Principals Blog, Week 29 of 2019

This week’s blog revolves around the idea of learning and, specifically, thinking about the last time we tried something new and discovered as a result. The following quote really inspires me;

Learn something new
Try something different
Convince yourself that you have no limits

Throughout my career I have realised a lot about how I am a learner first, but this week I have been thinking about, “What is Learning?” While there are many variations of the definition, here a couple of examples that capture the essence of the word.
• Learning is about a change in behaviors, about experiences and changes.
• Learning is a process or journey that a person embarks upon that then impacts their thinking, actions or opinions moving forward.
• Learning is about a permanent change in a person.
• Learning is about being informed and doing things differently because of what was learned.
• Learning is about social interactions.
• Learning is about living and changing over time.

We started the week off with a truly #MotivationMonday. Our No.1 Field Gun Trainer WO Andy Welch visited us as a guest speaker and as a dear friend of the UTC Plymouth who believes in our values and education. He spoke to our Year 10 students about his challenges in life and what he learnt on that journey forming the kickstart to our ‘Visible learning’ journey with students; so they are fully prepoared to enter Year 11 with a strong plan as they head towards exams in 2020.
What an amazing day! Great to see our students so engaged with their learning and ready to take on the challenge. A very big thanks to all staff who contributed to our drop down ‘Visible Learning Day’ where I believe the students gained so much and understand now how to be a better learner.

A new Course
Our Year 12’s are also taking on the challenge of new learning. Michael Bluett our Engineering teacher has launched an additional course that students are doing in their own time.
‘EAL introduction into Welding processes’ will give our students an extra qualification which I am sure will impress future employers, so well done for learning something new!

CCF trip to Heles School

All our CCF students went to Heles school this week to learn a new skill. We had a lovely response after the visit from Pete Messenger who has been supporting us as we grow our new CCF and I would like to share his message with you;

‘Well done to the cadets for today. They certainly showed themselves off well and were a credit to the College. A senior member of Heles’ staff commented on how smart they looked when they arrived. Both Major Kev Randall and I were impressed with how attentive they were during the instructional session and how well this learning was put in to practice on the range. The shooting showed high standards of range discipline, good marksmanship techniques and accurate placing of shots with some excellent groupings. Very impressive when you consider that for many this was their first time on a range.’

Taster Day
We welcomed some potential students this week to the UTC and hope they enjoyed their experience of what a day in the life at our amazing college is like.
If you are interested in looking at changing school, and have a passion for all things STEM, we still have some spaces, so call the college and make an appointment TO COME AND SEE US! Our next Open Evening is on 15th May from 4 – 6 pm – sign up here, via Eventbrite.

I know that it’s a big decision to take that leap of faith and move schools, so we offer a range of personalised transition packages for students including our popular Taster Days! See how much new learning these potential students got from one day with us!

Descriptive Writing
I want to share with you some examples of great work – on our “What a Good One Looks Like” – The Students in Year 10 have been developing their language skills through #oracy and this is now impacting on their written work in English. Our teacher Jo is so proud of the work that students are creating!

My Learning
This week I have learnt quite a bit about training a puppy. What a skill this is, involving patience and an understanding of the canine mind. Woody looks like an angel but he can be a challenge and when the Principal needs sleep he wants to play! I really appreciate the support of Steve from K9 training who put us through our paces this week.

And they say you can’t teach an old dog how to learn new tricks!

Have a great bank-holiday weekend everyone and thanks for reading.