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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 01322 626600.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.