February 2022 Newsletter

Aylesbury UTC / Newsletters / February 2022 Newsletter

Message from the Principal

I absolutely love my job. I feel privileged to lead such a talented and hard-working group of young people and our similarly dedicated staff. Although there are tough moments for all of us, the time I spend at Bucks UTC is characterised by excitement, change, variety, energy, pride and above all else, making a difference. At this time of year, as the temperature seems to increase and there is a little more daylight on my journey to and from work, there is an over-riding feeling of anticipation…

Around 25 members of the school are leaving for a 10-day trip to Thailand on Friday 18th February. This is an incredible chance to experience a different culture, work with new people, overcome challenges and manage without loved ones for a few days. I am full of admiration for those taking part as it demonstrates a determination to make the most of opportunities in life. We hope you all have safe and successful trip and look forward to seeing social media updates in the coming days.

Our Year 11 and Year 13 students are approaching the end of their courses. The next few weeks and months will include Yr11 mock exams, external exam results, assignment results and of course lots of revision. It is fantastic to see so many of our students approaching their studies with such positivity and increasingly, students staying after school to complete additional work. Do have confidence that all the hard work will be worth it when we reach the summer results days.

It has also been great to see our Year 10 and Year 12 students fully settled into the rhythm of the school year. They continue to enter (and win) competitions, demonstrate their aptitude in practical work and represent Bucks UTC so positively with visitors and on visits to other organisations. Keep it going!

Throughout the school there continues to be a constant focus on ‘next steps’. Last week there were several events in school for National Apprenticeship Week which was hugely successful. Many of our students are taking part in work experience and several have applied for University courses, secured a place at College or have been offered a variety of apprenticeships. We are particularly proud of those Year 11 students who have successfully made it through multiple rounds of the application process for a BMW apprenticeship, as this is very competitive.

On the other side of this journey are our prospective Year 10 and 12 students who have been visiting the school for tours or attending our open events over this period. Although we have made the difficult decision to not run Building Studies in Sixth Form from September 2022, we have more applicants than in many previous years. This is down to a variety of factors, but particularly the hard work of staff and student ambassadors at open events, some fantastic marketing from our marketing team, and lots of positive messages in the community through word of mouth. Anything our current students and parents can do to spread the word is very much appreciated. We are particularly excited about the launch of our new Health Specialism, starting in September 2022, and would encourage anyone interested in Health-related careers to attend an open event or get in touch with us.

Overall then, it is a great time to be part of Bucks UTC, whether you are a colleague, student, family member, employer-sponsor or member of the local community linked to the school. I fully intend on using this Springtime anticipation and excitement to spur me on to further success and I hope all of you can too.

Take care,

Nick Lamb

Key Term Dates

A summary of term dates and upcoming event information can be found on our Calendar page or below. We will continue to update this with additional key dates that will be important for students, staff and parents or carers. 

Friday 18th February 2022 UTC closes for Half Term at 3pm
Monday 28th February 2022 Students return to UTC at 8:30am (excluding students on the Thailand Trip)
Friday 8th April 2022 UTC closes for Easter holidays at 3pm

Thursday 23rd June 2022  is last Examination date (Please note students should be available up to and including the JCQ contingency date of Wednesday 29th June 2022)

Thailand Trip

Keep an eye on our social media pages and special webpage for regular updates from students and staff on the Thailand trip! They will depart from the UK on Friday 18th February and arrive 19th February at 9:30am (local time – 02:30am in the UK!). Staff going on the trip include Sarah, Mario and Tholu.

Open Events

We’re holding the first open event for our new Health specialism (starting in September 2022). This will take place on Thursday 3rd March at 5:30-6:30pm. Sign up now by clicking the link here. Some of our new health employer partners will be attending, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the courses we offer.

See other open events and events for parents on our Upcoming Events page.

Employer Engagement Update

The energy of Employer Engagement is one-half of a strong beating heart. The marvellous hard work of all our teaching and support staff is the other.

It has been full of amazing opportunities packed into 6 weeks this half term. The highlights include:

Building Studies experienced technology being immersed into education with virtual reality tunnelling skills at the new Knowledge Quad on the Kingsbrook Morgan Sindall site.

Meanwhile, Computing students have started an exciting collaboration with Bucks Museum to design and develop an Augmented Reality App. This engagement continues into next half term. Watch this space become real!

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is one of the busiest for employer engagement. Data shows UTCs have some of the highest success in the country for students securing apprenticeships.

On the first day of NAW, ex-Bucks UTC students Aiden and Anna shared their journey to Taylor Wimpey. Year 10 had fun building paper famous landmarks as part of the BMW Group challenge too.

Cloudy IT, RIDGE, and Flannery Plant Hire also delivered careers talks to students about apprenticeships and career options.

If parents work for a company big or small and would be interested in becoming a UTC Employer Partner, then please contact Jan Lloyd at jlloyd@aylesburyutc.co.uk or fill in the form on our website.