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.



Highlights from Module 2

Dear all,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents / carers for their continued support over the last year. Education has many challenges not least the political football it has become and evokes many opinions from all sides especially when it comes to budgets and training of new teachers especially in STEM subjects. However we endeavor to stay loyal to our convictions and ensure that each and every student of ours receives the education and support they deserve.   Since opening in 2014 The Leigh UTC has attracted much attention and has helped shape STEM education across all UTCs. The introduction of our own ‘oversubscribed’ feeder school (Inspiration Academy) is seen as a game changer nationally. Allowing us to grow at a faster rate but still keeping the ‘small school’ feel enables us to develop a richer curriculum offer for all year groups. Our playing fields have taken a major step forward to being a reality, with initial works due to start in early 2019. Further enhancements to the existing site will allow for greater flexibility of staff, when we roll out new timetable and group changes across each year.

Our vision of ‘developing STEM professionals for the future global market’ really becomes clear to all when they see the number of projects, trips and experiences our students are immersed in. All of which makes our student destinations so impressive each year.  We have more leavers going onto apprenticeships at higher and degree level than any over school locally, approximately 40% go to University all studying STEM related courses such as Astrophysics, maths and computing.

Our current students need to use this time of the year to rest, relax and reflect on their next steps, whether that be planning for examinations or improving on target grades set by their teachers.  A meaningful New Year’s resolution for anyone would be to raise their aspirations and make 2019 a successful year.

Here are a few highlights from Module  2:    

STEM at Work

This week year 8 students were lucky to attend Canterbury Christ Church University campus for the STEM at work day. It was a very exciting day for the students who had the opportunity to taste of numerous potential career opportunities in STEM based subjects.

Year 12 CV Workshop

Daniel 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 contact Mrs Fox by email or phone info@theleighutc.org.uk or 01322 626600. 

    

LEGO League Tournament

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.

All work created counts towards their controlled assessment portfolio and makes up 60%of their overall GCSE.

Army STEM Challenge Trip

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.

Remembrance Assembly

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.

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.

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:

Email from a parent of a student 

Dear Mr Leahey,

We would just like to thank you and all your staff at the Leigh UTC for your support of our son Kai.

Under your teachers care he is thriving, and we were so proud that he was awarded the prize for Engineering in Year 10.

The evening was very special, from the delicious meal to the chance to hear Leigh UTC success stories, we felt privileged to be involved.

Thank you for seating us with your very friendly SEM sponsors. We hope they enjoyed the evening as much as we did.

Warm regards

On behalf of all the staff across The Leigh UTC & Inspiration Academy I would like to wish you a happy Christmas and a successful New Year.  Module 3 starts at 8.30am on Thursday 3rd January 2019 for all students.

 



Principal – end of another year

Dear parents / carers,

It is hard to believe that The Leigh UTC will be going into its 5th year since opening in 2014.  Over the last 4 years I have had the pleasure to witness firsthand the difference we are making to the local and national labour market through our students destinations and our expanding alumni. We wait in anticipation for our GCSE and Post 16 results in August, we know how important these events are to all our students as it can open doors to Universities, apprenticeships and for those who want to remain in Post 16 education.  Many of our staff also turn up to share in the successes of our students and to provide support on the next steps.

For those looking to enroll at the UTC then we will be accepting applications on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th August.

I am really looking forward to welcoming our new year 7 in September, Our Inspiration Academy looks and feels fantastic creating an exciting environment to work in.  The parents must also think the same as we have had numerous enquiries to the point where we now have waiting lists. The future looks extremely bright as there is high interest for the following year, starting September 2019.  

As The Leigh UTC / Inspiration Academy expands the challenge of recruiting high quality teaching across STEM subjects remains a priority, that said for the 3rd year in a row we will not have any supply teachers and will continue to draw upon existing expertise along with a few new faces.  As in previous years I would like to thank those staff leaving us at the end of this term for their hard work and commitment in making sure we remain the most successful UTC in the country. As with all these things, nothing is possible without the parents support, ensuring information is gathered and  shared on a regular basis so we can provide a tailored education for your child. Please refer to our policies and procedures on the website for additional information, logins and calendar of events.

Here are a few highlights of this module:

The Leigh UTC, IBCP business breakfast

The latest Leigh UTC business breakfast was hosted by Year 12 IBCP students on Wednesday 23rd May. Held in the boardroom of the newly built Inspiration Academy, guests from a variety of sectors were ably guided through the attributes of IBCP students.

The International Baccalaureate has long been recognised for its value in giving a well-rounded education and producing successful, highly able individuals. The UTC is one of a few schools in the UK to take on its Careers-related Program (IBCP), a bespoke course which aims to prepare students for the workplace, while also providing them with the skills that the IB programme is so widely recognised for.

IBCP students strive to be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-Takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

As part of their serviced learning, students had arranged the event and all guests agreed that they had successfully executed their task with the breakfast concluding with a tour of both the Inspiration Academy and The Leigh UTC.

Greenpower at Goodwood Racetrack

On Sunday the 10th of June six students from the Leigh UTC took part in the the biggest race of the Greenpower race calendar so far. Greenpower is an international competition which requires students to design, build and then race and electric racing car. The event, which was held at Goodwood Racetrack and featured over 100 schools from around the country. Our students competed in both of the races, working as a team to perform fixes to the car, change over batteries and manage driver changes. The students placed in the top half of the country overall, and inside the top 20 for their vehicle class. They were also the highest placed UTC. A great achievement for their first time running a new and untested Greenpower car.

Youth mentorship celebration at The Leigh UTC

Thursday 14th June saw The Leigh UTC host a celebration of this years youth mentorship scheme. 16 of the academy’s current mentors attended along with 30 of the students who have benefitted from this years scheme (actual numbers of mentors and mentees is larger).

Facilitated by the Student Services team, mentors were shown a video of students’ evaluation as well as having the opportunity of discussing the effectiveness of this years work. Many of The Leigh UTC business mentors have participated in more than one previous scheme and look forward to returning again in September.

Students and their mentors enjoyed the opportunity to network over refreshments.

One delegate, Clive Hawkins, Director of Highbank Communications tweeted post event “Delighted to support The leigh UTC and help mentor their students”

Local businesses interested in participating in this scheme should contact student.services@theleighutc.org.uk

Steve Leahey Principal

I am extremely proud of the industry engagement at the UTC.  The business mentoring programme epitomises this, with a programme that adds real value for all involved.Having an opportunity for our mentors to feedback is so important as we continue to grow the programme. The student evaluation video was very powerful and verifies this as a programme we continue to invest in.

Bloodhound Regional Finals

This year the Inspiration Academy @ The Leigh UTC have taken part in a national competition ‘Race for the Line’ as part of their Design and Engineering curriculum. This is the third year the competition has been in operation in the UK with 420 participating secondary schools, 10,000 STEM teachers and 75,000 students directly engaged with the event. The Race for the Line competition requires students to work in small teams together to shape a styrofoam block with strict restrictions on the size to make it as aerodynamic as possible. Students also have the opportunity to develop their own designs for the wheels and manufacture them from a material of their choice. Once complete, their car is propelled over a fixed distance by a rocket and quite simply, the fastest car wins!

Stage one was to compete against each other as a school, the army came in to help fire the rocket cars and after some nail biting moments and a hugely exciting STEM day for all of our year 7’s, team Metronic X consisting of Jake Whiteman, Thomas Argent, Yahya Furrukh and Jacob Woodhouse won the competition at the school stage progressing them to the regional finals at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on the 10th May. At the regional finals the boys were only allowed to take the wheels they would like to use for the race and the tools to manufacture their car. The shaping of the car had to be done on the day under timed conditions with no adult

input at all, the pressure was on but once again they succeeded and qualified through to the national finals at RAF Wittering in Peterborough on the 28th June 2018.

HRH The Countess of Wessex joined us at the impressive setup for the finals at RAF Wittering, the armed services and learning partnership had organised a fantastic day for the teams. There was a STEM activity village on site, building areas for each team in the aircraft hangar, coaches to the other side of the base where the races were to commence, they were running six cars in every race for a very nail biting final. Team Metronic X’s car did very well in their final race, going so fast it had battle scars of its own to contend with after, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed their day out.

Around the race final they had brought in a full static aircraft and equipment display that the students could interact with before and after the races. We were privileged enough to have three incredible air displays, acrobatics from a flying tutor, the Battle of Britain memorial flight in the Hurricane and finally the Red Arrows finished the day off with a spectacular 20 minute display concluding with a special new maneuver to mark the centenary year of the RAF.

