This is my last newsletter in my role as Principal at Aylesbury UTC. As I’m sure you would expect, the end of every school year is characterised by reflection. The prospect of moving on from the school means that I’ve spent plenty of time in the past few weeks reflecting not only on this academic year, but on my two years here.
Aylesbury UTC is a unique organisation, but I have come to realise that it is not necessarily for the reasons that we focus on publicly.
When I speak to prospective families at open events or on tours of the school I talk about how AUTC is different: the specialist curriculum; our work with employer partners; our more grown-up, professional, business-like approach; technical qualifications; personalised support for students’ next steps. Yes, these factors all make us different from a more traditional school. They are certainly more established than they were in the past and it is resonating with local families as more students are applying to join us each year. All members of our school community should be proud of these features.
However, the strategies, procedures and features of an organisation are not as important as what makes AUTC truly unique: the people. Our staff, teaching and non-teaching, care a huge amount for students. Whilst they want students to get the best possible grades, colleagues here go above and beyond to ensure young people are understood and cared for more broadly. Our governors and members of our trust have been unequivocally supportive during my two years as Principal. They are a group of people determined to make a positive difference, they have students’ best interests in mind and are willing to make tough decisions for the good of the school community. Our university and employer partners continue to provide time, support and guidance as they truly want the school to be successful both for young people but also our local employment sectors. The families of students are fantastic to work with. There is a clear recognition that teenagers can be challenging both at home and in school, but there is a sense of unwavering confidence that together we will be able to make progress with every individual. Finally, our students…
I spoke with students on Monday this week and focused exclusively on celebration. I wanted to congratulate students on the progress they have made this year, in and out of the classroom. They have coped incredibly well with a tough few years in education and I feel very proud of them all. The way they have gone about lessons, assignments, exams, work experience and trips in recent weeks has been exemplary. More than anything else I am proud of how much more mature they are than at the start of the year, making better decisions, communicating appropriately and building positive relationships with other students and adults. I ended my assembly with them by requesting that they continue this upward trajectory next year – I am confident that if they take this mature approach and aim high, they will each achieve what they want to in the future.
I am moving back to Wallingford School, also part of the Merchant Taylors’ Oxfordshire Academy Trust, so will still have a link to AUTC. I look forward to hearing about further progress in the school under the very able leadership of my successor, Joe Dunckley. I would like to think that the work I have done here has provided him with some strong foundations on which to build and I am confident he will do a fantastic job in the coming years.
I hope you all have a great summer and wish you the best of luck for the future.
The school calendar is available for all students, parents, guardians and employers. Click here to view the calendar. A summary of the upcoming term dates:
|Friday 21st July 2023||Students finish for summer holidays|
|Friday 1st September 2023||Staff Training Day|
|Monday 4th September 2023||Staff Training Day|
|Tuesday 5th September 2023||Term begins for Year 10 and Year 12 students|
|Wednesday 6th September 2023||Term begins for Year 11 and Year 13 students|
|Wednesday 18th October 2023||Term ends for all students|
Congratulations to all Year 11 and Year 13 students for completing their GCSE and BTEC exams.
We would like to make sure all students and families are aware of the arrangements for the collection of results this summer. Results can be collected in person from Aylesbury UTC at the following times:
Sixth Form – Thursday 17th August, 9-11am
Year 11 – Thursday 24th August, 9-11am
Students and their families should enter through the normal entrance and collect results from the Atrium. Staff will be on hand to celebrate with you, answer questions and provide support.
From 11am-1pm on each day, staff will be available for further discussions if required. We want to make sure that everyone leaves knowing what they are going to do next.
To collect results, students must have their student ID card with them. If they have other commitments and are unable to attend at the date and time above, please notify the exams office to make alternative arrangements. Please email email@example.com
More details have been sent to parents via email.
Our new health and social care facility was officially opened in June. The event was attended by Rob Butler MP and former Ofsted chief inspector Sir Mike Tomlinson.
It has been developed in collaboration with Bucks NHS trusts and social care organisations to meet a demand from local employers for skilled workers. The health and social care suite will allow students to learn a variety of skills with state-of-the-art equipment in areas that replicate a working environment.
Students have already starting using the new Health & Social Care Suite to develop their practical skills, and the facility will be available for our new cohort from September.
What a busy time this term has been! It had flown by and has been full of exciting events that involved both staff, employers and students. Our Year 10 students came back from a whole week of valuable work experience and they have learnt such valuable skills and lessons that they will keep for life.
The Computing students, amongst other schools, were involved in a project with one of our employer partners, Cloudy IT, where they had to design an app for a local council and a charity organisation.
We also welcome our prospective Year 10 and Year 12 students on our induction days held last week. We were excited to see so many enthused young people looking to our school to lay a good foundation in Digital and IT. I would like to wish all staff, employers and students a wonderful Summer!
We are delighted to report that Year 10 Mock Results for Mathematics were excellent. We are able to now have a complete Higher Level GCSE Mathematics Group of 23 students and look forward to seeing these students achieve higher grades next year.
Well Done to all of Year 10 in the Maths End of Year 10 Exam.
Please can I refer you to the following which will support students for both Foundation and Higher Level GCSE Mathematics next year.
http://justmaths.co.uk/2016/01/03/9-1-exam-questions-by-topic-both-tiers/ Grade 4 and 5 Cross Over
Senior Leadership Team
For the past few weeks, most Year 10 students have been undertaking work experience with companies in their preferred field of interest. They have worked with a range of businesses in the digital media, health, social care, IT, and construction industries. This will support students’ employability and transferable skills.
There has been a huge amount of positive feedback on the AUTC students. Our employer partners have been incredibly complimentary. Several students were asked to extend into a second week! Students have returned to us with a greater sense of purpose and maturity. Very well done to all of our students and thank to families who supported them by offering or helping to arrange placements.