December 2020 Newsletter

Aylesbury UTC / Newsletters / December 2020 Newsletter

In This Newsletter

  • Message From Principal
  • Key Term Dates
  • Virtual Open Events
  • Christmas Jumper Day
  • End Of Term Awards
  • This Term’s Activites & Photos
  • Upcoming Employer Engagement
  • Building Studies Update
  • MIND Information

Message From The Principal

As we near the end of a tough first term of 2020/21 for everyone. It has been an extremely busy first term for students and staff, settling into new ways of working, catching up on missed work and working in the midst of a global pandemic. As I write this, it has just been announced that Buckinghamshire has been placed in the very high alert tier. We will of course keep you updated as any further guidance is released.

Despite Covid-19, students have taken part in a wide variety of activities with our employer and education partners to support their future careers. We know that students and staff are looking forward to a well-earned break and we look forward to welcoming them back in January 2021 (dependent on any further guidance from the DfE)

Finally, I would like to thank students and staff for their contributions to the UTC this term, even when they’ve been very challenging!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their support during this difficult time, your support in keeping everyone safe is much appreciated. I hope you find some time to rest and please stay safe.

We look forward to welcoming students back on Wednesday 6th January 2021 at 8:30am

Sarah Valentine

Key Term Dates

A summary of term dates and upcoming event information can be found on our new Calendar page (click here). We will continue to update this with additional key dates that will be important for students, staff and parents or carers. Please contact us for more information.


Monday 4th January 2021 Inset Day, College Staff only
Tuesday 5th January 2021 Inset Day, College Staff Only
Wednesday 6th January 2021 College resumes, students on site from 8:30am
Tuesday 12th January 2021 Year 12 Parent and Students’ Consultation Evening (Letter to follow)
Monday 1st February 2021 Year 11 GCSE mocks commence
Monday 15th – Friday 19th February February Half term break
Monday 22nd February 2021 College resumes, students on site from 8:30am
Monday 8th March 2021  Assessment week 3 commences
Wednesday 31st March 2021  End of term reports issued. Year 10/12: grades only Year 11/13: full report
Thursday 1st April 2021 College Closes for Easter break 3pm
Monday 19th April 2021 Inset Day, College Staff only
Tuesday 20th April 2021 College resumes, students on site from 8:30am

Virtual Open Events

As we’re unable to hold open events in-person, we’re adapting to virtual events over video. Our most recent event was a success, with people enjoying our live tour, introductions from subject staff and meeting our specialist employer partners.

Encourage friends and family that might be interested in the unique education offered by Bucks UTC to join our upcoming virtual event, to be held on Tuesday 26th January. You can sign up on Eventbrite here.

If you’ve got any questions about joining our virtual open events, send an email to

Christmas Jumper Day

On Friday 11th December, we invited all students and staff to take part in Christmas Jumper Day for Save The Children. Most people took part and showed their festive side – some lovely festive knits were worn.

The money raised will go to Save The Children, to provide forgotten children all around the world with a brighter future. It will support with essentials such as healthcare and education, something most of us take for granted. Happy Christmas!

UTC Students and staff with Christmas jumpers on

This Term’s Activities

Another year has gone, and although it’s been quite different since March, students were still able to take part in some exciting projects and talks with employers, albeit virtually. We’re optimistic about what opportunities will arise for our students next year.

Thanks to Alan Bailey for organising the employer engagement that students have participated in and our dedicated employer partners for supporting our students in what’s also a difficult time for them. 

