‘I feel I made one of the most important decisions in my life by coming to study here’

Thiwanka, a student at NewVIc sixth form college

Thiwanka, a student at NewVIc - Credit: NewVIc

We speak to NewVIc student Thiwanka about his time at the Plaistow sixth form.

Thiwanka is a first-year A-level student studying biology, chemistry and physics. He was a former Brooke House Sixth Form College (BSix) student. Alongside his course, Thiwanka is also involved in the Men’s Cricket Academy which is offered to talented 16-19 year olds who have the opportunity to play cricket at elite level. 

What made you choose NewVIc?
“I chose NewVIc after applying for a few sixth forms and colleges. I got to know about NewVIc and I visited the college several times in order to get advice regarding the courses which I wanted to pursue within the college.

Initially, I was stressed about my predicted GCSE grades since I only started my GCSE’s in January 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I had to join the open days, inductions and interviews via telephone and other online sources.

I attended the online NewVIc Summer Induction which was pretty intriguing. I was so impressed about everything the college has to offer, support available to students, sports and enrichment and the inspiring facilities that the college has.

I have managed to get a real sense about the college and what the college could offer me in order to fulfil my future expectations.”

How were your first two weeks at sixth form?
“On the first few days, I felt a bit edgy. But I knew that I would make friends fairly quickly. I have met some pretty good lads within and outside of my classroom.

I was well adapted and exposed to the college environment within a few weeks. I have engaged in several sports during the break times, learnt about the men’s cricket academy which I have enrolled onto. This has expanded my exposure to go beyond.

I would say talk to students and work as a team and hang out with people and your new friends. Explore the college together.”

Is there anything you wish you had known that you do now?
“I didn’t know how my A-level subjects would broaden the range of university degrees that I can apply for in the future.

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After joining NewVIc and attending the lessons, I have got a real understanding of how things work and which grades that I should achieve in order to get into some top degrees at leading universities.”

Who’s the most inspiring person you have met?
“There are a few, mainly the teachers at NewVIc. It has been a pleasure so far to work with my teachers.

Firstly, my physics teacher Marcel Vidale who regularly involves us in fascinating lessons and experiments, there’s so much we have learnt so far!

Secondly, my biology and chemistry teachers who consistently have helped us to work hard in order to achieve the best from our abilities.

Finally, I have to say that I’m pretty much inspired by Sports Academy and cricket coach Scott Simmons.

The tactics and mentoring in cricket has given us an opportunity to get a better understanding of the game of cricket and sportsmanship involved.”

What is your advice for students considering NewVIc?
“NewVIc is really a great place with so many opportunities which influence the lives of young people who have a pattern of achieving very highly which also positively impacts in their future.

I would always advise anyone to take a look at the unique options that are available at NewVIc.

Attend the open days and careers advice sessions. Take a look at how the college Honours Programme benefits you. I feel I made one of the most important decisions in my life by coming to study here.”

So what’s next?
“I’m going to focus on my A level subjects and get involved in lots of extracurricular activities that boost my student experience.

I am determined to get into the university that I’m hoping for and to make my family and friends very proud of it. I’m always keen on what I want to do and ambitious to reach my goals.”

For more information on NewVIc visit newvic.ac.uk