8th October 2018
I have been enormously proud of our students on their September return to UTCW, as we enter our third year. We have been fortunate enough to have the majority of our Year 10 students start with us in the previous academic year. This has benefitted our students’ integration into college life.
In August, we celebrated our first set of results. We have had a wealth of individual success stories, as you will see from our latest UTCW bulletin. Names that spring to mind are Alex Austin in Year 11 who has gone on to a Nuvia Apprenticeship; Joseph Tynan, Y11 – Electrician Apprenticeship; George Garner, Y13 – Cavendish Nuclear Apprenticeship; Harry Rowlands, Y13 – Wood PLC Apprenticeship; Kane Delooze, Y13 – Aeronautical Engineering, University of Southampton.
As a team, we are delighted that the UTC is fulfilling its purpose of creating work-ready individuals who employers want to employ! Our partners tell us that our
students are their ideal future talent. Cavendish Nuclear and Wood PLC have,
therefore, asked us to support in the delivery of their apprenticeship programme!
Already, we have had local businesses in to work with our 6th Form students. We
have had an engineering masterclass day, followed by a session with Future First – a community of business leaders who have motivated our students in their group
I am also impressed to see students from across the college applying to be student leaders. Mr Varey has been working exceptionally hard putting together a personal development programme which includes enrichment opportunities, leadership and teamwork challenges, and the head boy and head girl students. These are superb opportunities for students to get involved with the college and develop their personal attributes.
31st May 2018
Year 11 should be enormously proud of their achievements so far in their GCSE examinations. At this time of year, it can be a challenge to juggle revision, school, exams and important social and free time. The resilience shown by Year 11 in the first half of their exam season demonstrates a clear apt for learning and success.
Equally, Year 13 should be as proud. Though, most of their coursework is now in the final stages, exams are equally as important. Already, we have seen some of this year group offered apprenticeships with companies such as Cavendish Nuclear, Rock Oil, and Stanley Engineered Fastenings. I predict great success for these students as they take responsibility for their next steps in life, whether that be through employment or university.
The summer term is an important one and it is vital that standards don’t slip. For Year 10, the remaining 7 weeks of the term are an opportunity to prepare for Year 11. The more opportunities they can take in advancing their learning, the greater head-start they have as they come to their GCSE final year in September. It is also a good opportunity to engage with employers and take part in enrichment activities. Final plans are being put together for enrichment week beginning on July 9th. The Big Bang Trip to Liverpool brings together national STEM companies and organisations who are looking for their future talent. Make a great first impression and engage with those companies in a positive manner, the results could be very rewarding.
Equally, students who are choosing to go on a work placement demonstrate a similar positive mindset. Showing an employer that you can commit to travelling to work, being on time, working as a team, and demonstrating passion and enthusiasm, is a great addition to the CV of a UTC student.
For the college, we are already planning ahead for our next academic year. A new mentoring programme has been trialled with a number of students who have met with representatives from the Army. From September, we are looking to invite employers in to meet with each of our students, discussing their progress in subjects and teacher reports. We hope that such initiatives will give our students the drive and understanding to succeed in a modern business.
In the 2018/2019 year, we will be due our first Ofsted inspection. Throughout this year, our Department for Education Adviser (Marina Gaze) has already visited three times. She is supporting the college in being best prepared for the inspection. She has been impressed with the students she has met and particularly positive about strengths and developments in teaching & learning. Ultimately, her feedback is as a result of meeting and working with a close-knit, positive community of students and staff.
I am confident that each of our students will do themselves justice in whatever form that may be over the coming months.
20th April 2018
At the beginning of our summer term, it is vital to stress the importance for all of our students that the next twelve weeks will shape the direction of their next steps in life.
Year 11, naturally, should be engaging with revision and preparing for their summer exams which begin at the start of May. It has been encouraging to see students attending revision sessions over the holidays, taking every advantageous opportunity that will benefit their learning and preparation for the exams.
Whilst it can be daunting, these students have been our pioneers. They have shaped our college since we opened in 2016. They’ve told us what has worked and areas to improve; working with employers has increased their ‘work-readiness’ and understanding of what they need to achieve to reach the goals they truly deserve to score.
Year 13 will leave us as well-rounded individuals who have been our first cohort of post-16 BTEC and A Level students. Our aim is to have them all head to a positive destination – university, apprenticeships, continued education, or employment. Their commitment and engagement with the UTC model has been outstanding. The next twelve weeks will undoubtedly be filled with key decisions that may present challenges and obstacles.
The enthusiasm and drive that our Year 13 have demonstrated has shaped the way forward for our institution. The rise of civil engineering as a popular destination has helped us offer a new BTEC course from September 2018. The interest in apprenticeships and work-based learning has helped us establish relationships with leading STEM companies who will use our facilities to deliver their apprenticeships from later this year.
For our students in Year 10, the focus is on employer engagement and enrichment. The next three months will involve guest speaking, trips, employer projects and our enrichment week. This will include lots of external visitors, many of whom are always looking for their future talent. First impressions count! I have been pleased to receive positive feedback from employers about a number of students in this year group who have stood out as outstanding potential.
Year 12 will start identifying the paths and routes they wish to take when they leave us next year. This may include starting their UCAS applications or speaking to employers about the credentials required to start an apprenticeship. The next few months and beyond will be a crucial time for them to gain valuable work placements, enhance their life skills and better their CV and applications for future employment.
The summer is not too far away and I am confident that when the twelves weeks are at an end, we will have some fantastic success stories to report on!
30th March 2018
Celebrating success is something that is important to us at UTC Warrington. Our Year 13 engineering students have earned themselves a fantastic set of results in their January examinations. With the combination of practical coursework, they are on track to deliver some outstanding results this summer.
Our focus has been on examinations, including the Year 11 mock exams. Next week, we will give students their results in the style of a formal results day. We believe this is an important tool in preparing students for their August results day. Over the next few weeks, we will increase block learning and hold a targeted parents evening to ensure Year 11 and Year 13 are receiving every ounce of support at this
important time in their education.
I have been particularly pleased to see Year 10 involved in employer led learning. This has included our recent trip to Cadent Gas in Manchester and a session of interview skills with Pamela Cunliffe. This exposure to the work place, including how students can make a positive representation of themselves, reaffirms our commitment to treating everyday as if it were an interview. Making a first impression is a one-chance opportunity and can be the key to unlocking many doors, if the positive mind-set can be adopted and demonstrated.
We have also been joined by Stantec/MWH and Wateraid to deliver an assembly around a long term employer project which will involve engineering and finding solution to problems in local and global communities around the theme of saving water. This will require ongoing commitment from the students who nominate themselves to take part. The rewards are endless, including a silver crest award to add to CVs.
Alongside this, we are also working hard on a new transition programme for our
future students. There will be a series of taster sessions over the course of March, April and May. We still have limited spaces available – please ask any friends who may be interested in joining us in September to contact our team.
I look forward to updating you on further successes and celebrations in due course.