Newsletter, week three

Although time is flying by and students are now well settled back into the routine of school, I’m sure many of you are becoming increasingly concerned by talk of local lockdowns, rumours of infections and rising case numbers. Please be reassured that we are monitoring the situation closely and were already a step ahead in both our use of PPE in school and preparation for online blended learning with our google classroom set ups. Thank you for your continued support with this, students have been incredibly mature about wearing masks and taking the situation seriously.

A few highlights from this week’s sessions:

  • Year 9 Ignite students have been learning how to use stethoscopes and listen to their patient’s breathing using our state-of-the-art SimMan. We’re excited to move onto treating some of the conditions we have learned about and begin to understand the different types of medications involved in respiratory management. They have also made an extremely strong start in the labs showing excellent precision in their use of Gilson pipettes to make serial dilutions. They are planning their work on two industry-linked projects with Unilever and Autodesk/Manufacturing Technology Centre. The first will investigate the effectiveness of dishwasher tablets. The second will develop knowledge and understanding of the use of mathematics, 3D design and CAD software to design and print Christmas decorations. In maths we have been focused on basic angle facts.
  • Year 10 students have chosen to either complete a science or engineering design project focused around Unilever and the Manufacturing Technology Centre or to plan their own project to enter for the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ). The have covered the A-E assessment; and are now confident to fully assess the condition of a patients Airway, Breathing and Circulation including using blood pressure measurement and pulse oximetry. In Maths we have focused on the properties of Polygons.
  • Year 11 students have been split so that we have a group who are preparing for careers in medicine/health care through an exciting combined programme of developing care skills using simulations with SIM man and linking this to laboratory skills for clinical settings. Other students have elected to complete an independent project for a Higher Project Qualification and are in the process of developing their ideas. As always with our students we have a wide range of exciting project ideas ranging from an investigation into forensic entomology through to an investigation into media racial bias in football coverage.
  • Year 12s have also been getting stuck into their A Level and BTEC programmes. Film students have been learning about cinematography and we started the British film topic with a screening of ‘This is England’. Programming students have learnt about industry standard database development and implementation along with learning ASP.Net with HTML 5 and CSS3. Chemistry students have been addressing key skills and bridging the GCSE-A Level gap. We have spent more time on this than normal because of the potential for missed teaching and learning time during lockdown. English Literature students have been exploring critical theories to apply to a range of unseen extracts. They are engaging in collaborative learning and developing presentations to be delivered at the end of the week. In Maths, we have focused on Quadratic Functions, in Further Maths on Complex Numbers and in Year 12 Engineering on the simplification of polynomials
  • Year 13 film students have been learning about documentary films and had a screening of Amy followed by discussions on digital filmmaking and the features of a documentary. In programming, Year 13 students are working on Industry Project preparation along with developing Entity Framework inside WPF. In English Literature, students are revising taught content in preparation for next week’s PPEs. In Chemistry we have started looking at acids and bases, in which we quantify pH and look at how we can work it out for various substances. Year 13 Applied Scientists are looking at the importance of alumina and aluminium, and how we extract these from the ore bauxite. We are then considering this on an industrial scale to understand the cost implications of the various stages. Year 13 students have also resumed work on their Extended Projects which include an experimental investigation into the ability of insect larvae such as mealworm to degrade plastics, an investigation into the potential use of transglutaminase as a glue for deep wounds and a literature review on the impact of recombinant DNA technology on vaccine development focusing on approaches to developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

Students in the Sixth Form have begun their Critical Thinking programme, analysing complex information to form judgements on topics that contain tough moral and ethical questions. Critical Thinking is an essential skill for University and enhanced employability. Students have also been offered assistance with the writing of UCAS Personal Statements via The Oxbridge Masterclass. Opportunities are shared on our Google Classrooms, along with other vital information about subjects and school life, so please check Google Classroom regularly.

Bridging programme:

Marshall has written this Esports piece for your newsletter: Esports is a competitive level of gaming and a massively growing industry predicted to be generating billions in revenue by the end of the year. Esports is not just about playing games but a multitude of other different roles that a team must put together to be successful. Teams are required to have professional dieticians, medical staff, management teams and coaches just like any other ‘real’ sport. This week, we have begun putting together our own team starting with the first-ever Studio and UTC Esports team website, logos and banners. We have all been working hard researching and putting together the building blocks to the start of something great in the history of UTC and The Studio.

Notes for this week:

Year 11 and 13 students should now be focused on their mock exams (Pre Public Exam – PPE). Students need to take these exams seriously as we know how important results may be to future centre assessed grades.

If a student is absent, please officially report their absence each day by phone to Louise Kennett. If your student has missed work, they need to email their coach and teachers to ensure they are not falling behind.

Sixth form students need to check in with their Year 12 and 13 coaching classrooms daily. We are posting regular updates regarding work experience, summer schools, university talks, and also information on UCAS and careers.

Invitations have been sent out for students to join the Health and Medical Team. Applications are being completed via a Google Form posted on the Google Classroom page. Due to the lack of placement hours available this year, building practical skills before University will be particularly valuable to applicants for Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. You will be asked to confirm your preferred method of contact. This information is important should we need to communicate emergency information with you.

Best wishes, stay safe,

Jill Davies, Principal

Previous weeks’ newsletters…

Week 1 newsletter

Week 2 newsletter