Welcome to the Last Principals Blog of the Year

I have been saving many great stories from our #UTC family from the last few weeks. Apologies for not getting the blog out in that time. It has been simply the busiest period for all of us as we hurtle towards the end of term. We are now here, and it has been a simply amazing few weeks with Open Evenings, Royal Navy garden parties, Green Power, new staff interviews and Field Gun.

I can now reflect on what has been simply the best year as a Principal I have had so far. So many brilliant moments in our #UTC family

A supportive personalised curriculum has been created and we are ready to take our first Year 9 cohort.

We have been visible at local, regional and national level winning a range of competitions that give our students the STEM edge.

Our students have delivered real life projects including the Plymouth STEM Calendar, an updated digital version of the Naval Service Recruitment Test and we are currently working on an app for South West Lakes Trust! 

Students have stepped up their game showing they have the ability to make changes and become independent and professional. We have prepared our students for their next stage.

Year 13 – brilliant outcomes and 100% students have gained apprenticeships or are ready to start their higher education at University. Lovely to see Hayley and Kacper get their news on apprenticeships and Kacper signing his contract!

Year 12 – Some of our students have gained the skills in one year to progress to apprenticeships and we wish them best of luck in their careers. They have gained incredible STEM experiences including the Cardboard Boat Race, Engineering Education Scheme, Big Bang SW, French Exchange, Employer Mentoring and Work Experience.

Student Voice

We always value our student voice and therefore I asked the question “how or why was this a good year for you as a learner” Great to get such positive responses;

I have learnt to annotate a section of writing and write multiple paragraphs on it

I have improved on my grades since moving from my last school and I have learnt from the teachers

Being at UTC has helped me get better at multiple different things. I know a lot more about writing analytical paragraphs. Also I have learned a lot more in science as in my old school I didn’t understand science very well and now I have a greater understanding

I have learnt all about welding, using high spec machinery; CNC, plasma cutter and the lathe. The engineering staff have taught very well and helped every student with problems and work issues

Although it has been hard work, the lessons I have been in have helped me to understand so much more than what I would have If I was at my previous school. In other words, things just make sense in my brain more at UTC but my only problem is that there is so much to learn. Now it all makes sense in my brain it is even harder because I have to learn so much and I feel like the pressure is increasing. All in all my brain has engaged and made sense of everything over the year all because of the learning/teaching manner at UTC

Ever since I came to UTC, the things I have learnt in the past in year 10 I always struggled with were helped thanks to everyone helping me with my work. I am proud of all the teachers who have used their time to help me catch up and understand the things I couldn’t remember. I have learnt many new things that I now understand properly due to the fact all teachers are brilliant at explaining the topics and subjects. Thanks everyone

I have learnt lots this academic year. I have made steady progress through the year. Slow but steady. More importantly, I have learnt the value of trust, professionalism, but most importantly, the value of family. I have realised that you won’t get on with everybody you work with. But you can work with them, you can trust them, you can rely on them and make friends.  It’s a place where you can learn, laugh and love, and you learn how much everyone here means to you. Staff and students have a bond and relationships you make with one and other will last a life time. That is what I have learnt. I am happy to be a student in this loving school that I call my family

UTC has helped me a lot since I have moved here especially with my confidence and happiness. I think this because I can wake up and actually be excited for school instead of dreading it. I also have been through a lot of new experiences such as work experience, designing PE clothing and even building benches and all of these things are reasons why I moved here and I have loved every day I have spent at this school. Since I have moved here I have successfully completed a whole years worth of work in just over 2 months and that was in computer science. I also think that I have really improved on all my core subjects, especially English. All together being at UTC so far has been amazing and I’m very excited to start year 11 

Our Peer Review Workshop

Following on from our Peer Review we had our workshop to look at how we map out our USP. Brilliant ideas from the team and we have a great plan in place. Many thanks to our improvement workshop leader from Pool Academy, Cornwall.

Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition 2019

This competition is very similar to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Field Gun, but is predominantly for people aged 16-24, who have either only recently joined the Armed Forces or are studying at college.

