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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
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.
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.
Royal Navy competition
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.