Module 3 Highlights

Dear Parent/Carers,

During the last module, The Leigh UTC underwent an external review, this takes place every 2 years and provides Leigh Academies Trust, our leadership and Governors with a stress test on our operations and services we provide.  The outcomes give a strong steer on areas of strength and areas where further development is needed. Staff were praised for the opportunities being provided for all its students with a focus on raising aspirations and clear guidance on destinations, especially in STEM.  Students were praised for their professional approach, positive attitudes to learning and respect for their environment. Support staff were also praised for providing a level of care that is appreciated by students and parents alike. Our Post 16 provision was seen as a real strength, a clear vision with a tailored curriculum to meet the needs of those wanting to go to University or Apprenticeship routes. The outstanding destinations from recent years are a testament to the direction the UTC is heading. The governance and leadership of the UTC is a real strength, they provide a range of expertise, enthusiasm, and determination, they lead by example.  Safeguarding is rightly given priority status and staff show great concern for student welfare. There is a strong well trained central team who are experienced in their roles.

However in a drive to continually improve we take note that our higher performing students need to be stretched even more by reviewing ability groups especially at KS3.  Increase the sporting options available to include GCSEs. This may be easier once the UTC field becomes operational. Review of the UTC website to make it easier to navigate, show relevant information and remove older material.  Review the length of lessons as presently 75 minutes may be too long for many. The promotion of reading for pleasure should be given greater consideration.

It’s important to share our findings just as we take great store in parental and student feedback from our regular questionnaires.

The Governors and I are committed to continuous improvement as we firmly establish the UTC as an educational establishment of choice for those wanting a curriculum rich in STEM.

It was extremely pleasing to see a report on Post 16 education in Kent and Medway, The Leigh UTC was the top performing non-selective school in the county for value added in its ‘A’ levels in 2018.

Finally, its that time of the year when our focus turns to student interventions to help support current year 11 and year 13 students going into their examinations. We already hold many after-school revision groups and this will intensify over the holiday period with more added along with Science Saturdays for year 11 students.  The UTC has employed Learning Mentors for our students to work in small groups along with three new online platforms to aid learning in maths, computer science, and science.

If parents/carers would like to know more about revision strategies to support their children in what can be a stressful time of the year then please do contact us by email at info@theleighutc.org.uk or by telephone 01322 626600.

Here are some of my favorite highlights from module 3.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a restful half term and look forward to seeing students return on Monday 25th February 2019.

 

Project Hoot Project

On Thursday 31st January our year 7 digital ambassadors took part in a Project Hoot STEM planning day.

A range of our year 7 digital ambassadors toured year 5 and 6 Hartley Primary Academy students around our UTC and Inspiration Academy buildings. All students then were lucky enough to have a range of presentations by our fantastic Post Sixteen students about their STEM careers and projects that they have been involved in whilst here at the Leigh UTC.

After the presentations, the Inspiration Academy and Hartley Academy Digital Ambassadors were busy working on a joint project as part of our Leigh Academies Trust Project Hoot project. Students have been busy planning how they will promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across both Academies ensuring all students understand the responsibility for building a more sustainable future. Watch this space for further updates.

The Leigh UTC visit to Connect Plus Services (M25)

On Friday 1st Feb, a group of students from The Leigh UTC visited the Dartford depot of Connect Plus Services (M25) to witness operations at the site which looks after the M25 and the Dartford Tunnel.

As Cintia Bailey, Communications Business Partner, explained on the social media site, Twitter:

“Today, we welcomed The Leigh UTC to our Dartford depot to have a look at what we do, including the different vehicles we use and the over-height and over-dimension technology used in our tunnels.”

Teacher, Mr Ogunrekun commented:

“Our host and all members of staff that chipped in were amazing!. The students were incredibly grateful and they all felt that they have a bridge that connects what they study in class to a real-life situation.”

Mr Ogunrekun recalled when a member of staff was explaining how and why certain vehicles approached a certain gate before going into the tunnel, and other protocols that needed to be fulfilled, a student was then able to immediately link some aspects to database management which is a unit being currently taught.

Learning contextualisation is the main reason for this trip in tandem with exposure of apprenticeship and job opportunities out there and I am glad our students were able to achieve these experiences.”

