unique provision locally that cannot easily be replaced and that our contract should be reinstated as soon as possible.

If Dv8 were not to deliver in Sussex next year, there would be around 200 students having to find an alternative college in September to meet their needs. Around 100 students would be in the middle of two-year courses, around 20 High-Needs students who are settled and supported at Dv8 would need to find an alternative college. There is a real risk that a number of our students would not find suitable provision and may become disengaged from education completely.

There is an excellent range of provision on offer locally through larger colleges, however our students are often looking for something different. Our students join Dv8 due to the unique kind of provision we offer; not just a creative college, but with small class sizes, a highly supportive and inclusive environment, where young people are nurtured to develop confidence, achieve and progress.

Young people and parents tell us that Dv8 was the only place that they have ever felt comfortable and able to achieve. The majority of our young people progress back into further education at the end of their course, ready to move on and to have successful lives.

Many of our students simply do not thrive in larger educational environments and may not have achieved previously in school, or in the larger main colleges. We do not feel that there is any like for like provision locally that offers something similar.

Our learner numbers have grown by 20% each year over the last four years. For the last two years the ESFA have approved contract growth at Dv8 to meet local need, based partly on the closure of other local independant providers such as Access to Music and Nacro in Brighton. There is a real need and demand for the sort of provision that Dv8 offers and the positive impact we have on young people’s lives.

We want to hear your stories so that we can provide this evidence to the ESFA to help them make the right decision to enable Dv8 to bounce back from this most challenging period and become the Good or Outstanding provider that we have always strived to become.

If you are a parent of a young person who has succeeded at Dv8, if you studied with us and went on to a successful career or just that we made a positive impact on your life, please get in touch and leave your story.

If you have worked with us and were inspired by the work that we do, please leave a message of support. If you just know of us and want to support us in our mission to “enable creative thinkers to be successful in work and life”, then please sign this petition.

If you are a current student or parent / carer of a current student or someone that has applied to join us in September please leave a message of support highlighting why you chose / are choosing Dv8.

It would be helpful if you could leave your name, if happy for us to use this, and also if you could state if you are an ex or current student, parent or other interested party. We aim to send hundreds of responses to the ESFA by next Wednesday so please leave messages this week if you can.

Please show your support not only for our current and future students who could be left extremely disappointed but for the future of Dv8 and to protect one of the last truly independent providers in the region.

Your help and support is very much appreciated.

Some supportive messages we have already received:

“Dv8 has changed me so much! They have built up my confidence and improved my skills and all of my family and friends have noticed the positive changes in me.” Ex Dv8 Student

“Since doing the Level 1 course at Dv8 I have progressed to a Level 3 Music Production course. Learning in a small class was brilliant and really allowed me to find the things I was best at” Ex Dv8 student

I was moved to email you following the release of Ofsted’s report and express my solidarity with you as educators, and gratitude for all the work you put in.  You have made an enormous difference to my daughter who has struggled to engage with formal education throughout her school career. It might not look like it but her engagement with your staff and your course is the single most positive learning experience she has had.” Current Dv8 Parent

“This ofsted decision is so so wrong. My son was at Dv8 for 2 years and came out with a distinction. He is autistic. And found when we were looking for a college it was his favourite. The staff are amazing and very supportive not just to my son but to me too. How can a college be classed as inadequate when they believed in my son and his dream. They could see his ability and worked with him to develop it and improve it. Giving him confidence and belief in himself. Which his school didn’t, if anything they stripped it away. My son wouldn’t of been able to move onto a bigger college if it hadn’t been for DV8” Dv8 parent of Ex student

Dv8 have been amazing. The support they gave my son has been fantastic. He grew in confidence and achieved so much more than his school had ever thought possible. He has now moved on to a bigger college, something which at one point he would not have done. Thank you so much to all at Dv8” Dv8 parent of current student

Dv8 Sussex Logo - Empowering Creative Thinkers

Statement Re: Dv8 Sussex’s Recent Ofsted Inspection and Outcome

Following our current Ofsted inspection and overall grading of inadequate, please see link to a statement regarding the matter from Dv8’s Managing Director Dan Wallman.

