November has been one of the busiest months in terms of shaping our new college.
We recently had our last open event for our sixth form which was well attended. We now know that entry for Year 10 is oversubscribed and numbers of students hoping to join the Sixth Form is also very encouraging indeed.
The building is progressing phenomenally well and it will not be long before there is a roof on it. I am sure that when you have passed it you will have noticed, as I have, that it looks impressive; especially at night illuminated like a Christmas tree. Everyone associated with the project is tremendously proud of what we have created and what it will become. I get increasingly excited about the facilities the college will offer too. In terms of engineering, we will have 4 standard and 2 double sized workshops all equipped with brand new equipment, including CAD/CAM machines, 3D printers and welding bays. BAM Construction will help us to procure the heavy fitted kit like lathes and milling machines. In the rest of the college, our professionally designed classrooms, labs and ICT suites will contain the best of breed equipment.
It is also worth reminding you of some of the other characteristics that make UTC Portsmouth different to other places. Students will be working directly with employers who will be looking to fill their apprenticeships, summer internships and other exciting vacancies with young people who already have the skills and attributes they are seeking. Our enrichment programme promises to be special too. For example, the Royal Navy will offer exciting opportunities such as leadership training over at their leadership academy, ship visits and entry into the junior leader’s field gun competition. All students will have the opportunity to achieve additional professional qualifications, such as AutoCAD and Microsoft Office Specialist, and other skills many of our local partners find are lacking in college leavers in the region.
I am looking forward to January 3rd when I will finally and formally get to start my role as Principal. It is going to be a very busy 2017 and I am wildly excited about recruiting my new team of staff quickly. Assistant Principals will be my first key appointments, followed by specialist teachers and support staff. I will be aiming to appoint only the best professionals to join me in making our college an exceptional place to learn. I am most looking forward to meeting with all students in spring 2017 that have either received a place for Year 10 or are very keen to join Year 12 in September.
It has been a pleasure meeting so many people, including students and parents this term. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017.
UTC Portsmouth Principal