Student challenge champions excited to be going from Ron Dearing UTC to COP26

Two Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have spoken of their excitement after winning a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the critical COP26 global climate change conference.

Year 13 students Catherine Crees and Jaden Taylor, both 17, were crowned winners of The Waterline Student Challenge 2021, which saw young people aged 11-18 plan and deliver their own eco project to find sustainable climate change solutions as part of Marketing Humber’s The Waterline campaign.

Ron Dearing UTC students Jaden Taylor and Catherine Crees show off their The Waterline Student Challenge prizes with Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering Glenn Jensen. The students will now attend the COP26 global climate change conference.


As the “Sustainability Crew” they researched and calculated how students and staff could reduce their carbon footprints by cycling to school rather than driving or using public transport.

Their work prompted many of their classmates and teachers to change their travelling habits and Hull’s employer-led school is now looking at how it can increase its bike shed capacity following the successful response.

Every country in the world will be represented at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is being held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, with many world leaders set to attend.

Catherine and Jaden’s prize will see them attend on November 9 when they will speak about their project at a fringe event.

The students also hope to spend their £2,500 prize money, including £500 for being finalists, on planting a tree for every Ron Dearing UTC student past, present and future in Hull city centre.

The school is now in early talks with Hull City Council representatives to assess the possibilities and potential locations for the tree planting, which would also involve additional investment from Ron Dearing UTC.

Students Jaden Taylor and Catherine Crees won The Waterline Student Challenge with a project that has led to classmates and teachers at Ron Dearing UTC cutting their carbon footprints by cycling to school rather than driving or using public transport.


As finalists Catherine and Jaden will also receive a behind the scenes VIP experience with a supporting business, providing an insight into the career opportunities available to them with a company committed to sustainability and protecting the environment.

Catherine said: “It’s an honour to win and have the opportunity to go to COP26. We put a lot of hours and hard work into something that will create lasting change at Ron Dearing UTC and the competition win is a bonus.

“It’s great to know our hard work has paid off and going to COP26 will enable us to look behind the scenes and see for ourselves what is being done about climate change. It’s important we have a green future. Small changes make a massive difference and we all have a part to play.”

Jaden said: “COP26 is a really big deal and it’s a great opportunity for us. It feels brilliant to have won the competition. We’re raising awareness of the need to tackle climate change and it’s good that it’s being taken so seriously.”

Catherine and Jaden, who are both studying Maths, Physics and Engineering in Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, will travel to Glasgow with Principal Sarah Pashley and Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering Glenn Jensen.

Ron Dearing UTC students Catherine Crees and Jaden Taylor show off their The Waterline Student Challenge prizes with Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering Glenn Jensen.


Glenn said: “We’re immensely proud of Catherine and Jaden and attending COP26 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them.

“Catherine and Jaden’s project was part of our sustainability unit work with one of our Major Partners, Ørsted. They carried out research and produced formulas, and sent a Google form for students and staff to complete on their journeys to and from the school.

“That work has definitely encouraged students and staff to take more responsibility for their own carbon footprints.”

He added: “It’s also brilliant that Catherine and Jaden want to use their prize money to plant trees, which will contribute towards carbon reduction and also support Hull City Council in creating a greener city.”

Sponsored by SSE Thermal, The Waterline Student Challenge 2021 saw six entries shortlisted as finalists, all judged to have demonstrated knowledge of how to protect the environment, as well as creativity, imagination and delivery. Each finalist team was awarded £500.

Entries were judged by representatives from SSE Thermal, KCOM, Associated British Ports (ABP), Yorkshire Water, Ørsted, and Willerby, all of which will be providing a behind the scenes visit for a finalist team, as well as guest judges from the University of Hull and the Zero Carbon Humber project.

Marketing Humber Managing Director Dr Diana Taylor said: “We’d like to congratulate Catherine and Jaden on being crowned winners of this new and exciting competition. They showed great initiative in identifying one way students and staff at their school can act to reduce their carbon impact.

“The standard of entries was incredibly high and our judges were so impressed with the level of thought and detail that went into them all. All of the entries and finalists should be really proud of themselves as they are all playing their part to make a difference.”

