April 2021 Newsletter

Bucks UTC / Newsletter / April 2021 Newsletter

Message From The Principal

It’s almost the Easter break and I am sure that you are all looking forward to seeing some better weather.

We are living and working in a rapidly changing world, with the last few days have being taken up ensuring that students and staff are engaged in the current blended approach to remote and face to face learning following the positive coronavirus student case.

The ongoing situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic including switching between face-to-face learning and remote learning has caused unprecedented challenges for everyone involved. During this time, many students have demonstrated incredible resilience and resolve to continue learning and where students have struggled to adapt to the changing circumstances, staff have been on hand support them.

We were due to distribute the Easter home testing kits for students earlier this week. I want to convey my sincere thanks go to the amazing business support team who have been delivering the home testing kits to all students that need them. What a team effort – thank you!

End of term student reports are being published as I write this, if you have not received your child’s report please contact reception@buckinghamshireutc.co.uk.

What has really impressed me during this term is the focus of students in employer led learning and the focus of our year 11 and year 13 students on securing their next steps and future destinations, demonstrating a real can-do attitude.

My genuine thanks go once again to the students, staff and the supportive families for working in such a positive way at such a difficult time.

In conclusion, next term will be a busy one, particularly for year 11 and year 13 who are coming to the end of their programmes of study. We know that students and staff are looking forward to a well-earned Easter break and we look forward to welcoming the students back to the UTC on Tuesday 20th April from 8.30am

Sarah Valentine, Principal

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.

Thursday 1st April 2021 College Closes for Easter break
Monday 19th April 2021 Inset Day, College Staff only
Tuesday 20th April 2021 College resumes, students on site from 8:30am
Thursday 29th April 2021 Year 10 Parent consulation event
Monday 3rd May 2021 Bank Holiday Monday
Monday 31st – Friday 4th June 2021 Half term
Monday 10th June 2021 College resumes, students on site from 8:30am

World Book Day 2021

Although World Book Day was different this year, due to the majority of students learning at home, we still had some great contributions from staff and students! Thank you to Sarah Wood for organising the day and sharing plenty of resources on a Teams group for all students to use.

  • Book Token designs – we loved seeing what our students came up with. There were not many entries, but those that entered did a superb job.
  • Reading – Building Studies read an extract from Chapter 1 of The Maze Runner and are continuing to listen to the audiobook version in their sessions at the UTC. Year 10 also read some literature in their sessions, while our staff got creative and shared their favourite books.
  • Resources – English staff shared live events with professionals, top choices for the £1 book and great online masterclasses.

Science Department

The science department was able to offer core content in Chemistry and Biology with increased student involvement and interest during the lockdown. The department’s staff compiled a video bank of necessary practical. In addition, new teaching techniques such as breakout rooms and survey forms were used on MS teams. The Y11 were able to complete a required assessed practical in Chemistry and an end of topic test in Biology after the lockdown. Under the heading of “Drug Development,” Y10 students successfully completed a letter writing assignment in which they had to demonstrate to a pharmaceutical company which safety checks or procedures were required for drug approval.

Special Mention: Alan Bailey

In January, The Careers Enterprise Company reached out to people across the education and careers sector asking for their choices of individuals, and organisations whose careers focussed work has made a positive difference to the lives of young people.

Put forward by Julia Bond under the theme of connecting with technical and vocational education, Alan Bailey (Computing teacher and Employer Engagement lead) stood out to be a careers champion.

Alan has continued his mission to ensure students receive vocational experiences in a meaningful way.  Having worked in different industries, Alan believes his experience of work helps him connect with the students. Learn more about how Alan has supported our students here.

McAfee Challenge Update

From November 2020, our Year 12 Computing students have been taking part in a coding challenge, hosted by McAfee. Throughout the period of remote learning, they have still been carrying on with their game development. Students are worked in groups, paired with a mentor from McAfee who support them with the tasks. The final for this competition (Bucks UTC vs Cottesloe School) is taking place on 29th April at 10:00am. Good luck!

Mock Interviews – Study Higher

In the past few weeks, Nathan and his team from Study Higher have been preparing our students for a mock interview, helping them understand what to before and during an interview. The first sessions discussed techniques to support students. Following on, each student took part in a 10-minute mock interview and were provided with feedback (with full feedback to come in the next few weeks). Our students enjoyed the real-life experience and we hope this prepares them for real-life situations.

Jetfruit – Year 12 Computing

As part of the Website Development unit, Year 12 Computing students have been collaborating with local digital services company Jetfruit. These remote sessions discussed what makes a good and bad website, with visual examples; how to write up about a website, including the features and things to look out for, and more. Students are now developing their own websites with guidance from Jetfruit. Their designs should be based on the current Jetfruit website, and they should keep to a consistent structure. We look forward to seeing the creative and technical aspects of their creations when complete.

Galliford Try 

Building Studies students were shown a presentation about up and coming projects around Aylesbury and how the two Galliford try staff got into construction. They also spoke to the students about surveying skills and how it fits within the construction industry. Thank you to Rob Dumelow (Senior Site Agent) and Lauren Shaw (Assistant Engineer).

Kooth – April Sessions

Kooth provides free, safe and anonymous wellbeing support and advice and is accessible from any internet enabled device. Young people can use the site to access one-to-one sessions, contribute to content and record their feelings. On the free Kooth Live Forums (available from the website), a range of live sessions will be hosted to discuss your thoughts with other people.

  • Monday 5th April: A look at how we can tackle loneliness together to ensure we can support others both on and offline
  • Friday 16th April: We will be celebrating the positive power of our wonderful pets – whether it’s feline friends, canine pals or all things animal!
  • Wednesday 21st April:Earth Day 2021 is a chance to look at the potential for positive change for the future of the world
  • Monday 26th April: As restrictions start easing we want to talk about what community means for you