Date Posted: November 29, 2019
For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved of holidays, an occasion with deep roots in the country’s history and a time to celebrate with family and friends. However, the historical association of Native Americans with this celebration can be seen as problematic. The story and it’s associated imagery, that the Pilgrim settlers benefited from the agricultural knowledge, practices, and harvest of the Wampanoag peoples whose lands they occupied apparently, is historically correct. However, we also have to be reminded about the struggle of Native Americans to hold on to their culture, land and traditions which was largely wiped out by settlers. My own connection with the USA is deep as I lived there for over 10 years and both my children, Charles and Hilbre, currently reside in Chicago. I have spent many years attending Thanksgiving and it is a time when all citizens, no matter what religion or culture they are, can join with their families to spend some time giving thanks.
At UTC Plymouth, we decided to celebrate our own Thanksgiving as it was the start of the Mayflower 400 celebration taking place across the world, but centered around Plymouth, UK and Plymouth, Massachusetts. Our own celebration in true UTC Style was about community and thinking about being thankful. All students were asked to reflect on giving thanks to someone in their lives. This was followed at lunchtime by a simply amazing Thanksgiving Feast created by our truly inspirational Chef, Jess! I think we all agreed that this is a UTC tradition that we aim to celebrate each year.
We were treated to a menu of:
Turkey/Bacon or Quorn
Mashed Potatoes and GRAVY
Mac and Cheese
Followed by Sweet Potato pie or red velvet cheese cake
I can guarantee that we have the best school food in the SW!
Our top Effective Learning point students were also treated to a trip to Mayflower steps on a rainy day that was luckily followed by a hot chocolate. Thank you to Justine and Jim for organising!
Women in STEM
Our girls had a visit and talk from Chloe Mcilvaney. Chloe is a weapons engineer in Royal Navy and is married to one of our new members of staff Ben. It was great to hear her story about her role and experiences.
She was incredibly inspirational and answered their wide variety of questions, such as the ratio of males to females, how much money you can earn, what life is like on board ship, including how many showers there are, the variety of engineering careers available and even what would happen if you committed a crime in the Navy!
Our first football match took place this week against PSCA. What an afternoon of high drama it was. I am going to passover to guest blog writer and manager of UTC Raleigh, Mike Hall:
‘On a cold wet night in Devonport Park, UTC Raleigh played their first school game against an experienced Creative Arts side.
The lads were already riled up before going out onto the pitch as Polly and Jo gave two impassioned speeches to the backdrop of the gladiator theme tune.
Our opponents were a mix of year 10 and 11’s and have had recent success in the FA schools cup.
The game started in positive fashion for UTC with our boys passing it around and linking up as if they had been playing together for years rather than weeks.
A host of chances came – and went – with UTC doing everything but score. Ross, Josh, Toby and Dylan all came close in a great first half before Ross Harries played a splitting ball through to the ever eager Dylan M who clipped the ball past the keeper in fine fashion to put the all blacks ahead.
The half ended with a host of corners for UTC, with the only worrying moment for the hosts arriving when Harry H hammered the ball back to Corey only to find the bumble bee had flown his nest and was nearer the half way line! Thankfully Corey managed to get back just in time and avoid a sting in the tail for UTC.
The second half was much more evenly contested with UTC now kicking up the hill, whilst still creating some good opportunities. UTC struggled to find the killer ball despite working really hard as a team and winning lots of the battles on display.
In a rare Creative Arts attack, the ball broke kindly and at the edge of the area, after a catalogue of errors for the home team, leading to a placed finish to put the visitors level.
The next ten or so minutes were very tense with rare goalmouth action. The game became a much more cautious and rugged affair with the outcome on a knife edge.
As the night drew in, and vision was just starting to become impaired, UTC had a couple of glorious chances that just lacked a finish.
Finally though, UTC struck a late blow after a massive goalmouth scramble culminating in Cody Jeffery apparently chesting it in (although, if rumours are true, there may have been a hint of handball)! We have our very own hand of god, or should I say, hand of Jeff. In all seriousness though, the goal was the least the boys deserved after a fine performance and they very nearly added the icing on the cake with two more late chances narrowly missed.
The final whistle was blown by Macca and UTC had ended their first ever Football match with a win. What was even more pleasing than the win however, was the incredible attitude, teamwork and determination shown by this group of lads as well as the respect they showed for their opposition.
AS ever, not only did we see the talent of our footballers we also discovered the unknown talent of Year 10 student Bradley who took these stunning photographs. He has now carved himself a role as official UTC photographer! He really shows an understanding of composition and was able to really document the total drama of the game!
National Swimming Awards
In other sporting news… Charles, a Year 11 student took part in the ACF National Swimming competition.
The South West came 2nd overall at the 2019 ACFA National Swimming Championships where 9 regions competed. We are unbelievably proud, the cadets absolutely smashed it with the following medal count:
Gold - 9
Silver - 4
Bronze – 4
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We are very proud to be supporting Plymouth Food Bank. Many of our students and staff have donated to this very worthy cause and they were truly grateful for the advent calendars. Sam, Callum and Saxon were so, so polite and respectful.Our next visit will be to bring the Christmas bundle. Plymouth Food Bank desperately need breakfast cereal & tea. If you would like to bring some in, we will make sure that it gets delivered!
Careers are at the heart of what we do at the UTC. It is about that aspiration to succeed and get on the best pathway for your future.
A Big thanks to Sharon of Amazing Apps UK in supporting of our Year 13’s with apprenticeship progression. Sharon was brilliant in delivering a workshop to our students.
Thank you to Pete our Careers and Strategic Partnership Lead for organising. We also had a visit from Emma at Next Steps SW who delivered training to our teachers on how they can use NSSW to help deliver HIGHER education pathways across the curriculum.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go!
It seems that we have some Christmas decoration competitions going on. Lovely to see our staff taking such pride in their areas and a big thank you to our Admin staff Kerry and Sarah for getting our Christmas tree. This makes such a difference to all our students who feel the love and warmth of being a part of the UTC Family. Don’t forget our rewards celebration on 18th at 2 pm for Sixth Form and KS4 on 20th our last day at 1.15pm please
Happy shopping, thank you for reading and it’s 26 sleeps until Christmas!