Statement Re: Dv8 Sussex’s Recent Ofsted Inspection and Outcome

Download: PDF | Word Doc

For further information or to ask any questions regarding the current position, our plans for next year or our current actions taken in response to Ofsted, please contact the centre on:

Phone: 01273 550 432 ext 212 or 213


'Mad Dog Kelly found dead! Grand opening of the Speakeasy to continue as planned...'

On Friday 14th December, the Event Management students held their very first show after months of preparations. This is their write up of the planning and production of the Speakeasy…

The day had arrived where as a class, we were tasked with planning our first event!

The first thing we had to do was come up with a theme. And so, on a sunny day in The Pavillion Gardens, our group decided our theme would be a 1920’s prohibition era and that we would run A Speakeasy.

It was a bit of a 6 week blur from there, from allocating our roles, sewing and making all of the costumes ourselves to booking our taxis to transport all of our instruments to the venue.

We all had jobs to complete during the planning process and they all overlapped. Some of us were booking acts and some of us were working production but we made sure we had a really thorough planning period.

The day before the event we hit our first hurdle. There was an issue with our instruments and some of our bands cancelled. But with a bit of quick thinking we managed to call in some favours and luckily in house we had our talented opera singer Jasmine who agreed to perform – we all stayed calm and were able to problem solve well.

It was the day of the event – I could feel the anticipation in the air. We met at college and talked about the day ahead. Soon we were at the venue running around trying to get all the decor up and do a sound check all within our hour get in! Our venue was The Walrus – which was so perfect for our speakeasy theme. And they gave it to us for free (huge thanks to The Walrus)!

The doors opened and we were off! At 1:30pm the entrance was flooded with people. We had a queue! We asked some people what they thought of the event and they said that “the performances were really good throughout the night.” – One person interviewed said they would give the event  “10/10”.

We were really lucky to have amazing performers who were really talented and helped to bring the event to life so a big thank you to – Miri, Jessie, Jamie, Ed, Latya, Alex, Will, Sian Anouska, Catherine and Jasmine. Also a big thank you to all of the staff at The Walrus.

Overall I think we had a hugely successful event with almost 100 attendees and lots of great feedback. I know as a class we were really happy with our efforts and we are very excited to start planning our next event!

If you’d like to learn the nitty and gritty of planning and production for Events and even put on your own, check out our Level 3 course here and apply to start in September 2019

Richard Dufty - Motion Graphics

"Your showreel is your calling card."

On Tuesday 4th December, Media Production students welcomed Motion Graphics Designer Richard Dufty to hear about his career in the media industry and to learn from his experience and passion for all things graphic. 

Richard has had a long and successful career in the industry. He first began his journey at university and since worked on a variety of projects encompassing branding, post-production, broadcast design, channel launches, live television and digital video. Richard primarily works in After Effects and has his own studio in Brighton.

Check out his incredible portfolio here.

Our favourite pieces of advice from Richard:

  • Your showreel is your calling card.
  • There are opportunities everywhere in the film and tv industry – every piecce of film needs editing, putting together and animating.
  • Never had a single employer ask to see his university degree. Having said that, Richard learnt a lot from his uni experience that he continues to use every day.
  • A lot of your work will come from people you know or once knew, e.g. those at university.
  • Employers see real value in the projects you create yourself.
  • Have a passion and build a strong body of work.
  • Behance is key for professionals wanting to showcase their work online.
  • Instagram is also really powerful
  • Get a Vimeo acount – professional ad easy to embed – looks a bit slicker than YouTube
  • When seeking  work experience opportunities, find a company you like, then source the right contact on their LinkedIn page. Next find a piece of work or a campaign about the company you really liked and highlight it in your email. Show your interest in their company. Blanket emails to multiple companies don’t get you very far. Stand out from the crowd. Follow up after a week if you don’t hear anything.
Richard Dufty Industry Guest Speaker
  • Learn to speak the language of the industry you’re interested in. 
  • You can only get your personal production value so high on your own. 
  • Go to conferences, network with people. They want to talk to you!
  • Conferences are broadcasted online if you wish to see them. 
  • If you can get into a big company then you absolutely should because you’ll learn heaps from those people with experience there.
  • The industry is demanding and exciting. There are always new technologies, softwares and plugins – you must keep up to date.
  • Back up your work online! At some point, you will lose what’s on an external hardrive. Don’t be that person.
  • Loads of YouTube tutorials for After Effects.

