Leigh UTC student selected for apprenticeship with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Harry Dressel successfully completed his Technical Baccalaureate at The Leigh UTC. This included gaining qualifications with a BTEC Engineering Extended Diploma, Core Maths and EPQ all at Level 3. Harry was recently nominated for a special national technical award presented by HRH The Duke of York.

Whilst at The Leigh UTC, Harry has been keen to demonstrate his skills by designing and building an electric car for the ‘Greenpower’ series. Fabricating the vehicle shell from carbon fibre, including a bespoke steering system and drive train, this has enabled him to develop specialised engineering skills.
This has not gone unnoticed. Harry applied for a prestigious higher apprenticeship with F1 giants, Mercedes. With over 6000 applications. He underwent a series of rigorous interviews and tests. Mercedes were so impressed by Harry, that they made him an offer to be their apprentice for 2017, working in the engine and drive train sector at their base in Brackley.

Principal of The Leigh UTC, Steve Leahey said “We are so very proud of Harry achievements and demonstrates that sheer determination, hard work mixed with high aspirations, and not forgetting set in the right environment, then almost anything is possible”.

Mercedes F1 team were so impressed that they have since contacted The Leigh UTC to look at closer collaboration over coming years.



Principal Blog End of Module 5

It has been another challenging yet successful and enjoyable module for the students and staff, with a number of activities and events taking place.

I am delighted that The Leigh UTC was featured in local Kent Messenger newspaper  having been awarded ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features in our recent Ofsted Inspection. It has also featured more recently in the Newsshopper and the Kent on Sunday with regards to the new Inspiration Academy opening September 2017.

Kent County Council invited me to talk about apprenticeships at the UTC and changes taking place with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, this was featured in the local press during a recent apprenticeship campaign (Made in Kent).

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A large proportion of our students have now been accepted on apprenticeship programmes across the STEM network.  We are working with the rest to secure 100% destinations as with last year.  Those wanting to go  to University have all had acceptance letters but await final results this summer

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Harry Dressel (pictured with Keith Ellis, Chair of Governors) applied for an apprenticeship with Mercedes AMG F1 in March this year.  He recently found out he had been selected after a gruelling interview process.  Being the first UTC to have a former student working in F1, is a real achievement as Harry was up against students from across the UK.  He was the only one selected and will start in September 2017.  Mercedes congratulated him and said ‘Harry achieved the highest assessment score ever seen by Mercedes during their recruitment process’ He will start his programme with the F1 engine design team and will be relocating to Brackley.

The Leigh UTC is proud to announce that Keeley Bowen, Teaching Assistant at the college, was selected from a highly competitive field of nominated professionals to be awarded the prestigious title of Kent Teaching Assistant of The Year at The Kent Teacher of The Year Awards 2017.

The Leigh UTC is proud to announce that Keeley Bowen, Teaching Assistant at the college, was selected from a highly competitive field of nominated professionals to be awarded the prestigious title of Kent Teaching Assistant of The Year at The Kent Teacher of The Year Awards 2017.

The award recognises Keeley’s hard work in supporting students and parents at The Leigh UTC. Keeley received her award at a gala event, hosted by the Kent Messenger at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone on Friday 19th May 2017.

As well as winning the overall award for the county, Keeley also won the award for Teaching Assistant of The Year, Dartford and Gravesham.

Keeley was nominated by a number of students and colleagues at The Leigh UTC. The judging panel were particularly impressed that one of Keely’s colleagues said, as part of the nomination process, that “Keeley has the magic touch for building amazing relationships with both students and parents.”

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Year 12 students played a huge role as actors and helped to  film our new LAT16 online adverts. You can check our latest Post 16 campaign here https://youtu.be/vJ-gQVysvds

Earlier this week year 11 UTC students went to the Gravesend ‘Panic Room’ experience. We felt this was a good opportunity for students to re-energise during the stressful revision period. A great day was had by all with students left feeling calm and collected ready for the exam season.