The week-long Waterline Summit is the flagship event of The Waterline campaign and links the region to COP26. The summit includes a host of in-person and hybrid events and panel discussions, as well as immersive virtual experiences, positioning the Humber as central to the global climate emergency.

For more information, click here.

Pictures: R&R Studio.

World leaders to view Ron Dearing UTC students’ artwork at global climate summit

Artwork created by three Ron Dearing UTC students will be viewed by world leaders at a globally critical climate change conference.

COP26, the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, will see governments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), businesses and trade unions meet in Glasgow to review and negotiate global action on the climate crisis.

Year 11 Ron Dearing UTC students Molly Warburton, Scarlet Wedgner and Katie Hatfield, all 15, recently produced artwork for a major arts competition run by environmental conservation organisation Planetary International, titled “Words and Pictures for Your World”.

They were asked to show how they see Hull in 50 years’ time if action on climate change is not taken now and they used art to show the city underwater, including landmarks such as The Deep and the Fruit Market, as well as cream coloured telephone boxes.

All of their work was shortlisted and open to a public and student vote on Planetary International’s website, which means it will be shown in two zones at COP26, including online, and viewed by world leaders and members of the public. Their work will also be included in an upcoming anthology.

Year 12 students Molly Warburton, Scarlet Wedgner and Katie Hatfield proudly show off their artwork.


Molly, Scarlet and Kate entered the poetry, art and photography competition through the UK School Sustainability Network (UKSSN), which brings together a regional network of students to connect and collaborate with peers, and students from across the UK took part.

Scarlet said: “It hasn’t sunk in that world leaders will look at our artwork. Not many people have this opportunity and I’m pleased we’ve been able to show our ideas about climate change through art.”

Molly said: “I’ve always loved art and it was fun to take part in the competition. Knowing our work will be seen at COP26 is amazing.”

Katie said: “When we submitted our entries, we didn’t think they would be seen outside the classroom. This is a really good opportunity for us.”

The students’ artwork will also contribute towards their ideas for a mural as part of the Shorelines Project in Hull, which is raising awareness of climate change and flooding, and the impact it could have on the city and its young people in the future.

Artwork produced by Year 12 students Molly Warburton, Scarlet Wedgner and Katie Hatfield.


The students are preparing to work with world renowned digital street artist Erin Ko to create a mural highlighting the issue and will share their designs with her to help form part of the final piece at Ron Dearing UTC.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Senior Assistant Principal and Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “To have leaders from across the world looking at our students’ artwork is amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Art is a visual language and is understood globally, and opportunities like this and the Shorelines Project don’t come along very often. Molly, Scarlet and Katie have created these pieces to show their concerns about global warming and I’m really proud they’ve taken this opportunity.”

Open Event success as demand for Ron Dearing UTC places continues to grow

Hundreds of prospective students who hope to join Ron Dearing UTC next year attended an the first of three Open Events to find out more about the pioneering school.

Potential students and their parents heard from Principal Sarah Pashley, met the Ron Dearing UTC team, University and Employer Partners and current and former students, as well as enjoying a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities.

Those who hope to join Year 10 and Year 12 in September 2022 asked questions about Ron Dearing UTC’s curriculum and specialisms while finding out about potential opportunities open to them, such as apprenticeships, work experience placements, further and higher education options and a host of enrichment activities designed to develop their personal and employability skills.

Prospect Year 10 student Tom Pollard with parents Ian and Emma


The Ofsted Outstanding school has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017. A total of 300 places are available in September 2022 and over 450 applications have already been received.

Tom Pollard, 13, from Beverley, attended the event with his parents, Ian and Emma, and hopes to secure a place in Year 10 next year.

Tom said: “I’m really interested in art and I’m very impressed with the facilities at Ron Dearing UTC. I looked it up online and I’m glad I came to have a look around. You work a 40-hour week here, which I wouldn’t mind.”

Dad Ian said: “I like the way learning is structured into a proper working week at Ron Dearing UTC and the professional environment it offers. They give the students more responsibility and opportunities while treating them as adults.”

Prospective Year 10 student Mercedez Smith with mum Jade


Mum Jade Smith took her daughter, Mercedez, 13, to the Open Event and said she sees great potential in her daughter becoming a Ron Dearing UTC Year 10 student.

