West Kent College Performing Arts Handbook 2014-15

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Btec Extended Diploma in

Performing Arts And Production 2014/2015

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Course Handbook

West Kent College, Brook Street, Tonbridge Kent TN9 2PW Tel: 0845 207 8220 info@westkent.ac.uk !1

! Disclaimer: !

This Handbook is intended for 2014/15 West Kent College Performing and Production Arts students. The information within is not applicable to any other West Kent College courses, and may be subject to change.

! ! ! Contents: ! Introduction to the Performing Arts course.............................................page 3 ! Staff List..................................................................................................page 6 ! Equipment List........................................................................................page 7 ! Indicative Course Units...........................................................................page 8 ! Assessment...........................................................................................page 12 ! Pass, Merit, Distinction......................................................................... page 13 ! How do you get your grades..................................................................page 14 ! Progression............................................................................................page 16 ! Tutorials.................................................................................................page 17 ! Moodle and e-learning...........................................................................page 19 ! Where students go on to study..............................................................page 21 ! Assessment Methods.............................................................................page 24 ! Feedback...............................................................................................page 32 ! Working with Others...............................................................................page 33 ! Professionalism......................................................................................page 33 ! ! ! ! ! !


Welcome to West Kent College Performing Arts in Tonbridge

Your course has been designed by staff within the Performing Arts Curriculum Area.


Our aim is to provide you with specialised training in your chosen area in a challenging and exciting way.

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The Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is divided into 3 Pathways: Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre. You have been accepted onto the Extended Diploma in Performing or Production Arts.


This is a two year qualification that is equivalent in value to three A Levels.




What to expect ! Our Performing Arts courses are busy and demanding. Our students achieve excellent grades and progress with many students moving into Higher Education to continue their studies, some move into professional work straight away.!



As well as classes focusing on developing skills, your course will offer a range of performance and technical opportunities. These may include workshop presentations, performances in local schools, site specific presentations, touring productions, collaboration with our Music students and full scale shows in the MAC Theatre. Tutorials will provide you with comprehensive information about how and where to progress on completion of your course in order to use your qualification in the most relevant way.

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You will be expected to show commitment to your course and be able to work individually and as a member of a team. There will be times, mainly during production weeks, when you will be expected to work beyond timetabled hours and into the evening.

Please ask if you have any concerns or difficulties during your time at West Kent College, we will always try to help.

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You will be given ample notice of these occasions and students are expected to make their own travel arrangements. You should also book time off from work well in advance.

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We look forward to working with you.

! Stephen Farris and Sarah Lake !

Learner Managers: Dance, Acting, Musical Theatre and Production

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Performing Arts Staff List 2014/15 ! Learner Managers Stephen Farris and Sarah Lake

! ! ! Course Leaders ! Charlie Peel : Level 2 Performing Arts ! Jamie Crawford: Extended Diploma Production Arts ! Eleanor Allen: Extended Diploma Musical Theatre ! Sarah Lake: Extended Diploma Dance ! Stephen Farris: Extended Diploma Acting ! ! ! ! ! Other Teaching Staff ! Faye Fairy ! Amie Howell ! Helen Bell ! Donna Rudd ! ! Performing Arts Technician ! Ian Gobel ! ! ! !

Contact staff with their name @wkc.ac.uk for example, stevefarris@wkc.ac.uk or sarahlake@wkc.ac.uk

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EQUIPMENT LIST Clip files, paper and writing equipment are required for all classes. (Dividers and plastic wallets would also be useful). Practical classes may well require you to take notes, so be prepared.


Clothing You will need to have comfortable clothes that you can move in for your practical lessons. Dancers will need one pair of black ‘stretchy’ trousers and all black ‘soft’ footware (trainers or jazz shoes or boots) for use in performance. Dance practical (all dance lessons including Physical Theatre) you need to wear leotard / tights (preferred and will be worn in performance) or tight sport tops and dance trousers which must be flexible (stretchy) and allow staff to see the body shape. No shoes or if appropriate, jazz shoes or trainers. NO jewellery for ANY practical classes (including rehearsal) Hair must be tied back.


Actors will need black track pants or leggings and black t-shirt, suitable for practical drama lessons. Production students need all black clothing for stagemanagement work during performance.

If your clothing is unsuitable, for example it restricts your movement by being too short or too tight, you may not be allowed to participate in the lesson.

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! BTEC Extended Diploma in Acting Indicative Course Units 2014 / 2015

! Tutor Steve Farris ! You will undertake 18 Units over the two years of your study. ! Units you will study will typically be: !

