We intend to prepare students with the necessary skills to make the next step towards their chosen destination.
We offer a different kind of education to complement and enhance the range of 14-19 learning opportunities in Buckinghamshire. The UTC is well equipped to offer 14-19year olds the unique opportunity to take a highly regarded, technically oriented course of study in computing or building studies. At KS4 the combination of core GCSE subjects and specialist programmes in computing or building studies supported by a strong PHSE and CEIAG curriculum provides young people with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to be successful in life, evidenced by the strong destinations of our students. At KS5 students complete specialist programmes in computing or building studies at level 3 with the opportunity to take an additional A-Level at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School. We offer a level 2 pathway for students that have not yet achieved GCSE English and/or maths at grade 4 or above.
There is a strong focus in the Bucks UTC curriculum on employability, specifically in computing and building studies industries. Bucks UTC has fantastic employer partners and support with real employer commitments to support students. Our aim is to invest in young people’s enthusiasm and aptitude for science, maths and technology, and in doing so accelerate their progression to a career in a technical field.
The curriculum is clear in providing a balanced offer which remains as broad as possible whilst meeting its over-arching technical intent. The curriculum design is intended to focus is on preparing students for their future careers by providing an integrated academic and professional education bespoke to each student. Programmes of study demonstrate high academic and technical ambition for all students, equipping them with the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life. We are clear on our position where we start to educate students partway through the 5-year period covered by Progress 8 which paragraph 311 in the handbook states is not the most appropriate performance measure for a UTC. Destinations are strong with only 4% of our KS4 leavers and with a positive destination. Leadership is responsive to the needs and aspirations of students and employers, reviewing and adapting curriculum design and content to maximise opportunities for students to progress into their chosen career.
In computing and building studies students’ learning is enriched by projects delivered by employers, reflecting real-life challenges that those businesses face. Working with employers is a critical aspect of our curriculum to develop student skills and attributes to progress into a technical career, such as:
- critical thinking skills
- inquiry and analytical skills
- problem-solving and resilience
- self-management and organisation
- teamwork and collaboration
At KS4 we allocate approximately 40% of curriculum time to technical learning and its application. The destinations focussed curriculum is based on the following core principles:
- Providing a balanced curriculum which remains as broad as possible whilst meeting our over-arching technical intent.
- An emphasis on a strong core English, Mathematics and digital skills curriculum, securing the levels of literacy and numeracy essential to excel in Level 2 and subsequently Level 3 and higher studies.
- Equipping students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The UTC curriculum will build students’ understanding of the significant global challenges that frame the lives of educated citizens to prepare them for their future.
The specialist curriculum at both key stages is designed and delivered in partnership with employers to provide all students including disadvantaged and SEND to access positive destinations to be successful in life. The curriculum has comparable breadth and ambition to the national curriculum and working in partnership with employers and other schools has supported us to achieve this. Teachers have good knowledge of the subjects they teach and where appropriate, staff are supported to develop their practice. The curriculum is planned coherently and sequenced towards developing skills and knowledge.
At KS5 students the destinations focussed curriculum is based on the same core principles where students complete specialist programmes in computing or building studies at level 3 with the opportunity to take an additional A-Level. At KS5 level 3, the full curriculum time is allocated to technical learning and its application and where necessary for students that have not yet achieved GCSE English and/or maths at grade 4 or above, this is built into their individual timetables.
All students take part in the careers programme which is developed in partnership with our employer sponsors and partners. The well-established vocational curriculum which is the most distinctive and successful feature of our provision and the reason students should chose to join us. In keeping with the vision, mission and ethos of Bucks UTC, all students engage with employers through their chosen specialism.
We have strong links with national companies, as well as with businesses and charities locally, providing our students with access to a wide range of work-related learning opportunities.