Smiling students share excitement at GCSE success

Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) could not contain their excitement as they arrived to collect their GCSE results today.

Two years ago, the students and their parents made the big decision to leave their previous schools and join the new employer-led Ron Dearing UTC when it opened its doors in 2017.

Today, they excitedly made their way into the Hull city centre school to find out if their decision, hard work and determination had paid off – and it had!

Of the 116 Year 11 students, 102 achieved the entry criteria for a place in Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form, leaving a limited number of places for external applicants available in Year 12 from September, while others have secured high-quality apprenticeships.

Principal Sarah Pashley and her team were on hand to guide and support the students as they eagerly opened the brown envelopes containing their results.

The results saw 70% of students achieve grades 4-9 in both English and Maths, 40% of students secure grades 5-9 in English and Maths, 11% of students achieve a grade 8 or 9 in Maths, 13% attain a grade 8 or 9 in Physics, and 44% of students achieve a Distinction or Distinction* in Engineering in a technical qualification equivalent to a GCSE. Progress in Maths and Physics is also likely to be in line with the top 5% of all schools in England and Wales.

Charlie Kearton

Charlie Kearton beamed from ear to ear as he discovered he had achieved six GCSEs and two technical qualifications, including grade 9 in Chemistry, Maths, Physics and Computer Science.

He will also move into the school’s Sixth Form to study A-level Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science.

Charlie, who hopes to work in software development and computer programming in the future, said: “I’m buzzing. I was so nervous and was counting down the hours until I could get my results.

“It was definitely worth coming to Ron Dearing UTC and I have loved every step of it. It has worked out very well for me.”

Molly Walker secured six GCSEs and two technical qualifications, including a grade 9 in Maths and a Distinction in Engineering Manufacturing.

She is now looking forward to returning to Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form in September to study A-level Maths and Further Maths, as well as Creative iMedia.

Molly said: “I’m over the moon and couldn’t be happier. I did everything I could and my results show that.

“The teachers and staff have been amazing. They go the extra mile and give up their own time so students can get the grades they deserve.”

Family congratulations for Carter Lees

Carter Lees collected his results with his mum, Hayley Lees, by his side. He achieved six GCSEs, including grade 9 in Chemistry and grade 8 in Maths and Physics, and two technical qualifications, including a Distinction* in Engineering Design.

Carter, who hopes to eventually become an architect, said: “I’m coming back into the Sixth Form at Ron Dearing to study Maths, Physics and Engineering, and I’m considering taking Chemistry too because my grade was so good.

“I’m so happy with my results. Moving to Ron Dearing UTC has helped me to grow up and I love coming to school.”

Hayley, who had tears in her eyes as Carter revealed his outstanding results, said: “I’m so proud. Carter coming to Ron Dearing UTC is the best decision we ever made. When you change schools during your secondary school life, you wonder if you’re doing the right thing.

“There was nothing to confirm it was an amazing school at the time because it was new. But it has been fantastic and the staff treat the students as adults.”

Olly and Tom O’Loughlin

Meanwhile, it was a double celebration for twin brothers Tom and Olly O’Loughlin, 16, who also each achieved six GCSEs and two technical qualifications.

Tom secured a Distinction in Engineering Design and three grade 7s in Maths, Chemistry and Physics, and will now go into Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form to study A-level Maths and Physics, as well as Engineering.

He said: “I’m really happy with my results. My old school was good, but it didn’t offer Engineering as an option, which I want for my career in Engineering Design. Ron Dearing UTC is a lot more practical and this is definitely the right path for me.”

Olly, who would also like a career in Engineering, achieved a Distinction in Engineering Design and a grade 7 in Maths, and will also go into the school’s Sixth Form to study Engineering and A-level Maths.

He said: “I was so nervous about receiving my results, but I’m very happy. Moving to Ron Dearing UTC offered a change and something different, and it’s paid off.”

Tom and Olly’s mum, Debbie O’Loughlin, watched with pride as her sons told of their hopes for the future.

Debbie said: “Tom and Olly were so sure about coming to Ron Dearing UTC from the first moment we heard about it. They have always been hands-on learners and this is the place for them.

“I’m so proud of them and so grateful to the school. We have got to know the staff like family and everyone is on first name terms.”

Olivia Milner

Olivia Milner, 16, completed six GCSEs and two technical qualifications, including achieving a level 5 in English.

With her sights set on becoming an architect in the future, she will now study Creative iMedia, Art and Design, and Engineering Design in Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form.

Olivia said: “I didn’t think I was going to pass everything, but I have. Ron Dearing has offered me more opportunities to complete Engineering courses and it’s very hands-on learning.”

Jacob Tevenan, 16, was another student smiling as the news of his achievements sunk in.

He achieved six GCSSEs and two technical qualifications, including a grade 9 in Maths, grade 8 in Physics and Chemistry, and grade 7 in Computer Science.