UTC Plymouth have competed with crews from Fareham College, Chichester College, Sea Cadet units and University Technical Colleges (UTC) across the country and this year teamed up with Elutec to make UTC Thames & Tamar.

We are very proud to be in our fourth year of Junior Leaders Field Gun and it is now firmly embedded throughout the school. Our Number 1 Trainer, WO1 “Mr Devonport” Welch RN has taken the UTC Plymouth Crew from strength to strength and everyone that has taken part in the competition has throughly enjoyed it.

Green Power 2019

Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity which gets young people enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car.

Led by Mike Bluett, the crew have built the car and took it to Preddanack Airfield to race against many other colleges throughout the country. After a grueling race and no collisions, the crew came home safe!

Staff Joining Us

As sad as it is to see staff leave, we have appointed great staff with brilliant track records. We have quite a few new staff as numbers look like they are doubling for next year! Woo hoo! #building a team. A big welcome to:

Gemma Laing – KS4 Lead and English Teacher. Gemma can’t wait to join us and has some big plans for KS4!

Justine Hardie – English teacher returning from incredible travels across the globe. Justine is an experienced leader who will no doubt have an impact on our teaching and learning.

Neil Moore – Head of Sixth Form and Maths Teacher. Neil no nonsense and calm manner will be shaping and growing our new sixth form.

Alex Collard – Engineering Teacher. With a wealth of expertise in different settings, Alex will be a Year 9 Mentor and will be joining our CCF

Andy McCarron – Science teacher and Year 10 Mentor. We are welcoming a friend back to UTC. Andy was our science technician and has now completed his teacher training. We always knew he would be back!

Office Manager – Kerry Day

Engineering Teacher – Kelly Couch

MTA – Caroline Mace

Royal Navy FOST Garden Party

Many thanks to Rear Admiral FOST Will Warrender who invited us to the annual garden party at Admiralty House. This is always a great opportunity to spread the word about our fantastic college. Jo and myself made some great contacts and look forward to see how we continue with our brilliant RN Affiliation. It is what makes us different!

Army Engagement Evening

Similarly, we are starting to develop links with our army colleagues and it was a delight to attend the Army Engagement Evening at Derriford Barracks. A very powerful evening showcasing young people. We know this will be a strategic partnership of the future. We can’t wait to see how this partnership develops. Many thanks to Lt Col Craig Hampton-Stone RLC who followed up with a visit to UTC. Plans are in place and we look like we are gaining another fantastic partner.

Industry Mentoring

As part of our ongoing commitment to industry training and long-term goals for our students, the last day of term saw our final industry mentoring mock interviews for our Year 10’s. They presented themselves beautifully and were very professional throughout. 

We asked ALL of our students “have you completed a work experience placement during your time at UTC #Plymouth?” 100% of students said YES THEY HAD! Such a great achievement!

Year 7 2020

We are getting very excited about having our Year 7 cohort in 2020. We have had a steady stream of visitors since we have been running our Primary STEM Clubs. Last week Charlie and Ruby stopped by and loved what we had to offer. We followed up this week with our Year 7 photo shoot. We love the uniforms and can’t wait for our Year 7 Open Day on September 5th 6 pm – 9 pm!

Results Days

We will be open on results days

15th August BTEC 

22ND GCSE’S and Sixth Form Sign Up

We will help you make the right decision – just bring your results in or email

Polly.lovell@utcplymouth.org if you want to ask questions or find out more details.

Now its really about – resting, enjoying family and getting our energy back for our next epic UTC year! Loving the branding Mrs B. If you uniform didn’t arrive, don’t worry, we are getting more stock in and you can stop by from September 2nd to pick it up.

Our first day back for Year 9,10 and 11 is September 9th and our Year 12 and 13 September 10th for an 0845 start.

I hope you have enjoyed the blogs over the past year, it certainly has given me great joy in being able to share with you some brilliant moments, our dedicated staff and professional students within our wonderful UTC family. Sometimes in this job it becomes so all-consuming that we do forget about our own families. This blog is therefore dedicated to my Mum who just turned 95! Hope I have the same genes!

Thanks for reading

 All my best