If you want to learn new digital skills and make your own graphics, apply to study on our Level 2 / 3 Media Production course in Brighton or Bexhill next September!

Two days full of industry guest speakers and skills workshops

Careers Day is all about giving our young people valuable insights into the working world and inspiration for their next steps in life. We explored University as a progression route, the types of Apprenticeships you can get and how they can get themselves meaningful work experience.

We also invited in some amazing industry guests to share their experiences and wisdom on succeeding in the creative industries, and to deliver some exciting skills workshops.

We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone that was a part of our two fantastic careers days – we couldn’t have done it without you. Below is just a flavour of some of the guests we had in and what we learnt from their sessions. 

Careers Day 2018

Adam Sheldon, Big Egg Films – Running your own business and being self employed

Adam is the co-founder and director of Big Egg, a full service production company in Brighton. Adam and David have a combined 15 years or so in the film and TV industries and have worked with Sky, Disney, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Nowness, BFI amongst others. Their most recent projects include a homelessness awareness short film for Brighton Housing Trust released this month. 

See Big Egg’s work here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Big Egg gives work experience placements.
  • Adam recognised that videos and narratives need to be shorter.  Find your niche and unique selling point (USP).
  • Owning a business is scary but liberating.
  • You might have your own team that you need to then pay wages to.
  • Learn about invoices. It’s easy to forget about these kind of things.
  • People like having fluidity when they’re self employed. The opportunity to have different roles on different days for different companies. 
  • If you’re working in media and entertainment and unsure what to charge your clients, BECTU can help and will make sure you don’t charge too little or too much. 
  • Charging too little for your services can be just a put off as overcharging.
  • Brighton Film Makers group has loads of opportunities for (you guessed it) film makers.
  • Also check out Mandy, Shooting People, Talent Circle.
  • Don’t work or surround yourself with arrogant people or those that just want to moan. It sounds obvious but you don’t need to surround yourself with negativity. 
  • Don’t be afraid to turn work down if you don’t think you’d enjoy working on it. If you do accept, you won’t produce your best work.
  • Do get your foot in the door. It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than no ladder at all.

Sam Watts – Make Real

Sam has been working in the games industry for the past 15 years for a variety of global development and publishing studios. He’s worked on MMOs like Guild Wars with NCsoft, casual Facebook games for Zynga and a range of agencies creating promotional gaming titles for the likes of Sony PlayStation, BBC, Channel 4, Sky and more.

More information on Make Real here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • 45% of the games industry is made up from Europe.
  • There are 145 million active steam users.
  • Unity and Unreal software make games development accessible to everyone.
  • There are so many different roles in the industry, particularly in big companies. Find what your strengths are, you don’t need to be a master at everything.
  • Learn new tools, meet new people wherever you can; game jams, networking events…
  • It’s important when in a big studio to have a diverse team with lots of different backgrounds. 
  • There are 35 game companies in Brighton.
  • Sam wants to help develop more work experience and internship opportunities for young people and make it so that there are less game development degree led routes into the industry. 

Sarah Perryman – Brighton Fringe 

Sarah Perryman is the Participation & Development Manager for Brighton Fringe, and works with over 5,000 Participants, Venue Managers and Arts Industry Professionals each year. She started her career as a performer, before moving into arts, marketing and administration. Sarah has worked as a stage manager, a production manager, tour manager and front of house manager. She was a freelance theatre producer for 10 years, taking shows to Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes as well as touring nationally and internationally.

