October 2021 Newsletter

Aylesbury UTC / Newsletters / October 2021 Newsletter

Message from the Principal

What a busy start to this academic year with lots of positives achieved across the UTC in this first half term. After a significant time, the first offsite work placements are scheduled, visitors to enhance and develop the curriculum are back in the UTC and students are once again seeing the benefit of engaging with employers offsite. Activities have included:

  • Delivery of the Barclays Talent Foundry Scheme for all students
  • The first offsite student visits have taken place:
  • Talk the Talk communication workshops for year 10 students, supported by year 11 student ambassadors
  • Turing Scheme international opportunities announced to students and parents, following the notification during the summer break that our application was successful. Turing activities will take students’ specialist subjects to a new level. Computing will experience manufacturing research and development in the major IT manufacturing hub in Bangkok, Thailand. Building Studies students will look at cutting edge construction techniques in Beijing, China. 25 students and 3 staff will attend each trip – what an opportunity!
  • Launched the Lit in Colour Pioneers programme

There is lots for students to look forward to in the coming months with activities and workshops scheduled from Study Higher, BMW Group, Morgan Sindall, BAM construction, visits to local universities, NCS and more.

This is my final contribution to the Bucks UTC newsletter as I move on to pastures new at the end of October. I have been reflecting on my time here and my time working in Aylesbury for almost 22 years and the ‘stuff’ that has been achieved. All too often we spend our time focussed on the ‘stuff’ we haven’t done. One thing is certain, the ‘stuff’ wouldn’t have been achieved without the support and challenge from students, staff, parents, employers and governors.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone that I have worked with during my time here, for their individual contributions to student success and for the yes to the many asks I have made.

I have been overwhelmed with the thank you messages from students and parents, both past and present. I wish Bucks UTC the very best for the future and am leaving it in safe hands with Merchant Taylor’s Oxfordshire Academy Trust. I will be cheering you all on from the sidelines.

Finally, I want to thank all students, parents and of course the staff team for their very best efforts this half term. I hope you all have a restful and safe half term break.

Sarah Valentine

Thank You, Sarah

“Thank you for trying to make me into a better person”.

“I will miss you when you have gone. Good luck in the future!”

“It was nice to have you as our headteacher. Have fun!”

“Thank you for your efforts while being here, I wish you success on your next venture”

Key Term Dates

A summary of term dates and upcoming event information can be found on our Calendar page (click here) or below. We will continue to update this with additional key dates that will be important for students, staff and parents or carers. Please note these dates may change due to government guidance.

Wednesday 20th October 2021 UTC closes to students for half term
Monday 1st November 2021 Students return to UTC from 8:30am
Wednesday 17th December 2021 UTC closes at 1.15pm for Christmas holidays
Tuesday 4th January 2021 Inset day
Wednesday 5th January 2021 Students return to UTC for Spring term from 8.30am


Open Events

Our open event on Saturday 16th October was one of our largest and most successful yet. We were thrilled to meet so many families and potential students with their futures ahead of them! Also a huge thank you to Crina, Ryan, Scott, Annalesha, Bond, Luke, Deilia, Roberto and Tabasum for their help as Student Ambassadors, touring guests around the facilities and giving an insight into student life at Bucks UTC.

Register now for our next event on Thursday 2nd December by clicking here. Tickets are going quickly, so don’t miss out!

Multi-Academy Trust

We have been working over the past two years with the Department for Education (DfE) to join Merchant Taylor’s Oxfordshire Academy Trust (MTOAT). Our discussions have included a rigorous review of the partnership and whether it is in the best interests of our students, staff, and stakeholders to collaborate with a larger, local Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

Merchant Taylors’ Oxfordshire Academy Trust currently has two schools, Wallingford School and Brightwell Primary School. We are at very advanced stages of a formal transfer into this Trust. The Board believes that Merchant Taylors’ Oxfordshire Academy Trust shares our ethos and vision of striving for excellence and putting the progress of all our students at the heart of everything we do.

For more information, please refer to the letter sent out to parents on 30th September. For any questions, please email reception@aylesburyutc.co.uk.

The UTC way of learning has kicked off to an amazing start since lockdown released. Bucks UTC has welcomed all our Employer partners and set up some exciting activities for all Year groups.

Jan Lloyd has taken on this role for Bucks UTC, after many years of industry experience in the commercial word of Banking, IT and Construction. Jan is inspired by the UTC ethos to deliver a thoroughly immersed programme of engagements into the curriculum.

Barclays Life Skills

Barclays Life Skills have visited twice so far and have been informing our students about recognising their own skills that they can demonstrate and communicate with future employers. This followed nicely into a session for practise Interviews and learning skills to have a great interview in the future. Barclays will be back next half term to extend the knowledge of our students and the real world about finance and debt.

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall have been engaging lots with Bucks UTC, featuring in their local site at Kingsbrook School site. 4 Building Studies students represented the UTC at the “Topping Out” ceremony. Furthermore, Year 12 and 13 visited the site for a tour learning the different stages of building and hearing directly from the employer. This important relationship with employers has since led to a number of work experience placements in Building Studies and is hoped to lead onto great destinations for our students with apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.

CV Workshops for Year 12 & 13

CV writing is a critical element to being work ready. Study Higher have always been a rock in supporting the UTC and delivered session to Year 12 and 13 this half term. It is planned that Year 10 and 11 will also cover this session later in 2022.

Talk The Talk

Building our students confidence is very important. Sarah Wood invited in Talk the Talk to carry out another successful workshop for all Year 10 and 11’s. This encouraged the students to stand up in front of a group and speak on a topic of their choice, learning valuable communication and confidence techniques that will benefit them even further down the line. They all finished with a certificate that they are now recognised as a confident communicator.

Nightingale’s Rainbow

Bringing some colour to Nightingale’s Rainbow was very special for 4 Year 10 students. They volunteered to assist Chiltern Rangers with community planting to support Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity. This colourful sculpture is placed on a roundabout on the entrance to Stoke Mandeville hospital. It is a message of thanks for the resilience seen through the pandemic.

EGX Trip

Computing students in all year groups visited the ExCel Center in London to attend the EGX 2021 gaming showcase. Students had the chance to look at the exciting new games on offer and play with other people. They also interacted with retro games and old games consoles, like the original Xbox! We were impressed with the creative outfits that our students wore. Thank you to Mario Santos for organising the trip.

New Books Arrive!

We have had dozens of new books arrive over the summer for all students to read and enjoy. These have been very popular with students, and it was fantastic to see parents enjoy looking at them at our open event this month!