The latest business breakfast at The Leigh UTC took place on Wednesday 7th February with the topic being the benefit to employers on offering work experience to students.
With governor, Clive Barker, acting as master of ceremonies, business delegates enjoyed networking prior to hearing from Principal, Steve Leahey.
An educator’s perspective
Mr Leahey discussed many aspects of work experience including when students from The Leigh UTC will be looking for opportunities; year 10 and year 12 students undertake block placements at the end of these academic years whilst the college also encourages longer term, one day a week placements for Post 16 students. He went on to elaborate upon the positive aspects of engaging with students in work experience for employers and explained that “red tape” in arranging work experience is not as onerous to as it could seem- www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/workexperience
An employer’s perspective
As a regular supporter of The Leigh UTC, and indeed many of our Trust academies, Rob Brack, owner of the Kiwi Print Company, www.thekiwiprintcompany.co.uk, related his experiences of offering work experience and how in a previous placement, an academy student, Connor, had blossomed. Rob explained that Connor had joined his previous company for work experience when in year 10 and has returned several times since making a positive contribution to the business.
A student’s perspective
Year 13 student, Amelia, eloquently described her experience of placements relating a journey through three work experience opportunities during her time at The Leigh UTC. Within her story she explained how, by being at a workplace, she was able to explore potential career paths and decide upon where she ultimately wishes her career to take her. Her experiences have taught her that an office job is not for her. One poignant comment that she made was that whilst studying, she’d never thought that she would use trigonometry outside of education but that she now has! Latterly, she has completed a placement at academy partner, SEM, and not only enjoyed the experience but has discovered that this is the type of working environment that would best suit her talents.
Delegates were given a tour of the Leigh UTC at the end of breakfast and commented thus:
“The whole content was very engaging. I thought it was excellent. I was genuinely impressed by all I saw and met-looking forward to working with the College.” – Richard Schmidt, Coca Cola
“Fantastic school and event “ – Cassie Thomas, Coca Cola
“Excellent” – Les Nuttman, Verandi Ltd
Any employers looking to offer work experience to students from The Leigh UTC should contact Nicholas Payne via firstname.lastname@example.org
3 mentors from Thames Water gave a fascinating insight to 5 mentees from The Leigh UTC.
Long Reach Sewage Treatment Works serves a population of approximately 900,000 people, covering a 200,000 square mile catchment area in Kent.
The main sewage treatment works were constructed between 1921-1926, built on the original works which date back to the late 1800’s. Since then, Long Reach STW has grown to meet the demands of an increasing population and with developments in technology. As well as treating waste water before returning it to the Thames River, the site also produces biogas from sludge which is then used to generate electricity to help power the site -a Thermal Hydrolysis Plant (THP) is used to help optimise energy recovery at this stage. The site also utilises a Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) processing plant which produces biodiesel from left over cooking oil.
A great day was had by all and we would like to a thank Phil Gilley, Julie Carter and Gregory Baker from Thames Water who gave our students the opportunity to visit the Long Reach Sewage Centre.
Project Management Consultancy is a sponsor of Dartford Football Club working to promote a new approach to careers guidance in schools that includes the use of this first purpose built, fully sustainable small stadium in the UK.
As part of this project, Charmain a year 12 student at The Leigh UTC was given the opportunity to become part of a Junior Press Team on Saturday 23 December 2017. This was enabled through Corporate Social Responsibility funds from a Northfleet based Construction Company – NBC Group Ltd.
This event was also a promotional opportunity for all parties as part of the ‘4 Roles, 4 Goals’ initiative. The Young People, Dartford FC, NBC Group and Diligence shared the event as a case study.
The online publication produced by the Young People can be found here
Fantastic work Charmain!
