Summer 2015 Edition 1
Full steam ahead! We have had a busy few weeks and are delighted to be able to tell you that we have passed our OFSTED pre-opening inspection with flying colours. We are now focussing on detailed planning for opening in September, including organising ways for our staff and students to meet before the start of term. We are still on target for our phased opening beginning with the North (community) wing in September and the South (technical) wing soon after in October.
We will try to keep you up to date with progress in a monthly newsletter including answering some of your FAQs. If you have any questions or suggestions please do let us know on the Parents or Pioneers Facebook page or alternatively you can drop an email to the office - contact details are at the bottom of the page.
Owain Johns & Sue Lea
Principal & Vice Principal
Work continues on site at a pace with the north community wing emerging when scaffold has been removed this week. All interior walls are now in place and the ceilings in the Independent Learning Resource Centre are being installed. The mechanical and electrical services are being fitted after an extensive survey to ensure sufficient sockets and data. We’ve specified USB charging and powered lockers to ensure user devices are charged at all times. The break out spaces and group work spaces are now clear to see and the furniture for the building has now been ordered. Colour schemes are being finalised with subject areas and project spaces being zoned. The ICT equipment is on its way and ready for installation in August. Being able to now walk around the building, it's really clear that we have an inspiring learning space with so much potential. Rooms are light, airy and flexible and will enable inspiring learning to take place.
Equipment for the engineering spaces is now confirmed with Haas machine tools chosen for CNC simulators, Denford rapid prototyping routers and 5x 3D printers to ensure that the CAD images can become a reality. Science equipment is nearly finalised with Tablet Microscopes ensuring experiments can be shared and analysed. Our new staff team visited last week and found the building hugely impressive; we can’t wait to move in and really make the most out of what promises to be an engaging and very practical home for the UTC.
Drop In Sessions
We are holding drop in sessions throughout June for students who have completed their GCSEs to come along and find out how the UTC could work for them. All sessions will run from 2pm.
15th June - Didcot Civic Hall, OX11 7JN
17th June - Cornerstone, OX11 7NE
23rd June - Cornerstone, OX11 7NE
25th June - Cornerstone, OX11 7NE
If you have accepted a place at the UTC, don't forget to return your NCS form to book on to the tailored September induction programme. For further details of NCS please visit their website.
Refer a friend
Don't forget our refer a friend scheme - simply ask that they mention your name when applying for 6th form and you will be entered into a draw to win either a digital camera, an Arduino and an Android Asus tablet
Student Support Co-Ordinator (F/T)
Senior Administrator (F/T)
Adminstrator/Learning Support (2 x P/T)
STEM Technician (1 x F/T, 1 x P/T)
Teaching staff have been working hard in preparation for opening with our two English teachers, Iris and Anna, already holding regular curriculum planning meetings. Our first staff training day will take place on the 26th June giving our support and teaching staff the chance to all meet for the first time. A big thank you to RM for supporting us with the space to enable this.
We have been making excellent progress with the our employer led challenges, consulting our industrial partners on the transferable skills they are looking for in a modern workforce and building these into the challenges. We have mapped out a challenge timetable for the next two years, which includes exciting challenges in engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and computer science. Something for everyone! We have also been working with our academic partners to create some challenge projects in science.
Our current list of planned challenge topics include:
Evolution and design
Interest in the UTC is spreading and we have been contacted by several local engineers and scientists who want to get involved, including STEM ambassadors, university researchers, neuroscientists and engineers. Let us know if any of your friends or family would like to get involved.
RM REAL Event
On 3rd June, Research Machines hosted an exciting event called Real - rethinking education and learning - at the Mermaid Theatre in London. There was an impressive list of high profile education experts including those from RM, Apple, Microsoft and Google whose focus was on using technology to transform learning. Interestingly, they share a passion for vocational education and developing the employability skills (such as team work, problem solving and communication) that will be at the heart of the UTC Oxfordshire's curriculum. There was also a hugely inspiring talk from Professor Brian Cox on exploring the universe including what was special about Einstein, finding life on other planets, the Big Bang and what happens at the Large Hadron Collider.
Visits to Reading UTC
If you would like to book a space on one of these tours, please email Alice for availabililty.
Uniform - UTC does not have a uniform as such, students are expected to wear appropriate business dress and bring suitable clothing for health and fitness lessons. Those students who will be working in the Engineering department will also need a pair of safety shoes or boots for practical lessons.
Transition Days - the building work will mean we are unable to host traditional transition days this year. We will however be holding an introduction event over the summer giving students and staff the opportunity to meet. Sue is also busy planning the first term to include a number of team building activities and a number of educational visits for Y10, while the new 6th form will be working towards their NCS certificates.