The Historical Context of Performance Performance Workshop Performing to An Audience The Performing Arts Business

Contemporary Theatre Classical Acting Story-Telling Theatre for Children Devising Plays Principles of Acting Scriptwriting Developing Movement Skills Site Specific Performance Rehearsing for Performance Special Subject Investigation Improvisation Devising

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BTEC Extended Diploma in Musical Theatre Indicative Course Units 2014 / 2015

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Tutor Ellie Allen The Historical Context of Performance Performance Workshop Performing to An Audience The Performing Arts Business Choreographic Principles Dance Performance Urban Dance Drama Improvisation Singing Skills Story-Telling Theatre for Children Developing Movement Skills Site Specific Performance Rehearsing for Performance Musical Theatre Performance

Developing Contemporary Dance Jazz Dance Singing Techniques and Performance

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BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance Indicative Course Units 2014 / 2015

! Tutor Sarah Lake ! !

The Historical Context of Performance Performance Workshop Performing to an Audience

The Performing Arts Business Rehearsing for Performance Dance Improvisation Healthy Performer Choreographic Principles Developing Contemporary Dance Urban Dance Developing Classical Ballet Technique Developing Movement Skills Choreographing Dances Dance Performance Applying Contemporary Dance Technique Jazz Dance Applying Classical Ballet Technique Exploring Contact Improvisation

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BTEC Extended Diploma in Production Arts Indicative Course Units 2014/15


Tutor Jamie Crawford

Production Workshop The Historical Context of Performance Performing Arts Business Production Planning Production for Theatre Performance Assistant Stage Manager Deputy Stage Manager Stage Manager Stage Lighting Operations Stage Lighting Design Stage Sound Operations Live Sound for the Stage Scenic Construction for the Stage Scenic Painting Stage Design for Performance Stage Model Making Developing Costume Design

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The Creative Workshop


! Assessment All of your work is marked at the end of each Unit with a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade. Your work is only assessed once so it is vital that you complete work to deadline.


Your Diploma course contains 18 units or subject titles, as listed previously. You must pass all 18 units to successfully complete the course.


Units are taught by setting assignments. Each assignment shows all of the work that you must complete to pass the Unit. When you receive an assignment brief you will see clearly in the task description what you have to do. There will also be details of what the staff member is marking in that assignment. This is called the grading or assessment criteria. You will have to achieve a Pass (or better) for each of the grading criteria in order to complete the unit. You will not receive an overall grade for each assignment until the unit is complete. Your grades for each criteria will build towards the final grade.



In some cases a unit will only contain one assignment, such as a performance. This is marked over a longer period of time, through rehearsal, research, performance and evaluation. Again you will need to achieve a Pass (or better) in each of the grading criteria to complete the unit.


Deadlines All professional Performance and Production companies work to very strict deadlines. We expect you to meet your deadlines throughout the course. If you fail to hand in a piece of work at the correct time you will fail that assessment. If there are very special circumstances which have prevented you from handing in work on time, your tutor may offer you the opportunity to re-sit the assessment, but this must be agreed by the Learner Manager. The work must then be re-submitted within ten days.

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! What does Pass, Merit or Distinction mean? ! ! Pass


Your work on this assignment has met all the grading criteria set out in the brief. The practical and / or academic work has been approached and produced in an acceptable and competent manner. The quality of the work is of an acceptable Extended Diploma standard.



Your work has met all the grading criteria set out in the brief. The practical and /or academic work has been approached in an enthusiastic and creative manner. There is some evidence of independent study. The quality of the work is of a high Extended Diploma standard.



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Your work not only met but also has progressed beyond all the grading criteria set out in the brief. The practical and/or academic work has been approached in an enthusiastic, creative and explorative manner. There is considerable evidence of independent study to enhance your work. The quality of your work is of an extremely high Extended Diploma standard.




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Progression !

Even at this early stage you might be thinking about what you are going to do on successful completion of your course. In tutorial lessons you will receive advice and guidance on how to apply for professional work or move onto further study.


If you are thinking about university, drama, dance, musical theatre or technical courses it is worth bearing in mind that most institutions will expect an Extended Diploma qualification with a Merit grade Profile. This means that the majority of your 18 units need to receive final grades of a Merit at the end of the Extended Diploma course. In some cases institutions ask for a few Distinction grades as well. There is no golden rule to this as offers from higher education are made on an individual basis. You should, however, be aiming for a Merit Profile for your Extended Diploma.