Jacob, who will go on to study A-level Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing at Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form, said: “I’m really content with my results.

“It’s a cliché, but you feel like part of a family at Ron Dearing UTC and it’s really tight-knit. Everyone is approachable and it’s a relaxed but professional environment. If you work hard, you do well.”

Xander Topliss-Yates with mum Tricia Boulton and stepdad David Boulton

Xander Topliss-Yates’ excellent results included a grade 7 in Chemistry and 6 in Maths and Physics and he’s now moving on to Sixth Form, to study Triple Computer Science.

He said: “I’m very happy with my results and I’m looking forward to Sixth Form because of the experience I’ve had at the school so far. Hopefully it will be as good or even better.”

His mum Tricia Boulton said: “The teachers here have been so supportive – they’ve been amazing and have helped Xander every step of the way.

“The difference in Xander has been incredible. He didn’t want to go to school at his previous school. Here he has made a new set of friends and he’s much happier at home because he’s happy at school.”

The school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith & Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by Hull City Council and many other industry partners, including Major Partners APD Communications, Arco, BP, C4DI, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, Fujitsu, Ørsted, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Ron Dearing students share their joy as standout results are revealed

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have told of their joy after achieving outstanding results in A-level and technical qualifications exams.

The first set of public results since the school opened its doors in 2017 have been revealed with 85 Year 13 students excitedly arriving at the school today to find out their grades.

The school achieved a 100% pass rate, with 25% of all grades being A or A* and 70% of grades A*-C. The average grade achieved by the students is a B, compared to last year’s national average of C+, and 13 students achieved straight A* or A grades.

Students who achieved a Distinction* in Level 3 technical qualifications secured the equivalent of a grade A at A-level. These subjects have been identified by the school’s employer partners as the qualifications that would best equip them with the knowledge and skills they need for successful careers within the engineering, digital and creative sectors.

Joey Reybould

Joey Reybould, 18, who achieved an A* in A-level maths, an A in A-level further maths, and two Distinction*s in Engineering, will now to go on study maths at Durham University from September.

He said: “I’m very happy with my results. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I really hoped it would be these grades, so I’m relieved.

“My A-levels were challenging, to say the least. But as my teacher said, it’s not hard, it’s hard work.

“When you visit the employer partners and their businesses, you can see where maths comes in. I enjoy maths and enjoying it is what has helped me to get these results.

“The teachers have been great and I couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Cameron Greenway

Cameron Greenway, 18, was also delighted after learning he had achieved a Distinction* and a Distinction in Computer Science, and a further Distinction in Engineering.

He is now looking forward to studying Computer Science with Games Programming at the University of Huddersfield.

Cameron said: “I was nervous in the run-up to results day. But I’ve worked really hard and I was expecting these results, so I’m really happy.

“There has been a lot of coursework, which I’ve enjoyed, and the teachers have been really supportive. I would definitely recommend Ron Dearing UTC to others.”

Matthew Hunter, also 18, beamed from ear to ear as he opened the envelope containing his results, securing a Distinction in Creative Media, as well as two Distinction*s in Engineering.

He is about to begin an engineering apprenticeship at Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners, with the ambition to become a Design Engineer in the future.

Matthew said: “I’m really looking forward to working at Spencer Group. Their apprenticeship appealed to me and I also enjoyed work experience there over the summer.

“Ron Dearing UTC has given me a lot of independence. The teachers get behind you and, if you put the work in, you will do well.”

Some of the Ron Dearing UTC students have already started their apprenticeships, with many more looking forward to joining their employers in September.

Oliver Wilkinson

Oliver Wilkinson, 18, who achieved two Distinction*s in Engineering and a grade D in A-level physics, has also secured a Design Engineering apprenticeship at Spencer Group.

He said: “I’m really happy with my results. An apprenticeship is much more appealing to me than university because I can achieve a degree while doing my apprenticeship and Spencer Group specialises in what I want to do in the future.”

Prince Okonkwo, 18, is about to begin a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hull after achieving a Distinction* and a Distinction in Engineering, as well as a Distinction in Engineering Technology.

He said: “I’m so pleased with my results. Ron Dearing UTC was a new school when I started here and I believe it was the best decision for me.

“They even offered us free driving lessons and we have had opportunities which may not have been offered to us elsewhere.”

Jay Richards, 18, achieved three Distinctions in Computing and is now looking forward to starting an apprenticeship as a Systems Developer at Arco, the UK’s leading safety company and a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC.

Jay said: “I’m more of a hands-on, practical learner, which is why I decided to go down the apprenticeship route.

“The Arco apprenticeship means I’ll be able to work with and make software, which is what I want to do. I hoped for at least two Distinctions. To achieve three is fantastic.”

Students train as reporters to tell Freedom Festival story

Students from Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) are preparing to tell the story of Hull’s award-winning arts festival from a young person’s perspective as they take on the roles of reporters for the five-day event.

