Berlin visit inspires Ron Dearing English and Creative students

Almost 40 English and Creative students from Ron Dearing UTC visited Berlin as part of an inspiring trip to support their studies.

The 37 Year 10, 12 and 13 students and five staff flew from Birmingham via Amsterdam for the four-day trip, which included visiting the Brandenburg Gate, the Topography of Terror history museum, various war memorials and museums, Checkpoint Charlie and art galleries.

The English students are currently reading and studying The Handmaid’s Tale and Berlin is where the author, Margaret Atwood, wrote most of the popular novel.

Jack Campbell, Head of English at Ron Dearing UTC, said the author’s observations whilst living in West Berlin during the Cold War inspired her construction of the totalitarian state of Gilead. She drew inspiration from the control imposed on citizens under Soviet control, such as Checkpoint Charlie, to create the book.

The novel is based on some of the darkest parts of human history and the opportunity for Ron Dearing UTC students to explore Berlin brought parts of the book to life.

Ron Dearing UTC students in Berlin.


Jack said: “It was fantastic to see our students engaging in mature discussions around the context of the novel and applying these discussions to the text.”

The Creative, Photography, Fine Art and 3D Design students took inspiration from art galleries including Berlinische Galerie, Konig Galerie, East Side Gallery, Hamburger Bahnhof and Neue  Nationalgalerie.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students were amazing and got so much from the trip.

“This was our first international creative visit and everything went really well. We organised a photography competition on the last night and the students will be able to bring everything they saw and learnt back to school to support their studies.”

Year 12 student Matthew Bestley, 17, who is studying Fine Art, 3D Design, Graphics and Digital Media, said: “I took so much inspiration from the art galleries and culture in Berlin.

The students enjoyed an ‘amazing’ trip.


“I’d love to be an artist in the future, or go into animation and graphic design. This trip encouraged and supported that. It was a great experience.”

Fellow Year 12 student Taylor Beaden, 17, who is studying Photography, Graphics and 3D Design, said: “It was an amazing trip and a brilliant opportunity to see and appreciate so much art.

“The trip helped me to grow in confidence with meeting new people and it opened my eyes to understand more about art. I didn’t realise Berlin is such an artistic place. I loved it.”

Year 12 student Fearne Hepworth, 17, who is studying England Language and Literature, Art and 3D Design, added: “We saw the Berlin Cathedral and the visuals inspired our artwork, and we visited the Jewish Museum as part of our English work.

“Visiting Berlin helped me to understand more about The Handmaid’s Tale and what inspired the author. I’m really pleased Ron Dearing UTC offered us this opportunity.”

Ron Dearing students crowned F1 in Schools regional champions for third consecutive year

Ron Dearing UTC students have been crowned regional champions in the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition for the third consecutive year.

Ron Racing went head-to-head with 19 other teams from schools and colleges to take pole position in the regional finals in the F1 in Schools challenge at the National STEM Learning Centre in York.

The team, comprising of Year 13 students Heidi Porter, Harry Tyler, Jasper Gourley, Elliot Johnson and Will Jones, also won the award for Best Pit Display.

They will now go on to compete in the national finals at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Sheffield on March 14 and 15.

The Ron Racing team with their pit display – L-R Will, Jasper, Heidi, Harry & Elliot.


Heidi, 17, who is studying Triple Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form and would like to pursue an engineering-based career, said: “We had a great day at the regional finals. We put in a lot of hard work but there were lots of other very good teams, so we didn’t expect to win.

“It’s been a really good experience and I’ve learnt lots from it. We met people from lots of different companies, my communication skills have improved and I’ve learnt a lot more about engineering.

“It will be a big step up from the regional finals but I’m looking forward to the nationals and we’re ready for it.”

Harry, 17, who is studying Double Engineering and Physics at the UTC, hopes to become a Formula 1 aerodynamicist in the future.

He said: “Winning was the most exciting part of the regional finals, closely followed by sending the car down the track.

“Being part of F1 in Schools has helped with my public speaking and confidence and also improved my Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills.

“It’s a great stepping stone to get into the F1 industry and it’s brilliant to have on your CV if you want to go down that route.”

This is the third consecutive year Ron Dearing UTC students have entered the development class of competition and secured the top spot.

Previous Ron Dearing teams included Mach Racing and Vortex Racing and various awards were secured, from Lightening Reaction Time and Star Quality: Verbal Presentation, to Team Identity and Sponsorship and Marketing.