! Example of a MERIT grade portfolio ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !16

Tutorials !

You will have an hour of tutorial / academic target setting each week. These sessions are designed to support you throughout your course – celebrating success and dealing with any issues that might arise in terms of the course or you as an individual.


You will have at least one individual tutorial each term; this might deal with progression, target setting, short and long term goals. The record of these conversations will be logged on in your electronic Individual Learning Plan (eILP) and stored on Moodle. Your Eilp is confidential and secure; accessible only to you and your Personal Tutor.

Tutorials will also focus on learning skills supporting your academic work and helping to prepare you for progression beyond West Kent College.

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You will receive support and guidance in relation to progression into Higher Education focusing on:

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• Choice of course • Application • Finance

We will explore other methods of progression into employment; looking at the variety of ways your course and its qualification could find you work in the creative industries.

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! ! Please remember that although you have timetabled tutorial sessions, students can approach staff at any time, with concerns, questions, suggestions for improvement and to celebrate success!


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Moodle is West Kent College's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here you have access to all of your course information, wherever you are. Assignments, deadlines, extra reading, filmed rehearsals and more are stored on this VLE. Always check Moodle for the latest information.


E-ilps !18

(Electronic Individual Learning Plans) We want your college experience to be fun, challenging and for you to achieve more than you thought that you could. We ask you to set targets on an e-ilp to document what you want to improve and how you will do that. By the end of your course you will be able to see just how much you have achieved over the two years.


Moodle shows you all of your essential contacts, Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures. Make sure that you know where to find them.

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The way that we learn is changing, the phone in your pocket can answer most of the important questions in the world, as well as finding a map to the nearest restaurant.



The way that we encourage you to learn is changing too. We place much more emphasis on you creating your own learning through on-line projects and research, teaching you the skills

E-Learning. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Progression Successful former Performing Arts students at West Kent College have studied or are studying / working at the following places:



Arts Educational Brighton University Central School of Speech and Drama Chichester University Cygnet Theatre Exeter University Greenwich University Guildhall Italia Conti L.A.M.D.A LABAN Laines Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts London College at Bedford Loughborough University Manchester University Middlesex University Mountview Nene University Newcastle University Northampton University Northern Ballet Northern School of Contemporary Dance RADA Ravensbourne Rose Bruford Royal Holloway Stratford Upon Avon College Southampton University The Drama Centre

University of Kent Webber Douglas West Kent College: Foundation Degree in Acting or Dance


Professional Work at: BBC 4 Bad Education BBC Eastenders Assembly Hall Theatre: Tunbridge Wells Butlins; Thorpe Park Disney World Paris Haven Holidays Hop Farm Entertainment Lapland Theme Adventure London Dungeon National Youth Theatre Royal Opera House

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Assessment Methods:

You will be used to writing and performing as part of your previous studies. You might already know what an essay involves, how to research and how to plan your time, but at college you are asked to begin to work at a higher, more thoughtful level.


This section of the handbook shows you what standard is expected of your work.

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You will be assessed in a number of different ways. Actors, Dancers and Musical Theatre students will Perform in public and workshop performances. Production Arts students will provide sound and lighting design and technical support for the productions. But practical work only makes up part of your qualification.


You will also need to reflect on your practical work, exploring what worked well and how you might have improved. You may also need to research the kind of audiences that you are trying to attract, examine how to devise and write new material, plan for a performance event or investigate the professional world of the !21

Performing Arts. These investigations will be written up in a number of ways.

If you copy work and do not credit the author, that is plagiarism and will not be marked. Never simply copy and paste, always write in your own words, add a quotation and always credit the author.

! ! ESSAY:

An essay is an exploration of an idea or argument, for example, you might have been given an essay question, 'What is Art?' It is up to you to explore this idea, research and describe other people's ideas about the subject, and to come to your own conclusions.

! An essay will ALWAYS contain: !

1. An introduction- introducing the initial ideas and what areas of research might be.


You might say that you will look at what art is, and why it is relevant to your subject, along with researching what other people think that art is.


2. The body of the essay- detailed exploration of the subject by exploring different expert's opinions and by answering the questions, Who, What, Where, Why, When and How?


You will use the Who, What, Where, Why, When and How to ask thoughtful questions and write about the answers, Who is involved in Art? What is art? Where is art made and shown? When was art 'discovered' and How does art influence our lives?


3. The conclusion- writing up what your opinion is of your

research, along with your answer to the question.



Finally you must come to a conclusion, tying all of your research together to show what you have learnt, and what your answer to 'What is Art' actually is.