Click here to check out Brighton Fringe.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Learnt about how Brighton Fringe works
  • How they could put on their own shows for Brighton Fringe
  • Came up with their own fantasy shows including emo-burlesque and drag-con
  • Brighton Fringe put 1000 events on in 2018 (4000 shows!)
  • Over 160 venues across Brighton
  • The festival is about celebrating creative freedom. There were events in really abstract places, like in someone’s bathroom!
  • There are lots of support for artists.
Careers Day 2018

Nick Ford Photography

Nick has studied photography and has worked in the field for 10 years. His background has included working as Senior Photographer and Photo Manager on P&O Cruises & Cunard. This has enabled him to travel the world, to some amazing places including Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai. His work now is portrait, wedding and commercial photography.

Click here to see Nick’s work.

What we learnt from this session…

  • It’s important to maintain relationships with client and people you meet. You can end up with a lot of return business.
  • You don’t want to create more work for yourself so make sure you plan ahead, including all of the little details that make the bigger picture. Be strategic.
  • Don’t miss opportunities! If you need to get up early or stay up late for that perfect shot, do it. 
  • A good rule when out and about shooting is to have two camera bodies each with a different lens.

Sam Hannah – Small Pond Studios

Sam is the Booking and Promotions agent for successful Brighton record label and recording studio Small Pond. Sam books and promotes shows and tours all over the UK and Europe. Sam studied music at university before joining Small Pond. He has worked with The Physics House Band, Delta Sleep, Mogwai and Syd Arthur. He also runs his own promoting business called “Slippy H Presents”.

Click here to check out Small Pond.

What we learnt from this session.

  • Learnt how to put on the perfect gig – how to choose the right band and right venue. What forms of marketing to use to reach your audiences, how much to charge for tickets, etc
  • How to calculate a budget for a show. 
  • General insights into the world of promoting (and specifically in Brighton).

Leon Holder – Audio Engineer at Hope and Ruin

Sam is the Booking and Promotions agent for successful Brighton record label and recording studio Small Pond. Sam books and promotes shows and tours all over the UK and Europe. Sam studied music at university before joining Small Pond. He has worked with The Physics House Band, Delta Sleep, Mogwai and Syd Arthur. He also runs his own promoting business called “Slippy H Presents”.

Click here to check out the Hope and Ruin.

What we learnt from this session.

Jac Mills – Elev8 Careers

Elev8 was here to help with the important decisions student need to make in their career journey. This could be anything from practical decision making (such as what GCSEs to take), to knowledge building (for example where you can take the courses that interest you) to skill building (such as CV writing and interview techniques) and some of life’s bigger questions along the way.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Professional online profiles are essential in helping you to promote yourselves and be more discoverable.
  • How to present yourself well in an interview – what to talk about and what not to say.
  • The different progression options available to young people.
  • Plan ahead, 
  • Find employers your want to work for and approach them. Look up specific contacts on LinkedIn. If you don’t get a response, email them again. Persistence is great as long as it’s not annoying.
Careers Day 2018

Lee Brighton – Label Manager for BBE Records Hastings 

Lee Bright has been with Record Label BBE Music for 18 years now, joining them in their infancy, now part owner and label manager. BBE is globally renowned for releasing quality Hip Hop. Jazz, Disco, Rare Groove and Funk, and has represented artists such as; Mark Ronson, Masters At Work, J Dilla, Will I Am, Bilal, Paul Weller, John Morales to name but a few.

See BBE’s catalogue of music here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • You might not think it but it’s really important to get a good level of English and Maths as there’s lots of data to handle and communication to be had.
  • Lots of people don’t know how their royalties work and there is a good chance that some people will exploit that.
  • Make sure as an artist you know about the royalties and money you can tap into.
  • You don’t go into the music industry to make money – not a good mindset to have. You need to be passionate and it needs to be a lifestyle choice as you need to be switched on 24/7.
  • The internet gives everyone a way to broadcast themselves.
  • Try and get as much experience as you can as early as you can.
  • Engage with local labels and artists you like listening to. They love social media interaction.
  • Record Labels often offer internship placements. If you’re looking for experience, Lee might be able to help…
  • If nobody gives you the opportunity to do it, do it yourself! 
  • You need to have a bit of hustle in this business.