 

Group Captain Tony Keeling OBE, Station Commander at RAF Wittering addressed the finalists at the end of the day, “STEM is critically important to modern life, with scientists and engineers playing a major role in almost all major advances in medicine, transport, communications and other walks of life. For the Royal Air Force, technology and innovation have been at the heart of our story since the service was formed in 1918. We are particularly proud to host the even in our centenary year, which is also the governments year of engineering. We are also very privileged to have HRH Countess of Wessex joining us on this special occasion. We hope that the event inspires young children to study STEM subjects and consider a career in a STEM field. Congratulations for making the final.”

We couldn’t be prouder of the team for being true ambassadors to the Inspiration Academy and Leigh UTC throughout the whole competition. Well done Jake, Tom, Yahya and Jacob!

Year 10 Induction Evening September 2018 Students It was great to see our new year 10’s at yesterday’s induction event.  They got a real taste of what it is like studying at the UTC with sessions in Computer Science, Art and Design, Finance, DT and SPDM. They all looked amazing in their business dress too.

LAT AWARDS 2018

Thursday 12th July saw the second annual LAT Awards take place at Strood Academy. It was a glittering, red-carpet event to celebrate the achievements of some of our very best staff and governors. Nominees were put forward by their colleagues and winners were decided by an independent panel of judges.

The evening started with a prosecco reception and was followed by dinner provided by Cucina and entertainment from Donnel, a sixteen year old exceptional pianist from The Halley Academy in Greenwich.

Master of ceremonies for the evening was the Trust’s Deputy CEO, Neil Willis. Nominated staff and their guests watched the Trust’s latest video featuring CEO, Simon Beamish, promoting its first ten years as an organisation.

http://www.leighacademiestrust.org.uk/2018/07/13/lat10-celebrating-10-years-of-leigh-academies-trust/

Prizes were presented after dinner by senior LAT executives and Directors with the support of Nicola Everett from kmfm. A closing speech was delivered by LAT’s Chairman, Bob Findlay. Award winners were as follows

During our last week year 7 students had KS3 Computer Science Nominations for good work, effort and best mobile phone applications produced for e-safety. 25 pupils were among the nominees including the top 6 awards.

3 girls and 3 boys were nominated for top 6 apps and gift cards provided to them from top £15 gift card Restaurant (nandos), £15 gift card (ask italian), the rest were £10 vouchers from amazon. There were two special nominations one boy and a girl those who were given additional awards. The rest of the pupils received chocolates and post cards for their hard work and attempt.

A huge well done to all of our Year 7 with their end of year awards. Students were rewarded for representing the school in a wide range of sporting competitions and consistently demonstrating the IB learner profile values throughout their studies.

Special recognition to the 27 Inspiration academy students that took part in the UK National Maths challenge and particularly well done to Harry Fullagar who not only won a Gold award but also best in school and best in competition.

I do hope everyone has an enjoyable summer and comes back refreshed and ready to come back on Monday 3rd September 8:30 – 14:45 Year 7 & Year 10, Tuesday 4th September 8.30 – normal day – years 7, 8, 10, 11 and Thursday normal day for all years.

 



Principal Blog – May 2018

Dear parents/ carers,

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

For those of you who have already seen inside our new Inspiration Academy then I am sure you will agree it is a fantastic addition to the UTC campus.  Our Key stage 3 students could have no better place to learn. The design supports our vision and will help to develop every student following our Mid Year Programme (MYP). The International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile is fundamental to the development of all our students aged 11 to 19 this will support key learner attributes which provide the foundations for future successes. It is no surprise to see a waiting list for entry into our Inspiration Academy for September 2018 start.

Over the last module we have been able to work closely with a number of large employers developing apprenticeships, projects for our students along with trips and visits.  I am very pleased to announce that Coca Cola, Volvo Group, Thames Water and Bluewater will be added to our official sponsor list of the UTC.

Despite uncertainty around some apprenticeship routes nationally, it is encouraging to see that the vast majority of our leavers have found higher and degree apprenticeships or secured offers from Universities.  In a highly competitive market our leavers have found roles at, BT, Sky, JP Morgan, Coca Cola, Microsoft and Deloitte as well as our more local partners.

As this exam season comes to an end then the focus will turn on to our Year 10 and Year 12 who have less than 1 year to go before their own final exams. CVs and personal statements along with interview technique all need to be honed over the coming months along with UCAS statements, open day visits to universities and FE colleges.