9th – 20th November:

  • Bucks Skills Show Online
  • Remembrance Day
  • Year 11 Mock Exam Week
  • Anti Bullying Week with Odd Socks Day
  • Year 13 Personal Statements
  • Year 12 NCS Challenge – Crystal Maze, First Aid & more
  • Student council meeting

W/C 23rd November:

  • Year 10 Assessment Week
  • Year 12 Higher Education Opportunities
  • BMW Group Talk – Year 10 Design Technology
  • BMW Group Talk – Year 10 Enterprise
  • Year 12/13 UTC Cyber Day
  • Year 10 Computing Jetfruit Presentation day

W/C 30th November:

  • Year 12/13 BMW Group Session
  • Year 13 Parent Consulation evening

7th – 18th December:

  • Virtual open event
  • Christmas Jumper Day
  • End of Term Reports issued
  • Dress Down Day & End of Term Rewards

End of Term Awards

Well done to all students that won an award at our annual end of term awards gathering. This year it was presented a bit differently, but the gathering for award presentations was exciting nevertheless!

Young Writers Competition

We are so proud of our years 10 & 11 students for their fantastic efforts at writing their own creative piece of writing that has now been recognised externally! All students that have been chosen will be published in our very own, first publication, of the Young Writer’s Anthology. We are so very proud of our students, well done everyone. Sarah Wood

Upcoming Engagement

All Students

Flannery Plant & Galliford Try takeover day

  • Red zone working
  • Working on a smart motorway
  • Using plant machinery
  • Jobs and roles
  • Technology used within this sector

BMWGroup: Apprenticeship opportunities open
Students will be supported by BMWGroup to apply for these positions. Open to all Year 11 and 13 students.

Study Higher support sessions throughout January 2021 to April 2021
Study Higher sessions to support students in year 11 and 13 for applying for jobs, apprenticeships and university.

Building Studies

Health and safety sessions

  • Morgan Sindall Health and safety session with Year 10
  • Inland homes Site Induction session with Year 10 and 11
  • Inland Homes Management Site Induction with year 12 and 13

Taylor Wimpey media for supporting lessons
TW sharing supporting videos, posters, links and sub-contractor information to help staff with lesson delivery

Job roles information sessions by all Building Studies employer sponsors and partners
All employers will be allowing staff to do 30 min sessions to speak to students about what jobs are available in the construction industry.

Galliford Try sessions
Using virtual sessions to support lesson content and attending sessions via TEAMS.

BAM Sessions
Using the Speakers at schools BAM will be running virtual work experience for year 10/11 and 12 students January to February 2021


McAfee Coding challenge continues
Students working with McAfee and their mentors to complete the coding challenge – Year 12

JetFruit Website development unit
Year 12 students will be working with JetFruit to complete their assignments in the Website development unit. Jake from Jetfruit will provide lessons, support and feedback to students to complete their assignments.

Flannery Plant Technology session
Masterclass for year 12/13 about job roles within Flannery plant and the technology used. This will carry on from the takeover day.

Cisco Apprenticeship sessions
Cisco staff will support students to complete the application process for students in year 13 who want to apply for these positions.

Rackspace takeover day
Rackspace staff to attend onsite or virtual to do a takeover day to show the students what it’s like to work for Rackspace. This will be linked with trips to Rackspace once it’s safe to do so.

Building Studies Update

Current Year 11 students in Building Studies have been working on tiling their internal wall for their WJEC coursework. They’ve done a great job! Year 12 & 13 have also been conducting surveying in town for work towards their units. For more information about Building Studies courses on offer in Year 10 and 12, click here.

MIND Mentors

UTC Mentors are trained by the wonderful Bucks MIND team and are here to help and support our KS4 learners who may be struggling with anxiety, mental health, wellbeing and peer relationship issues. The Mentors are doing an amazing job of supporting our learners!

Buckinghamshire Council are running a confidence and self-esteem workshop for secondary school students. The program will explore how the media affects the perception of ourselves, how to deal with peer pressure and more. It will be running online on Teams on Tuesday 19th January 2021 and Thursday 21st January.

If you or your child needs to isolate at home, it’s important to stay active and healthy – mentally and physically. Remind yourself to stand up regularly and complete exercise around the house where possible. See the poster on ‘Isolating At Home’ for more support when isolating.