Principal's Blog, Week 34 of 2019

A good school changes students; students change great schools.’ I found this quote and started to think about how we effect change within our students. It’s not just about a set of data that shows there is a dramatic decrease in behaviour issues. It is about what real change can we create at our college. This week we have had several visitors to the college; The Department for Education, Dr Malcolm Willis and colleagues from Plymouth and Cornwall as part of our Plymouth Challenge Peer Review Programme. They met with students and were really struck by what they said about how UTC Plymouth had changed them. Here are a few views by our students in Year 10:

Sam ‘I like the respect from the teachers. The education and the facilities are top class. It is just amazing.’

Ryan ‘I feel that I am learning better as I don’t have distractions. Small classes really help me and I love that I am learning real life work skills.’

Guy ‘I am benefiting from revision sessions and this enables me to retain the lessons I have learnt. The curriculum is far more useful. I learn more necessary skills for my future and I really appreciate the small class sizes.’

Fin ‘There are a lot more opportunities here and I feel that I have a brighter and better future. I have realised that I have made so much more progress in a shorter time and I feel a lot happier. I wake up and I want to go to school, rather than how I felt before. It’s a privilege to be here’

Our Year 12’s have been busy on their practical BTEC units and as part of their specification, they are fabricating a bench for use for the new composite unit.

A composite is any product composed of two or three different types of materials that are combined to form something completely different than one of the original three. Composite structures combine a resin, reinforcement such as fibreglass or carbon fibre, and a core material such as balsa wood or foam core.

Our partners at Princess Yachts use this technology and it is a vital skill within the marine engineering sector. Year 10s are learning new fabrication skills to help towards the Morris Minor rebuild for Vehicle Technology. It’s ‘hand’s on’ at UTC Plymouth.

PEER Review
This week we welcomed Justine Mason, Principal at Hele’s School, Nick Berryman, Assistant Principal at DHSB and Will McKenzie, Assistant Principal at Poole Academy. We had a brilliant day exploring our enrichment provision and looking at how we can ensure that our curriculum offer has breadth and depth for students. Thank you so much for joining us as part of ‘Plymouth Challenge.’


Next Steps South West is the region’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme to help young people navigate their own personal journey to higher education. Across the region, they deliver events and activities designed to educate and inspire young people aged 13-19 years old and those that influence them such as parents and carers.

On Wednesday, NSSW arrived at UTC Plymouth for a revision event supporting the students in developing new study skills. They were able to work in teams to discuss how they could revise in and out of school alongside supporting one another to create a revision guide.
The students were able to review the importance of revision and were given lots of advice. Alongside this, the students were reminded of the importance of sleep and healthy eating.

Healthy body, healthy mind!

Thank you Jasmin for arranging and supporting our young people in getting the best information to support their well being and their potential outcomes.

KS5 IT and Computing students
We welcomed James Platts, one of our governors and his colleagues from South West Lakes Trust, to watch a keynote presentation from our four IT students. They were presenting drafts of an app that they are designing for South West Lakes Trust, based on a very specific brief entitled ‘Invasive Species’ upon which they will receive feedback.

The presentations were filmed and will make up part of their assignment as they will be covering specific points from the specification as part of their keynote and presentation.

Lovely to hear that our brilliant LSA, Jasmine Chapple is nearly at the end of her journey to become an HLTA. Jasmine works incredibly hard as our Lifeworks and Inclusion Coordinator and really supports the college values through her dedication towards students. She thoroughly deserves this and we are all really proud of her achievements.

Next week will be very quiet as many of our students make the journey to La Rochelle as part of our exchange programme with Lycée Professionnel de Rompsay. The weather looks pretty nice there so I can’t wait to hear about their activities and presenting in French!

Apparently it is Bring your dog to work day next week, but ahead of this we had a few after school activities with Woody and Pete Bragg’s trio.

It was the first time Woody has been off lead in a public place and he totally loved it. I know it cheers everyone up seeing animal videos, so enjoy and I hope that next week brings sunshine and warmth.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!