Principals Blog, Week 19 of 2019

Charles de Gaulle
We received some great news this week from our Charles de Gaulle funding application – it has been agreed at last! This means that two teachers and 6 students are off to La Rochelle for a fantastic collaboration with our partner college. Great job Helen and Cat and big thank you to Jacqui Ashton from Reach South who supported us with this application.

#Snowmageddon!
As temperatures drop and the weather worsens you have to give a thought to the rest of the country and other places in the world suffering from extreme cold and snow. My children Hilbre and Charles live in Chicago and you may have seen on the news the eye watering sub-zero temperatures that the windy city is experiencing.
Lots of very cute dog pics keeping warm on Instagram #DogsOfChiberia
I digress and move on to what’s been happening at our incredibly amazing and friendly College..

Teacher Support Programme
We were also successful in securing mentoring funding from the Department of Education who offer mentoring support for staff who are in the first few years of teaching. We welcomed Tamsin Hamilton who is a senior leader at Mullion school. The mentoring programme gives staff an opportunity to really spend time talking about their careers, and the ups and downs, with an independent colleague. Really great day and lots of fab feedback from staff. So thanks Tamsin and Siobhan Harper and Sky Westwood from DfE for helping us with the application process.

CCF Team Building
This week our Year 10’s had a team building activity as part of our Combined Cadet Force Royal Navy contingent. They spent the first two hours of the day taking part in activities in the hall, run by our very own CPO Strong RN. Junior Cadet Spencer Harrison said “it was hard because it was so physically demanding, but was really worth it because it was so fun. Junior Cadet Josh Woodward said “I had an absolute whale of a time because the activities were fun and there was enough fun and relaxation but also the right amount of discipline.

Visible Learning Walk
We had a visit from two of our primary colleagues, Lisa Meek, Head teacher at Pilgrim Primary and Belinda Crowhurst, Literacy ASL also Jacqui Aston of Reach South. We conducted a learning walk which coincided with a learning walk from another colleague, Nick Berryman of DHSB. Really good to get some feedback and support in our next steps with visible learning. We have some great ideas that we are going to roll out with our students after half term.

Dan McCallister
So lovely to have a returning student to work with us. Dan joins us for a term as part of his placement on his 3D Degree course at Plymouth University. Brilliant to have Dan’s skills in the Art and Design classes!

Visit from Nick Jones Baker Dearing Trust
A dear friend of the UTC Plymouth, who supported us in the days when life was really a challenge, Nick Jones came to visit this week. Really great to see Nick and a big thank you for all his support through Baker Dearing Trust. Nick is leaving as part of the field team but will, I am sure, remain an expert we can call on when we need him!

Year 10 Mock Exams
Year 10 had their first experience of being in the hall for an exam as we introduced the group to a walk-and-talk mock. A bit of a shock to some in terms of time management but good to see so many putting effort in. Watch this space for a new study room! We can’t wait to show you.

Industry Mentoring
Another great morning with our mentors who braved the weather. Lots of great #oracy discussions happening regarding CV’s whilst the students develop their own skills communicating with industry professionals whilst updating their own skills view their Unifrog platforms.

Women in STEM
Lovely to finish the week with Women in Stem as Michael, our Engineering Lecturer, had a visit from his beautiful daughter Sophia, who is 4 months old. What a lovely girl and very inquisitive about her surroundings, we’ll have her signed up as before you know it!!

Thank you & Farewell
Today we say a fond farewell to Neil Tancock who has been with us for three years. Neil arrived to support us with our IT infrastructure and ended up staying as Interim Technical Support Manager. He has helped to turn around our technical systems to an extremely high degree and we are very grateful for everything that he has done for us. Thank you Neil and good luck!