Connect Plus Services (M25): Facilitator, Moses Ajala commented:

“It was incredibly rewarding showing the pupils around my place of work and be able to explain the day-to-day operation of how we keep the M25 moving at the Dartford Crossing. We showed them the systems and technology that support the staff and help monitor the Crossing and the operations, vehicles, and equipment we use too.”

Year 11 Thames Water

Thames Water continued as they delivered an assembly to year 11 students on “Mental Health  Wellbeing ” as part of the Children’s Mental Health Week.

They spoke to students about dealing with, being aware of stress and anxiety when at work or at school, as it is a very pressing issue in today’s society.

Statistics show one in four children/ adults will experience mental health issue and big businesses wish to support this generation with workshops and their team of specialists.

The key messages were :

  • Talk to someone.
  • Look out for each other, look for changes in behaviour with friends and ask if they are ok.
  • You are not alone.
  • We can all support and help.

 

 

 

 

 

Leigh UTC Students’ Success at Duke of York Awards

The Leigh UTC proudly attended, for the third year, the Duke of York Awards, at which seven Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. The students attended the event at St James Palace and were presented with their awards by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.  This award reflects the unique specialist education young people receive at UTCs, institutions that offer academic, technical and practical education.

The Leigh UTC proudly attended, for the third year, the Duke of York Awards, at which seven Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. The students attended the event at St James Palace and were presented with their awards by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.  This award reflects the unique specialist education young people receive at UTCs, institutions that offer academic, technical and practical education. 

 

 

 

 

The University of Kent

Year eight students took part in The University of Kent’s Build a University workshop. The workshop serves as an introduction to higher education and prepares to participate students for a visit to the University later this academic year.  During the workshop, students learned about the differences between campus and city universities and explore the types of facility available by creating their own university.

Lower Thames Crossing Project Workshop at The Leigh UTC

The Lower Thames Crossing Project gave a presentation on an interactive careers workshop at The Leigh UTC. In a thought-provoking presentation, students were encouraged to think about their wider geographical living environment and the future of employment.

A further benefit from the presentation was a generous offer of holiday time work experience via Highways England. A number of Leigh UTC students are keen to take up the opportunity.

 

 

Quality In Careers Standard Award

On Tuesday 24th January The Leigh UTC is proud to announce that they have passed the full Quality In Careers Standard Award, presented by Investors In Careers. Having worked so hard to support all their students, no matter what their requirements are, it is no surprise to have been awarded this National recognition for excellence in Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance.

Mr. Leahey, The Leigh UTC’s Principal responded, “I am delighted for us to receive this Award with the Investors In Careers. Our team does outstanding work across the academy and the wider Trust, to have this recognised is greatly appreciated”.

They will, of course, continue to deliver a brilliant service, maximizing their strengths and leading the way in many aspects of their work.

Positive Transformation Initiative Launch Dinner

The Positive Transformation Initiative is the accumulation of years of work by Dan Brown to bring together great people, people with the motivation and passion for change, people who are by the nature of their position in the corporate world, political sphere or celebrity status able to make a change in society and the world around them. His goal, to bring people together and facilitate the start of a process that drives measurable change in society and the world around us.

Dan Brown introduced some fantastic guest speakers. Sir Kenneth Olisa was brilliantly funny, interesting and really embodied the Positive Transformation Initiative. He was joined by Charlie Rigby (Challenger Trust), Huw Prosser (Blooware Technologies), Ken Cowen (school of Hard Knocks) and Liberty King (sponsored Masters student studying in USA). Dan has a clear vision, stating the overarching goal here is to have a significant and measurable positive impact on everyone that is wanting to succeed in life, by enabling accelerated opportunity creation for every individual marginalised and held back through all forms of discrimination. To be clear, this is not about reinventing the wheel or dismissing the huge volume of amazing initiatives that have been launched all over the UK, initiatives that are positively impacting many people’s lives. This is about collaboration, communication and widening impact by raising awareness of existing programmes, connecting those organisations and individuals who combined will become stronger and introducing some new ideas that I believe will have a practical, measurable and accountable impact on society. The goal is to enable a more socially mobile society and develop a positively diverse environment for everyone wanting to achieve more for the world around them. This applies not just to those of us today but also for future generations of all age groups regardless of ethnicity, gender, culture or background.