The Freedom Festival Arts Trust has teamed up with the employer-led school for a unique two-year partnership to create the Young Reporters Club, which will see three students join the event’s official media team in both 2019 and 2020.

The students who successfully applied following the announcement of the partnership in June will be tasked with producing a broad range of content, using writing, reporting, story-uncovering, blogging, vlogging, and photography skills, and will undergo training during the summer holidays ahead of the festival.

Students from Ron Dearing UTC are preparing to be Young Reporters at this year’s Freedom Festival, with the support of teaching staff. Pictured, from left, are Deon Wong, Kate Blowman, Teacher of Art & Digital Media, Shervin Ventura, Rebecca Harman and Lynn Garland-Collins, Assistant Principal.

The aim is to provide a platform for the voices of young people in Hull and enable them to tell the Freedom Festival story, exploring key issues such as human rights and equality and diversity, and building on the knowledge they are gaining through Ron Dearing UTC’s creative curriculum.

Shervin Ventura and Deon Wong, who will become Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC when the new school term begins in September, applied to join the club, and Rebecca Harman, who is about to become a Year 12 student, also put herself forward for the challenge.

Engineering and Media student Shervin, 17, said: “This is a great chance for me to be able to understand media and experience exactly what it is.

“I’m looking forward to recording the festival through photojournalism, candid social shots and documentary photography, and I want to come away from this understanding more about how the media industry works, as well how content is produced.

“I’ve enjoyed photography as a hobby for the past five years but I never imagined I’d get the chance to do something like this.”

Now in its 12th year, the Freedom festival runs from Wednesday, August 28, to Sunday, September 1 and features world-class street theatre, circus, dance, visual art, music, talks, exhibitions and debates. Last year the festival attracted 132,000 visitors to the city and delivered a £4.3m boost to the local economy.

Ron Dearing UTC is the first and only school to partner with the Freedom Festival Arts Trust in this way and the students’ content is set to be seen by tens of thousands of people.

In addition, the students have to complete journalism, social media and digital photography units as part of their studies and the Young Reporters Club experience will contribute towards those elements of their qualifications.

Creative Digital and Digital Technology student Deon, 16, said: “I’m looking forward to learning new skills during our training and I want to improve how I interact with people, so this will give me the opportunity to do that.

“Using my photography skills, I will be able to capture the emotions from the artists’ facial expressions and try to capture the key moments during their performances.”

Assistant Principal Lynn Garland-Collins and Kate Blowman, Teacher of Art and Creative Media, are leading on the project from Ron Dearing UTC and said the students will be briefed on their tasks each morning during the festival.

Lynn said: “They will be able to capture images from different perspectives and meet and interview many of the artists, so it’s a great networking opportunity too.

“They will also have the opportunity to contribute to a debate on digital democracies, which will look at how Hull will change digitally in the future.

“I’m so proud of all the students who have volunteered. You have to take a risk to move forward and they are all really brave.”

The students underwent a formal interview with Jenny Howard-Coombes, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive Officer of the Freedom Festival Arts Trust, and her team, before securing the roles.

Jenny said: “We are really excited about having young reporters join our team and begin this new two-year partnership with Ron Dearing UTC.

“I was involved in interviewing the students and I can tell you that Hull’s next generation has such incredible talent. We can’t wait to hear this voice amplified during Freedom Festival.”

Picrtures: R&R Studio.

Students experience culture and creativity in the capital

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have visited London to expand their creative and cultural understanding, gaining inspiration as they progress on their learning journeys.

The 31 Year 10 students spent three days in the capital learning more about the different subjects offered at the employer-led school, including art and design, creative media, digital technology, engineering and computer science.

All of the places they visited, such as the Science Museum, Covent Garden, Design Museum, Tate Modern, the Van Gogh Exhibition at the Tate Britain, and the British Museum, link into the topics they can study within these subjects.

Kate Blowman, Teacher of Art and Creative Media at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The trip had something for everybody. Those interested in computer science really enjoyed the Design Museum and the artists loved the Tate Modern, or Tate Britain, seeing a wide variety of exhibitions.

“They see art online, or in books, but it’s so different seeing it in real life, and the architecture around London was also fascinating for students interested in design engineering.

“The creative digital aspect has always been embedded at Ron Dearing UTC, but art is fairly new and we wanted everybody to experience the creative side of the exhibitions.”

The students, who also saw the hit musical Wicked in London’s West End, said the experience brought learning to life.

Harvey Jubb, 14, said: “I would like to go into engineering in the future and I took a lot of information away from the trip, which I can use in my lessons. I got involved in everything and really enjoyed the whole experience.”

Liam Garrett, 15, who dreams of becoming a pilot and has a keen interest in computer science, said: “Trips like this help you to see more and improve your social skills because you’re with a lot of people and you’re learning away from the classroom.”