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This module also saw re-election of our Senior Student Team . After an extremely intense interview process, we are extremely proud to introduce our new Student Senior team:

Amelia Cockran – Student Principal

Taran Panayi – Student Vice Principal, Engineering

Joseph Fasogbon – Student Vice Principal, Computing

Lulu Regan – Events Coordinator and Student Liaison

Max Parkin – Student Council Lead

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Students from Year 10 had a school trip to the Bank of England museum and had the opportunity to complete engaging activities relating to the real life application of mathematics. In addition to this, they visited the LMA to investigate the properties of salt and ice-cream. They learnt the amazing history of salt and were able to make their own ice-cream without technology, by investigating the chemical properties of science and salt. Overall, students enjoyed the day and the opportunity to apply their learning in London.

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Preparation for the Inspiration Academy @ The Leigh UTC is progressing well with Year 7 families attending a very successful induction evening to discuss the transition process from Year 6. As you will have seen if you have driven or walked along Brunel Way recently, the building works for the Inspiration Academy building are well under way with the steel construction partially completed.

 

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A local start up company ‘Simi Stove’ came to the UTC in May to demonstrate their idea to our Post 16 students.  They have invented a cooking stove for third world countries primarily but it can also be used in the camping / leisure market.  They have asked our students to design additional features before it comes to market.  This is a great opportunity for our engineering students to tackle a ‘real-life’ problem and make it part of the Extended project qualification.

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Finally I would like to wish all the students and families at The Leigh UTC a restful half term and best of luck to the students who will be revising during the holidays.



Keeley Bowen – Kent Teaching Assistant of The Year 2017

received_448902785466186The Leigh UTC is proud to announce that Keeley Bowen, Teaching Assistant at the college, was selected from a highly competitive field of nominated professionals to be awarded the prestigious title of Kent Teaching Assistant of The Year at The Kent Teacher of The Year Awards 2017.

The award recognises Keeley’s hard work in supporting students and parents at The Leigh UTC. Keeley received her award at a gala event, hosted by the Kent Messenger at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone on Friday 19th May 2017.

As well as winning the overall award for the county, Keeley also won the award for Teaching Assistant of The Year, Dartford and Gravesham.

Keeley was nominated by a number of students and colleagues at The Leigh UTC. The judging panel were particularly impressed that one of Keely’s colleagues said, as part of the nomination process, that “Keeley has the magic touch for building amazing relationships with both students and parents.”

Principal of The Leigh UTC, Steve Leahey commented “Keeley richly deserves this recognition, for the outstanding commitment and dedication shown to every student she works with. I am very proud to have her as a member of my UTC team.”

Keeley commented “I am honoured receive this award and to be part of The Leigh UTC and with the continued support of the teaching staff look forward to continuing to support and inspire our students.”



Mentor review at The Leigh UTC

On Wednesday 3rd May, The Leigh UTC invited business mentors to a mid-year review of the current scheme. This is the fourth such scheme to have been run by the Leigh UTC who are pleased to have so many business mentors from a wide range of industries. As part of a commitment to continual improvement, business mentors and student mentees were asked for feedback prior to the meeting.

Facilitators, Kevin Nutter and Anna Wilton were pleased to gain so many useful comments on many aspects of the scheme including future possible honing. Thank you to all our mentors and students who took the time to participate in both initial feedback and the final meeting.

Mentor , Clive Barker commented “The business mentoring program is so valuable to the students and it’s so impressive that the supporting staff at the The Leigh UTC arranged this review to capture the business mentors’ experiences. We were able to share ideas, capturing best practice and feel able to influence the future development of the program.”

For businesses interested in finding out more about participating in this rewarding scheme, The Leigh UTC will be holding a business brunch on July 5th for interested parties to attend. Please RSVP to info@theleighutc.org.uk to attend.

