Creative UTC students add further strings to their bows

Three Ron Dearing UTC students are broadening their horizons outside the classrooms and fine-tuning their creative talents.

Year 11 students Amelia Prajsner, 16, and Jacob Kemp, 15, and Year 12 student Matthew Bestley, 16, play musical instruments, speak foreign languages or inspire others in the great outdoors, and they all hope to pursue creative career paths.

Amelia, a graphic designer on the school’s Arts Council, speaks Japanese and Polish, plays the clarinet and tenor saxophone, and is a member of two orchestras, playing at various concerts and events.

Students Amelia Prajsner, 16, Jacob Kemp, 15, and Matthew Bestley, 16, showing off their talents.

 

She said: “I’ve played the clarinet since I was eight and the tenor saxophone for just a month. My parents are Polish and we speak Polish at home but I was born in England, so I’ve always been bi-lingual.

“I learnt to speak Japanese through a family friend who now runs the Japanese enrichment programme at Ron Dearing UTC.

“I’m a very creative person and enjoy learning new things. Ron Dearing UTC encourages creativity, which is really exciting.”

Year 12 student Matthew Bestley has been playing the piano for nine years and is also a kayak instructor.

 

Jacob, also a graphic designer on the school’s Arts Council, learnt to play the flute at the age of eight and plays in a junior orchestra in Hull. He took up the guitar aged 12, has achieved a green belt in karate and also plays football.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in music and my parents bought me a guitar for Christmas one year, so I taught myself how to play. I’m hoping to form a band with my peers.

“You’re given so much creative freedom at Ron Dearing UTC and it’s an inspirational and very supportive environment. I love being active and creative.”

Matthew, who studies 3D Design, Graphics, Fine Art and Digital Media at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, is a grade four pianist and has been playing for nine years, following in his older sisters’ footsteps, and also sings at grade seven level.

Year 11 student Amelia Prajsner playing her clarinet.

He is a kayak instructor at East Yorkshire Canoe Club in North Cave, leading kayak lessons for novices and beginners, and hopes to become a coach when he turns 18.

Matthew said: “I’ve always loved water and was introduced to kayaking by a family friend. I feel very lucky to have all these hobbies because they’re really good skills to have.

“I come from a musical family and I love the dedicated creative space Ron Dearing offers. My hobbies complement my creative studies.”

Ron Dearing UTC has recently opened STEAM Studios, its dedicated centre for creativity, in the former Hull Central Fire Station following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund.

Year 11 student Jacob Kemp playing his flute. He also plays guitar and enjoys karate and football.

 

Alongside remodelling the existing school building, this has enabled the UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students and build on its growing creative curriculum.

The UTC offers an extensive enrichment programme to students, encouraging them to broaden their horizons and embrace culture and creativity alongside their studies, and also introduced the Arts Council last year.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m always blown away by the talents and creativity of our students and we’re very proud of Amelia, Jacob and Matthew.

“As teachers, we also learn so much from the students and their creativity is inspiring. Our lessons are very often become student-led because they will bring something to the table which inspires additional creative conversations. They are a joy to work with.”

Computing students tested to the limit during outward bound challenge

Sixth form computing students at Ron Dearing UTC were pushed out of their comfort zones during a challenging outward bound exercise designed to test their skills to the limit.

Nine Year 13 students embraced the five-day challenge in Ullswater in the Lake District, which aimed to build their confidence, communication, teamwork abilities, leadership skills and resilience.

The trip, which went ahead during half term, will help the students to draw on these skills as they approach their coursework and exam period in school and prepare for their futures.

It is the second time Ron Dearing UTC staff have organised the visit through the Outward Bound Trust, which inspires young people to exceed their potential. The charity partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach young people to believe in themselves.

Jason White, Head of Computing at Ron Dearing UTC, and Digital Teacher Robbie Olsen accompanied the students on the trip, which is now part of the annual school calendar.

