2018 has been designated “The Year of Engineering”. The UK Space Agency is joining forces with partners across government and industry to give thousands of young people inspiring experiences of engineering. The Leigh UTC is engaging in a number of exciting engineering project this year in order to engage young people in this area. KMTV News visited our Dartford site to see what this means for us, and to speak to our students about their experiences at the Leigh UTC.
Leigh UTC Students featured on KMTV and BBC new’s this morning click link here to watch video.
Presentation at The Leigh UTC
On Tuesday 5th December, Leigh Academies Trust was delighted to welcome Dan Flatt, Senior Student Recruitment Officer from Leicester University. During a busy day, Dan visited four academies- Mascalls Academy, The Leigh UTC , Leigh Academy and Strood Academy to talk to students about why they might want to go to university.
Students from mainly year 12 but also some from year 11 listened intently to Dan’s comprehensive presentations. Topics included what is it like to study at university, will I meet new people ,what skills will I develop and is it worth it; will I get a job afterwards?
Presentation at Strood Academy
Dan explained that students can choose from a diverse range of courses as there are over 40,000 different degree courses offered at over 350 institutions within the U.K. Many universities offer state of the art facilities in which to study.
He stressed the benefits of independent learning at this stage as well as opportunities such as a year out in industry, a year abroad or learning a language as part of a degree. Aspects such as where students live and the clubs and societies available were also discussed.
The skills gained from going to university were summarised as:
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Critical analysis
- Working under pressure
Companies who offer top graduate positions were included when discussing the typical higher graduate earnings in relation to non graduates.
Student finance was also explored including tuition fees, maintenance loans, loan repayments, bursaries, scholarships- and weird and wonderful grants!
Presentation at the Leigh Academy
Feedback from students was excellent with comments including:
“He was very engaging and had many good points including his personal experience”
“I appreciated the information on finances”
“It was very helpful”
Thank you Dan for some very engaging and thoughtful information
Wednesday 13th December saw a Business Youth Mentorship cream tea for business mentors and their mentees at The Leigh UTC.
Currently, 45 post 16 students are benefitting from this well established opportunity to gain from regular one to one meetings with their mentors. Mentors bring a wealth of experience of the world of work to assist students with guidance on potential career paths , writing a C.V. or looking for relevant work experience.
Two current mentors, Clive Barker and Janet Robinson are also valued governors at The Leigh UTC
As Principal, Steve Leahey explained, when thanking mentors, the work that they undertake with our students is highly valued and the opportunity to be a mentee is a privilege. In an ideal world, The Leigh UTC would wish that every student could have a mentor; such is the value of this scheme.
Students, mentors and staff took the opportunity to network with each other during the cream tea and swapped stories of successes and future aspirations.Thank you to all who attended and to the Student Services team of Kevin Nutter, Anna Wilton and Vicky Narwan for organising a both enjoyable and useful event.
As the term comes to a close, I would like to thank parents, carers, staff and or course all of our students for their continued support, whether it be to celebrate successes or backing when faced with different challenges.
If you follow The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy on social media, you will be aware of many events and activities that have taken place during this module. My own personal highlight being our third annual Awards Dinner in November. Being able to share student’s successes with parents, staff and our business partners is pivotal to the UTC’s ethos. It provides a timely reminder to all in business how wonderful this generation of teenagers can be, if they take the opportunities offered to them.
Superb trophies were manufactured for the evening by Kenard Engineering.
The 2017 award student winners were:
STEM Year 10 Male – Joshua Jobson, sponsored by Cleantec (http://cleantecservices.co.uk/)
STEM Year 10 Female – Ioulia Kasapidis, sponsored by Hemlow (http://www.hemlow.com/)
STEM Year 12 Male – Joseph Fasogbon, sponsored by Bam Construction (http://www.bam.co.uk/)
STEM Year 12 Female – Amelia Cockran, sponsored by Kenard Engineering (http://kenard.com/)
Engineering Year 10 – Bethany Arney, sponsored by SEM (http://www.sem.co.uk/)
Engineering Year 12 – Malika Vara, sponsored by RAP Interiors (http://www.rapinteriors.co.uk/)
Computer Science Year 10 – Ethan Bailey, sponsored by Temple Brown Consulting (http://www.templebroenconsuting.com/)
Computer Science Year 12 – George Waterman, sponsored by Fujitsu (www.fujitsu.com/uk/)
Enterprise Year 12 – Samuel Holloway, sponsored by CSB logistics (http://www.csblogistics.com/)
Ambassador Award – Max Parkin, sponsored by DMA (http://www.dma-group.co.uk/)
Outstanding Achievement Year 10 – Ross Dell, sponsored by Leigh Academies Trust (http://www.leighacademiestrust.org.uk/ ) and Briar Associates (www.briarassociates.co.uk/)
Outstanding Achievement Year 12 – Courtney Weir, sponsored by Cucina (www.cucina.co.uk)
A silent auction was held during the evening resulting in an amazing total of over £15,000 being raised towards various additional extracurricular projects.
