Glittering Evening at The Leigh UTC Awards Dinner 2018

Based at the Bridge Development, Dartford, The Leigh UTC recently hosted its fourth annual Awards Evening. The evening has become the highlight of the calendar and attracts a growing number of business participants eager to contribute to the educational achievement of students.

Proceedings were chaired jointly by the popular double act of College Governor, Clive Barker, Chairman of CSB Logistics, and the College Principal, Steve Leahey.

This year’s keynote speeches were eloquently delivered by 4 former students:

  • Sophie Woodhead, who was a founding student of the UTC and is currently at Ravensbourne University, London, studying Product Design
  • Huw Prosser, who has developed his passion for computer science into his own company, Blooware, working
    with local businesses to create a range of digital solutions
  • Will Fifield, a computer science student who secured a Level 3 Technical Apprenticeship with Microsoft as a
    Front-Line Support Engineer
  • Amelia Cockran, a former UTC engineering student, who has been recruited by Coca Cola on to a Level 4
    Apprenticeship in Manufacturing Engineering.

As a College specialising in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, this was the opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements of students and showcase the many talented young adults that the College is proud to have educated.

Our thanks go to Kenard Engineering for the manufacture of the 12 Superb trophies for the Award Winners.
The 2018 award winners were:


The Leigh UTC values the participation of its many business partners; in fact, links to industry are very much at the heart of every aspect of education at the College. The winner of this year’s Business Partner of the Year Award was presented to Temple Brown Consulting Director, Dan Brown by Steve Leahey, Principal of The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy. This award was sponsored by Leigh Academies Trust in recognition of the outstanding contribution of this business in supporting The Leigh UTC.

A significant part of the evening was the silent auction held to raise funds for various projects that will enhance the education of the students. This resulted in an incredible total of over £17,500 being raised for such projects as new Library Books, a Green Power Car kit project, sponsorship of the College Minibus, Duke of Edinburgh Award equipment, STEM Research & Development Projects and Duke of York Awards for Technical Education.

The College is indebted to all the organisations and businesses that have and continue to support the education of its students, through this event. A quote from Parents who attended, eloquently sums up the evening:

Please can we offer our sincere thanks for a truly amazing and inspirational evening last night at the Awards
Dinner. We were very proud of our son for his STEM award and it will be a night we will all remember for many
years to come.

The hospitality, food and atmosphere made the evening so very special.

To have so many sponsors there was a true eye opener and so reassuring as a parent knowing that so many businesses have invested time and interest in your college and the students, encouraging the potential they can achieve.

We spoke with many members of your staffing team and its truly admirable that they love their jobs with such a passion and ‘want’ to do everything possible to change these young people’s lives to help them to excel.

Many thanks again.
Mr & Mrs C

Year 12 CV Workshop

Daniel Goodwin from Pearson Whiffin  Education delivered an excellent CV workshop for our year 12 students last Tuesday. This was held in the Inspiration Academy Boardroom, to create a formal business setting, and the students actively participated in a very professional manner. Students discussed the elements of CV writing, what makes a good or bad CV,  reviewing a number of  examples, and identified what makes  a standout document.

Different formats were also covered.

Dan has kindly offered to review individual CV’s for feedback.
Furthermore there are some exciting opportunities for Thames Water and Balfour Beatty Work experience placements, that require CV applications, so students are now well placed to apply.
Mrs Fox now has the contact details for those who wish to apply, please see her in the Inspiration Academy Library.

LEGO League Tournament

On students from across the IA and UTC joined schools from across Kent to compete in the FIRST LEGO Challenge Tournament. The students collaborated on a number of engineering issues linked to the theme of space. These included construction challenges and robotic programming as well delivering presentations and solving problems faced by astronauts living in space. Our students were perfect ambassadors of the school and performed well despite being relatively newcomers to the tournament. All involved received medals for their performance as well as certificates that will be presented in the coming assemblies. Our KS4 and KS5 students received plaudits from the organisers and main sponsors (BCS – The Chartered Institute of IT) for guiding and supporting the lower school students – even finding time to network with the Higher Education lecturers attending the event! 


Problem Solving Workshop by University of the Creative Arts (UCA)

In order to develop aspirations to progress to university, it is important that students are afforded as many opportunities as possible, to engage with universities and participate in the type of teaching and learning delivered by these institutions.

On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd November, Holly Rogers, from the University of the Creative Arts (UCA), delivered the same problem solving workshop on these two dates, initially to Leigh UTC Year 10 Aspire students and then Year 12 Leigh Aspire.

The main objective of these sessions, was to support Leigh Aspire students in developing their creative thinking skills by finding solutions to challenging tasks.

The first task that each cohort was set within their respective session was the challenge of fitting a whole person through an A4 set of paper, with only a pair of scissors to help them. Below is a picture of Year 10 students diligently trying to decipher a solution to the task.

Although there were initial moans and groans from each year group that this is an impossible task.