4. Bibliography- a detailed list of your research resources, all of the books and websites that you have used.


You may be asked for an 'annotated bibliography' which is the same detailed list, along with your reasons why you found these resources useful.

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5. A word count- the number of words that you must write. The number can be 10% over or 10% under, but no more.

! ! ! ! ! ! Log Book:

A log book is a reflective record of everything that you do in your practical sessions. You must write about the content of each session, any warm up and any practical tasks that you did, alongside what you think worked well and what you could have done to improve.

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An example of a MERIT grade Log Book


But a Log Book is not simply a record that says, 'we did this and it was good.'


A Log Book explores the process of making performance work, explaining in detail ideas that were tried and dismissed, with reasons why. You don't just list, but you investigate the reasons why. Sometimes you might find it difficult to explain 'why' you have done something, and why it 'works'. As you write more reflectively, these reasons will become more clear to you. It is always important to consider 'why' your tutor has set the practical task in the first place. What were they trying to get you to explore? What feedback did they give you? How do you feel about your own input into the session?

! ! ! A log book will ALWAYS contain: !

1. A front page with your name and the Unit that the log book covers.

! 2. Your own research relating to the subject. ! !

For example if you are creating a piece for a performance, you might include background research into the inspiration for your piece.

3. An entry for every session, even if you are rehearsing work that you have been working on for a while.

! ! 4. Pictures and photographs of the rehearsal process. !

Each rehearsal is different, by writing reflectively about each session, you can learn a lot about your own attitude and motivation, learning how to overcome difficulties.

Photographs will remind you of what you have done and show the person marking the work (who may be an External Examiner) how you have been involved in the process.



An example of a MERIT grade Log Book

5. An Evaluation- sometimes you will hand this in separately, but usually the evaluation marks the end of the rehearsal and performance process. You evaluate the performance as a whole, and your own part within the piece.


Always include areas for improvement; it is very rare for a performance ever feel 'perfectly finished'. Also, whilst you might think that others in the group could have done better, do not write about them by name, but instead describe how their attitude affected the group and the project as a whole.

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This is a short example from a much longer MERIT grade evaluation:

"[DECEMBER SHOW] On Thursday 6th December, we performed ‘A Patchwork of Pieces’. It was an evening of original dance, performed by year one and two dancers. The show was created through each dancer being offered the opportunity to choreograph their own piece for the show. Dances choreographed in class were also included in the show. It was created for a public audience, consisting of college students, family and others. It was performed in the MAC Theatre of West Kent College in Tonbridge, with performances at 2.00pm and 7.00pm.


The creative process of my dance was interesting. My inspiration for the movement came from the lyrics of the song, ‘White Blank Page’ by Mumford and Sons. I used movements I have learnt within dance lessons but manipulated. The movement included deep plies in second, turns in attitude and ronde de jambs. The main style of my piece was contemporary. The formations of my dance included groups of four people at the beginning, some in a box shape and then the next group of people in a line. The first group of people danced to the lyrics “Can you lie next to her, and give her your heart, your heart, as well as your body?”. The first group of people perform a 16 count phrase and then run off, and then the second group perform it in a different direction. I thought this conveyed the questions the lyrics were asking. The questions in the lyrics are different and I thought having two different groups performing the same phrase in different directions showed this. The inspiration for the


dynamics of the movement came from the timbre and pitch of the song. I used different motif developments such as, changing dynamics, directions, levels, performing a phrase in canon and changing relationships. At 1.30 in the dance I originally wanted the dancers to perform split leaps across the stage but it didn’t necessarily fit with the music. I then changed it to the dancers travelling onto the stage performing more subtle movement, whilst the duet couple performed a bigger movement. I wanted to create a contrast between the two relationships."

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There is no set word count for a Log Book, but you will be expected to hand in at least one page per session.

! ! ! ! ! Portfolio:

A portfolio is a collection of research, reflective written work and relevant pictures based around a particular assignment.


Your portfolio can be as a physical portfolio, made in a scrapbook or notebook or may be an online website or word document. Either way, it is a more creative way of presenting your research into a subject than a traditional essay. But the content has to be just as wellresearched and relevant to the topic.

! A portfolio will ALWAYS contain: !

1. A front page with your name and the Unit title

! 2. A clear contents page !

3. Relevant background research This research must be relevant to the topic and must be from at least three different sources.


4. Relevant pictures and images The images that you choose should support your research, illustrating points or making clear reference to your subject. All images must be credited, that means, you must give the details of where you found the images and who created them.


