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Crawley students win fundraising award

Thomas Bennett Community College has for the fourth year running taken part in the St Catherine’s and NatWest Youth Enterprise Five O Challenge.



A team of 6 students who named themselves Thomas Bennett Cat’s Champions (TBCC) were set the task in January of using a £50 stake from NatWest to invest that money in enterprising fundraising ideas over an 11 week period to reach a target of £1,500 to be donated to the Hospice.

The students and staff at Thomas Bennett got behind the team and took part in a wide range of events from cakes sales, pancake days to very embarrassing Lip Sync Battles!  The students exceeded their target and raised an impressive £2,033. 

However raising money was not the end of the challenge they also had to prepare a presentation to deliver at the awards ceremony held at Christ’s Hospital on the 25th April in front of Hospice trustees, NatWest staff, friends and family.  The team put together a presentation that involved all of the team and displayed in pictures and video their fundraising journey. 

The judging panel on the night, on the basis of a unanimous vote, awarded the Thomas Bennett Team with the prize of the Best Presentation.

Stuart Smith Headteacher at Thomas Bennett said.

“The group of students worked incredibly hard and were totally committed to raising money for such a worthwhile charity.  The team did a fantastic job of putting together a presentation representing their fundraising journey to deliver at the ceremony.  The whole school community is incredibly proud of the students for being unanimously voted to win the Best Presentation award”.


Crawley teacher launches new alternative to traditional teaching for 2-7 year-olds

Launched in Horsham at the beginning of July, Reading Rabbits! is a new interactive way for teaching young children.



Ava Labelle wanted to create something that would make learning fun and inclusive for children with all abilities and learning styles. Having been a teacher in Crawley for three years she decided to go it alone with her own phonics learning centre, turning a dream into a reality.

Founder Ava Labelle.

Reading Rabbits delivers interactive phonics classes in what they describe as “a fun, messy learning environment to help shape confident learners.”

Ava says:

“I believe that the enjoyment of learning  should be at the core of every lesson, particularly for the youngest learners.

We offer classes for ages 2-7 and have a unique SEN class with plenty of multi-sensory learning opportunities. Whether parents are looking for the best possible transition into school, consolidation of sounds to support their child’s reading or wanting to get ahead- Reading Rabbits can help them on their journey.”

“There are many tuition centres in the local area, but there are not any that focus purely on the younger years, and the learning styles needed for young children to succeed. Reading Rabbits hopes to fill this gap in the market to provide a fun alternative to traditional tuition.”

“For our preschool classes, children have the opportunity to be fully immersed in play based activities, which focus on the letter sound for that session. Parents are fully involved in the 45 minute classes to share the special moments of phonics learning together and can support their child with that letter sound at home.”

The centre had its first open day in Horsham last weekend which was a huge success.

You can find out more at their website:

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