The Ron Dearing UTC students on the outward bound challenge.

 

The challenge included team games, a jog and dip into a lake, cliff jumping, mountain climbing and gorge walking up waterfalls in pairs while guiding their blindfolded peers to the top.

They also completed an overnight expedition, which unexpectedly fell during the recent Storm Ciarán, and the students had to brave intense wind and rain to reach their camp and set up tents for the night.

Robbie said: “We’re so proud of all the students who completed this amazing challenge. They showed such resilience and faced each situation head-on.

“It was a fantastic team effort and they all helped each other through it with grit, determination and perseverance.

“On the final night, we sat around a campfire and reflected on what everyone had achieved and learnt, followed by the students presenting their thoughts to the group.

“They will be able to draw on these skills and use them in school for their upcoming studies, coursework and exams, as well as in future employment or at university.

The Ron Dearing UTC students camped in Ullswater in the Lake District.

 

“If they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they know they already have the skills and tools to achieve their goals and deadlines.”

Year 13 computing student Zakk Amers-Delph, who completed the challenge, said: “I found the whole experience very enjoyable but the expedition pushed me most.

“We were in the middle of a storm and it was a really hard challenge, which meant most people were out of their comfort zones. I helped others up the mountain and hopefully provided some encouragement and support, helping to set up tents.

“I learnt a lot about my classmates and about myself and what I’m able to achieve. I also gained more time management and communication skills, which will be great for projects, apprenticeships or university in the future.”

Fellow Year 13 computing student Liv Brown said: “I definitely built up my resilience and communication skills and learnt more about leadership and public speaking during the challenge.

“The expedition was very challenging, especially in harsh weather, and I carried my body weight on my back. I have a real sense of achievement from it and have gained skills for life.”

Art students help to create Hull mural to be seen by millions

Ron Dearing UTC art students have helped to create a large scale mural which will be seen by millions of people each year.

The mural in Hull’s Paragon Interchange has been created by city-based artist Andy Pea after TransPennine Express (TPE) commissioned him to mark the 175th anniversary of the station.

The mural reflects Hull’s rich history, including local landmarks, events, the fishing industry and key figures, celebrating the city’s culture and heritage.

Andy spent time speaking to local residents and commuters about what they’d like to see included in the mural and Ron Dearing UTC art students submitted their own designs, some of which have been incorporated into the final piece.

A group of students also worked alongside Andy to paint some of the mural, learning valuable skills and techniques from the experienced artist as they showcased their own work.

The mural at Paragon Interchange.

 

Year 12 student Ethan Beaumont, 16, who is studying Fine Art and Engineering Manufacture at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Being involved in painting the mural was a really enjoyable experience.

“We were able to work quite freely and creatively, and it’s great to work on something which will be seen by so many people.”

Fellow Year 12 student Jessie Duncan, 16, who is studying Fine Art, 3D Design and A-level English Literature and English Language, said: “We helped to paint the base of the mural from blue through to darker colours.

“It’s very meaningful and good to be part of something which brightens up the station. I really enjoyed it and I felt honoured to work with Andy. I learnt a lot from him.”

The mural is expected to be completed imminently and will provide a thought-provoking warm welcome for millions of commuters each year.

Ron Dearing UTC students working on the mural.

 

Andy, who has been an artist for 25 years and has also produced work in the UK, Europe and Mexico, said: “The mural works like a compass. The east wall looks over the Humber and the North Sea and is focused on maritime, fishing and whaling.

“The south wall is all about wildlife and wind turbines and the west is focused on people leaving the station, including remembering soldiers who left and those leaving to go on holiday.

“The north wall includes the last bombsite in Hull on Beverley Road, bands in the city and key figures, and the well-known Rank Hovis mill on Wincolmlee.

“A lot of work has gone into it and I always feel privileged to have Ron Dearing UTC students involved in anything I do because they are fantastic students and fully engage in whatever we’re working on.

