UTC Oxfordshire

Welcome Newsletter

Welcome from the Principal

Welcome to your first UTC Oxfordshire newsletter! Below there are some details about further events we are planning to help you transition to your new school, as well as some items from our most recent newsletter to current students.

Year 10 applicants will shortly be invited to an induction day on Wednesday 15th June, details of which will be emailed to parents soon. The day will include taster sessions in engineering, science, maths, English and health and fitness. The day’s activities will give students the chance to get to know each other and some of their teachers, as well as finding out more about studying at the UTC. We will have a further induction day on 5th

September when the new year 10 will be the only students in school.

As part of our 6th Form induction we will be working with the National Citizen Service. We aim to use their programme to enable the 6th Form, who are coming from a wide catchment area, to get to know each other and bond as a team, while working towards a nationally recognised qualification. During the programme students will be supervised throughout by NCS team leaders and UTC staff. The programme includes a residential stay at Woodlands Outward Bound Centre and will run from the 9th – 12th September 2016, following this is a community based programme which will take place during school hours and on weekends as agreed between the students and their NCS team leader.

A potential programme would be:

  • Friday afternoon - team building and problem solving,
  • Saturday - Caving or Canoeing or Mountain Walk or Gorge Walk, the same options for Sunday.
  • Monday - Mountain/hill walk or High ropes/climb/zip wire.

For further information about NCS please visit their website, to take up this once in a life time opportunity please complete the UTC NCS online application form. The total cost for a place on the programme is £35 however we have managed to secure an Earlybird Deal, all students who sign up by Friday 3rd June will only pay £20. We would expect our 6th Form students to take part in this programme except in exceptional circumstances; if you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us to discuss, in confidence, ways we can help.

Systems for September


UTC uses an online payment system which gives you a more convenient and flexible way to pay school online. By making cashless payments you know that your money has reached the school safely. You can view your account statement and payment history, check when payments need to be made and set alerts to tell you when to pay school online. You will receive details of how to sign in to your ParentPay account over the summer holidays.

Parents Evening Booking System

You will be able to book your parents evening appointments online and at your convenience.The system will enable you to leave a note for the teacher if there is something in particular you would like to discuss which will help ensure a more focused and informative appointment.

Laptops - deposit scheme for September

All students will have the option of being assigned a UTC laptop in September. A refundable deposit of £100 is required to ensure that laptops can be allocated in September and if damage does occur then repairs will be deducted from the deposit. The vast majority of our students have used the laptops responsibly and have looked after them, however it is necessary to run a deposit scheme to ensure that we can operate this system in a sustainable way. The laptops make a significant difference to teaching and learning and are key ingredient to successful progress at the UTC.

Your student will be issued with an IT form which they should sign and return before being issued with their laptops. The deposit scheme will be shown as a "payment item" on ParentPay.

For anybody who cannot afford £100 please contact Alice.Biddiscombe@utcoxfordshire.org.uk to discuss alternative arrangements in the strictest of confidence.


Laser Support Services visit and donation

The term started with a visit to Laser Support Services at Harwell. Following a chance meeting between Grahame Rogers and two of our enterprising year 10 students, the A level physics students were invited to Laser Support Services at Harwell for a fascinating demonstration and talk about the use of lasers and thermal imaging. The full story can be read on our website.
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Rocket Seeds

This month we finally received our rocket seeds from space! We received two packets (one red, one blue) one of which had been into space with Tim Peak, and one of which hadn't. If you would like to read more about the rocket seeds, you can keep up to date with the latest news here.

Lombard Medical

Last month we were visited by Kate Forster, HR Director at Lombard Medical, who delivered a fascinating talk to our sixth form students on their biomedical engineering developments creating the revolutionary Aorfix and Altura stents to treat complex aortic aneurisms. Lombard are leading the world in this aspect of biomedical engineering; their inspiring demonstration increased our students’ awareness of a whole new area of engineering opportunity. One of our recruitment events last year was held at Lombard as they opened their new state of the art ‘clean room’ for manufacturing the stents so it was particularly interesting to hear how the business is growing and now looking for additional part time workers to finish off the stents with “stitching under a microscope.”

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) News Update

Eight of UTC Oxfordshire’s hard-working sixth form students have completed their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) an impressive 12 months ahead of schedule. To read this news story in full please click here.


1. What are the term dates? Term dates are the same as outlined by Oxfordshire County Council. Year 10 students will start on Monday 5th September with Year 12 students starting the following day on Tuesday 6th September.

2. What should they wear? Students are required to dress in a professional business-like manner, for example smart shoes with low heels, formal trousers or dress/skirt of a reasonable length and a formal shirt/blouse with a jacket. Ties are optional but will be encouraged for formal occasions.

3. What equipment do we need to buy? Pens, pencils, notebook. PE kits - branded t-shirt (details to follow), black or navy shorts/tracksuit bottoms, trainers. Engineering students will need sensible sturdy shoes or safety shoes/boots.

4. Will there be any organised sports? While we will not have any specific sporting clubs, students will be encouraged to make use of the MUGA and exercise facilities within in the UTC.

5. Will my children be able to play music or practise art? For students who enjoy music and art, there are spaces available for students who wish to develop these skills independently.

6. Will we need to buy a laptop? No, this will be provided though you may wish to purchase a laptop bag. Students are also allowed to bring their own devices if they wish. If you would like a UTC laptop a deposit is required.

7. Will we need to bring a packed lunch? If you would like to, that's fine but we will be serving competitively priced hot and cold food and drinks in Elements Cafe.

8. How will I get to the UTC? The X1 and the X32 buses both stop at Holly Lane, next to the UTC. Details of these bus routes can be found here. While the UTC is unable to provide transport we can facilitate the sharing of details to help you organise car/lift sharing. If you would like to share your details with other parents for lift sharing purposes, please complete this form.

9. I heard there is a minibus, can I book a space? There is a currently a minibus serving the Witney area which will run until July 2017 - we cannot guarantee that it will continue after this date. There are currently only 2 seats available. If you would like to book a seat (at £4 per day) please email Alice.Biddiscombe@utcoxfordshire.org.uk.

10. Is there a way to meet other students/parents? We have Facebook groups for both parents and students to help people make contact and get to know each other. You can join these groups using the following links: Parents' group or Pioneers Group.