Principal's Blog - July 2018

We have reached the final stages of our first year as a college community and I am really thrilled with how everything has gone. It was always going to be exciting for students and staff to be in a new college environment with excellent facilities. However, it is the sense of close community, and some would even say ‘family’, which has made such a special and positive difference to our ethos. First of all, the staff I appointed and the employer partners who engaged with us even before we opened have just been so wonderful. When students then arrived in September 2017, it became evident very quickly that they were an ambitious and dedicated group. People have simply gelled so well and together we have established a great foundation for groups of more go-getting students to join us in the coming years. I am sure the new intake coming to the college in September will settle and be happy very quickly. We are oversubscribed again for this September and we are looking forward to our second year as a successful and happy college community.


UTC Portsmouth Staff

The staff at UTC Portsmouth deserve a huge mention. It is very challenging to start a college from scratch and my staff have been magnificent. Everyone has adapted well to a new and innovative way of working. Staff have worked so hard, often going ‘above and beyond’ and always putting the needs of our learners first. Our students are very lucky to have such a committed and professional team guiding them through their education and adding value to their future life chances.

We send our very best wishes and fond farewells to two staff leaving us in the summer. Fiona Haynes has seen through the project management of the college construction and has also been the college business manager. Fiona has been ‘on loan’ through the generosity of the Royal Navy and I am delighted to pass on the news that she will be receiving recognition as part of the Queen’s birthday honours recently announced. Kate Wooles has also been with us this year from the RN and we will miss the huge contribution she has made to organising, with the help of our employers partners, much of our enrichment programme as well as the ceremonial grand opening in December attended by Tim Peake.

Enormous thanks also goes to Harrison Jeffrey. At very short notice we found ourselves without a computer science teacher at the start of this term. The University of Portsmouth stepped in and Harrison, an expert programmer, agreed to support computer science lessons for the rest of the term. Harrison has done a fantastic job!

This term we welcomed the following new staff to the team:

Alex Blandford as Assistant Principal (Director of Technical Education and Enrichment) and Phil Bowden as Director of Operations.

There will be more staff joining us in September and I will let you know more about them after the summer break.


Sports Day

We had our first sports day on 22nd June held at HMS Temeraire. It was a real privilege to enjoy the great facilities provided by this RN facility and students rose to the occasion by energetically participating. It was a ‘different’ sort of sports day inasmuch as it included most of the standard events with a few new additions in the shape of penalty shoot out, skills slalom, motor sports and rounders to name just a few.

Each of the college ‘Institutes’ were represented by their colours and it was announced at the end of an exhausting and very hot day that the institute ‘Sirius’ was the overall winner. A big thank you Miss Long for putting together such an enjoyable and successful day.

Transition Day

The new year 10 students due to start in September 2018 recently attended a full day at the college for student induction. It was a very busy day and an important one as it was also the last time we would be together as group before the start of a new academic year. It was great to be asked so many intelligent and relevant questions in the lecture theatre about preparations for September. Students left having made a very good impression overall.

Work Experience Week for Year 12

All students in Year 12 will commence a full week of work experience from Monday 16th July 2018. The range of placements is impressive and I would like to thank many of our employer partners for the important roles they have played in putting together such an exciting week. I am looking forward to hearing about the experiences of our students and reading their reports when they return to college in September

‘Summer Social’

The Summer Social held at the college on 6th July was yet another ‘first’ in the life of UTC Portsmouth. Entirely organised by students, it was a great success, with live music and pizza. Next year the event will be even ‘bigger and better’, especially if Freddie W, who did an amazing job this year, gets his wish!



  • To Reece B, Jordan W, Charles W, Angus G, Ryan W, and Warren S who represented themselves and  UTC Portsmouth so magnificently in the Junior Leaders Field Gun Crew. These students made a combined team called ‘Southern Titans’ with students from UTC Harbourside. 19 teams participated in the event and the occasion was such a spectacle to witness. There were naval teams and college teams competing from all over the country who all experienced the value and power of teamwork. We are looking forward to entering as a complete UTC Portsmouth team next year

  • To Dewald R, Elliot GS, Ethan W and Andrei M who recently entered a national competition run by the Baker Dearing Trust. Each team were invited to submit a two minute film describing a project which is most likely to be of interest to the ESA and to be judged by British astronaut Tim Peake. I am delighted to inform you that these students have been selected to represent UTC Portsmouth in a short list of 3 colleges and will present their project to Tim Peake in London on 16th July 2018. Thank you very much to Mr Edmondson for supporting the students with their great ideas. We will let you know how they got on in London in due course

  • To the team of UTC Portsmouth students who competed in the QinetiQ Powerboat Team event. This is the first time that the college has entered this competition. The team were leading for most of the day and finally came 5th. The team had been working on their powerboat for many weeks leading up to the event and gained a fantastic array of new skills through the experience.

  • To the Solent LEP who have secured one of only 20 careers hubs around England to help transform careers education for young people. The Solent East Careers Hub has in place a strong local commitment with 33 schools and colleges signed up covering over 33,000 young people in our the area. UTC Portsmouth is delighted to be the lead school in this partnership.


Important Dates for your Diary

First Week of the Autumn Term:

  • 3rd and 4th September - College closed to students but open for staff preparations. Reception will be open for enquiries

  • Wednesday 5th September (new intake only i.e. new year 10 and 12). Year 10 arrive at 08:15 for 08:30 start, Year 12 arrive at 11:30 for 11:40 start. All students leave college at  14:40. New students will mainly be involved in: assemblies, issuing Chromebooks, receiving timetables, taking photos, registering for cashless catering, allocation of lockers etc. (all the associated paperwork must be completed, signed  and returned by parents to the college)

  • Thursday 6th September- Normal day for all students (Years 11 and 13 will also have assemblies)

  • Friday 7th September- Normal day for all students


2018-19 Term Times- please refer to the college website


INSET DAYS (College Closure Days):

Friday 5th October 2018

Monday 28th January 2019

Friday 29th March 2019