Once they each take the time to creatively think about the task, ideas started to flow.

It wasn’t long, however, before students were on the right path and started constructing their solution to the task.

Below is a picture of two Year 12 students comparing their solution to the challenge set.

You can see a Year 10 student proudly showing and demonstrating his solution to the problem set. Of course, some students were able to come up with solution quicker than others.

Each cohort was set another equally as challenging task, but this time they had a build a structure using paper straws and rubber bands. The student that created the tallest, free-standing structure, won a UCA goodie-bag as a prize. There were a number of examples of stable and well constructed straw structures, as you can see in the picture to the left of a Year 12 student and below of Year 10 students.

Although there were initial moans and groans from each year group that this is an impossible task. However, the students with the tallest free-standing structure would be deemed the winner.

Therefore, the students that achieved the specifications of this task were Beth, in Year 12, whose structure was 2.88 metres tall. Also, Emmanuel, in Year 10, met the brief of this task, by constructing a straw structure that achieved a height of 2.33 metres.

Each student was absolutely delighted to nominated as the year group winner for their efforts. As a result, Holly Rogers, from UCA, presented them each with the prize of a UCA goodie-bag.

In Module 3, the next Leigh Aspire transformative experience that students will participate in, is a visit to Sussex University, for Year 10 students, and a Time Management workshop, for Year 12 students.


Year 11 Art

Look at the excellent work the year 11 Art students have created over the last day & a half in their PPE exam. All work created counts towards their controlled assessment portfolio and makes up 60%of their overall GCSE.

BBC Children in Need.

Well done to students and staff, with final donations being counted we are pleased to say we have raised a total of £54.55. The money was raised by students across The Leigh UTC and Inspiration academy, who organised a wonderful cake sale to raise money in support of children in need. #ChildrenInNeed2018 BBC Children in Need.



Army STEM Challenge Trip Nov 22nd

On Thursday 22 November 17 Y13 Students took part in an engineering STEM event hosted by the Royal Engineers at  Brompton Barracks, Chatham, Kent.

The event was part of the Year of Engineering 2018 which is a national campaign to increase awareness and understanding of what engineers do among young people aged 17-24. The Army is keen to Inspire, Attract and Inform young people about the technical and engineering skills utilised on a day-to-day basis across the Army.

300 young people between the ages of 14 – 18 had the opportunity to come and see why STEM skills are so important to a modern Army. Specialist technical teams were on hand to explain, demonstrate and allow students to try various military technical equipment. Lots of hands-on time and the chance to see some of the latest military equipment in action.

The activities included: model bridge building challenge, have a go at Army building trades, climbing into a full size tank and the chance to use specialist military equipment.

UTC students were constantly praised for how well they interacted with the activity providers and asking and answering high level technical questions. On several occasions they were told that they had been the best group at the event so far. (We were on the last day!)

In the Bridge building activities students were told that they had never seen a group with such good team working skills in all the years that they had run the event.

It was a great day for students who really enjoyed the activities. Some of whom said that they seriously are considering a career in the Army.

Admissions Arrangements For 2020-21

Leigh Academies Trust is consulting on proposed changes to admissions arrangements at each of its primary and secondary academies for intakes in September 2020. In particular, this relates to a proposal to provide priority for children adopted from outside England, in line with a request from the Minister for School Standards in November 2017.
The consultation on the proposed changes will run from 23rd November 2018 until 18th January 2019.
You are asked to respond to this consultation to let us know what you think of the proposed changes and you are invited to send your view to
Responses will be collated and presented to the Academy Board for determination in the new year. Once determined the final admission arrangements will be placed on the respective academy website.
Please click on the link to view the policy.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly

At 10.30am on the 7th November 2018 all of our UTC and Inspiration Academy students were involved in the biggest national assembly in the UK. We watched a live panel of engineers and were part of an audience of thousands of students and teachers. Students were inspired by stories and films of engineers on a mission to use their skills to make the world a better place with the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly.

Remembrance Assembly

Throughout this week students in the Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy have been paying their respects to Service men and Women who served their countries throughout part and present world wars by creating poppies with messages of thanks and remembrance along with poems and letters of thanks.

Today the Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy held its service of Remembrance to make the end of the first World War. All students and staff across the Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy took part in the service and 2 minute silence along with special guests Clive Barker, Vice Chair of Governors and World War two veterans Bill Gladden Airborne Recognisance Reg. Ted Pieri Royal Army Service Corps AB and Frank Pendergast Parachute Regiment. Students Callum Leahey Y13, Charlie Parker Y13, Robbie White, Hannah Stonehouse Y11, Joseph Simmonds Y8, Jessica Uwadiae Y8 and Patricia Antunes Y8 were all wonderful ambassadors by taking part in readings of poetry, laying of the wreaths and reading the Exhortation in the service on behalf of the student body.

At the end of the service students were able to ask our guests questions about what it was like to be a Paratrooper regiment and to serve for our country. We would like to thank them for taking part in our very special ceremony.