Working with our employer partners our staff collaborate with industry experts to set real life technical projects for students to work on aligned to modules studied as part their qualifications. Projects are planned and designed to deepen and enrich learning from across the curriculum whilst building crucial professional skills and characteristics.
Throughout the academic year students across all year groups have the opportunity to participate in a number of technical projects which relate to the specialist subjects they study at the college. A technical project can span across several subject areas, demonstrating to students the importance of each of the qualifications they study with us, but also demonstrating how lessons learnt in different subjects can come together within a real life setting.
One such example is the Siemens / IET Green Power Racing project. The aim was for students to set up teams that would work on all the different facets of a formula 1 team. Students had develop the design of the kart, the costing, the building of the kart and who would be involved in being a pit team and what that required. Students developed several soft skills across the project and linked different design and manufacture engineering tasks to their current learning in Maths, Physics, Art & Design and English.
A further example of a technical project undertaken by students is demonstrated by work recently undertaken by students led by employer partners Sellafield Ltd and supported by Amec Foster Wheeler, Atkins, MMI Engineering and Balfour Beatty. Students were set the task of considering where would be an appropriate location to build a new nuclear power station in the UK. Additionally, students were required to develop a suitable containment vessel using appropriate materials. The project lasted over 10 weeks and culminated in students delivering their project findings to a panel of 25 industry experts, alongside their student peers.
Whilst studying at UTC Warrington, students engage in a rewards programme known as “PiXL EDGE”. Students will earn tokens based on the 5 elements of the PiXL EDGE personal development framework; leadership, organisation, communication, initiative and resilience. The PiXL Edge is a framework designed for schools and colleges to develop and accredit in students those personal attributes essential for employability and life.
Please view the video to see what PiXL Edge is all about.
UTC Warrington Employer-Led Opportunities
The experience our students gain when working with our employer partners is be invaluable both in their studies and in the future when they apply for a place at university, an apprenticeship or a job. The experience and enhanced levels of understanding gained working with a variety of small, medium and large organisations will help our students stand out from the crowd!
By spending time working with employers, students have the opportunity to learn the basic work environment skills such as office etiquette, time keeping and sending a professional e-mail; whilst also being given the opportunity to understand how environments in different types of organisations vary depending on the nature of the business and position held. Our employer partners have committed to working with students to give them the best possible work experience within their specialist sectors. They understand that our students are their future workforce, so they want them to be the best!
Students have the opportunity to meet employers regularly, with master classes taking place on a regular basis allowing students to understand what happens in the world or work. Highlights this academic year have been – Pete Waterman talking about the opportunities of 3D printing in the rail industry, Sellafield Ltd presenting the growing opportunities in nuclear decommissioning and Manchester Metropolitan University discussing with students the benefits of pursuing an engineering career. Year 10 students have the opportunity to complete a work placement in the summer term, whilst our sixth form students can take up placement opportunities throughout the academic year. On a work experience placement students have the opportunity to access real world projects and meet with staff from employer partners whilst receiving mentoring, coaching and guidance on their future careers.
Enrichment is an essential part of the curriculum at UTC Warrington. Our enrichment programme promotes the life-skills needed for everyday life, by developing “soft skills” employers and universities look for, while also giving students the opportunity to find out more about their interests and passions. The selection of enrichment options available to our GCSE students vary throughout the year depending on the seasons or the type of activity offered. During a typical half term students will have the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh award, robotics with our partners VEX, sailing lessons, STEM club, several sporting activities at Orford Jubilee Hub and coding club focused on the use of robotic arms in industry.
The key deciding factor in the enrichment we offer is the input of our students. We are always willing to look at different opportunities available to students in the local area and further a field.