Jade, from north Hull, said: “I think Mercedez will grow and learn so much here and there will be so many opportunities for her. The school is amazing.”

Prospective Year 10 student Joe Benson with Clive Isaacs, Engineering Instructor for Manufacturing at Ron Dearing UTC. Clive is showing Joe how to read an engineering drawing and manufacture a component.


Joe Benson, 13, from east Hull, enjoyed the Open Event with his parents, Donna and Keith, and found out more about engineering from Clive Isaacs, the school’s Engineering Instructor for Manufacturing.

Joe said: “I prefer practical learning such as programming and designing and I want to try everything. I like the equipment and 3D printers at Ron Dearing UTC and I really hope I get a place in Year 10 next year.”

Prospective Year 12 student James Taylor with parents James and Siobhan


James Taylor, 15, from Anlaby, was accompanied by his parents, James and Siobhan, at the Open Event and hopes to join Year 12 in September 2022.

James said: “Having so many great Employer Partners involved in the school sets you up for the future and they have a big focus on behaviour and professionalism, which is great. The school days may be longer, but it helps to get you ready for work.”

Former Ron Dearing UTC student Elliott Sargeson joined Major Partner Arco as a Business Analyst Apprentice last year and returned to the school to speak to prospective students about the opportunities available to them in the future.

Elliott said: “Being a student at Ron Dearing UTC is such a big opportunity and I’ve never looked back. It’s such a supportive and encouraging environment and it gave me so much confidence to progress. It’s great to meet so many prospective students and share that with them.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Smith + Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by other industry leading businesses and organisations including Hull City Council, Arco, INEOS, C4DI, Ideal Boilers, Fujitsu, Luxinar, Kohler Mira, Sauce, Sonoco Trident and more.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley speaks to prospective students and their parents at the Open Event


Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We had a fantastic response to our first Open Event and we were delighted to meet so many prospective new students and parents who were all eager to learn more about Ron Dearing UTC.

“We love the opportunity to showcase our amazing school and share with people the opportunities available here. It’s also fantastic to be reunited with so many of our ex-students who have gone on to great careers with our Employer Partners and attend our Open Events to talk about their experiences.

“We could have filled our school three times over last year and the demand for places continues to grow.  It’s extremely rewarding that so many young people and their parents believe in our radical employer-led approach to the curriculum and want to be a part of our school community.

“We’re proud to produce young people who are ready to hit the ground running when they leave, taking with them the professional values and behaviours we instil and making really valuable contributions to the regional and national economy.

“Places for our next two Open Events  on November 11th and January 13th are filling up fast and we encourage those who wish to join us in Year 10 or Year 12 next year to book a place and find out how we can help them get the edge.”

Applications for places in Year 10 must be received by January 31st 2022 at which point the over-subscription criteria will be employed to allocate the 150 places. Year 12 students need to apply as soon as possible, and no later than May 2022.  To find out more, apply and/or book onto an open event, click here.

Ron Dearing students take on reporting and artistic roles at Freedom Festival

Year 13 Ron Dearing UTC students became reporters during Hull’s Freedom Festival, giving them behind-the-scenes access to capture the magic and excitement of the popular event.

The festival is the highlight of the city’s annual artistic and cultural programme and this year saw it span 17 days to allow as many people as possible to access the event safely.

Due to Covid-19 guidelines, events were held in theatres, museums, galleries, empty shops and some public spaces in Hull city centre.

This is the second time Ron Dearing UTC students have been involved in the festival through a partnership between the employer-led school and the festival organisers, Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

Students Sanzi Vetis, Francis Johnson and Kelsey Hearne completed interviews, took photographs and recorded their thoughts for their coursework as part of their reporting roles.

Sanzi Vetis takes a picture of Gaia.


Sanzi, 17, viewed Luke Jerram’s Gaia exhibition in Hull Minster and attended a concert set against the huge world backdrop in the historic building.

She said: “I really enjoyed the experience because it was so atmospheric and magical. The music was beautiful and very moving. I took a lot of notes and pictures and I’m going to try and articulate my thoughts and feelings in an article. I loved the opportunity and I’m so glad I took it.”

Kelsey, 17, attended Marco Barotti’s Woodpecker installation in Humber Street and interviewed him about how it worked through electromagnetic radiation and smart technology, as well as how he thought the audience would react.

