Principal's Blog - January 2018

UTC Portsmouth: Excellence in STEM Education

One year ago…

….I wrote my first Blog as I had just started my new role as Principal but without a college and students! Those early days seem like a long time ago now and I could only imagine what our college would look and feel like. One year later, I could not be more pleased. Students have settled into college life brilliantly and are making impressive progress after only one term of learning.

It was really great to see students return from their Christmas and New Year breaks and settle back into learning so well. We started 2018 with a whole college assembly in which news was shared about forthcoming student leadership positions. We are excited about the elections next month when all students will get to vote for the most suitable candidates for the positions of student President and Vice President. These are very important positions for the college as student leadership genuinely has the potential to positively shape the ethos of our college. Other important students posts will be filled soon after these elections.


The Year Ahead

As you know, our training and enrichment programme is something that we offer to all students regardless of the academic courses they undertake. It is these additional experiences and qualifications that are intended to enable UTC Portsmouth leavers to stand out from the crowd. So far, our programmes have been received enthusiastically by students, and each term the college changes and updates our offer, based on feedback from students and generous offerings from our various partners. Some opportunities have to continue from term to term such as the Duke of Edinburgh group, which is a longer term commitment and undertaking. This term we have managed to add the following to the ‘menu’ of activities; Landrover 4x4, EPQ (Extended Project Qualification for sixth form students), Mathematical ‘Trickery’, Science Explained, Junior Field Gun, designing and making a new strategic board game etc. to name just a few.

It also promises to be a good term and year for our large groups of students hoping to get a DofE award. We have both Bronze and Gold Award Expeditions planned for this year. There is the Bronze Award practice in April and the Gold Award practice is in May.  Both Bronze and Gold final expeditions will take place in the summer.

We have a great team of students who are working on the organisation of a Summer Ball, which it is hoped will be a memorable event for all concerned. There is no date set yet as we are in the very early stages of organisation. Please look out for information nearer to the time and for some of our fundraising events which are needed to ensure we can put on an event our students are happy with.



Student Admissions

UTC Portsmouth is very oversubscribed and that is official! We have received large numbers of applications for entry to the Sixth Form and to Year 10 for September 2018. Thank you to all those candidates who have applied and impressed us with their passion and interest in gaining a STEM education in an environment that is university and employer led. I would like to wish students hoping to join us for the sixth form the very best in their studies and preparations for their GCSE exams this summer. I would also urge all students with Year 10 places in September to continue to work hard for the remaining time at their current school.


Ciaran O’Dowda



Other important dates for this term:

Wednesday 24th January:  Year 12 parents evening

Monday 19th February: INSET Day (college closed to students unless formally invited in to catch up)

Wednesday 7th March: Year 10 parents evening

Week beginning 19th March: Year 10 Mock exams fortnight (Year 12 mock exams start immediately after the spring break).

Year 12 reports sent home just before the spring break