“It’s great for them to be able to say they have worked on this and it’s going to be seen by about 10 million people every year. Some artists in galleries don’t have that many people viewing their work.”

Andy Pea with Ron Dearing UTC students.

 

Andy has previously worked with Ron Dearing students on various projects to inspire them as they follow their creative paths.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic for the students to work with a practising artist on such a large scale community project.

“They have never worked on anything as big as this before and they’ve learnt so many new techniques, including the Squiggle Grid method to help upscale designs.

“The feedback from the students has been wonderful and they’ve all really enjoyed being part of it.”

Ofsted Chief Inspector praises ‘outstanding’ Ron Dearing UTC for inspiring students and meeting employer needs

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector has praised Ron Dearing UTC’s employer-led model of learning after visiting the pioneering Hull school.

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman and a team of inspectors were given a tour of Ron Dearing UTC, including its recently opened STEAM Studios centre for creativity, to see how it is preparing students for rewarding careers across a range of sectors.

Ms Spielman had been encouraged by Senior Ofsted Inspector Lee Elliot to personally visit Ron Dearing UTC and find out for herself how its unique employer-led curriculum is meeting employer needs.

Mr Elliot led the team of inspectors at the school’s last Ofsted inspection in 2020, when it was rated ‘Outstanding’ across the board.

Ms Spielman, Mr Elliot and fellow Senior Ofsted Inspectors Alison Aitchison, Zoe Lightfoot and Rachel Angus met with Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and other members of the senior team, along with representatives from the Governing Board, including Chair Richard Martin.

His Majesty’s Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, right, and Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley talking to Photography, 3D Design and Creative Digital student Taylor Beaden.

 

They heard from school alumni who have gone on to exciting apprenticeships with leading companies including engineering specialists Spencer Group, a Founding Partner of the UTC, and safety experts Arco, a Major Partner.

The team were told how Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners help shape its curriculum to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in industry, as well as higher education study.

They were then given a tour of the facilities, where they spoke to students engaging in practical lessons in subjects including Fine Art and Graphics, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD) and Mechatronics.

Ms Spielman said: “Ron Dearing UTC is an outstanding school that is helping to meet local and national employment needs while offering real choice for students who want to specialise in digital, creative and engineering technology.

“The school’s employer-led curriculum and cutting-edge facilities, including the new STEAM Studios, are very impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the students are working on.”

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, on a tour of Ron Dearing UTC in Hull.

 

Ron Dearing UTC, in Kingston Square, city centre, opened STEAM Studios in the former Hull Fire Station next door last month to support and inspire its growing number of students.

The site has been renovated and repurposed to create an innovative hub including a gallery and exhibition space, digital and photography studios, 2D and 3D studios, as well as an additional sixth form independent study centre.

It is part of wider expansion work at the school, which included remodelling parts of the existing UTC building to create research and development science laboratories and independent study spaces.

The expansion has enabled the UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund, in response to huge demand for student places.

The school, which has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017, has already filled all its additional places and reached its new capacity – a year ahead of schedule.

His Majesty’s Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman with Engineering students at Ron Dearing UTC.

 

World leading renewable energy company Ørsted, which develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe, is a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and has made a substantial financial contribution towards the school’s expansion.

Ms Pashley said: “We were delighted to welcome Amanda and the team of inspectors to Ron Dearing UTC to showcase the work we’re doing to inspire and prepare our students for exciting careers, whilst addressing the skills gap and meeting local and national employer needs.

“We were also very proud to give them a tour of our newly expanded facilities, and to let them hear from the students themselves about what they’re studying and how we’re supporting them to achieve their goals.”

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 Hull City Council alongside many other Major Partners and Partners.

Record number of prospective students attend Ron Dearing UTC open event

An open event organised for prospective Ron Dearing UTC students attracted a record number of attendees.

Students who would like to join the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated school in Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2024 attended the event with their parents or carers.

