Principals Blog, Week 31 of 2019

A team is a group of people with different abilities, talents, experience and backgrounds who have come together for a shared purpose. Despite their individual differences, that common goal provides the thread that defines them as a team.

This week has been a very different week for us all; particularly exciting for our Year
10 who have taken part in work experience. Much has been accomplished around
the college as part of a massive spring clean to prepare for next academic year.
However, as we start to grow, I am mindful that we must not lose our uniqueness. I
want to talk about my commitment to bring positive energy into the building every
day. We each try to generate enthusiasm in our school in different ways, but it is our
goal to be relentlessly positive. As we grow and we gain more staff and students it’s
important that we ensure that we have an effective team. Yet In a good team, there's
always healthy conflict. This is inevitable and essential if we're learning together and
embarked on a project or growth. We disagree about ideas, there's constructive
dialogue and dissent, and our thinking is pushed. Trust is vital. This means that
when there's the inevitable conflict, it's managed. People know each other. We listen
to each other. Therefore, we must ensure that we support each other as we start to
embark on the next chapter of the UTC Plymouth!


Below is something I would like you to share with you. I met Josh at the Skills Show last
year and immediately connected with him and knew that UTC Plymouth was the right
environment for him to thrive. I am so pleased it has worked out and I hope you enjoy his
write up on his experience with a CCF course he took part in last weekend.

“I had the privilege of going to HMS Raleigh for a CCF Junior Leadership Course. I was really excited about going but at the same time apprehensive. There were a couple of reasons for this, no one else from our unit was going so I would not know anyone there, although I did know Chief (CPO Strong) which was very helpful. I am also on the ASD spectrum, for me this can make even easy tasks a challenging, that said I really, really wanted to do this and knew it would be good for me. I had been poorly the days prior to the course but on the Friday morning I was up and dressed before 7 o’clock. For those who know me, that’s no mean feat!

As usual, I was very last, being poorly, pants at packing and then I misplaced my beret! Some of you may have seen a blog by Polly where she was singing the praised of the staff and team here at UTC. The support I received from Simon and Jasmin were fantastic in enabling me to go to this event and ensuring I had the right kit. Polly even managed to retrieve my wallet after I left in the school changing room in the mad dash to make sure I made it on time and get it to my dad to bring to the train station.

I had been to HMS Raleigh once before for a sports event so I knew where it was but this was very different. I met other participants at Plymouth rail station, we were then taken by minibus to HMS Raleigh. Most of the other people on the course had come from Birmingham so they had come a long way.

We all looked very smart in our uniforms – I say uniforms because we had two, our blues which the cadets here are familiar with and then the smart whites. There were lots of leadership type activities lined up which were great fun and we worked together in our teams, there where sessions on how to take care of our uniforms ranging from cleaning and shining our boots/parade shoes to having ironing our kit – not something I particularly enjoy due to the sensory challenges it presents me with such as steam and heat, however I succeeded with a bit of help especially as the iron was very different to the one from home and had me stumped for a bit on how to use it but that is what leadership is all about overcoming challenges.

My mum has always taught me not to let my conditions define who I am and what I do but work my way through challenges as they present themselves – sometimes much easier said than done. I wanted to make a good representation of myself, my unit and to be a good ambassador to UTC Plymouth and I believe I did this over the weekend. I was very proud to be their representative”.

French Exchange
This week we welcomed our French Exchange students from Lycée Rompsay, La Rochelle. Lovely to meet the students and teachers and we cannot wait for the return visit in June. Students had an action picked week with a walk on the Rame peninsular, trip to the Eden Project and a night out bowling. In college student worked with our students on a project with Babcock on designing an autonomous vessel that could be launched from a Type 23 frigate. We all thoroughly enjoyed the bilingual presentations. Big thank you to all our staff who have been involved in the project.

Work Experience
There are some lovely stories emerging from our visits to Year 10 students on their work experience placements. We also had a group of students who stayed at the UTC Plymouth as part of their work experience. Lots of great input from our staff and I think our VP, Jo Ware could hardly move after the punishing work out our students designed for staff today! Work experience is a really important strand of the UTC Plymouth employability strand and Peter Bragg who leads on this has found some brilliant placements for our students. He shared with me today some great feedback from one of employers, Collins Aerospace;

Hi Pete

Just a quick email to say David K and Daniel H were some of the best students we have hosted in a long time. Motivated, polite, professional and great technical knowledge, a credit to your college!’
Senior HR Officer Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions

Open Evening/Pizza and Production
Wednesday night we welcomed families who are thinking of signing up for next year and students who have signed up! Lovely combined event which was well attended, and we all had homemade pizza courtesy of our talented chef Jess! Workshop was fun and I think our new students appreciated some time at the college making those key relationships with staff and students before they start in September.
If you are still interested in a place for 2019, just call and the team can arrange for a tour with me (more pictures coming soon!)

Next week we look forward to visiting our Year 12 students on their work experience and hearing all about our Year 10’s experiences.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend