UTC Oxfordshire

December 2015

Introduction from the Principal

Dear all,

It's only two weeks until Christmas and our first term at the UTC is nearly complete. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, you can continue to help us by ensuring the students are still smart (they have lanyards and their ID cards) and that their café accounts are topped up and in credit. We are no longer able to offer debit facilities and if a student has a zero balance we won’t be able to serve them.

It was good to see a number of parents (and grandparents ) being proudly shown around the UTC last Friday; please feel free to take the opportunity to have a look around on any Friday after 4.30pm see the progress since opening and have a tour.

It’s been fantastic to see practical experiments taking place in the science labs and a number of our students visited Oxford Brooks just this week to use their Electron Microscope. Our student recruitment evenings have now been completed with the final 6th form open evening this week; interest in admissions for September 2016 is high and we are currently oversubscribed in Y10. We will start the important process of recruiting staff in the new year and we are already speaking to students about how they can be involved in parts of this important process. It’s vital we have the best teachers to inspire our students!

A recent focus has been work experience and there are a number of opportunities available in the local area either with our sponsors, or in other schemes. We had a talk from Dawn Thompson from the ECITB at a Wednesday student meeting to explain the opportunities in the Engineering and Construction industry.

The official week for Y10 work experience will be the w/c 13th June 2016. This will follow our exam week. We’ve given the students a number of opportunities to apply for and these will continue through next year with the UTC ensuring we offer and facilitate as many opportunities as possible. We are not able to organise every student's work experience placement so the onus and responsibility is very much upon them to take the initiative, and be independent in applying for a placement that suits them. Please support them now with their applications and look for opportunities that may exist in the local area, maybe within families and friends.

The last week of term is fast approaching and we have our Christmas meal to look forward to on Wednesday 16th December, followed by a challenge day on the Thursday. We are delighted to have Thames Water visiting the UTC to deliver a hands on day involving problem solving and teamwork. Students will also undertake a sports challenge competing against other teams and accumulating points. Because of the hands on nature of the day this will be a non- uniform day and we’d like students to donate a £1 to Children in Need.

We finish on Thursday 17th at a slightly earlier time of 15.30; we will do the same on the last day of term following our end of term celebration. A lot has been achieved in this half term, we’re looking forward to celebrating the achievement and progress in an appropriate way.

Kind regards,

Owain Johns

Trip to RAL

Industry Partner News

The BMW/Mini Group has joined forces with Oxford Brookes University and OTH Regensburg, Technical University of Applied Sciences to offer a new Automotive Management degree. It’s an innovative new degree programme which has been developed by Oxford Brookes University Business School and OTH Regensburg, Technical University of Applied Sciences in partnership with the BMW Group. The BSc (Hons) Business and Automotive Management is a specialist course within Oxford Brookes University Business School, specifically for those who wish to pursue a career in the automotive sector. It is a 4 year course: year 1 studying in Oxford, year 2 studying in Germany (course in English), year 3 working for Mini and BMW, year 4 studying in Oxford. The entry requirements are ABB for A level students and DDM for Extended Diploma students.

More information about the Business and Automotive Management course, entry requirements and how to apply can be found here.

Trip to Oxford Brookes

Student News

The sixth form Applied Science students spent an afternoon with Dr. Louise Hughes Bio-Imaging Unit Researcher and Microscopist in the Biology Department at Oxford Brookes University learning how to use the scanning electron microscope. The images of Lisianthus and lily pollen grains were captured by the UTC Oxfordshire students Olivia Garner, Rui Manaia and Jacob Powell. "It was an awesome visit and I would love to go again" Rui Y12.

Another trip to Oxford Brookes is planned in the near future for our sixth form engineering students to get some experience of ‘destructive testing’. Details to be confirmed.

Trip to RAL

On 20th November, twelve year 10 students visited Rutherford Appleton Laboratories for a 'Chemistry at Work' day. In addition to the hands on chemistry activities, they also got to spend time in the ISIS experimental hall and find out how they create beams of neutrons and muons and use them to find out about materials.

Report by Yufan & Jenna

We went to the Rutherford laboratories where amongst the other schools we had a small introduction in the lecture theatre. We then went into ISIS for the first of our five workshops (nanoparticles) - in this workshop we did a practical to make nanoparticles that ended up having a black solution which could not refract the light. We wore lab coats and goggles and gloves which was fun in my opinion, not my colleagues.

After we went to do polymers and make nylon which was the first commercial polymer. Then we used computers to see a graph representation to when particles scatter. Next we learned about the formation of crystals, and crystallography of basic crystals like salts. After that we had lunch which we ate together and ice cream which was frozen by liquid nitrogen .

We learnt about pressure after we had eaten lunch, we then went to a lab to learn about catalysts - we did the elephant toothpaste experiment to learn about it. To end the day we went to the lecture hall in which we had a chemistry show which was full of interesting experiments and information. To end the day we got free pens, which was nice as they glow in the dark.


The UTC is very pleased to have received a donation of two very high quality telescopes and we are hoping to start an astronomy club in the near future.

NUS Extra

Our 6th Form Students are now able to buy NUS extra cards (£12.99 annually) which will give them access to great deals and discounts. Further details are available on the NUS website.

Elements Cafe

Please keep an eye on Facebook parent and pioneer pages for the weekly and themed day menus. These will also be emailed to all students for the week ahead. If students have an idea for theme days, please let Sam know.

Diary Dates

16th Dec - Christmas lunch

17th Dec - Thames Water Challenge. 3.30pm finish

18th Dec - End of term - 3.30pm finish

4th Jan - Inset day

5th Jan - Term begins