They met the UTC team, Employer Partners and toured the state-of-the-art facilities, including STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity which officially opened its doors last month.

A total of 420 students turned out for the open event as they hope to pursue their education in the school’s exciting employer-led working environment.

They found out more about the curriculum, the school’s 40-hour working week, what is expected of students regarding behaviour and conduct, building their personal brand and what the UTC offers outside the classroom.

Prospective students were able to experience practical sessions at Ron Dearing UTC.

 

They also heard about the incredible exam results achieved, as the UTC significantly outperforms the national averages for GCSE, A-level and technical qualification outcomes. Former Ron Dearing UTC students also attended the open event to inspire prospective students.

Lloyd Shaw, 13, who would like to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 next year, attended with his mum, Sarah Dennett, and sister Bethany Dennett.

Lloyd said: “I’d like to study Engineering or Computing and I like the idea of a 40-hour working week. It was great to have a look around and find out more about the exciting the opportunities available.”

Prospective Year 10 student Billy Wray, 14, who was joined by his parents Mike and Kerry at the open event, said: “I’m interested in becoming an architect in the future, so I’m looking at the Art and Design and Creative iMedia courses. I like the Enrichment programme Ron Dearing offers and the amazing equipment you can use. I really hope I get a place here.”

Kerry said: “Ron Dearing UTC gives students great experiences and they work on real life employer-led projects, so they can relate to them.”

Grace Howe, 13, who attended with her mum Stacey and hopes to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 in 2024, said: “I love Art and English, and I’m considering becoming a police officer or pursuing a career in medicine. It would be a great opportunity for me to study at Ron Dearing and the facilities are amazing.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley speaking to prospective students and their parents and carers.

 

Ron Dearing UTC has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017. The recent expansion of the school has enabled it to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students.

Open event attendees heard about the outstanding destinations 100 per cent of students have moved on to since leaving Ron Dearing UTC, including university and apprenticeships.

Lillie Mitcheson, 15, hopes to join the UTC in Year 12 next year and attended the event with her parents, Lizzy Beach and Phil Mitcheson.

Lillie said: “I’m here to find out more about sciences and 3D design because I’m interested in becoming a vet or going into textiles. I’m keeping my options open and I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen.”

Lizzy said: “I like that Ron Dearing UTC helps its students to become work-ready because it’s so important now. It feels more like a workplace than a college, which is impressive.”

Several Ron Dearing UTC Employer Partners attended the open event to share how they support students and the curriculum.

Wendy Hiley, HR and Talent Acquisition Business Partner at rural broadband specialist Quickline Communications, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Everyone is really impressed with the UTC and what it can offer. We love working with Ron Dearing and we’ve already met some really talented and inspirational young people. We can’t wait to have some of these students join our future workforce.”

A total of 420 prospective students turned out for the latest Ron Dearing UTC open event.

 

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “More students, parents and carers applied for this open event than ever before and it was fantastic to receive such a high level of interest.

“We’re incredibly proud of our students, staff and our world class facilities, which showcase what we’re about as a UTC and show how doing things differently works.

“New students make a very brave decision to come to us from their existing schools but we promise to deliver for them. We want every student to have the best experience and results possible.”

There are only 200 places available for Year 10 students in September 2024 and 225 places in Year 12. More than 5,000 students per year group are eligible to apply.

Applications have already exceeded the available number of places. The selection process is carried out at random and students will be notified if they have been successful by March 2024. Visit www.rondearingutc.com/apply to apply for a place in either year group.

Two further open events have been organised at Ron Dearing UTC and will run from 5pm to 8pm on November 9 and January 11. To book a place visit https://www.rondearingutc.com/openevents/

Students experience once-in-a-lifetime visit to Aston Martin headquarters

Two Ron Dearing UTC students with a passion for engineering were inspired during a dream VIP experience day at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art headquarters.