As we approach February half term the attention is focusing on the opening of our Inspiration Academy for year 7 students in March and targeted intervention for our older students to help support them, for their impending ‘A’ Levels and GCSE examinations. The next round of mock examinations take place, students await University offers and many employers start advertising for apprenticeship programmes. All of this makes for a busy period and one in which planning plays a vital role. We have had another successful module with a number of events taking place across all year groups. It is important to remind all parents / carers and students that we have firm guidelines with regards to attendance, behaviour, dress code and use of mobile phone technology in our academy. The latter being very prominent in the press of late, involving young people understanding their digital footprint and using the internet safely and appropriately. As this module draws to a close I would like to draw your attention to the school policies that can be found on our website here. Please can I ask that you familiarise yourself with these so that we can make sure all students are following school requirements. Regarding mobiles The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy encourages the use of new and modern technologies to aid with learning. Students may sometimes be permitted to use their mobile phone, electronic device or headphones if the teacher allows them to use as a learning aid during lesson. Mobile phones are not allowed out during lessons unless instructed by the teacher. In lessons we use a simple logo system to display to the students if they are permitted to use their devices or headphones for learning. Students must not use to contact parents for collecting during the school day or social media. Any students that misuses this may have their devices or headphones confiscated for parents to collect at a later date. You may be aware that Cucina are no longer accepting cash for food and drink items. I am aware that a number of parents have still not activated their parentpay accounts and I would like to take this opportunity to remind you Cucina no longer accept cash and that Parent Pay is the only form of payment method for students and staff. ParentPay is an online payment service to make payments for school meals, trips, after school clubs and much more online. If you are experiencing any difficulty activating your account please contact the school office who will assist you in activating your account. This module students were fortunate enough to receive a visit from Chief Petty Officer Andrew Denley and two other officers of the Royal Navy UTC Outreach team. They came along to meet with our five teams, who all successfully secured places in the finals of the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2018-Exercise Clean Sweep. Students were able to have an informal chat with the officers , discuss their ideas and seek advice regarding the design and manufacture of their vessels. This was a great opportunity for the teams, who are now more motivated than ever to follow in the footsteps of last year’s overall winners of the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2017, HMS Saviour 2.0, from The Leigh UTC. I would like to wish all our students who are finalists good luck for the competition to be held, on 21 March 2018, at HMS Sultan and hope they enjoy their overnight stay on HMS.
Year 7’s had the opportunity to enjoy an insightful day with visitors to The Leigh UTC for a lesson on their digital footprint. Students explored how what they post online on various forms of social media, search through the internet and things they purchase connect them to so many other people, people who they don’t actually know in the real world. Students were able to identify the advantages and disadvantages of social media and learnt how to control what they post and search to prevent their digital footprint from getting even bigger.
33 year 7 students were involved in the STEM Computer Science workshop today. All the students behaved really well, learnt difficult concepts, listened, participated in various challenging activities and performed to a very high standard. Facilitator left our site really happy and congratulated us to have such exceeding students in our school as he has delivered this session in many schools and ran the similar workshops with Year 10s and they were not anywhere near our Year 7s. He further commented on our student’s subject knowledge strength as most if not all understood the difficult concepts of computational thinking he had designed the activities for the day. We have a winning team who will be participating in the finals for The Leigh UTC: 1. Patricia Antunes 2. Liam Crumby 3. Ella Ferris 4. Kellie -Ann Bawor 5. Christopher Wilkinson Amy Muskett – really stood out from her designated group and will also be joining the winning team in the finals. ALL the students will be presented with a certificate later on in the module.
All students at the Inspiration Academy and the Leigh UTC have enjoyed learning about how to be safe online. We encourage you to speak to your child about this. Further information please visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018#saferinternetday2018
I wish you all a restful break and we look forward to welcoming students back on Monday 19th February 2018.
During Module 3 The Leigh UTC students were fortunate enough to receive a ‘fleeting’ visit from Chief Petty Officer Andrew Denley and two other officers of the Royal Navy UTC Outreach team. They came along to meet with our five teams, who all successfully secured places in the finals of the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2018-Exercise Clean Sweep.
Students were able to have an informal chat with the officers , discuss their ideas and seek advice regarding the design and manufacture of their vessels. This was a great opportunity for the teams, who are now more motivated than ever to follow in the footsteps of last year’s overall winners of the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2017, HMS Saviour 2.0, from The Leigh UTC.
We wish all our finalists good luck for the competition to be held, on 21 March 2018, at HMS Sultan and hope they enjoy their overnight stay on HMS Bristol.
2018 has been designated “The Year of Engineering”. The UK Space Agency is joining forces with partners across government and industry to give thousands of young people inspiring experiences of engineering. The Leigh UTC is engaging in a number of exciting engineering project this year in order to engage young people in this area. KMTV News visited our Dartford site to see what this means for us, and to speak to our students about their experiences at the Leigh UTC.
Leigh UTC Students featured on KMTV and BBC new’s this morning click link here to watch video.
Presentation at The Leigh UTC
On Tuesday 5th December, Leigh Academies Trust was delighted to welcome Dan Flatt, Senior Student Recruitment Officer from Leicester University. During a busy day, Dan visited four academies- Mascalls Academy, The Leigh UTC , Leigh Academy and Strood Academy to talk to students about why they might want to go to university.