Students representing The Leigh UTC were Aman Mehta, Bruce Dias, Callum Leahey, Carter Collins, Tom Mason, Hubert Wdowik, Owen Bye and James Burch. Tom Mason said, “The evening was amazing and I am sure that this initiative will definitely change the way businesses and the education system work. Dan’s guidance and attitude towards education are infectious, in a good way, and I am sure that this will change many students lives for the better.

SPARK Project at the University of Kent

Year 12 and year 13 students had the opportunity to be taken down to the Department of Physical Science at the University of Kent to learn about Astronomy and the search for variable stars and exoplanets.

The day involved a tour of the facilities, a practical demonstration of how to use a telescope and data reduction talks.

A great day was had by all with the academy receiving excellent feedback from SPARK project organiser Vicky Mason regarding our students.

Dear Mr Leahey,

I just wanted to say on behalf of everyone involved over the past two days a huge thank you to the students and

teachers who came along to take part in our SPARK course.  The teachers were all fantastic, enthusiastic and encouraging, and very friendly.

The students were an absolute credit to the school, we really did put them through a tough two days, with huge amounts of information over long days and they really behaved fantastically with enthusiasm and respect, even during the long lectures.

The experience and feedback have been invaluable for us to move forward and I do hope that we could work together again to strengthen links between the University and Academy.

Many thanks for your hard work.



Project Hoot STEM Planning Day

Last week our year 7 digital ambassadors took part in a Project Hoot STEM planning day. A range of our year 7 digital ambassadors toured year 5 and 6 Hartley Primary Academy students around our UTC and Inspiration Academy buildings. All students then were lucky enough to have a range of presentations by our fantastic Post Sixteen students about their STEM careers and projects that they have been involved in whilst here at the Leigh UTC.
After the presentations, the Inspiration Academy and Hartley Academy Digital Ambassadors were busy working on a joint project as part of our Leigh Academies Trust Project Hoot project. Students have been busy planning how they will promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across both Academies ensuring all students understand the responsibility for building a more sustainable future. Watch this space for further updates.


Thames Water Mental Health Wellbeing

This week our close links with Thames Water continued as they delivered an assembly to year 11 students on “Mental Health Wellbeing ” as part of the Children’s Mental Health Week.

They spoke to students about dealing with, being aware of stress and anxiety when at work or at school, as it is a very pressing issue in today’s society.

Statistics show one in four children/ adults will experience mental health issue and big businesses

wish to support this generation with workshops and their team of specialists.

The key messages were :

  • Talk to someone.
  • Look out for each other, look for changes in behaviour with friends and ask if they are ok.
  • You are not alone.
  • We can all support and help.



Leigh UTC visit to Connect Plus Services (M25)

On Friday 1st Feb, a group of students from The Leigh UTC visited the Dartford depot of Connect Plus Services (M25) to witness operations at the site which looks after the M25 and the Dartford Tunnel.

As Cintia Bailey, Communications Business Partner, explained on the social media site, Twitter:

“Today, we welcomed The Leigh UTC to our Dartford depot to have a look at what we do, including the different vehicles we use and the over-height and over-dimension technology used in our tunnels.”

Teacher, Mr Ogunrekun commented:

“Our host and all members of staff that chipped in were amazing!. The students were incredibly grateful and they all felt that they have a bridge that connects what they study in class to a real-life situation.”

Mr Ogunrekun recalled when a member of staff was explaining how and why certain vehicles approached a certain gate before going into the tunnel, and other protocols that needed to be fulfilled, a student was then able to immediately link some aspects to database management which is a unit being currently taught.

Learning contextualisation is the main reason for this trip in tandem with exposure of apprenticeship and job opportunities out there and I am glad our students were able to achieve these experiences.”

Connect Plus Services (M25):

Facilitator, Moses Ajala commented:

“It was incredibly rewarding showing the pupils around my place of work and be able to explain the day-to-day operation of how we keep the M25 moving at the Dartford Crossing. We showed them the systems and technology that support the staff and help monitor the Crossing and the operations, vehicles, and equipment we use too.”



Leigh UTC Students’ Success at Duke of York Awards 2018

The Leigh UTC proudly attended, for the third year, the Duke of York Awards, at which seven Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. The students attended the event at St James Palace and were presented with their awards by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.  This award reflects the unique specialist education young people receive at UTCs, institutions that offer academic, technical and practical education.

.