This module saw students proudly attend the Duke of York Awards, at which seven Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. Students were presented with their awards by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who also spoke at the ceremony and gave up his time to chat personally to each of the students at the after post-ceremony reception.
This is the second year that the Leigh UTC have received these prestigious awards, where students will have gone through a screening process including having to impress at a final interview with local business representatives.
As part of the awards process, students discussed their accomplishments in areas such as chairing meetings, collaborative work and working with a variety of companies in the field of engineering and computer science, which helped many to secure apprenticeships. Students also had to work closely with various companies and professional bodies to demonstrate group project management such as working together to design and build.
But the basis of knowledge that you have gained whilst at the UTC is probably the most useful basis of knowledge in any school system that we have in the UK. It gives you the greatest flexibility in being able to cope with that velocity of change. This country needs well-educated, technically-minded people. It doesn’t always need philosophers. It doesn’t always need people who can write perfect English. It needs people who are going to be able to use their skills.
For the second year running, Fujitsu (in collaboration with partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera) have run their Operation Innovation competition for teams of sixth-form students in Fujitsu Education Ambassador schools across the UK. Last week, a team of four Y13 students: Oliver Barnes, Amelia Cockran, Joseph Fasogbon, and George Waterman, headed off to the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park (home of UK code-breaking efforts during World War 2) to compete in the finals of this competition. The brief was to generate and develop an innovative use of Fujitsu’s Internet of Things technology portfolio within one of three key areas: construction, education, or manufacturing. The Leigh UTC team wrote a 14-page proof of value document in support of their concept: Open.ii, a novel use of Fujitsu’s augmented reality head-mounted display to assist students with special educational requirements within a normal classroom environment, thereby reducing the need for specialist staff support.
The team’s report, as well as a carefully crafted presentation, was submitted at the end of the last module, and they were invited to the finals (with seven other teams from an initial field of 15) to present their idea to a panel of five Fujitsu and Intel executives. Aside from the presentation itself (and challenging questions from the judges afterwards), the teams were free for most of the day to practice, talk to Fujitsu interns and apprentices, and look around the museum (which included a selection of old games consoles and a very popular Crazy Taxi arcade machine). After lunch, The Leigh UTC team had the opportunity to tour a fully rebuilt Colossus computer (the first digital, programmable, electronic computer ever built), 10 of which were used during World War 2 to crack the Lorenz code, which German high command and army units used to encrypt messages throughout the war. After all eight finalists had completed their presentations, and the judges finally finished deliberating, the prizes were awarded. The judges noted that the overall standard had jumped substantially in this year’s competition (enough that last year’s winners did not even make it to the finals this time around), and then presented trophies for the top three teams. Although the Leigh UTC team did not win first prize (which included a trip to a major Fujitsu conference this week in Germany and the opportunity to present their proposal to a senior Fujitsu executive), they were awarded third place and complimented on their exceedingly high level of teamwork (both throughout the presentation and in a previous video-conference with some of the judges in September). They returned to the school, still shocked by how successful they had been, bringing back a trophy for the school and a wealth of transferable skills and experience to enhance their CVs going forward. We are hopeful that Fujitsu will continue the competition next year, and aim to go all the way to Germany next time around!
The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy marked National Anti-bullying week with a wide range of activities and workshops across all year groups. We spent some time looking at the This Mornings ‘Be Kind’ Campaign and completed a number of activities and events that included students learning about the different types of bullying, how to identify bullying and what to do if you think you are being bullied. Students shared experiences of bullying and when they have identified bullying as well as (In true UTC style) using their CAD CAM skills to create a leaf pledge and coding their way through anti bullying and citizenship’s online game Interland
The recent Christmas jumper day was an excellent effort of fundraising by students and staff raising over £200 pounds for Save the Children charity.
BAM are making excellent progress with the Inspiration Academy with the school to be handed over due in early March 2018. I anticipate inviting parents of year 7 in for a tour of our new facility before we officially open to the students. It is very pleasing to see the interest being generated from our open days for places starting in September 2018. We will be holding our next open day on Saturday 20th January 2018, 9am – 1pm for students wishing to apply for year 10 and Post 16.
Being the first UTC to have IB world schools status has enabled us to develop strong links in Germany and Qatar. We hope to be taking some of our IB students to Germany in the summer term. Having IB status will enable us to further develop the mid years programme (MYP) for our Key Stage 3 students and thus providing a joined up pathway from 11 to 19.
I hope you all have restful Christmas and happy New Year, I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Thursday 4th January 2018.