Students from mainly year 12 but also some from year 11 listened intently to Dan’s comprehensive presentations. Topics included what is it like to study at university, will I meet new people ,what skills will I develop and is it worth it; will I get a job afterwards?
Presentation at Strood Academy
Dan explained that students can choose from a diverse range of courses as there are over 40,000 different degree courses offered at over 350 institutions within the U.K. Many universities offer state of the art facilities in which to study.
He stressed the benefits of independent learning at this stage as well as opportunities such as a year out in industry, a year abroad or learning a language as part of a degree. Aspects such as where students live and the clubs and societies available were also discussed.
The skills gained from going to university were summarised as:
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Critical analysis
- Working under pressure
Companies who offer top graduate positions were included when discussing the typical higher graduate earnings in relation to non graduates.
Student finance was also explored including tuition fees, maintenance loans, loan repayments, bursaries, scholarships- and weird and wonderful grants!
Presentation at the Leigh Academy
Feedback from students was excellent with comments including:
“He was very engaging and had many good points including his personal experience”
“I appreciated the information on finances”
“It was very helpful”
Thank you Dan for some very engaging and thoughtful information
Wednesday 13th December saw a Business Youth Mentorship cream tea for business mentors and their mentees at The Leigh UTC.
Currently, 45 post 16 students are benefitting from this well established opportunity to gain from regular one to one meetings with their mentors. Mentors bring a wealth of experience of the world of work to assist students with guidance on potential career paths , writing a C.V. or looking for relevant work experience.
Two current mentors, Clive Barker and Janet Robinson are also valued governors at The Leigh UTC
As Principal, Steve Leahey explained, when thanking mentors, the work that they undertake with our students is highly valued and the opportunity to be a mentee is a privilege. In an ideal world, The Leigh UTC would wish that every student could have a mentor; such is the value of this scheme.
Students, mentors and staff took the opportunity to network with each other during the cream tea and swapped stories of successes and future aspirations.Thank you to all who attended and to the Student Services team of Kevin Nutter, Anna Wilton and Vicky Narwan for organising a both enjoyable and useful event.
As the term comes to a close, I would like to thank parents, carers, staff and or course all of our students for their continued support, whether it be to celebrate successes or backing when faced with different challenges.
If you follow The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy on social media, you will be aware of many events and activities that have taken place during this module. My own personal highlight being our third annual Awards Dinner in November. Being able to share student’s successes with parents, staff and our business partners is pivotal to the UTC’s ethos. It provides a timely reminder to all in business how wonderful this generation of teenagers can be, if they take the opportunities offered to them.
Superb trophies were manufactured for the evening by Kenard Engineering.
The 2017 award student winners were:
STEM Year 10 Male – Joshua Jobson, sponsored by Cleantec (http://cleantecservices.co.uk/)
STEM Year 10 Female – Ioulia Kasapidis, sponsored by Hemlow (http://www.hemlow.com/)
STEM Year 12 Male – Joseph Fasogbon, sponsored by Bam Construction (http://www.bam.co.uk/)
STEM Year 12 Female – Amelia Cockran, sponsored by Kenard Engineering (http://kenard.com/)
Engineering Year 10 – Bethany Arney, sponsored by SEM (http://www.sem.co.uk/)
Engineering Year 12 – Malika Vara, sponsored by RAP Interiors (http://www.rapinteriors.co.uk/)
Computer Science Year 10 – Ethan Bailey, sponsored by Temple Brown Consulting (http://www.templebroenconsuting.com/)
Computer Science Year 12 – George Waterman, sponsored by Fujitsu (www.fujitsu.com/uk/)
Enterprise Year 12 – Samuel Holloway, sponsored by CSB logistics (http://www.csblogistics.com/)
Ambassador Award – Max Parkin, sponsored by DMA (http://www.dma-group.co.uk/)
Outstanding Achievement Year 10 – Ross Dell, sponsored by Leigh Academies Trust (http://www.leighacademiestrust.org.uk/ ) and Briar Associates (www.briarassociates.co.uk/)
Outstanding Achievement Year 12 – Courtney Weir, sponsored by Cucina (www.cucina.co.uk)
A silent auction was held during the evening resulting in an amazing total of over £15,000 being raised towards various additional extracurricular projects.