P16 Assembly


Paul Finch from the Heroes project delivered a very insightful assembly to our Post 16 on how they could help save someone’s life. Several students signed up to be screened for blood donations.

Bloodhound regional finals

Congratulations to Jacob , Tom  Jake  Yahya from year 7 who finished in 2nd place today at the Bloodhound regional finals. They had 1.5hrs to build and complete their rocket powered car for the race. Students have qualified for the national finals in july, bringing together all 10 regional winners and runners up.

 

 

Volvo group

Two members of the UK Volvo management team came out to The Leigh UTC on Wednesday 2nd May to showcase their new all electric bus currently being trialed along the Fasttrack in Dartford

Adrian Felton from Volvo delivered a presentation to our year 12 engineering students about the Volvo group and their work in research and development across new technologies. The presentation touched on Volvo Group activities across the world and importantly job opportunities particularly for those wanting to follow an apprenticeship pathway at Level 4 and above.

UTC students participated in the presentation with thorough questioning of why this move to elecrication is important and issues that may arise through its implementation.

Students where then invited onto the electric bus to see how it worked.  They then went on a journey to the charging depot in Greenhithe to see the new technology up close.

With the advances in battery and charging technology students could see the bus fully charged in under 10 minutes. On return to The Leigh UTC Volvo set a design challenge for our engineering students to come up with a viable solution to a real ongoing problem.

Over the next term students will work in teams to come up with a solution and present their findings to Volvo.  The winning team will receive a suitable prize for their efforts.

Bore Farm

Year 7 recently visited Bore Farm in Tonbridge as part of a Design and Technology food fact finding mission. During the trip, students were able to harvest ingredients from the farm before they worked in teams to prepare and cook a seasonal two course lunch of leek and potato soup with soda bread which was followed by a very tasty rhubarb crumble.

Following the lunch they had a tour of the fully working dairy farm and were shown how the farm operates on a daily basis. Guides and teachers helped explain to them how the farm was completely sustainable in its farming approach leaving no product to waste. They had a great experience visiting the farm, picking their own vegetables and fruit, cooking their own lunch and of course seeing and smelling the cows!

 

 

 

 

 

Greenpower

Teacher Jay Wright and the Design and Engineering team along with the Greenpower students who not only passed the scrutineering stages  but managed to come 16th out of 45 on their first outing. Not only was this their first race, but competing against teams that have significant financial backing and a history of competing in these national events, this is a truly amazing result. Students involved are all from year 10.

 

 

EPQ final presentations at The Leigh UTC 

Sincere thanks to guests from Connect Plus Services (M25),  the Kent & Medway STEM Hub, Hollowells Business Support and Alan Fletcher Solutions for coming into The Leigh UTC over two days to support year 13 students as panel members for their final EPQ presentations.

The industry expertise of external participants is highly valued as guests are able to question students on their work using industry knowledge and and technical vocabulary.  The guests are not known to our students, the opportunity to present can be challenging yet essential practice for their futures.

Guests were impressed with the range of topics chosen by students to form the basis of their EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and reported finding the experience most rewarding.

Teacher Comment “Our students really benefit from having industry guests observe their presentations. The questions that our guests panelists asked pushed the students’ thinking and they were able to confidently talk about their work. It was also helpful to have a different perspective when assessing.”  -Miss Warner,

Guest Comment 

It was a great morning and the Students were thoroughly impressive as always! – Jenna Wells, Owner, Hollowells Business Support

“I very much enjoyed the experience and would be pleased to participate again in the future.”- Robin Hiley, STEM Ambassador

 

 

National Teacher Excellence Awards

Two of our teachers recognised at the 18th National Teacher Excellence Awards;  Rebecca Warner was awarded The James Dyson Foundation award for excellence in engineering education and Richard Nash was awarded The Institution of Engineering and Technology award for creative use of digital technologies in design and technology, both celebrated for their outstanding contribution. An annual event held at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, situated on the bank of the Thames in London, the Awards recognise the commitment and achievements of teachers, teacher trainers, education consultants and academics across primary and secondary schools, and further and higher education.

 

Nominated and voted for by peers in the education sector, the Excellence Awards is open to the 11,000-strong membership and non-members across England and Wales. This was especially impressive as both teachers were independently awarded national winners yet both from The Leigh UTC.