She said: “It was really interesting to talk to him and a very unique opportunity. I’m grateful Ron Dearing UTC has enabled this to happen for us.”

Francis, 17, attended Mark Copeland’s 21 Remarkable People tour at Hull’s Maritime Museum, which included portraits, photographs and heirlooms, and carried out an interview with the artist about his inspiration for the show.

He said: “It was really interesting and a new experience for me. I wouldn’t normally put myself out there but I enjoyed being a reporter. Freedom Festival puts Hull on the map in a really positive way.”

Artwork created by Year 13 students Evie Hadfield and Amber Van Raamsdonk was also displayed in the event main ticketing and information shop in Whitefriargate during the festival, while additional student artwork was displayed at Ron Dearing UTC.

Francis Johnson and Sanzi Vetis benefitted from the experience of reporting on Hull’s Freedom Festival.


Jayne Gross, Head of Communications at Freedom Festival, said: “We let the students decide what performances or themes of the festival they would like to report on and created an individual programme for each student, which included going behind the scenes and speaking to the artists, as well as reporting on performances.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to allow them to focus on areas they were most interested in and to be creative in their approach.

“I had three sessions with the students before the festival and was really impressed with how their ideas developed each time I spoke to them and the level of creativity on display. It was also a pleasure to bump into them during the festival and see their enthusiasm in action.

“Freedom Festival is very proud to be involved in the young reporters initiative and we look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with Ron Dearing UTC, its students and staff in the future.”

Lynn Garland-Collins, Senior Assistant Principal and Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students’ dedication to the young reporter initiative was brilliant.

“This experience gave them a brilliant insight into how an event of this scale is run and the different roles people have. I’m really proud of the students for always stepping up and embracing the opportunities offered to them.”

Student receives award for being a leading Ron Dearing UTC advocate

A Year 13 Ron Dearing UTC student has been presented with a special award after being recognised as a “leading advocate” and “excellent ambassador” of the employer-led school.

Kate Hickingbottom, 17, won the Patron’s Award for Young Advocate of the Year and received the accolade from the school’s Patron, former Hull West and Hessle MP and former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Alan Johnson.

Kate was recognised for the part she played in an interview with Major Partner Fujitsu and for speaking at length to Minister for the School System Baroness Berridge about employer-engaged learning and technical education when she visited the school in May.

Kate was also filmed speaking in support of future female leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) as part of an International Women’s Day project led by Ron Dearing UTC Employer Partner Harper Fox Partners, which was shared on Twitter by Lord Sugar.

Harper Fox Partners was founded by The Apprentice 2019 finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton. Lord Sugar, who hosts the popular BBC television series, has since invested in her business and has 5.2 million followers on the social media platform.

Ron Dearing UTC student Kate Hickingbottom with Patron Alan Johnson.


Mr Johnson, who is currently promoting his new novel ‘The Late Train to Gipsy Hill’, took time out to present Kate with her award in person and congratulate her on her achievements.

He said: “Kate is one of the leading advocates of the Ron Dearing UTC vision. She is an excellent ambassador for the school, not only because of her outstanding academic achievements but also her drive to be involved in every opportunity available at Ron Dearing UTC to develop her employability skills and those of others.

“Kate is very proactive in developing her knowledge and skills and has joined numerous external initiatives such as the Sutton Trust Online Apprenticeship Programme and the York University Isaac Physics Programme.

“Kate is a standout student in her year group and an excellent role model for younger students. She thoroughly deserves this award.”

Kate’s award comes as six of her peers, who have also excelled, were recognised in the Ron Dearing UTC Partner Awards in July.

The awards were supported by Founding Partners KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group, as well as the University of Hull, the school’s leading education partner.

They recognised a range of successes from Outstanding Academic Achievement and Best Communicator to Inspirational Leadership and Outstanding Contribution to the Community.

Kate, who is studying Engineering, Chemistry and Biology at Ron Dearing UTC, hopes to progress to a degree apprenticeship with one of the school’s Employer Partners when she leaves the school next summer and has her sights set on a science-based career.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award and it was a big surprise.

“From the moment I attended an open event at Ron Dearing UTC, I knew I wanted to be a student here. All of the teachers smiled and the vibe and atmosphere around the school is so professional.