This module saw students proudly attend the Duke of York Awards, at which seven Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. Students were presented with their awards by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who also spoke at the ceremony and gave up his time to chat personally to each of the students at the after post-ceremony reception.
This is the second year that the Leigh UTC have received these prestigious awards, where students will have gone through a screening process including having to impress at a final interview with local business representatives.
As part of the awards process, students discussed their accomplishments in areas such as chairing meetings, collaborative work and working with a variety of companies in the field of engineering and computer science, which helped many to secure apprenticeships. Students also had to work closely with various companies and professional bodies to demonstrate group project management such as working together to design and build.
But the basis of knowledge that you have gained whilst at the UTC is probably the most useful basis of knowledge in any school system that we have in the UK. It gives you the greatest flexibility in being able to cope with that velocity of change. This country needs well-educated, technically-minded people. It doesn’t always need philosophers. It doesn’t always need people who can write perfect English. It needs people who are going to be able to use their skills.
For the second year running, Fujitsu (in collaboration with partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera) have run their Operation Innovation competition for teams of sixth-form students in Fujitsu Education Ambassador schools across the UK. Last week, a team of four Y13 students: Oliver Barnes, Amelia Cockran, Joseph Fasogbon, and George Waterman, headed off to the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park (home of UK code-breaking efforts during World War 2) to compete in the finals of this competition. The brief was to generate and develop an innovative use of Fujitsu’s Internet of Things technology portfolio within one of three key areas: construction, education, or manufacturing. The Leigh UTC team wrote a 14-page proof of value document in support of their concept: Open.ii, a novel use of Fujitsu’s augmented reality head-mounted display to assist students with special educational requirements within a normal classroom environment, thereby reducing the need for specialist staff support.
The team’s report, as well as a carefully crafted presentation, was submitted at the end of the last module, and they were invited to the finals (with seven other teams from an initial field of 15) to present their idea to a panel of five Fujitsu and Intel executives. Aside from the presentation itself (and challenging questions from the judges afterwards), the teams were free for most of the day to practice, talk to Fujitsu interns and apprentices, and look around the museum (which included a selection of old games consoles and a very popular Crazy Taxi arcade machine). After lunch, The Leigh UTC team had the opportunity to tour a fully rebuilt Colossus computer (the first digital, programmable, electronic computer ever built), 10 of which were used during World War 2 to crack the Lorenz code, which German high command and army units used to encrypt messages throughout the war. After all eight finalists had completed their presentations, and the judges finally finished deliberating, the prizes were awarded. The judges noted that the overall standard had jumped substantially in this year’s competition (enough that last year’s winners did not even make it to the finals this time around), and then presented trophies for the top three teams. Although the Leigh UTC team did not win first prize (which included a trip to a major Fujitsu conference this week in Germany and the opportunity to present their proposal to a senior Fujitsu executive), they were awarded third place and complimented on their exceedingly high level of teamwork (both throughout the presentation and in a previous video-conference with some of the judges in September). They returned to the school, still shocked by how successful they had been, bringing back a trophy for the school and a wealth of transferable skills and experience to enhance their CVs going forward. We are hopeful that Fujitsu will continue the competition next year, and aim to go all the way to Germany next time around!
The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy marked National Anti-bullying week with a wide range of activities and workshops across all year groups. We spent some time looking at the This Mornings ‘Be Kind’ Campaign and completed a number of activities and events that included students learning about the different types of bullying, how to identify bullying and what to do if you think you are being bullied. Students shared experiences of bullying and when they have identified bullying as well as (In true UTC style) using their CAD CAM skills to create a leaf pledge and coding their way through anti bullying and citizenship’s online game Interland
The recent Christmas jumper day was an excellent effort of fundraising by students and staff raising over £200 pounds for Save the Children charity.
BAM are making excellent progress with the Inspiration Academy with the school to be handed over due in early March 2018. I anticipate inviting parents of year 7 in for a tour of our new facility before we officially open to the students. It is very pleasing to see the interest being generated from our open days for places starting in September 2018. We will be holding our next open day on Saturday 20th January 2018, 9am – 1pm for students wishing to apply for year 10 and Post 16.
Being the first UTC to have IB world schools status has enabled us to develop strong links in Germany and Qatar. We hope to be taking some of our IB students to Germany in the summer term. Having IB status will enable us to further develop the mid years programme (MYP) for our Key Stage 3 students and thus providing a joined up pathway from 11 to 19.
I hope you all have restful Christmas and happy New Year, I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Thursday 4th January 2018.