 



Investigating Science and Financial maths trip to London

During an exciting trip to London, students from year 10 were able to tour the Bank of England museum and complete engaging activities relating to the real life application of mathematics. In addition to this, they visited the LMA to investigate the properties of salt and ice-cream. They learnt the amazing history of salt and were able to make their own ice-cream without technology, by investigating the chemical properties of science and salt. Overall, students enjoyed the day and the opportunity to apply their learning in London. 

 



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The Leigh Academies Trust is committed that all of their Academies have either successfully achieved or are working towards the Investor in Careers award.

Investor in Careers is a quality assurance award, which analyses the whole careers education programme. This award is held for a period of three years and every School/Academy will need to be reassessed to maintain the award.

To date the majority of the Senior Academies have the full award and The Leigh UTC have been successful with Stage 1of the award and are now working towards Stage 2 with the view to achieving Stage 2 of the award by the end of May 2017.

The UTC has a robust Careers Education programme which falls within the   employer-led curriculum that reflects the diversity of engineering and ICT.

Students are involved in significant project based learning, which enhances their learning and prepares the students for either an academic route into university or an employer route into a higher level apprenticeship.

A comprehensive Careers section of the website has been put together with students and staff to ensure that all students have access to up to date information on different routes either into further education, apprenticeships or employment.

For further information on either the award or your sons/daughters entitlement, please do not hesitate to contact the Trust Careers Advisor Lesley Tannock on Lesley.tannock@latrust.org.uk





PRESS RELEASE – The Inspiration Academy April 2017

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The traditional ground-breaking ceremony was carried out recently for the new Inspiration Academy opening September 2017 as part of The Leigh UTC campus on the Bridge development in Dartford.

As part of the ceremony, representatives from the building contractors (BAM), architects (Jestico Whiles), local councillor, Tom Maddison for Dartford North and the Education Funding Agency met on site with Leigh Academies Trust Executives and the senior leadership team from The Leigh UTC.

A short speech from Principal Steve Leahey preceded the felling of a tree and the ceremonial cutting of the first sod from the site.   The Leigh UTC governing board is extremely excited by the expansion of the site and the opportunities it will bring to younger students from across Dartford and the surrounding area.  It is seen as a great show of support from the Department for Education for all the wonderful achievements already celebrated at The Leigh UTC in its first three years of operation and firmly establishes it in the growing community on the Bridge development.

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“The Leigh UTC was recently rated outstanding by Ofsted for its educational and sector-wide leadership. In 2016 it was the best attaining UTC nationally for academic achievement. The DfE and Kent Council Council now want us to make our superb curriculum opportunities available to younger pupils. Inspiration Academy will enable just that. In its first year and before it is even open, Inspiration Academy is heavily over-subscribed. The plan had been to take 120 pupils into year 7, but after further local pressure, we have already expanded this to 140. Our brand new building will ensure there are no better chances for a high-quality education for young people across the region than this.”

Simon Beamish

Chief Executive

Leigh Academies Trust



Local businesses support EPQ presentations at The Leigh UTC

 

During three days of presentations, Year 13 I.T. and engineering students at The Leigh UTC were put through their paces by panels comprised of local business people.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) projects that students have now completed included a vast range of subjects from a dissertation on stem cell research to practical tasks such as building an electric guitar from scratch. Each student chose their own project and presented to their panel on their initial idea through to a comprehensive evaluation of methodology and outcome.

Having industry professionals appraise their work added a “real life” dimension to each and every presentation and The Leigh UTC would like to thank the following:

Rob Murray, Dovetail Games- www.dovetailgames.com

Jenna Wells, Hollowells Business Support- www.linkedin.com/company/hollowells-business-support

Geoff Mainwaring, Orchard Garage Ltd- www.orchardgarageltd.co.uk

Cintia Bailey, Ken Whyte and Juliet Umeibekwe- Connect Plus Services www.connectplusm25.co.uk/connectplus/

“The experience taught us to be mature in a business like environment.” Akeem Rhoden

“Seeing professional faces that you have not seen before throws you in the deep end and makes you better articulate your project. Knowing that there would be business partners in the room made me prepare my project presentation more.” Gio Savva