“It’s a very mature environment which helps you to grow as a person, not just academically.

“I’ve enjoyed all of the opportunities I’ve been involved in over the past year and it’s great to be given the opportunity to speak about things I’m passionate about.

“This award means a lot to me. I’ve had so much support from day one and I really appreciate it.”

Leading smart tech company employs former Ron Dearing UTC student in support analyst role

A former Ron Dearing UTC student who excelled in his studies has secured an exciting position at an award-winning smart tech company.

Lewis Taylor, 18, recently left the employer-led school’s highly successful sixth form after securing a double Distinction in Engineering and a Distinction in Digital Tech.

He is now studying a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University but has also secured paid employment as a Support Analyst at Sauce, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners.

Lewis, the first Ron Dearing UTC student employed by Sauce, worked full-time for the leading Hull-based software company over the summer and will now work flexible hours remotely on a part-time basis alongside his university studies.

Sauce is based at Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub and specialises in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating solutions to key business challenges to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

Lewis Taylor at his new job with Sauce.


The business’ clients include global wind power leaders Siemens Gamesa, technology innovator Giacom and the world’s largest food and beverage company Nestlé, among others.

Lewis, who provides technical support for Sauce’s clients, said: “I’m so happy to join the team at Sauce and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a great company to work for, a brilliant team and a nice office space.

“I learnt so much at Ron Dearing UTC which applies to my job and the workplace, including project management and Digital Tech skills. The Employer Partners know what kind of student the school produces, what we’ve studied and the skills we have.

“Without a doubt, being a Ron Dearing student has helped me to prepare for work and given me valuable skills, such as public speaking and great qualifications, to enable me to secure this job. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Employer Partners contribute financially to the school, play a key role in developing the curriculum and set industry-standard projects for students to work on.

They also support students by providing careers information, advice and guidance, as well as offering work experience opportunities and potentially apprenticeships.

The employers help to equip Ron Dearing UTC students with the skills they want to see in their future employees, ensuring they are work-ready when they leave school.

Rachael Taylor, Business Strategist at Sauce, said: “Lewis is an outstanding young person and we’ve been blown away by his maturity and work ethic. He’s already excelled in this short space of time and we know he’ll go far.”

Rachael said there will be other potential opportunities for Ron Dearing UTC students to join the Sauce team in apprenticeship, full-time or part-time positions in the future.

She added: “Due to the pandemic, it’s unlikely this industry will ever go back to full-time office-based working, and will instead operate a hybrid approach to also working remotely. We trialled a new way of work experience with four Ron Daring students over the summer to help them understand remote working.

“We set the students a UX-based project, had daily stand-ups and offered them learning resource sessions before they presented their work to us and we gave them feedback.

“We want to show how they would apply for a position online and how they would interact with that employer to help them prepare for the future.

“The Ron Dearing link is fantastic for us and we’re proud to be a Major Partner.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re delighted Lewis has secured this fantastic position at Sauce and we know he has a bright future ahead of him.

“Opportunities like this are brilliant for our students and this is yet another example of why employer-led learning works.

“We wish Lewis all the very best for the future and look forward to seeing him shine in this important growing and evolving sector.”

Fourteen apprentices recruited from Ron Dearing UTC by Spencer Group all secure full-time positions

Fourteen apprentices recruited from Ron Dearing UTC by engineering specialist Spencer Group have all now secured full-time positions with the company.

Spencer Group hired the apprentices – the largest ever intake in the company’s history – two years ago.

Now, having completed their apprenticeships, all fourteen have started permanent, full-time trainee positions with Spencer Group across a range of different departments of the business.

Spencer Group has also just taken on another nine apprentices, in addition to the five that were recruited last year, meaning it has hired a total of twenty-eight under its apprenticeship programme in just two years – all coming from Ron Dearing UTC.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, with Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, left, and Sarah Pashley, Principal of Ron Dearing UTC, with new Spencer Group apprentices and full-time employees.


Spencer Group, which is one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, is committed to taking on a new group of apprentices from the pioneering school each year as part of its succession planning and growth.

Sarah Pashley, Principal of Ofsted Outstanding-rated Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s very rewarding to see that each of our students who joined Spencer Group as an apprentice two years ago has now secured a permanent position.