Year 13 students Heidi Porter and Jasper Gourley were invited by the luxury British sports car manufacturer to spend a day at the company’s Coventry base, learning everything from how the cars are designed to viewing the latest prototypes.

They met one of Aston Martin’s head designers and found out how the cars are made.

Heidi and Jasper were chosen following their involvement in the F1 in Schools UK Challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition. Ron Dearing UTC students are competing in the competition for the third consecutive year.

It comes after the UTC’s Vortex Racing team won first place in the Regional Finals of the competition in 2021 and two former Year 13 students, Jess MacLachlan and Mercy McFarlane, scooped first place and a string of further accolades in the Regional Finals last year.

Heidi Porter and Jasper Gourley at the Aston Martin headquarters.

 

Jasper, 17, who is studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, has taken on a finance role within in the F1 in Schools UK challenge.

He said: “It was a dream come true to see all the nice cars in such a modern factory.

“We were allowed to sit in them and we were taken around the design area where we saw how the cars are made. They design them as small clay models at first before they eventually become the finished product.

“We saw how they wrap the cars, which is designed to simulate paint, and it looked so shiny.

“I’d like to be a Formula 1 engineer who designs cars around aerodynamics in the future, which draws on my maths and physics interests, and this has inspired me even more.”

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).

Cars on display at the Aston Martin headquarters.

 

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.

The Regional Finals will take place in March.

Heidi, 17, who is studying Triple Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, is a team leader and manufacturing engineer in the F1 in Schools UK challenge.

She said: “It was an overwhelming experience and brilliant to see the Aston Martin cars, as well as the prototypes for the next generation of cars.

“It was great to see how a big company like this works behind the scenes and I found it very interesting.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement, said: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Heidi and Jasper to see the iconic brand of Aston Martin in action, from design to prototype.

“They were given a real insight into how the industry works and visited the design office. It’s a day that will stay with them for years to come as they begin to think about their next steps and future careers.”

Hands-on workshop inspires medics and scientists of the future

Ron Dearing UTC students took part in a hands-on workshop which aims to inspire the next generation of medics and scientists.

Medical Mavericks uses real-life medical and sports science equipment to promote NHS and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers at schools, colleges and events across the UK.

All Year 11 students at Ron Dearing UTC, Year 12 and 13 Biology students and Year 12 BTEC Science students took part in the workshop, enabling them to consider a range of careers from physiotherapy or becoming a doctor, to training in phlebotomy and more.

The students heard from a nurse practitioner and a medical student about their career journeys and learnt how to take blood from vessels in a false arm, practised keyhole surgery techniques on a simulator and learnt how to take blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen and lung capacity readings.

They also wore pathology goggles to simulate various eye complaints, such as cataracts, and others which demonstrated the effects of alcohol.

Ultrasound equipment was used to examine veins and muscles in the arms, neck and intestines, and the students learnt more about reflexes in knee joints.

Luke Marshall and Jacob Kemp using the key hole surgery training devices.

 

Sarah Britchford, Science Teacher at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The Medical Mavericks workshop has definitely generated interested in careers in medicine among our students.

“They really enjoyed using the specialist equipment and learnt so much at the 12 different stations.

“Fifty per cent of jobs in the NHS don’t require a medical degree, which is an eye-opener, and you don’t always have to go to medical school to fulfil certain roles.

“It was a fantastic workshop and has given our students lots to think about and aspire to as they consider their future careers.”

Year 11 student Muhemmed Sajid, 15, who is currently studying for his GCSEs and would like to become a doctor, said: “I’d like to specialise in general surgery or oncology.

“I like helping people and general surgery covers lots of fields. I also know a lot of people who have had cancer and I’d like to help them too.

Students Shuhrra Amudi & Meka Frank attempting to draw blood from the fake arm.

 

“I learnt a lot about equipment that doctors use on a daily basis during the Medical Mavericks session. It was really interesting.”

