21st September 2007 at 01:00

Choral caper on the big screen

At the cinema with Mrs Ferret the other day, I couldn't help noticing that one of the few organisations taking the opportunity to use the medium for local advertising is a college.

During that period before the main feature, traditionally used by teenagers to fidget and flick popcorn around, colleges are trying to woo them with the joys of post-16 education.

One college down my way uses a hazy image of a group of teenagers who look like they're in a nightclub, with their minds as far away from the world of education as it's possible to get. Perhaps these kids like to use up all that unspent hormonal energy by spending Saturday nights in town seeking out members of the opposite sex for furtive discussion about City and Guilds hairdressing or the citizenship curriculum. Or maybe colleges have simply spotted that a night on the tiles, as we used to call it, is a bit more exciting than a day at college. Certainly, the advert in question cleverly hints that if you enrol for one, you might get the other, as it were.

Good luck to the college which I'll identify only as being in East Anglia for attempting to inject a bit of glamour into FE.

But when it comes to impressing cinema-goers, full marks must go to Bede Sixth Form College on Teesside, which went one better and became part of the movie itself thanks to the vocal talents of its students.

If you go to see Atonement, look very carefully when the credits roll and you will see the college choir listed for providing the soundtrack of soldiers singing at Dunkirk.

The Second World War film, based on Ian McEwan's novel, was shot partly in nearby Redcar, which was transformed into the famous beach.

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