To gain this prestigious award students have to achieve a distinction or higher in engineering or computer science as well as working with companies on team projects, being team leaders and securing work experience within their chosen career paths.  This included designing and constructing a remote controlled vehicle which they had to run to under pressured conditions and present to the Ministry of Defence.

Students are interviewed by local business representatives and provide evidence to demonstrate how they had excelled outside the curriculum. Students discuss 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 or places at Russell Group universities.

After giving out awards to students from eleven UTCs which included the Leigh,

His Royal Highness The Duke of York said:

“By seeking out University Technical Colleges, you have set yourself apart from others in the education system. Those who make a success of it – as you all have – have a level of self-determination and motivation that means you will move quickly through the ranks in the workplace.”

Charles Parker, CEO, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that promotes and sustains UTCs said:

“The Duke of York Award for Technical Education provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of UTC students and the importance of their technical education. These young people have had a flying start because they went to a UTC. They are already making a huge contribution to society because of the relevance of their education to the modern economy and their experience of dealing with adults through the employer led projects, which are a key part of a UTC education.”   

Steve Leahey, Principal at The Leigh UTC, commented: I am immensely proud of our students and their desire to succeed.  They thoroughly deserve this accolade. It reflects well on the outstanding work going on across the UTC, I continue to be amazed by what can be achieved by our staff and students.

Our business partners continually praised the achievements of the Leigh UTC students consistently judging them to exceed the gold-award standard expectations by some considerable distance.

We would like to thank all our business partners for helping us with the external interviews. We are also grateful for the many aspects of their continued support of The Leigh UTC since its opening in September 2014 which includes provision of work experience, mentoring, governance and supply of materials.

 



Network Rail at The Leigh UTC

Thank you to Amina and Farhia from Network Rail for coming to The Leigh UTC to present to students from years 10 through to 13 on the apprenticeship opportunities that they 

The Leigh UTC looks forward to strengthening ties with Network Rail and looking into the possibility of joint project work for students.



The University of Kent’s Build a University Workshop

On Thursday 31st January 2019, Year eight students took part in The University of Kent’s Build a University workshop. The workshop serves as an introduction to higher education and prepares to participate students for a visit to the University later this academic year.  During the workshop, students learned about the differences between campus and city universities and explore the types of facility available by creating their own university. #RaisingAspirations

 



Module Awards Assembly

This week KS3 students across year 7 and 8 celebrated their successes in our module awards assembly.  Students received awards based on the IB learner profile attributes of Open Minded, Thinkers, Reflective, Balanced and Principled.  The awards assembly also celebrated the achievements of all of our wonderful students that took part in the national First Lego league competition. Finally we are pleased to announce yet another two millionaires with two Y8 students also reading over 1 million words since September. We are extremely proud of our students and all that they continue to achieve!

 



Lower Thames Crossing Project Workshop at The Leigh UTC

Thank you to Evelyn Ismail, Community Engagement Lead and Sarah Gardner, External Affairs, from The Lower Thames Crossing Project for presenting an interactive careers workshop at The Leigh UTC.

 

Beginning by giving a brief overview of their own careers thus far, Evelyn and Sarah then went on to explain to year 12 about the implications of the proposed scheme.

Using Sli.do polls, students were given the opportunity to discuss the following:

  • What jobs do students think will be involved?
  • Which are most important?
  • How will technology change the working landscape?

In a thought provoking presentation, students were encouraged to think about their wider geographical living environment and the future of employment.

A further benefit from the presentation was a generous offer of holiday time work experience via Highways England. A number of Leigh UTC students are keen to take up the opportunity.

Sincere thanks to the team at the Lower Thames Crossing Project; we look forward to building stronger ties in the future.



The Leigh UTC Quality In Careers Award

On Tuesday 24th January The Leigh UTC is proud to announce that they have passed the full Quality In Careers Standard Award, presented by Investors In Careers. Having worked so hard to support all their students, no matter what their requirements are, it is no surprise to have been awarded this National recognition for excellence in Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance.

Mr. Leahey, The Leigh UTC’s Principal responded, “I am delighted for us to receive this Award with the Investors In Careers. Our team does outstanding work across the academy and the wider Trust, to have this recognised is greatly appreciated”.

They will, of course, continue to deliver a brilliant service, maximizing their strengths and leading the way in many aspects of their work.