December 2021 Newsletter

Aylesbury UTC / Newsletters / December 2021 Newsletter

Message from the Principal

As we reach the end of the Winter Term, it seems a good time to reflect on the progress we have made during the last two months.

Firstly, I am very grateful to everyone at Bucks UTC who has welcomed me as the new principal. The school is underpinned by a feeling of care and support for our young people and each other. There are numerous examples of students, staff and parents providing encouragement to allow member of the school to make progress. There is a clear motivation to continue the great work in our school. Moving forwards, these values must continue to govern our approach on a day-to-day basis.

The early stages of my time here have been characterised by ‘change’. Staff should be commended on their positive approach to new ideas and initiatives. It is clear that they understand the need for patience whilst some of these strategies become embedded. I feel privileged to lead a group who are so obviously committed to making a difference to the lives of young people now and in the future. Similarly, I believe students and families recognise that there is more work to do if Bucks UTC is to become even more successful. Again, I am grateful to you all for embracing change and for your trust that there will be huge benefits from some of these key decisions. There is undoubtedly more change to come but this is based on the common goal of success for everyone associated with the school.

One of the main differences between Bucks UTC and more traditional schools is the numerous opportunities for career development and employer engagement. As you can see through our social media channels and this newsletter, our students are exposed to a huge range of industry specialists, extra-curricular activities and career events. This aspect of school life continues to be a major priority as it will set our school leavers apart from their peers at other institutions. Whilst there is more work to be done on this front to ensure it remains at the heart of curriculum, it is only right to thank school staff and our employer partners for the fantastic work completed so far this year.

We must not forget to acknowledge the importance of academic progress and qualifications. In the new year, there will be more details about our curriculum, qualifications, assessment and progress reports. Our aim is to ensure that there is clarity for all those involved as this will result in a better chance of academic success. I would also like to mention how proud I am of our Year 11 students for completing their first set of mock exams recently. All of our students will be completing exams / assessments in January and I would like to wish them the best of luck. I fear that there may be further disruption from the pandemic in the months to come and it is therefore important that we are ready to adapt our approach to course delivery if required. I am confident that we can continue to provide students with a strong offer of academic guidance no matter what is thrown at us.

I have quickly come to the realisation that no two days at Bucks UTC are the same, which is a major reason why I love my job so much. It is very easy to come to work each day knowing that there will be challenge, success, laughter, tears and any number of other experiences. Long may this variety continue.

Finally, I hope all staff, students and families have a healthy Christmas break and a positive start to 2022.

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. Please note these dates may change due to government guidance.

Friday 17th December 2021 Students finish for Christmas holidays at 1:15pm
Tuesday 4th January 2021 Inset day
Wednesday 5th January 2021 Students return to UTC for Spring term from 8:30am
Date Description
Friday 17th December 2021 Students finish for Christmas holidays at 1:15pm
Tuesday 4th January 2021 Staff inset day
Wednesday 5th January 2021 Students return to UTC for Spring term from 8:30am

Open Events

We held another hugely successful open event on 2nd December. It was great to meet so many prospective parents, and students looking to join Year 10 and 12. Our student ambassadors did a superb job of greeting people, guiding them around and answering questions. Thank you to Ben, Crina, Annalesha, Tabaisum, Bond, Lucas, Henry, Jacob, Michael, Sam, Harry, James, Will and Charlie!

Some of employer employer partners including Taylor Wimpey, BMW Group, Morgan Sindall, McAfee, Alcom IT and many more supported the event too. It was a great chance for students to make connections with industry. Thank you to our staff and the employers for helping to make this event successful.

Register now for our Sixth Form event on Thursday 10th February.

Employer Engagement Update

It has been packed with visiting Employer Partners. Since September the UTC has completed 22 activities matching the requirements in our comprehensive Careers programme. This half term since 1st November 2021:

In summary:

  • Morgan Sindall has provided some invaluable work experience placements to some Building Studies students both at the Glebe Farm and Kingsbrooks sites. There will be more opportunities for students in 2022.
  • Our Year 11 students were given a pre exam techniques session from Study Higher before their Mock exams, hopefully their confidence will grow.
  • If you follow us on social media you couldn’t miss all the fantastic activities that Year 12 had the opportunity to participate in with NCS and Action4Youth. From rock climbing, canoeing, high ropes, first aid, helping in the community and meeting an olympian for motivational talks and lots more.
  • Barclays Life skills continued with 2 more session on Finance covering the importance that our students should be made aware of debt, managing money, risk and fraud. All valuable to the real world and staying safe.

BMW Group and Apprenticeships

BMW Group created its annual pitch for apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship recruitment, applications are already open for this years intake. A number of our students have started preparing their portfolio to present in the new year. We wish them all the best! Mark Massingham from BMW Group is with the UTC every step of the way to guide them to reach their best. We look forward to seeing the positive destinations.


University Trips

Thinking of university is something that we like to offer relevant students, especially in Year 13 and 12. However we are extending that invite occasionally to Year 11 and 10 enabling them to have a think about their Next Steps. With our sponsor Buckinghamshire New University having fantastic facilities on our door step is wonderful. Year 13 Computing students visited the High Wycombe campus for a tour and hands-on sessions with Game Design lecturers.

Other students also visited Oxford Brookes on 16th December and met lecturers, toured campus and learnt about the architect courses with tower building activities as well! Thanks to the support from Study Higher.

Queen’s Jubilee Tree Planting

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. During National Tree Planting Week a Year 10 student had the honour of supporting our Principal to plant a Cherry Tree  given by  Buckinghamshire County Council.


NFTS Challenge Year 12

Congratulations to our Year 12 Computing team for reaching the final of the NFTS Challenge 2021 and becoming the winners! Their great work was well-received by the professional judges. Some of the feedback: “Impressed with use of a voiceover, a technique no other school used. Good editing used throughout and excellent to see a call to action to follow Bucks UTC on social media!