Year 13 Biology student Meka Frank, 17, said she would like to pursue a career in medicine.

She said: “The Medical Mavericks session was very informative, interactive and fun. We were able to experience using lots of equipment, which we wouldn’t have been able to use in a lecture.

“It’s lovely that Ron Dearing UTC is opening up these opportunities to students who are interested in medicine and biology-related careers.”

Ron Dearing UTC welcomes public to first exhibition in new gallery space

The first public art exhibition is now open at a new dedicated centre for creativity in Hull city centre.

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) officially opened STEAM Studios in the former Hull Centre Fire Station, next door to its existing site in Kingston Square, on Friday.

It will help pave the way for students to embrace exciting careers in the creative sector while educating engineering students about opportunities in renewable energy.

Now, members of the public are invited to the first exhibition in the STEAM Studios gallery space, showcasing work and techniques by watercolour and mixed media landscape painting artist Kane Cunningham over the past 20 years.

The exhibition, entitled Retrospective, includes watercolours. etchings, drawings and pastel work  of local landscapes, such as Spurn Point, as well as pieces exploring ideas inspired by other artists.

The exhibition is free to the public and open from Monday to Thursday each week, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, throughout October. Entry is ticket only.

The first public art exhibition is open at STEAM Studios.

 

Jacob Wardle, Exhibition Curator at STEAM Studios, said: “We’re really excited to welcome members of the public to our first STEAM Studios exhibition and showcase Kane’s fantastic artwork in our brilliant creative space.

“Visitors can expect to see a selection of landscape paintings and a wide variety of mediums in an extremely varied exhibition.

“It’s a privilege to showcase the work of such a talented local artist in our first public exhibition and show our students what they can aspire to.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the community to the STEAM Studios gallery to see many more exhibitions of local artists’ work in the future, as well as to exhibitions of work produced by our own students.

Scarbrough-based Kane retired from teaching painting in 2017 to become a full-time artist, working in watercolour in the field and developing his ideas from the studio into prints, drawings and sculptures.

He is best known for the House Project, an art installation and environmental project at Knipe Point in Cayton Bay, Scarborough, where he bought a bungalow destined to fall into the sea due to coastal erosion for £3,000. He used it to create a work of art and multimedia installation and it was featured on television and radio across the globe.

Kane Cunningham in the first exhibition in STEAM Studios.

 

Kane is also co-director of Big Ideas by the Sea, an environmental festival in Scarborough which explores topics related to climate change, social issues, history and the natural environment.

Kane, who has worked to inspire Ron Dearing UTC creative students for the past two years through various projects, said: “I’m honoured and delighted to be the first artist to have an exhibition in the new STEAM Studios Gallery. I’ve chosen lots of my work from the past 20 years in which I’ve tried lots of different approaches and techniques.

“As an artist, there are many ways of working or expressing ideas and you have to experiment and take risks. I hope the students and members of the public will be inspired by my work.

“STEAM Studios is fantastic for Hull. Ron Dearing UTC is growing, emerging and developing, cementing its place in the city as a great place for education and creativity.

“The UTC team have enthusiasm and commitment for making it a wonderful, inspiring place with great plans for the future and it will be a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.”

The former Hull Central Fire Station has been renovated and repurposed to create the cutting-edge STEAM Studios including a gallery and exhibition space, digital and photography studios, 2D and 3D studios, and an additional sixth form independent study centre.

Invited guests enjoying a private viewing.

 

It is part of wider expansion at the school, which included remodelling parts of the existing UTC building to create research and development science laboratories and independent study spaces.

The expansion has enabled Ron Dearing UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund, in response to huge demand for places.

World leading renewable energy company Ørsted, which develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe, is a Major Partner of the UTC and has made a substantial financial contribution towards the school’s expansion.

The funding, complimented by additional funds from other Founding and Major UTC Partners, has also ensured the STEAM Studios building is as energy efficient as possible.