“It’s also really pleasing to see our latest cohort begin their apprenticeships and embark on what will undoubtedly be an exciting journey for them all.”

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have taken on every single one of the apprentices we recruited two years ago in a permanent, full-time position.

Alex Burr has joined Spencer Group as an Engineering Apprentice and “can’t wait to get stuck in”.


“We will be taking on a new group of apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC each year as this is a proven pipeline of future talent for us as our business continues to grow.”

Every apprentice that secures a permanent position with Spencer Group continues their academic development by studying up to degree level with one of the company’s education partners. They are also given the option of studying for a master’s degree.

Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, said: “The appointment of this full cohort of apprentices to permanent positions in the company is proof that this recruitment model works.

“It is crucial for us to have a talent stream that fits the specific needs of our business and Ron Dearing UTC provides exactly that.”

Matthew Hunter has begun his new role as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor with Spencer Group after joining the company as an Engineering Apprentice.


Alex Burr, 18, has joined Spencer Group as an Engineering Apprentice as part of the latest intake from Ron Dearing UTC.

She said: “Spencer Group were my number one choice company to work for when I was at Ron Dearing, so I’m really excited to be here. Now that I’ve started, I just can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Matthew Hunter, 21, has just begun his new role as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor after joining Spencer Group as an Engineering Apprentice two years ago.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity and I just want to keep developing and help Spencer Group as a business as much as I can, because everyone here has been so supportive.”


Ron Dearing UTC students celebrate GCSE success as demand for places soars

Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have once again achieved exemplary GCSE and Level 2 technical qualification results, excelling in their studies despite unprecedented challenging times.

Highlights of the GCSE results achieved by the employer-led school’s 155 Year 11 students include:

  • 87% of students achieved grades 4-9 in both English and Maths
  • 60% of students secured grades 5-9 in English and Maths

Students studying the school’s specialisms have also performed incredibly well, with a significant number achieving the highest grades:

  • 57% of students achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Digital Technology
  • 53% achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Engineering Design
  • 30% were awarded Distinction* or Distinction in Engineering Systems and Control
  • 30% of students achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Creative iMedia
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley celebrating with GCSE students


Due to Ron Dearing’s growing excellent reputation, competition for places in the school’s Sixth Form has been even more intense than previous years, with almost 400 students applying for the 150 places in Year 12 for this coming September.

Peter Sword, 16, achieved six GCSEs all at grade 9, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as a Distinction* in Engineering Systems and Control and a Distinction* in Digital Tech.

He is returning to Ron Dearing to study A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English at Sixth Form as he works towards a career in genetics.

Peter said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic with my results. I thought I might get a few 8 grades – I didn’t expect them to all be grade 9!

“I’m coming back to the Sixth Form because this is just a brilliant school. It’s very professional and I feel that this is the best place for me to help me achieve my ambitions.”

Peter Sword celebrating his outstanding GCSE results.


Twins Freya and Yaqub Ilyas, 16, were also delighted with their results.

Freya achieved seven GCSEs, including grade 8 in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics and English Language, and a Distinction in Engineering.

She is now looking forward to studying Chemistry, Biology and Maths at Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form and hopes to become a paediatric doctor in the future.

Freya said: “Ron Dearing UTC has helped me to progress and enjoy my subjects more. I’m looking forward to the challenge of Sixth Form because I need A grades to go to medical school.”

Yaqub achieved seven GCSEs, including grade 9 in Physics and Maths and grade 8 in Biology and Chemistry, as well as Distinctions in Creative iMedia and Digital Tech.

He is also returning to Ron Dearing’s Sixth Form and will study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

He said: “I’m delighted. Ron Dearing is just such a good place to be and I love it here.”

Double delight for twins Freya and Yaqub Ilyas.


Serghei Glinca, 16, achieved six GCSEs, including grade 9 in Chemistry, Maths and Physics, as well as a Distinction * in Digital Tech and a Distinction in Engineering Manufacturing.

He was also thrilled with his grade 7 in English Language, which is his third language after Romanian and Russian.

Serghei, who wants to work as an Aerospace Engineer in the future, is returning to Ron Dearing to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science at Sixth Form.

He said: “I’m really pleased. I’ve worked hard for this and the staff here have helped me along the way.”

