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Crawley A-Level students show that it’s not just about University

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L-R, Angelo Amirthanayagam, St Wilfrids Headteacher Michael Ferry and Liam Draddy. Liam gained A* A* A* and Angelo A* A* A, both are off to study physics at Bristol and Warwick respectively.

There is always a deluge of press releases every year from schools across the town ready to impress everyone with their top students results.

Of course it’s always great to celebrate these and this year is no different but before we mention some outstanding results it is worth nothing that it is not all about going to University.

An ecstatic Kieron Stephens gained A A and is off to Exeter to study politics and Int. relations with study abroad.

There has always been a large amount of pressure of young people to follow the course of University after doing A-Levels, but in-fact this should be looked at as a choice not a necessity.

In this modern world the route to your chosen career can take many routes and whilst some do require a degree avenue there are many more that simply don’t.

One student from St Wilfrids is a prime example.

Faye Bromige with St Wilfrids Headteacher Michael Ferry.

Faye Bromige did exceptionally well in her results this year with A* A* A, but rather than choosing a place at University she battled through over 500 applicants to gain an apprenticeship with Virgin Atlantic in their finance department.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Faye along with four other finance apprentices this September. Faye and her peers will be an integral part of our finance business partnering team and will graduate with level 7 qualifications at the end of the programme. We’re also investing in apprenticeship programmes across our engineering and cabin crew teams and look forward to welcoming our new recruits this Autumn.”

Faye is not alone though as headteacher Michael Ferry explains:

“Some of our students have already gained apprenticeships since leaving Yr 13 with many being successful in gaining university places from September.”

For others though there was great joy that they were able to take the places they were offered.

Thomas Bennett Community College students celebrating their results.

Over at Thomas Bennett Community College there was real pride. A Level students achieved excellent results across all subjects.  In vocational students achieved 100% pass rates across all subjects at Merit and Distinction level with half of all the results at Distinction* (equivalent to A* at A Level). The Chelsea Academy also posted a 100% pass rate for all its NVQ students.

Headteacher Stuart Smith said:

“These results are an outstanding achievement for the college community.  Congratulations to all students on their hard work and for continuing the rise in exam success.  We would like to thank the staff who have given many additional hours of guidance and support to help our students realise their potential. We wish all leavers the very best of luck as they move on and know they have a bright future ahead.”

With other Crawley schools having similar success it is another great year for the towns schools.

But the real message here for all students is to remember it is not just about university and there are plenty of options always available no matter what your results are as this is just the start of an exciting journey!

Opinion

Cineworld in Crawley could reopen in July, but has lockdown changed the way we now watch films?

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There has always been something exciting about going to watch a film in a cinema.

Be it the excited atmosphere, the thrill of a large number of people all reacting in unison to the plot, or the immersive sound and visual experience.

So when Cineworld along with the other cinema chains had to close their doors due to the lockdown it was another element lost for months from our social calendar.

But, during this lockdown something else happened. Streaming services jumped on the chance to bring the cinema experience with the launch of new films to peoples homes first rather than sit it out waiting for picture houses to reopen.

And it wasn’t a bad experience either.

Instead of being crushed up in a tiny seat with someone hogging your arm rest while you tried to silently tuck into your expensive bag of popcorn whilst getting agitated by the incessant coughing from the row behind, we were able to stretch out on our sofas. We could eat what we wanted without extra fees and, possibly the greatest advantage, pause the film whenever we wanted. It was heaven.

Of course the cinema experience is exactly that, an experience, and there is a market for it. But has the degree of that market changed as a result of the lockdown?

Cineworld has said they are making preparations in their venues so that customers will be able to watch a film in a “safe and enjoyable way”. How they are going to achieve this and how empty will each screen be is yet to be announced.

They have also told their investors that they expect all of their venues to open sometime in July.

This means that Crawley’s Cineworld could see its doors open within the next two months and as further restrictions begin to lift the food venues around it will also see a return of customers.

But will it ever be the same? Will we ever dare to endure the annoying coughing near us without fear of a second wave shutting it all down again?

Whatever the outcome what the lockdown has shown is how we have been able to adapt quickly and so has business. In this case the entertainment world has found a new route and one they will not give up just because of a relaxation in rules.

This lockdown has done one thing, it has expediated what was possibly always going to come, the dawn of the real home cinema for all.

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