Hull City Council gave the go-ahead for the school’s expansion plans last year and SPACE architects, working with contractors Sewell Construction, completed the project in August this year. Hull Esteem Consortium LEP Ltd acted as project managers on the scheme.

  • To book tickets for Kane Cunningham’s free Retrospective exhibition, visit https://bit.ly/3ZAZLPy
  • The entrance to STEAM Studios is on Worship Street, opposite the Old English Gentlemen pub and Hull History Centre. Visitors are asked to use the buzzer if the doors are closed and a member of the reception team will arrange sign in.

Pioneering Ron Dearing UTC opens state-of-the-art creative hub in exciting expansion

A dedicated new centre for creativity has been officially opened at Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) to support and inspire its growing number of students.

The school in Kingston Square, city centre, has opened STEAM Studios in the former Hull Central Fire Station next door to prepare students for exciting careers in the creative sector.

It will also be used to educate engineering students about opportunities in renewable energy.

The site has been renovated and repurposed to create a cutting-edge hub including a gallery and exhibition space, digital and photography studios, 2D and 3D studios, as well as an additional sixth form independent study centre.

STEAM Studios is part of wider expansion work at the school, which included remodelling parts of the existing UTC building to create research and development science laboratories and independent study spaces.

The expansion has enabled the UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund, in response to huge demand for student places.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, centre, Lauren McGee, Ørsted’s Head of Site for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm, left, and Councillor Linda Tock, Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, right, with students outside the new STEAM Studios.

 

The school, which has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017, has already filled all its additional places and reached its new capacity – a year ahead of schedule.

World leading renewable energy company Ørsted, which develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe, is a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and has made a substantial financial contribution towards the school’s expansion.

The funding, complimented by additional funds from other Founding and Major UTC Partners, has also ensured the STEAM Studios building is as energy efficient as possible.

Invited guests attended the official opening of the new centre on Friday, September 29, which saw students lead them on tours of the state-of-the-art facilities and see a range of creative workshops including animation, photography, ceramics and fine art.

Hull City Council gave the go-ahead for the school’s expansion plans last year and SPACE architects, working with contractors, Sewell Construction, completed the project in August this year. Hull Esteem Consortium LEP Ltd acted as project managers on the scheme.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “STEAM Studios is an incredible facility which is perfect for our rapidly expanding creative pathways. We’re delighted to be able to offer more students a Ron Dearing education and it’s really positive to have hit our recruitment target a year early – which further demonstrates the demand for places and the need for this expansion.

Lauren McGee, Ørsted’s Head of Site for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm, cutting the ribbon to officially open STEAM Studios, with Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, Councillor Linda Tock, Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, and students from the school’s Arts Council.

 

“We’re keen to become a centre of creativity for the community and this has been a hugely exciting project which was a real team effort from everyone involved.

“We’re exceptionally grateful to Ørsted for their backing, to our fantastic Founding and Major Partners for their sponsorship funding, and to the Department for Education for the multi-million-pound grant from its Post-16 Capacity Fund to make this possible.

“The building is amazing. Everyone involved has worked really hard to retain its history and integrity while transforming it into a high-tech creative facility which is also a low carbon building – quite a challenge!”

In addition to A-levels in Fine Art and Photography and technical qualifications in Creative iMedia, STEAM Studios has enabled new courses to be introduced, including A-level 3D Design and A-level Graphic Communication.

The renewable energy aspects of the UTC’s engineering curriculum will now be taught in the Ørsted Digital Laboratory in STEAM Studios.

Ron Dearing UTC has employed Jacob Wardle as the school’s first Exhibition Curator. He will be responsible for organising exhibitions, planning events and running arts markets and creative community workshops at STEAM Studios.

A-level Photography will be one of the courses delivered at Ron Dearing UTC’s new STEAM Studios expansion.