MACH Show

During the Easter Holidays Post 16 engineering students and apprentices from the Leigh UTC visited the MACH show. This biennial event, one of the largest of its type in Europe, takes up 7 event halls of the Birmingham NEC.

The students had the chance to see cutting edge technology from the world of engineering including large scale CNC machines, robotics, 3D printing computer aided design. They were also able to see first hand the enormous range of products which are produced in the engineering sector from F1 cars and aircraft landing gear, to products which are now able to be 3D printed in metal.

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A group of year 10, 12 and 13 students entered the annual challenge organised for STEM schools across the country.  We shipped the students off for 2 days of events. Having won the event last year we had high expectations and again our students proved their worth.  Winning 2 prizes including the overall team award. Students also had the opportunity to sleep on HMS Bristol for the night.  A group of year 10, 12 and 13 students entered the annual challenge organised for STEM schools across the country.  We shipped the students off for 2 days of events. Having won the event last year we had high expectations and again our students proved their worth.  Winning 2 prizes including the overall team award. Students also had the opportunity to sleep on HMS Bristol for the night.    

Power Station visit  Year 7 visited the Dungeness B power station in April. The students learnt about both traditional forms of energy and nuclear energy. This trip supported their science lessons. 

BBC Schools report On Tuesday 13th March, eight year 7 students created a news report for BBC Schools Report News Day about the opening of our Inspiration Academy. From 8.30 am, they were planning, scripting, recording and editing to hit their deadline for 3.45pm. The students all worked really well together and produced some fantastic material.

ASD Inspiration Academy Coffee Morning

On Wednesday 16th May we held our first SEN Coffee morning with an ASD awareness focus. It was a fantastic opportunity for parents staff and Educational Psychologists to develop a network and have time to share and discuss our students in depth.  Thank you to Lucy Robertson and Ryan Cullen our Educational  psychologists and Clive Barker our SEN Governor who supported the event. Please watch out for future coffee mornings in the Autumn term.

 Year 7 Tutor Day

Our first Y7 parent and tutor day in the new building to help focus and set targets, helping to prepare them for the upcoming end of year exams in module 6. It was also a great opportunity for the students to give personalised tours around our new building.

 

 

 

Recently, the Trust celebrated the opening of its latest new school building, Inspiration Academy at The Leigh UTC in Dartford. Chairman, Bob Findlay, planted a fruit tree to mark the occasion.

Our Year 12 IBCP students planned and presented the latest business breakfast at the UTC with the support of Clive Barker and Kevin Nutter. The IBCP students demonstrated their unique set of skills that makes them very employable. I received a lot of positive feedback from attendees.

 

 

 

 

 



Module 3 Principal Blog

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.

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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.

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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.

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safer internet

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.

 



End of Module 2

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 



Principal Blog – Module 1

I would like to start this post by welcoming new and existing students to The Leigh UTC. We are now into our 4th year as a University Technical College with our school continuing to grow and expand both in student numbers and opportunities that enable us to develop a more diverse curriculum.  

Our examinations that our former students have secured over the last 3 years proves that the value of a STEM based education in our current economy. Results on both GCSE and Post 16 are the best yet and maintain our position as one of the very best UTCs in the country. I am extremely proud of our Year 11 GCSE students reaching their potential across all their subjects at The Leigh UTC.  We have improved our performance from 2016 with our strongest set of academic outcome.

Photo left to right: Jason Wenden  2A*, Grade 8 in maths, 3A, grade 6 in English and 3 B grades.  Jason is returning to the Leigh UTC to study the Technical Baccalaureate route including L3 Engineering, A level maths and Extended Project Qualification.  Charlie Dring 2 A, 3B, Grade 6 in maths, Grade 5 in English  and 4C grades. Charlie is returning to the UTC to study the International Baccalaureate Career Pathway (IBCP).  Robbie White 2A, grade 6 in maths and English, 5B and 2C grades. Robbie is returning to the UTC to study IBCP pathway. Artur Bujok 1A*, 1A, 1B, Grade 4 in maths and English and 4 C grades. Artur is returning to the Leigh UTC to study the Technical Baccalaureate pathway including L3 Engineering, Core maths and Extended Project Qualification.  Ewen Johnston 1A*,2A, grade 6 in maths 3B, grade 4 in English and 2C grades. Ewan is starting a L3 Engineering Apprenticeship. 