5. Answers to the criteria in the assignment brief !26

The whole point of a Portfolio is to provide an alternative to writing an essay, one that allows you to express your creativity and explore ideas in a visual way. However it is still an academic piece of work, and still needs to answer the criteria that the assignment brief set, in a clear and thoughtful way.


5. Bibliography You must list all of the resources that you have used, all the books websites and photo storage sites that you have used. Failure to do so is plagiarism.

! ! ! ! Education Pack:

An Education Pack is the support information given to a school, college or group that you teach, containing background information and tasks or workshops associated with the original performance material. You may be responsible for the whole pack, or one section.

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2. 3. !27

An eye-catching front page with photographs or graphics, along with the logo of your company or organisation. A clear contents page. Background information about the performance that you are doing, including the original author's original intention.

4. 5. 6.

Extension tasks that the teacher might do with the class before or after you arrive. Information about your company and its aims. Your company's contact information.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Presentation:

A Presentation is your opportunity to present your ideas and research to your group. This is a key skill for performance makers, as Directors, Choreographers and Theatre Designers can be required to present their ideas to the Production team.


Presenting requires both academic research skills, creative skills and presenting skills. It can be daunting, but practice will build your confidence.


There are a number of alternative ways of presenting, both on and off-line. Your tutor will suggest the most appropriate methods for the presentation, but you might consider flash cards, PowerPoint, Keynote or Pecha Kucha.

! ! A Presentation will ALWAYS contain: ! 1. Your introduction of yourself. ! 2. A brief outline of what the presentation is about. !

3. Your research which will be shown on screen (or cards) The research will be brief, but relevant, with no more than six points of information on each slide. Pictures can keep your audience interested.


4. You will talk about each slide, explaining your research to your audience. This allows you to add more detail. You won't simply read the text from the slides. You can use cue cards.

! 5. You will answer any questions from your audience. ! 6. You will conclude with a bibliography. !28

Some tutors may require an emailed version of your presentation, along with your cue cards for the External Examiner to assess. Check your assignment brief for the specific requirements.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Report: !

A report is a statement of factual information, without your own personal reflective ideas. A report may be useful for examining what audience a particular theatre attracts, or how muscles work to create movement within the body. A report may contain illustrations, but it is a more formal document than a portfolio, more like an academic essay, but with the facts clearly presented without any of your personal opinions.

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7. A front page with your name, Unit title and Report title. You might include an illustration.

! 2. A clear contents page. !

3. An introduction that explains what the report is trying to show.


4. Your research, along with quotations from any interviews that you might have conducted to find out your information.

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Using interviews allows you to find out information from the people involved. This is called a Primary Source.

5. Your conclusion showing what your research has shown and how it answers the assignment question.

! 6. A bibliography. !

7. You will be given a word count. You may hand in work that is 10% under or 10% over this limit.

! ! ! ! Feedback: !

A key component of your course (and being a professional performing or production artist) is giving and receiving feedback. You will be required to give constructive feedback to your peers and to consider peer feedback given to you. It is essential that you understand what this involves.


Constructive Feedback You will watch others work during your sessions and be asked to constructively criticise it. This does not mean that you look for negative things to say, or that you say how you would have done it differently. Instead you must comment on what was successful, how well the performers communicated their ideas and how it felt to you watching as an audience.


If you are not sure that some areas of the performance have been successful, then you can say that, but remember that the aim to to help performers check how successfully their work is communicated to an audience, not to personally criticise them.

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Tutor Feedback Each session will allow you to receive individual and/or group feedback from the Unit tutor. It is vital that you take note of this feedback and work to apply it. !30

At first, receiving corrections and notes can feel harsh, but you must not take this feedback as personal criticism. All West Kent College tutors have worked within the professional performing arts. They are ideally placed to give you the kind of advice that you would get from industry professionals themselves. They will always offer you feedback that will allow you to improve. It is up to you to apply their advice.

! ! ! Working with Others

You will often work in pairs or small groups. Whilst you may want to work with your close friends, it is vitally important that you work with everyone in your group.


If you always work with the same people, the types of ideas that you work on will always be the same.


You will need to develop the skills of working with others when you go to auditions or work within new performance companies. Tutors will be expecting you to demonstrate your willingness to do this.

! ! ! ! Professionalism

Attendance, punctuality, a positive attitude, willingness to work with others, listening, applying feedback, offering ideas, creating your own work, meeting deadlines and being prepared; all of these skills are how your tutors measure your professionalism. !31

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