April 2022 Newsletter

Bucks UTC / Newsletters / April 2022 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Looking Back – Looking Forwards

Looking back at this term, it is clear that there have been some fantastic accomplishments by our students and staff at Bucks UTC.

  • We successfully sent a group of students and staff to Thailand for a Computing-related trip – and just about returned them! Huge credit should go to the staff involved in this trip as it certainly changed the lives of our young people for the better.
  • We took on the challenge of a 2-day Ofsted visit which was characterised by positivity. Inspectors were particularly impressed with our students and the progress Bucks UTC is making since joining Merchant Taylors’ Oxfordshire Academy Trust. More details will be shared in due course but comments made it very clear that the school is moving rapidly towards significant success.
  • We have continued to welcome students looking to join Bucks UTC from September 2022, through open events, feeder school visits and taster days. It has been fantastic to meet so many motivated and passionate young people.
  • To our current students and their families, it has been fantastic to see the positive responses to our focus on dress code and professional expectations – thank you.
  • There are significant steps being taken in the preparation for our new Health Specialism, notably the planning of the Health & Social Care Suite on the ground floor.

These sorts of major events are important, but I am also proud of the work taking place on a daily basis: high quality learning; purposeful employer engagement activities; positive relationships.
Looking forwards towards the rest of the school year, there is so much more to do!

  • A major focus is preparing students for their final exams, which start in May. Already it is clear that our Year 11 and 13 students are determined to make the most of the opportunities available to them and we wish them every success in the coming months.
  • We welcome two new permanent members of staff to the school from next term: Daniel Lubinga – Head of Computing; Tom Devey – Head of Health. Appointing strong middle leaders is a very important step in our continued progress.
  • There continues to be an emphasis on careers support and development, with ongoing 1-to-1 meetings, careers events and internal support. The ultimate aim is to ensure all our young people reach purposeful destinations after leaving Bucks UTC and that they find the pathways that are right for them as individuals.
  • Our work with prospective students continues with further guidance meetings and induction days, which we are very excited about.
  • We will also be continuing to refine procedures in school to ensure we get ‘the basics’ right: dress code; attendance and punctuality; mobile phone use; behaviour; tutor periods and PSHE. There will be moments in the final part of the year where we focus particularly on specific aspects to ensure that by September 2022 our standards are as high as possible.

Whilst taking a moment to reflect on the past and future developments at Bucks UTC I have an over-riding feeling of pride. My hope is that students, staff and parents find a moment to reflect over the Easter break and that you too will recognise the many areas to be proud of.

Take care,
Nick Lamb
Principal

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. 

 

Friday 8th April 2022 UTC closes for Easter Holidays at 3pm
Monday 25th April 2022 Staff inset day
Tuesday 26th April 2022 Students return to UTC for Summer term
Friday 27th May 2022 UTC closes for half term at 3pm

Thursday 23rd June 2022 is the last Examination date (Please note students should be available up to and including the JCQ contingency date of Wednesday 29th June 2022)

Thailand Trip

Students and staff recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Thailand, where they undertook a variety of opportunities. They have shared their experiences in this short video. More photos and videos will be shared with parents soon.

Open Events

Our final open event for this academic year will be on Thursday 19th May for students looking to join Year 10 or Sixth Form. Click here to sign up now. The event will be supported by many employer partners and student ambassadors, with a tour of the facilities and chance to learn more about the courses we offer. See other open events and events for parents on our Upcoming Events page.

New Staff Introductions

Tom Devey – Head of Health Specialism

I would like to formally introduce myself. My name is Tom Devey, and I am the newly appointed Head of Health.

I am very excited to join Bucks UTC and look forward to working with everyone. A little bit about me: I have been a teacher for 13 years working in a college and more recently in a local school with young people who have additional needs. I have always been passionate about Health; it is an industry that truly fascinates me. I have worked in the health and fitness industry and studied at University in Applied Sport Science. I bring a passion into my teaching and leadership, for learning how to be healthy and how to help others to lead successful and happy lives. I will work hard with each student to develop their skills and find their place in the health and social care industry.

During my time in my previous school, I was the Duke of Edinburgh manager, and have supported several students to achieve both bronze and silver awards each year. This is something that I am pleased to be able to bring to the students at Bucks UTC, as it is an incredible programme that can teach young people vital skills that will support their future careers.

One interesting fact about myself is that I played a season as a semi-professional Ice Hockey goalie for the Slough Jets, something I am very proud of.

I look forward to seeing you all in September.

Daniel Lubinga – Head of Computing

I am excited to be joining the Computing Department at Bucks UTC after the Easter break. I have always been fascinated by technological advances in various fields such as medicine and gaming. My training and work before teaching involved using computer workstations to record and design sound for music and film and build customised PCs. I also facilitated workshops in schools in creative arts until I went into teaching full time. I have been mainly based in St Michael’s, an all-through secondary school in High Wycombe. I like to inspire young people, see them develop their skills and grasp opportunities to be creative.

Did you know that one of my favourite genres of film to watch is animated films? This includes everything from Disney classics to DC Comics renditions.

I look forward to joining the Bucks UTC community and leading the Computing department to develop a world-class education for our young people.

Employer Engagement & Careers

Wishing everyone a VERY HAPPY EASTER! It’s time for a well deserved break, after a busy term for all our students and staff. From the Employer Engagement activities in the UTC and trips it has been extremely busy:

The Digital Media department in Computing has been extremely successful. Mario Santos led teams made up of Year 12 students in entries for the NFTS (National Film and Television School) award for Buckinghamshire. One team in particular WON! The Film and Digital theme was continued with visits to Pinewood Studies to find out what careers are available. Trips to BFI (British Film Institute) Archives and Southbank are scheduled for next term.

Computing Students also received a careers talk from Dell Tech focusing on cyber security and online safety. Next term it is hoped that Cisco will be back in the building with some talks from apprentices and engineers which will be very exciting.

Morgan Sindall invited a few Year 10 Building Studies students to Dorn Valley tree planting and Blenheim Palace to learn about sustainability, this activity was linked to a national BBC news article.

March is the traditional month for National Careers Week, therefore this half term time has been focused on guiding our students towards their next destinations with the best support they could receive. This is not exclusive to our students, we like to support all parents and carers, too. A Careers Guidance virtual meeting for parents and students was organised by Jan Lloyd, our Careers Lead. Careers awareness is always a high priority for the UTC and sharing tips and information with home is just as important.

All Year 12 and 13 attended the annual Bucks Skills Show where more than 185 companies were represented.  There was strong representation from the NHS, Digital/ IT and Construction, demonstrating that Bucks UTC definitely align the specialism courses to the job opportunities in the region.

Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) delivered an overview presentation on apprenticeships and traineeships and offered free mentoring if students needed help with individual applications. Let Jan Lloyd know to make the arrangements.

Work experience for all students is a critical part of the Careers Programme. Many students have already taken this opportunity or have some dates in May planned. It is hoped that all students should have at least 5 days work experience before the end of Year 11. Therefore, I am asking for those students not had that experience yet to perhaps go to work with a parent or family member. There is no such thing as bad work experience, students can learn what they don’t like sometimes, but have responsibility to turn up and complete the tasks given is necessary to learn.

Next term, Year 10 will have their individual Next Steps meetings to start finding out what destinations they have in mind and how the UTC can try to make those plans realistic.