The Leigh UTC GCSE Results

The new Inspiration Academy building is nearing  to completion with an anticipated completion date of March 2018, with last year being oversubscribed and with current demand for school places suggests the same for September 18/19.  This bodes well for the future as parents become more familiar with the benefits of a STEM based education (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the career opportunity benefits this will bring.

It has been hugely satisfying to see our new intake of year 7 settle in so quickly. Students came from 27 different primary schools made history as the first to transfer to a University Technical College in the country.

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I am excited by our new build which will provide state of the art facilities across the Key stage 3 curriculum.  The sports fields are also making good progress with all 5 acres currently being cleared ready for levelling. 

The Leigh UTC will be upgrading its management information system during the half term to reflect our growing intake. This will provide parents with online access to pupil reports, calendars and parent pay.  We will continue to use classcharts, which provides parents with full online access to the behaviour trends of students across all subjects.  Our business partners fully support the use of classcharts and provide the range of rewards students can achieve.

Inspiration Academy @ The Leigh UTC currently has vacancy for a Parent Governor to serve on the Governing Body of Inspiration Academy @ The Leigh UTC. We would like to encourage parent/carers of registered students to nominate themselves if you feel you can add value to this role. If you would like to stand for Parent Governor please contact the office by info@theleighutc.org.uk or by telephone phone on 01322 626600.

On a final note….

With regards to the current  government performance measurement system, Progress 8, it does not take into account that The Leigh UTC takes pupils aged 14.  In the 18 months we have with them before they take their GCSEs, we make excellent progress but this is then compared to all other schools who have 5 years.  I also feel that destinations should be reflected in performance measures as it would show the number of students securing apprenticeship programmes and university places.  That said, I have increasing faith in parents that they too can see beyond this flawed measure.  Being able to take students aged 11 will benefit us in the next few years, as they will have secured the skills we hold dear at the UTC.

Students return back for Module 2 on Monday 6th November with the next module requiring students to sit mock examinations along with the opportunity of parents to meet with tutors to discuss your child’s progress on Wednesday 8th November.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of The UTC,  have a restful half term enjoy and I look forward to seeing everyone back ready for Module 2 on Monday 6th November.

 

 



Principal’s Blog End of Module 6

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I can’t believe another year of school is over. At this time of year we have a chance to look back and reflect on our college achievements along with the hard work of the staff and students. This year saw our first Ofsted inspection with the UTC being judged  ‘Good with Outstanding features’ and it is brilliant news to end the school year on the highlight of being granted IB World School status giving the UTC the opportunity to continue our hard-earned reputation of high standards of teaching and student achievement.

A few highlights from this module include Harry Dressel successfully completing 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.

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.

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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.

Year 12 students also had the opportunity collaborating in an Engineering Challenge with Thames Water.

Each team of students had to plan the route their network of pipes would take with the pipes only be laid vertically or horizontally and they had to cross a river and a railway line. This made the challenge even harder and the students worked together to find the solution.  The students were given a budget to work within and they costed their outlay accordingly. Each team of 4 had to plan the route their network of pipes would take. The pipes could only be laid vertically or horizontally and they had to cross a river and a railway line. This made the challenge even harder and the students worked together to find the solution.  A fee had to be paid for crossing each section of land and the selection of pipes they had chosen needed to be paid for.  The students were given a budget to work within and they costed their outlay accordingly.

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Year 10 Leigh UTC students competed in the Leigh Trust Sports Day at the Dartford Harriers running club. All our students had a great day, competing in several events each. Our stand out performer was Ioulia Kasapidis winning both the 1500m and 800m additionally she set Trust records in both of these events. 

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The Leigh UTC attended a Technology Challenge event held at the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham run by the Rotary Club of Medway.

The Leigh entered two ‘advanced’ teams in the Post 16 category, despite one team being formed solely by Y11s. The students were given the Technology challenge on the day with no prior knowledge of what it may be. They were asked to bring tools and basic equipment and then they were given the task and a kit of materials in the morning. Students frantically got into the designing of their task which was to design a vehicle that could drive itself along a half pipe, through a bridge and then push ‘debris’ formed of pebbles, then capture the pebbles and drag them back to the start point under the bridge. This was all using basic equipment such as mdf, pine blocks, pulleys, elastic band, string, card, batteries and wires.