Serghei Glinca proudly showing off his results.


Isabella Acaster has her sights set on a career in medicine after achieving Distinctions in Engineering Manufacture and Engineering Systems and Control, as well as four grade 9 and two grade 8 GCSEs.

She will now study Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English at Ron Dearing’s Sixth Form.

Isabella, 16, said: “I’ve been looking forward to getting my results and I’m really happy with them.

“I have a great relationship with the Ron Dearing UTC teachers and they’re really supportive.”

Isabella Acaster achieved excellent GCSEs.


Cohen Morfitt was determined to collect his results in person despite needing crutches after injuring his ankle playing sport.

His effort was rewarded as he achieved six GCSEs, including four at grade 9, a Distinction in Engineering Design and a Distinction* in Digital Tech.

Cohen, 16, who will now study Maths, Further Maths and Double Computer Science at Ron Dearing Sixth Form, said: “I’m really happy because my grades are better than I expected.

“I’d like a job in computer programming in the future and I know I’m in the best place to achieve that.

“My grades have shot up since I moved to Ron Dearing UTC and the teachers are great. They’ve given me so much support to get to this point.”

Cohen Morfitt picking up his GCSE results.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “Yet again our students have demonstrated incredible determination and resilience in extremely difficult circumstances.

“I am so pleased that they have achieved such brilliant results, which have ensured that all of them are able to go on to exciting post-16 education opportunities.

“I’m also delighted that over 130 students have achieved the required grades and chosen to continue their education in our outstanding Sixth Form.”

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted in its first official inspection last year, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offers a unique model of education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Digital Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “It’s fantastic to see how many existing Ron Dearing UTC students have chosen to stay on in our Sixth Form and continue their education with us.

“Employer-led learning works for them and they want more of it, as they can see its potential and how it is helping to pave the way for incredibly bright futures with amazing opportunities.”

Ron Dearing UTC’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 Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students who wish to join Ron Dearing UTC in September 2022 can apply online via from September 1st.

Ron Dearing UTC students’ delight at outstanding A-level and technical results

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have spoken of their delight after hitting new heights in A-level and Level 3 technical results, paving the way for bright futures in their chosen paths.

The majority of the 116 students are the first cohort to complete four years of study at the employer-led Hull school, as they joined as Year 10 students when it opened its doors in 2017.

Highlights of Ron Dearing UTC’s excellent A-level results include:

  • 100% pass rate – in line with 2019 and 2020.
  • 43% of all grades are A or A* – an increase of 3% on 2020.
  • 92% of grades are A* to C – an increase of 6% compared to last year.
  • Eighteen students have straight A* or A grades.

Ron Dearing UTC’s average grade for technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing, Art and Design, and Creative Digital, is a Distinction, the equivalent to grade B at A-level.

Just under half of the year group are now destined for apprenticeships or employment with the school’s Employer Partners or other leading businesses, and just over half are taking up university places, including seven with the Russell Group of elite higher education institutions. The overwhelming majority have achieved the grades required for their first choice university.

Ron Dearing UTC students celebrating their success.


Identical twins Tom and Olly O’Loughlin recorded an amazing double success, achieving exactly the same grades in the same subjects. They will now move on to the same Civil Engineering apprenticeship at one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, Spencer Group.

The 18-year-old brothers were delighted to each achieve a double Distinction* in Engineering and a C in A-level Maths.

Tom said: “I feel really proud and I can’t wait to get started at Spencer Group. I’m interested in marine engineering in the future and this is the best start I could have.”

Olly said: “I’ve had so much one-to-one support at Ron Dearing UTC and it was a great decision to come here.

“I’m really looking forward to going into the world of work properly. I want to build bridges and Spencer Group is a leader in that field.”

Identical twins Tom and Olly O’Loughlin, who both achieved a double Distinction* in Engineering and a C in A-level Maths, with Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley.


Rana Maglad, 18, cried tears of joy as she opened her results envelope to reveal she had achieved a double Distinction* in Digital Tech and a Distinction* in Creative Digital. She will now study Graphic Design at the University of Hull.

Rana said: “I’m so happy, as my results are much better than I expected. The teachers at Ron Dearing UTC give 100% support to the students and they know how to help.

