Principal's Blog, Week 36 of 2019

Leadership in education is crucial and I try to be reflective about my own skills and those of my Senior Leadership Team. In my opinion, school leadership is not marching around school corridors barking orders to staff and students. Every school has individuals who are able to have that presence to ensure students are being professional but that does not mean shouting and making situations stressful. There are far more skillful ways of managing situations. School leadership is not about power or steaming ahead without listening to staff and students. It is not being closed to new ideas.

It is about supporting your staff in their professional development.

Recently, I read an article about leadership in the NHS and it really struck a chord with me. It backed up the viewpoint of my good friend Dr Lynn Monrouxe (Associate Dean, Work Integrated Learning at The University of Sydney, Faculty of Health Sciences.) Lynn works in the field of medical education and specifically around patient and Doctor relationships. In Lynn’s latest book ‘Healthcare Professionalism: Improving Practice through Reflections on Workplace Dilemmas’ she discusses professional dilemmas and how it is ‘the cornerstone of safe and dignified healthcare practice.’ This is her view on leadership:
‘Leadership isn’t about individuals – it’s everyone’s business. Leading from the ‘bottom’ as well as the ‘top’ – so compassionate leadership is also about students leading by example – role modelling to their seniors’
Often we don’t see compassion or being compassionate as a strength of leadership. I think it is totally vital. Leadership is about engagement of staff and ensuring students want to be at college. It is about developing relationships with staff, not being soft but being strong and fair. It is about listening, so you feel more connected with the mood of your school. It is about building healthy collaboration with other organisations. It is about us all feeling committed to one purpose. It is our moral duty to give our students the best education. As a result, we have strong leaders in both our staff and students and an ethos of professionalism and respect across the college.

Healthy body, healthy mind!
I feel that our school is a healthy school, students feel supported and this was particularly evident in our transition days for Year 9, 10 and 11. Our students were absolutely amazing in supporting our new students for their transition days and we couldn’t have been more proud. More on that and our quest for Healthy College Quality Mark, later in the blog. This week we have a packed blog as it has been non-stop at UTC Plymouth

My goodness I was thrilled to get a text this week with another brilliant award. Our Year 12 students went to Big Bang SW this week and walked away with a top trophy for Digital excellence. Great job from Gloria, Kaye, Tyler and Jack. The judges were really impressed with their work on the STEM App for the city. You can view the web app here!
Also recognised was Richard Platts and his team with their EES Stretcher project which also made it into the national finals.

Our year 12 remained in France until Tuesday evening and have had a brilliant time working with our French partners on their project which was a report on their experience and the difference between French and British engineering culture and work ethics. I think some lovely French food was eaten too! A very big thank you to our brilliant French hosts especially Ludo, Laurence, Yan and Alain.

Transition days and new students
It has been a total delight welcoming our new students in to this amazing school.
They all have started to understand our key values of #dedication #respect #resilience #discipline #professional
There was a really lovely atmosphere with students enjoying the structure we provide, the quality of
industry standard delivery, facilities and equipment as well as the sunshine and football!

Year 9 had a carousel of activities introducing them to our college and helping them make
that transition. This ranged from an adventure quiz, team games and bottle rockets!

We can’t wait for our students to start and if you still are thinking of moving school and are really interested in a STEM career, are committed to working in a high achieving professional ethos and are dedicated towards being part of our family, then come and see us on 10th July 4 –7pm

Today we welcomed visitors from Plymouth City Council – A big thank you to Jasmin for organising. We have made a lot of changes and I hope that our guests can see the work we are doing to address all areas of health!

New sports kit!
Our new sports top has arrived and we love it. If you want to place an order please contact reception and/or read the email that Jo has sent out – they are selling fast.
(Modelled here by Mike, Guy and Callum!)
I think you will agree that they are super smart! I also hear we have the makings of an award winning football team!

Finally, the time has arrived for our exciting annual sports’ event – next week is the prestigious Junior Leaders Field Gun! Simon and Jess are off to HMS Collingwood with our team. It looks like perfect weather next week and I wish the team all the best for success and our England women’s football team at the semi-finals. What next? Could we have a win at Field Gun in 2019?

Get the sunglasses, sandals and shorts out it’s summer!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!