The F1 in Schools challenge sees more than one million schoolchildren from 40 countries take part each year. Each team designs and manufactures a miniature car based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

The cars are powered using CO₂ cartridges and are attached to a 25m track by a nylon wire and raced. The teams also design their own branding and logos, plan social media and marketing strategies to promote themselves, deliver presentations and raise sponsorship for their teams.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, and Cieran Dowling, the UTC’s F1 in Schools Coordinator, are supporting Ron Racing throughout their F1 in Schools journey.

Elliot, Will, Heidi, Harry and Jasper with the Porsche Taycan sports cars donated by Porsche Centre Hull.


Porsche Centre Hull, a Major Partner of the employer-led school, is the team’s official sustainable partner and donated two Porsche Taycan electric sports cars to transport the team to and from York, offsetting their carbon footprint.

The business also hosts regular fundraising events for the teams, enabling them to showcase their work and pitch their ideas to potential sponsors at the Porsche showroom in Hessle.

Heidi with the Porsche Taycan.


Glenn said: “We’re so proud of the Ron Racing team and these accolades are testament to all the hard work they have put in over the past 18 months as they worked towards the regional finals.

“They have really put themselves out there, presenting pitches to our governing board, potential sponsors and working with the team at Porsche Centre Hull to ensure they approached everything in the most sustainable way possible.

“Their pit stand was outstanding and really stood out from the crowd. The judges were highly impressed by their engineering portfolio and everything they’ve done to make their team a success.

“It’s fantastic to see how our students have put their mark on this global competition and we wish them every success for the nationals next month.”

Jasper, Heidi, Elliot, Harry and Will with their trophy

Ron Dearing UTC students secure paid roles alongside studies

Ron Dearing UTC students have secured jobs at school to earn money and develop new skills alongside their studies.

Fourteen Year 11, 12 and 13 students now receive bursaries as payment for being IT assistants, site assistants and attendance runners, and complete their jobs on a weekly basis.

The opportunity enables the students to manage their school diaries and timetables while earning £5 per hour in their jobs.

IT assistants check laptops and recycle components where necessary, carry out equipment checks, complete software updates and report any damages. Site assistants support with recycling throughout the school, refill stationery and printers and maintain the outdoor green planted areas.

Attendance runners support the Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 attendance team for three hours per week, helping with admin, delivering letters and checking teachers take registers on time. They also learn the importance of punctuality.

Charlie Pepper.


Year 13 student Charlie Pepper, 18, the site assistant responsible for recycling, said taking on a paid role for five hours per week has helped him to grow in confidence. The level of recycling at the UTC has doubled since he started.

Charlie, who is studying Double Engineering and A-level Maths in Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, said: “I always get up early and arrive at 7.45am, ready to put my gloves on and empty the recycling bins of paper, plastic and cans.

“It’s a great starting point for a part-time job and it’s helping me to add to my CV and personal statement in my university application. I talk to a lot of people, I’ve made new friends and I really enjoy it.”

Fellow Year 13 student Skylar Dawson, 18, has been employed as a site assistant for more than a year and is responsible for everything from planting up the UTC’s bee and butterfly friendly herbaceous borders to refilling stationery for seven hours per week.

Skylar, who is studying Chemistry and Double Engineering in the UTC’s sixth form, also supports Year 11 engineering students who are studying courses she has previously completed, sitting in lessons to answer any peer-to-peer questions.

Skylar Dawson.


She said: “I’ve met a lot of students and staff through my work and it helps you to get used to working and earning some money.

“It’s fun and a great thing to do alongside studying because I’m helping to make a difference in the environment I’m also learning in. It’s a really good responsibility to have.

“I enjoy planting and looking after the beds outside school and in Kingston Square opposite our building.”

Students complete an interview process before they are offered the roles, enabling them to experience applying for a job and gain interview techniques.

Year 12 student Edward Tevenan, 16, works six hours per week as a site and IT assistant while studying Maths, Physics and Double Engineering in the UTC’s sixth form.

Edward Tevenan.


Edward said: “I always thought going to work would be boring but I’m really enjoying it. I arrive early and get on with it and it’s satisfying to know I’ve done a good job. That’s what motivates me.

“I empty the bins, top up the classroom supplies, refill printer paper and check the laptops are charged and working correctly. It’s good to play a part in keeping the school well maintained.

“These are all transferable skills for maintenance jobs in engineering, as I’m looking at an engineering apprenticeship in the future. It’s also nice to have money in my pocket and feel independent.”

Hugh Boughton, Operations Manager at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students are doing a fantastic job.

“We’ve offered these paid opportunities for a while and the roles have evolved over the years. The students learn really quickly, they’re very communicative, we train them to multi-task and it enables them to learn different skills.

“From a future employer perspective, these are great attributes to have and it shows the students have made great use of their time.”