 

Watercolour and mixed media landscape painting artist Kane Cunningham will be the first artist to exhibit in the STEAM Studios gallery. His work will be open to the public throughout October.  Members of the public will be able to book to see Kane’s work via the Ron Dearing UTC website and entrance will be free.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “STEAM Studios is a really exciting space where students can flourish together to ignite their creativity, learn new skills and realise their creative potential.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming a wide range of professional artists, photographers and other wonderful creative influences to really inspire our students and enrich our curriculum in STEAM Studio’s first-class facilities.

“We’ve invested in state-of-the-art creative equipment, including a kiln for ceramics and glass work, high tech printing facilities and industry-standard digital kit. We’re also very grateful to Sonoco-Trident for providing Apple Mac computers for our Mac Suite.”

Lauren McGee, Ørsted’s Head of Site for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm, said: “Ørsted is so proud to support STEAM Studios.

“We have a passion for inspiring the next generation into roles within the renewable energy sector.  Our investment in the independent learning facilities at RDUTC and the Digital Lab in STEAM Studios is a great example of our commitment to investing in young people and education.

Ron Dearing UTC has opened STEAM Studios to prepare students for exciting careers in the creative sector.

 

“With the offshore wind sector predicted to have 100,000 careers in the UK by 2030, our partnership with Ron Dearing UTC facilitates powerful, employer-led learning that gives students the chance to hear and work with real industries while learning skills that will help them in their future jobs.”

Councillor Linda Tock, Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “The council is delighted by the expansion of Ron Dearing UTC into the repurposed Central Fire Station.

“The transformation is quite incredible and is sure to inspire learners’ creativity.”

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 Hull City Council alongside many other Major Partners and Partners.

Former Ron Dearing students secure £3,000 scholarships for studies at top universities

Two former Ron Dearing UTC students have been awarded scholarships after being recognised for displaying huge academic and career potential while at school.

Aleksis Vanags and Cohen Morfitt, both 18, left Ron Dearing UTC in the summer after completing their A-levels and have moved on to study degrees at university.

Aleksis is studying Aerospace Engineering at Imperial College London and Cohen is completing a degree in Mathematics at Durham University, both part of the prestigious Rusell Group of elite higher education institutions.

During their time at Ron Dearing UTC they became members of Zero Gravity, an online platform aimed at supporting top students into the best universities through a mentoring approach, defining talent by potential rather than postcode.

It connects students with a one-to-one mentor, who is an undergraduate studying the same or a similar course at the same or similar university. Students also have access to live masterclasses, internships and content in an exclusive Zero Gravity community.

Once at university, students can apply for a scholarship from the Zero Gravity Fund.

Aleksis Vanags.

 

Now, Aleksis and Cohen have each been awarded a £3,000 scholarship after showing incredible potential on their journey to university and embracing the Zero Gravity opportunities.

They are two of 175 students who were awarded the scholarships across the UK this year.

Aleksis said: “I’ve received so much support and encouragement since joining the Zero Gravity platform. I would highly recommend it because of the quality of the mentors, community spaces and masterclasses offered, no matter what course or university you are applying to.

“This is also paired with the chance of the Zero Gravity scholarship, which is £1,000 per year for three years and will massively help me throughout my studies.”

Cohen said: “It’s helpful to have someone who has been through the university application process as a mentor, as they can reassure you that you’re taking the correct steps.

“Additionally, some tutors will be able to recall their prior experience to help you revise or prepare for exams.”

Cohen Morfitt.

 

Claire Fisher, Lead Practitioner at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Both Aleksis and Cohen were supported through the challenging entrance process for the prestigious universities they now attend by the UCAS team at Ron Dearing, and we referred them to take part in the Zero Gravity programme.

“They were part of the first group of students to trial the programme and we’re looking forward to referring more students this year.

“We’re absolutely thrilled for Aleksis and Cohen. They are both such hardworking students and they had their hearts set on where they wanted to go from the beginning.

“They are excellent role models for other students and we wish them every success for the future.”