Principal's Blog- December 2017

UTC Portsmouth: Excellence in STEM Education

Official Opening

On Tuesday 12th December, it was our pleasure to welcome Tim Peake to officially ‘open’ our college. He stayed with us for four hours and insisted on meeting all students to hear about their work, progress and aspirations. It was wonderful to be in the company such an personable and ordinary man yet with many extraordinary experiences and achievements. He was genuinely interested in all that we do and is such a strong supporter of STEM education. He thought that the curriculum we offer is great and is inspiring young people in the region to fulfill their dreams and career aims. We are incredibly grateful to Tim and the European Space Agency for granting us such a rare opportunity. We will all continue to follow his career very closely and wish him all the very best with his next mission, whether that be to the International Space Station or beyond.    


Sixth Form Applications

We have experienced a huge amount of interest from students wishing to join Year 12 in September 2018 for which we have made 100 places available. If our open events, tours, taster sessions and interviews are anything to go by, I would urge anyone who has not applied yet to do so soon to avoid disappointment. It has been a real privilege to interview so many potential Year 12 students who are so enthusiastic about following their STEM Further Education at UTC Portsmouth.

The college offers three different educational pathways, each offering a route to higher education at university or advanced/higher apprenticeships (in other words ‘earn as you learn’) with one of our great STEM partners.

To give applicants just a flavour of why students choose the sixth form at UTC Portsmouth, I asked some of my current students about the careers they are planning to follow:

A number of our ‘A level route’ or ‘Combined route’ students wish to go into careers in; medicine, veterinary science, software engineering, astrophysics, chemical engineering, genetics, biochemistry, environmental science, marine biology, meteorology to name just a few.

A number of our students taking the ‘technical route’ wish to go on to careers in; robotics, aeronautics, motor design/engineering, electronics, marine engineering, advanced manufacture, one of HM forces to name just a few.

Remember, the deadline for sixth form applications is 15th January 2018 and I will continue to hold interviews with prospective students until our Christmas break and resume from mid-January to mid-February.

UTC students-156-(ZF-3281-32192-1-002).jpg

Reflections on November and December

The past six weeks have been a great time at our college. It is clear that students have really settled into college life and it is wonderful to witness students from over 30 previous schools gelling so well and making lots of new friends. Joining any new learning environment can be a little nerve wracking at first but very quickly students were enjoying the challenging STEM curriculum the college was set up to deliver. Overall, I am thrilled to report that UTC students have responded to our expectations brilliantly. In a typical day anyone visiting the college would witness students behaving in an adult, calm, ordered  and considerate manner. They would also see students academically thriving.

Year 10 places

Families have now been notified whether or not they have been allocated a place for September 2018. With the large number of applications we received (twice as many applications as we have places!), we understand that some families are disappointed that their child has not got a place. Rest assured, students currently in Year 9 might still be offered a place when anyone pulls out between now and next September and also they will, of course, be able to apply again for our sixth form when they reach Year 11.  


With very best wishes

Ciaran O’Dowda