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Lewisham College won a Double Gold Award for having over 400 students participate in the Reading Ahead Challenge, the highest number of participants in the country. This annual challenge requires participants to read six times of their choice and write a short piece about what was interesting in the book.

To help encourage students to read during the lockdown, the Learning Centre supported participants by setting up reading groups and adding new material to the student portal allowing students to discuss the material and talk tteachers about their progress.

Student, Robert Ismael Huerta Velezsaid:“Since taking part in this challenge I feel more confident in my English skills which is really helping my progress at Lewisham College. Taking part in the Reading Ahead Challenge has introduced me to a new hobby and given me vital skills that will help me to find a job after my qualifications.” 

Participants attended a virtual celebration to commemorate their achievements with the College’s Vice Principal, Head of Student Services, and the Learning Centre team, where they gave presentations on their reading material and received a certificate of achievement.

Asfa Sohail, Principal at Lewisham College, said: We are immensely proud of this incredible achievement and of the students that have taken part in the challenge. The encouragement and support provided during the lockdown has been pivotal to the success of our students and it is wonderful to see the progress and life-long skills they have gained from this experience.” 

Student, Leslie Rodriguez Ogando, commented: “I loved taking part in this challenge and I am incredibly grateful for all the support and encouragement I received from my teachers and the staff in the Learning Centre. I am proud of the progress I made, and I would encourage every student to take part!” 

Created by the Reading Agency, the Reading Ahead Challenge aims to encourage and support reading at all ages to help people improve their reading and writing skills, increase their confidence and change their perception of reading.

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Coronavirus update

Lewisham College is closely monitoring all communications and guidance as it becomes available. This information is for students and staff and reflects updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE). We are prepared to escalate our contingency arrangements in the event of change.

The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the WHO and international community. For staff and students it remains business as usual across our sites and our workplaces.

Please note that, at present, this advice refers only to arrivals from Wuhan, and not the remainder of China. If you have returned from Wuhan you should:

General guidance for those planning visits to Wuhan or other destinations in China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains updated travel advice for those planning a trip to Wuhan or other destinations in China. This is available at:


This advice is derived from The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice:

Supplementary Q&A for individuals wishing to know more around how the UK is managing the risk: