Welcome to the Principals Blog Week 6

My last Blog before a very welcome half term break. As ever in UTC land, it has been so busy and sometimes the pace of activity here is breath-taking. In fact, my voice has gone on several occasions! However, I am a very proud Principal as I look back at all the learning and brilliant fun our staff have created and our students have engaged with.  

The difference between UTC Plymouth and other schools is how our extra-curricular activities have an impact on student learning. It is relevant, insightful and helps to make students who are with us into amazing citizens. Sometimes our students find it difficult and I hope that the patience we have shown with some individuals does start to pay off. It’s great to work with our parents too. This week I have shed a tear as I have seen courageous words being spoken by parents as we engage with teenagers that can sometimes be frustrating as well as amazing!

New Baby at UTC!

I have some great news for you all. Our super-energetic HLTA Sophie Wood, who many of our students miss so much, gave birth to a daughter. Grace Ann was born on Saturday 12th October weighing in at 7lb 6! What a beautiful girl, and we can’t wait to get some UTC cuddles when Sophie brings Grace in! HUGE congratulations to Sophie and Ben ☺

Sixth Form Visit to MB Aerospace

At UTC we offer a unique STEM curriculum and where possible this is supported by our industry partners.  Most, if not all BTEC Units have an employer focus and a workplace scenario to support our students’ learning and knowledge development with the Engineering sector.
This week our Year 13 Level 3 BTEC Engineering students visited MB Aerospace in Newton Abbot to put theory into Practice.
The students are completing Unit 39 – Modern Manufacturing Systems, and they were able to observe first class manufacturing operations at MB Aerospace looking at CNC operations, robotic and automated manufacturing and ‘risk of life’ Quality Assurance and insurance testing methods.  
Students got to see jet engine components being manufactured to high precision that MB Aerospace manufacture for high profile clients such as Rolls Royce.
Anneka from MB Aerospace also talked to the students about their fantastic apprenticeship scheme where all apprentices complete a 4 year programme and exit into employment with MB aerospace with a HNC L4 qualification within Engineering.

A great day was had by all and a huge thank you to Anneka and the Team at MB Aerospace.

UTC Plymouth Beach Clean

Making a difference! As part of the Year 9 lessons in English they have been looking at climate change and plastic. So armed with bags, gloves and lots of motivation ten of our year 9 students visited a local beach ‘Whitsand’ to complete a beach clean. A very big thank you to ‘Surfers against Sewage’ who dropped off the beach clean-up kit! We are going to continue with this and our aim is that every student will see the effect the plastics and waste has on our beaches. Great job Justine (our resident eco warrior) for being so passionate about this cause.

The following was written by Will Maunder and edited by Tyler Wakefield & Newlyn Hall about their experiences of this fantastic experience.

“We marched down the stairs and packed everyone into the school minibus to head to Whitsand Bay (20 minutes away from our College). We were going to collect rubbish from the beach to save a lot of litter going back into the Atlantic ocean and causing damage to wildlife. 

We did this because we are learning about climate change and how to make the world a better place, so first we went to our local beach. Our thoughts are we will make a small change to the planet but a big change to UTC PLYMOUTH as this is the first of many. If we all make small changes it all adds up!

For a first trip it was great, even better than I expected. The weather was reasonable and we collected a shed ton of rubbish also Justine’s driving was very good! There was a slight delay on the ferry from a broken down van, it was still brilliant. We collected so much litter by splitting into pairs and then we scattered and searched everywhere. We found eight cigarette lighters, an asthma pump, a pair of flip flops from Primark, a toy soldier and many bottle tops, plastic rope and styrofoam.  If you look at UTC PLYMOUTH on facebook you will see how much litter we collected. 

Our future plans are to make this a regular job so that every student can make an impact. We are discussing what to do with all of the dirty plastic we collect, we want to raise awareness is our community, so watch this space!”

It makes me so proud to see our students take so much care about the environment and then write about their experiences! We are very lucky to have such compassionate students. Well done, Will, Tyler and Newlyn!

UTC Plymouth Open Evening

Our open evening this week was another fantastic opportunity to open our doors to meet prospective students and parents for next year. We met some lovely people who really enjoyed meeting with our students and staff. I think our Open Days are a lovely and very natural way of engaging with families and students. Hopefully parents see what a great experience coming to our UTC can be for their child. A big thank you to everyone including our Royal Navy Team for supporting.

CCF First Aid

Another reason to join UTC – saving someone when their heart has stopped is a skill that all of us can learn. You never know when you may need to help someone. This week our CCF took part in First Aid course as part of their curriculum. 

The cadets were shown how to undertake CPR in the case of an emergency situation under the watchful eye and delivered by of one of our senior cadets, Petty Officer Lynch, who is a fully qualified First Aider herself. 

One of the many exciting things that you can achieve whilst in the Combined Cadet Force are a wide range of qualifications from speed boats to sailboat instructor, swimming, first aid and markmanship training & shooting with all courses taught by highly qualified instructors. 

Black History Month

It’s great to see our students contributing to lessons and this week two of our Year 11 students – Luis and Sam did a ‘take over’ in Jo’s Oracy lesson and taught Year 10 students about the impact of lyrics from Black Musicians.

Lots of powerful conversations were had and I think both Luis and Sam realised how challenging it is to teach! Great job guys!


Our final day before we break up and we celebrated success, ambition, friendly and helpful students with an assembly!

Lots of our students were highly recommended and its always great to see our students rewarded for their great contribution to our UTC Plymouth family.

Year 10 Parents Evening

If you are the parent of a year 10 students – right after half term it is Parents Evening. No need to book just come along between 4 – 6 pm on 29th October.

Finally, I hope you all have a restful half term and we see some rested students ready for more challenges and fun on our first day back which is Monday October 28th!

Thanks for reading and have a great half term week ☺