Principals Blog, Week 28 of 2019

Welcome back
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to college for our Summer Term.
Over the Easter holidays our caretaker, Darren Hitchcock, and a good friend and ex-colleague of the UTC, Andy McCarron, have been busy cleaning the site and getting new classrooms ready for our new intake in September. I think it’s important that our environment helps students to learn and that they also enjoy their time here.
For all of our students, the summer term brings to an end what will be an important year for all groups. For Year 13 particularly they are nearing the end of their time with us as they move on to the next phase of their lives – whether that be university, further education, apprenticeship, work or a gap year. I am really looking forward to seeing where our students destinations lead and hope that they continue to join our growing alumni and spread the word about how UTC Plymouth helped them on the road to success.

New staff
We are really pleased to welcome four new staff starting with us. On Tuesday they all met with our Vice Principal, Jo Ware, who introduced our new starters to their induction programme.
A big welcome to:
Jacob Frings: Administrator and Receptionist
Mike Hall: Intervention Manager
Jenna Trolley: Biology Teacher
Luke Skorka-Brown: Engineering Teacher
I will definitely find out some more information about all our new staff and share it with you in my next blog

Interventions
Our Data Driven Instruction programme at UTC Plymouth really helps us to personalise learning for our students and we are able to pinpoint who needs extra support. This week it was good to see some early morning studying taking place from 7.45 am – well done to all our students who are helping to further their own progress.

Industry Partners

Today, Year 13 returned to the dock yard to test their prototype designs for HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.
They have been set the challenge of designing a safety cover for the anchor tie down points on the vehicle decks for both vessels.
Paul Youngman, UTC’s Royal Navy Liaison Officer said that ‘the students have come up with some fantastic design solutions and prototypes. A couple of the solutions have real potential to be developed further and to be put to the Royal Navy to consider for production.
This project has formed part of their BTEC L3 Qualification and shows another great example of how we deliver our curriculum through the support of our industry partners.
Thanks again to Paul Youngman for his support and organisation.

Exams
Officially we start exam season and although we do not have a Year 11 we do wish all our students good luck and success with their exams this year. Our Year 10 have sat their English Speaking and Listening this week and I dropped in to listen. I was so impressed by the level of ability in presenting and their professional and supportive attitude of all the students to each other. All I can say is #oracy works!

Helen’s Birthday
We celebrated with Helen Johnston, our Vice Principal, her 50th Birthday on Wednesday 24th April. I know she hates fuss but we all enjoyed a surprise smoked salmon and bagel brunch together. It’s always so difficult in teaching as you can’t take your birthday off if it happens to take place on a school day!

Joint Staff and Student Visible Learning CPD
Next week we start with a Drop Down Day and joint staff and students CPD. We welcome Andy Welch our No 1 Field Gun trainer as our guest speaker. More on this next week but I know it will be a brilliant learning day for both staff and students.

Wedding and Woody Update
Well Easter was an amazing holiday for me as I married my wonderful partner and best friend Nick! A big thank you to all the staff and governors for your lovely messages and gifts, we were both really touched! The sun shone for us and we had the most brilliant day with our friends and family. You’ve got to love the VW van ‘Black Betty’!

This was followed by our ‘Puppymoon’ where we drove to York and picked up our new member of the family, the incredible wonder dog Woody! He is a three-month old Italian Greyhound with attitude. The Principal went to puppy training this week and has a lot to learn. Indeed, learning is lifelong!

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading.