Principal's Blog: January 2017

Sixth Form Life at UTC Portsmouth

Happy New Year to you all and welcome to my first blog of 2017. I formally started the Principal role at the start of January and I am already especially heartened with the continued excitement and interest in our new college in terms of enquiries and applications. The building is also progressing exceptionally well. We have a roof on the college and it will only be a matter of a few weeks before the building is weather-manageable.


For this edition, I would like to focus on life as a sixth form student at UTC Portsmouth. First of all, a big ‘Thank You!’ to all of you who have, or are planning to submit your applications to Year 12 by 15th January 2017. This has been enormously helpful to us as this deadline was set to enable the college to secure the necessary government funding. Of course, applications will still be very welcome after this date.

As mentioned previously, I have already met many of you at the various ‘open’ events held during 2016. I was impressed and reassured with the level of your maturity and ambition. This means that my vision of us creating an adult learning environment together will be so much more straightforward. I firmly believe that student life will typically be one where everyone is allowed to be themselves. A friendly, caring, calm and ordered environment will prevail in which everyone is kind and respectful of each other regardless of their differences.

The new and exciting physical environment, the curriculum and the timetable will allow students to enjoy each day and focus seriously on their subjects with enough additional time for private study. Also, you will have time and be encouraged to have fun and express your creativity through a range of extra-curricular activities. Of course, we must not forget to mention the uniqueness of UTC Portsmouth, which is that you will be learning in a purpose built and highly specialised STEM centre providing you with the best skills, experiences and opportunities for employment or higher education.


We are a college that listens to its students and I would also very much like you to regard it as ‘your’ college. With this in mind, I would value gathering your thoughts and views to help me in some important aspects of planning. Please keep an eye on your emails as we will be surveying those of you who have already applied for Year 12 for your views ranging from what you would like to wear to college to the sorts of food and drink you would like to see provided. We will also be asking you for other information, for example how you plan to get to and from college to help us provide the correct number of sheltered bicycle racks. As a thank you for spending your time to complete the short survey, there will be a chance of winning a £20 Amazon Voucher!

Good luck with your continuing GCSE studies. Now that 2017 has arrived, I can assure you that the next few months building up to your summer exams will fly by. Please get in the routine of studying  hard from this point as by doing so, you will find the step up to sixth form studies when you join us so much easier.

Best wishes,

Ciaran O’Dowda

UTC Portsmouth Principal