“It hasn’t been easy during the pandemic, but we all did the best we could and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

Owen Millard, 18, achieved an A* in Maths, B in Further Maths, A in Physics and a Distinction* in Engineering. He has secured a Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship at Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa.

“I’m really pleased with my results and am now looking forward to my apprenticeship, as I’ve always wanted to go straight to work,” said Owen. “I’ve done loads of research on Siemens Gamesa and it’s an amazing company to work for.

“Hull is the wind turbine capital of the world and I can stay at home to complete my apprenticeship, which is great.”

Rana Maglad achieved a double Distinction* in Digital Tech and a Distinction* in Creative Digital.


Ryah Russell, 18, achieved a double Distinction in Engineering and has secured a three-year Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship with RWE Renewables. She will spend her first two years in Wales, before working offshore on the Triton Knoll wind farm, off the Lincolnshire coast, in her third year.

She said: “I’ve worked really hard for this and the staff at Ron Dearing have been there to support me all the way. They’ve really helped build my confidence, on top of the academic side of things.

“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first came here but it’s blown me away. It’s been amazing.”

Brandon Gurnell, 17, was delighted to achieve an A* in Maths, A in Physics and a Distinction* in Engineering. He is now looking forward to starting a three-year Operations Technician apprenticeship with Centrica.

“I came here to do Engineering and it has been fantastic,” said Brandon. “I’ve learned so much and gained a lot of confidence along the way.”

Ryah Russell achieved a double Distinction in Engineering and has secured a three-year wind turbine technician apprenticeship with RWE.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This has been a very challenging year for our students, their parents and our staff, and I’m delighted the Year 13 students have achieved such amazing results.

“They’ve worked exceptionally hard and dealt with all the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at them admirably. It’s a huge relief and a massive credit to them that they have maintained their engagement with learning throughout the past two years, both online and face-to-face in school.

“They’ve shown impressive maturity, resilience and dedication, and I’m extremely proud of each and every one of them. I’m also delighted they have secured such brilliant destinations. Results are extremely important but, ultimately, it’s about where the students go to and what they do once they’ve left school.

“They have exceptionally bright futures ahead of them and I can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve next.”

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted in its first official inspection last year, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering, offering a unique model of education.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Digital Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “This is the first cohort of students to spend four years at Ron Dearing UTC and they have achieved outstanding results despite continuing to study during exceptionally challenging times.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of the students and these results are further confirmation that employer-led learning and education works.”

Ron Dearing UTC’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 Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students learn about tackling climate change and develop new skills at summer school

Students at Ron Dearing UTC have been learning about how to tackle climate change at a special summer school.

Around 40 students either joining the school or moving from Year 10 to Year 11 in September took part in a week-long series of activities to raise their awareness of the climate emergency and develop valuable new skills.

The summer school had the theme “Five Days to Save the World” and began with a keynote address from author Robert Bell. It then saw the students take part in biology, physics and futurology workshops, all with an environmental focus. They also enjoyed a trip to The Deep to discover more about the planet.

In the second half of the week the students were tasked with designing their own sustainability-themed computer platform games, based on what they had learned in the first part of the week.

From left, Francesca Wilkes-Oliver, Grace Massam, Katie Hatfield and Adam Salter.


Working in teams, they adapted a basic template to create their own bespoke games. Each team then delivered a presentation on their game to the whole cohort.

Chris Berry, Lead Practitioner for English, led the week with Assistant Principal Joanne Campbell.

He said: “The students have all been brilliant and we saw them really flourish throughout the week.

“They developed a much broader understanding of environmental issues and the difference they can all make, worked in teams, delivered presentations and learned about computer coding, so it was a really valuable experience for them.”

Ron Dearing UTC students at The Deep.


Students Francesca Wilkes-Oliver and Adam Salter, along with their teammates Katie Hatfield and Grace Massam, created a game about saving animals from forest fires in Australia.

Francesca, 15, said: “The week really opened my eyes to what we can all do to help save the planet.

“It raised my awareness about the issues and the part we can play to tackle the problems. We can all make small changes which, together, can make a big difference.”

Adam, also 15, said: “It’s been a really interesting week and I’ve learned a lot. We’ve worked in teams and developed new skills, so it’s been great.”