Simon Newbury – Photographer 

Simon runs his own photography business serving Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne. He specialises in people, pets and places. He is the winner of the Guild of Photographers’ Overall Image Of The Year (Member’s Choice) 2015 and 2016 and 6th in the Guild of Photographers’ TOP TEN wedding photographers 2017.

Check out Simon’s work here

What we learnt from this session…

  • Simon works a lot with Photoshop – lots of time spent in post-production.
  • Photoshop layers will change your life!
  • Trying to follow a complex line with your mouse is near impossible – get yourself a drawing tablet, you won’t regret it!
  • Challenge: Take a photo every single day – you’ll never be more productive.
  • The flash on a camera gives you complete control.
  • Don’t pay for an expensive camera body. They can all take great photos and you can pick them up on ebay. Spend your money on different lenses as that’s where all the detail and control comes from. 
Careers Day 2018

Ed Frith – Head of Live Programming at De La Warr Pavilion 

Ed joins De La Warr from his role as Music Events Manager at the Roundhouse, Camden where he delivered a diverse range of music events from Radiohead to David Byrne, Patti Smith to Chic, Snarky Puppy to BBC live music events. He was involved in its many festivals including the Apple music festival and Roundhouse Rising – a platform for emerging musicians.

See the De La Warr Pavilion here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • It costs thousands of pounds to open the auditorium doors for a show. Equipment needs to be hired, staff hired, marketing and advertising, ticketing,etc.
  • DLWP could help some students out with opportunities such as photographing live gigs.
  • They wanted to know what young people would want to see put on at the DLWP.
Careers Day 2018

Martijn Van Der Meulen – Snap Finger Click Studios  

Snap Finger Click was founded by Martijn van der Meulen and Ed Gladwin in November 2015. Ed and Martijn originally met many years ago whilst working together at Sony PlayStation, and they both have long careers in gaming and technology, including stints at Yahoo! and Electronic Arts. The team at Snap Finger Click largely consists of the people behind the BAFTA-winning Buzz! quiz franchise and are experts at creating innovative multiplayer experiences.

See the Snap Finger Click Studios

What we learnt from this session…

  • Martijn had a go at making a PS4 game by himself and set up Snap Finger Click Studios. 
  • He made a game in 3 months with his friend.
  • You need to find a way to effectively communicate the ideas in your head with other people around you – a really good skill to have.
  • The way you write things down gets interpreted really literally.
  • Get yourself a Twitter account and engage with the gaming community. 
  • You need to stand out when applying for games. Martijn once had 200 applications for a role.
  • Build an online presence as early as possible. You need to have a stand out portfolio of work. Be discoverable.
  • Just go out and make a game! 
  • If you want to do a degree, make sure you study the right one. Don’t just pick the first course that has “games” in, find out what’s involved and compare it to other uni courses. 

Vicky Speirs – Higher Education Programme Coordinator at East Sussex College  

In this interactive session, learners explored University as a potential progression route. They discussed the pro’s and con’s to Higher Education as well as busting some myths along the way! 

If you’re looking to start your journey into the creative industries, apply to join us in September 2019!

  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session
  • YMCA Creative Arts Session

“Your mental health is a priority. Your happiness is an essential. Your self-care is a necessity.”

To mark the importance of World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10th October, young people and creative arts organisations across East Sussex came together in the evening at Dv8 Sussex to share their thoughts and experiences around the issue of mental health.  

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Yekerz making a short film

This has been the biggest year of my life…

Over the last year we’ve got to know Media Production student James and we think he’s a shining example of a young person that has a thirst for knowledge and real life experiences to prepare him for a rewarding career in the media industry! We spoke to him to find out about his early love for media and games and about his experience on his course at Dv8, plus his new exciting internship position. Over to you James…

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