After lunch students constructed and tested their vehicles. At this stage the Leigh UTC ‘A’ team were in the lead, although this as unknown to them at the time, based upon their portfolio and team work marks. The challenge was tough and stretched students skills.

Finally they had to test their vehicles under the scrutiny of the judges, their peers and the mayor of Gillingham! Very few vehicles fully completed all the task correctly at any entry level, and although a hastily put together teachers team shone in the testing in the advanced, the overall winners were the Leigh UTC ‘A’ team who scored highest overall for the day.

Many thanks go to the Rotary club of Medway for organising the event, and the Royal Engineers Museum for such a great venue. Well done also to the Leigh UTC students Sam Holloway, Ehigie Usifo, Daniel Easter and Sukhdip Bambra for their winning work.

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The Leigh UTC was featured on KMTV Apprenticeships Program.  KMTV is a new tv channel specifically aimed at people in Kent, As part of their launch event The leigh UTC was the feature story as SMEs (small to medium size enterprises) in Kent continue to struggle finding appropriately trained staff in the engineering sector and in particular finding women to take up engineering roles.

This module saw The Leigh UTC hosting a fantastic networking Business Brunch  with a brunch themed on celebrating the year’s successes.

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Chaired by governor Clive Barker of CSB Logistics, attendees were given a raft of information on current engineering apprenticeships as well as those that will be begin next year in ICT. Principal, Steve Leahey gave glowing reports on students many positive destinations in terms of jobs, apprenticeships and university places whilst Rebecca Warner explained the new UTC hub and Sophie Dickinson explained the academy’s excitement in the forthcoming IBCP.

As part of a blog article, Chris writes-

“I am just completing my first year as a mentor for The Leigh UTC and highly recommend it to anyone in the local area from my industry.

For those who don’t know The Leigh UTC, it’s a University Technical College in Dartford and part of the Leigh Academies Trust. They take students from the age of 14 who want to pursue a career in engineering, and if you are an engineer, take a look around, their facilities are pretty special!

Excuse the cliché but I really feel that becoming a mentor has made a difference both to the student that I have been working with and myself personally.

Last year I was paired with a 17-year-old student to offer some independent guidance and advice over 6 one hour sessions. What difference can you make in that time I thought to myself?

Well it turns out you can make quite a bit- life skill, advice and guidance to start with. It struck me that the things that I have helped my student with have been the things that mentors in my career have helped me with and I possibly took for granted as a slightly rebellious air conditioning engineer apprentice.

In fact, once we covered the basics, my student was so enthusiastic that we explored some more practical aspects of the M&E industry. Mark, our Hemlow engineer took him around the plant rooms of the UTC to show him the HVAC plant and what a maintenance engineer does.

We got so much positive input that we included him on some ROSPA accredited health and safety training with our trainee engineers at head office. His enthusiasm has gone up a notch and the next step is a three-day work experience package within the Hemlow business both in the office and out on site with more members of our team.

I have had the satisfaction of witnessing the student, gain confidence, direction, life skills, land a part time job and hope that he will make the choice to become an engineer of the future in the M&E industry.

All of this has taken up less than 24 hours of my life in total, spread over a 9-month period, surely this is a good thing for anyone in the local engineering industry to do?

I’m already signed up for next year and looking forward to it.  If you are interested email louisa.felstead@latrust.org.uk and sign yourself up for the Leigh UTC mentor inductions in September; you won’t regret it!

For this year result days the Leigh UTC we will be open at 9am for students to collect their examination results.  These dates are Thursday 17th August for A-Level results and Thursday 24th August for GCSE results.

The new academic year is set to be a very exciting time as the new Inspiration Academy opens for Key Stage 3, with its first cohort of students The building is on schedule with an anticipated completion date of March 2017 which will add to our already impressive facilities.

As the Leigh UTC grows, a restructuring of the senior leadership team to support our developing learning areas was required.  Carina  Lindars will take up Head of College at the Inspiration Academy and Likhon Muhammad will be Head of College at the UTC,  both will be supported by two Assistant Principals, Harroop Sandhu and Neil Arnould.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the continued support you have given both to your child and to The Leigh UTC. All the staff at the UTC wish you a restful summer and look forward to seeing you on Monday 4th September for Year 7 students and Tuesday 5th September for Year’s 10, 11, 12, 13.

 



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.