Autumn term message from South Devon UTC Principal Mr Ian Crews
It has been a really exciting start to the new school year at South Devon UTC. We have welcomed our new year 10 and 12 more than doubling our numbers of students to 161. Along with the new students we also welcome our new staff, taking us to 29 personnel in total now. We have welcomed new Maths, Engineering and Science staff to help deliver our professional, technical curriculum.
I have the greatest of pleasures in announcing that Centrax Gas Turbines has now joined us a partner. This will go alongside the Turbine Components Company, MB Aerospace as another major employer in Newton Abbot seeing the benefits of being involved in South Devon’s UTC.
The term started with the new students visiting Exeter University for the day where they had a day designing machines that are very complex to perform a simple operation. This really utilised physics in a major way and really encouraged students to see the links between physics and engineering. Also in that week students had a real taste of the world of work through activities with our four main partners, MB Aerospace, South West Water, Galliford Try and the Environment Agency. We also had some students working through some challenges with the Royal Air Force and some of our students experienced some challenges set by the Blind Association.
Now that we are over three weeks into term KS4 students and our sixth form scientists have also carried out our annual beach clean, having had an enlightening day working with Neil Hembrow from Keep Britain Tidy, their work here was mentioned on Spotlight South West. We have also already achieved some wonderful success with two teams coming first (Tom, Ellen, Dan, Fyn and Taylor) and third (Michael, Harris, Danny, Chayton and Ross) in the regional Hackfest competition, where students use technology to design and make a product, very well done to all of the students, yet again demonstrating that our employability skills framework is already making them stand out from the crowd.
As we settle into the term we have our routines established and have dealt with the inevitable transport issues. We do work within our Code of Employability which ensures that all are prepared for the workplace, this deals with every issue that you would expect to be found in employment, from timekeeping, professionalism through smartness and how we conduct ourselves. Your support with reminding students both KS4 and 5 about the importance of all of the elements that support being employable is greatly achieved. Our Olympic team this summer achieved huge success through concentrating on every element of their approach to their sports, similar success can be achieved in life through focusing on every element of preparing ourselves for the future; this is the concept of the marginal gain providing a significant overall increase in performance.
Just recently we have secured sufficient work experience placements with MB Aerospace (formerly Centrax TCL) to ensure that over a four-year period with us every student gets one week at the Shaldon Road site. We are also building a similar programme with South West Water. As always though I encourage you to utilise your wider contacts to engage work experiences across the region. We send students on work experience throughout the year, as this gives more opportunity for our learners. It does mean they need to catch up work for the week they are out, but it adds so much more flexibility. In the first instance please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org address if you have an appropriate work experience for a learner.
A few reminders. At the bottom of this email are the important dates coming up in this term. We will be sending out a parent calendar shortly. If you are dropping students off in the morning, please can you ensure that you do not use the Courtenay Centre Car Park as the management committee have specifically written to me to request that we do not. Our drop off is in the corner of the Cricket Field Car Park, there is a 15-minute grace period on the ticket so that you have no need to go to the payment machine.
As always any concerns or issues can be taken up with student’s learning company tutor in first instance. We are always keen to receive feedback on all that we do so please use this approach to feedback to us as well. I would also recommend that if you have not done so already follow us on Facebook , and Twitter , many of our students frequently “like” our posts, all this helps with publicity for the growth of the UTC in the future.
Finally I would like to wish all of our students a wonderful rest of the term, whether they be year 11 and 13 getting ready for public exams as well as apprenticeships and employment, or year 10 and 12 getting used to the very different way of working at the South Devon UTC.
Important dates for this term: 4th October 4-7pm. New year 10 and 12 settling in evening. Early closure for all year groups (3:30 pm). 21st October. Last day of half term 1. 31st October. First day of half term 2. 1st November 4-7 pm. Parents evening 1 for year 11 and 13. Early closure for all years (3:30 pm). 17th November 5-6 pm. Year 11 transition evening. This is a talk for parents and students to discuss the next steps and appropriate pathways for students. This is a lead in to the open event for the sixth form. 23rd November 5-7pm. Open evening. Early closure for all years (3:30 pm) 28th November 4-7 pm. Parents evening 1 for year 10 and 12. Early closure for all years (3:30 pm) 16th December. Last day of autumn term 2.