Ron Dearing UTC students impress Reckitt leaders with scientific knowledge

Some of our sixth form engineering students have presented their outstanding science ideas to senior executives of world-leading health, hygiene and nutrition company Reckitt.

Reckitt is one of our Founding Partners, joining other leading businesses in supporting our leadership, governance, curriculum design and delivery, and more, as well as providing additional funding for industry-standard equipment and recruiting expert teachers.

Reckitt’s first ever Festival of Science took place at its Hull Campus and three teams of three Year 12 students from Ron Dearing UTC created proposals on how a Reckitt product, brand or supply process could be developed to help the company meet its commitments in creating a healthier planet.

They presented their ideas to Reckitt’s Global Research and Development (R&D) Leadership Team, who chose the winners.

The winning team, comprising of Scarlet Wedgner, 17, Imogen Connolly, 17, and Tohru Laybourne, 16, focused on how Reckitt could potentially enhance its renewable energy approach using wind power and solar panels.

They were presented with the first ever Sir James Reckitt Future Scientist Award and Ron Dearing UTC was awarded £3,000 to further support our employability activities.

The donation is funded through The Sir James Reckitt Charity’s significant financial contribution related to the Festival of Science. It will support transport for Industry Insight experiences and tours, which students attend with our Employer Partners and other leading businesses.

Dr Angela Naef, Chief R&D Officer at Reckitt, and Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer and Campus Lead at Reckitt, with the winning Ron Dearing UTC team, from left, Tohru Laybourne, Imogen Connolly and Scarlet Wedgner.


The other two teams focused on how Reckitt could improve its packaging and materials, providing examples of how this could be achieved, and how the business could reduce waste.

They also suggested deposit stations where used containers could be exchanged in return for money and refill shops where products can be topped up after they have been used.

Glenn Jensen, our Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement, said: “It’s fantastic to see our students playing their part in such an important global event, thanks to one of our Founding Partners.

“It was an excellent experience for them and one which will support their enthusiasm for science, engineering and innovation as they consider their next steps.

“Sustainability is such a key part of our curriculum. It’s brilliant to see our students using their knowledge and being able to apply it on the road to net zero.”

As one of our Founding Partners, Reckitt has already employed 10 of our former students in degree apprenticeship roles over the past four years and they continue to thrive on their chosen career paths.

Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer and Hull Campus Lead at Reckitt, said: “The students who participated in our Festival of Science wowed our Global R&D Leadership Team with their sustainability knowledge and their ideas for our products and packaging, as well as how to make the energy we use greener.

Ron Dearing UTC students Olesia Khypunova and Isaac Oshin present their proposal to the Reckitt Global Research and Development (R&D) Leadership Team.


“They showed real depth of knowledge and I’m proud of them all. We had a real struggle in choosing one winning team.

“Every time I meet Ron Dearing UTC students I’m blown away. I love their passion and energy and they bring a very valuable young and real perspective.

“I’m really excited by their insights and they’ve done an amazing job of pulling their ideas together while they’re busy with school and exams.

“I don’t think there are many children of that age who can say they presented to senior executives from one of the world’s biggest companies.”

Dr Charlesworth said Reckitt is pleased to open its doors to inspire young people.

He said: “It’s a bit like going into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory and seeing what we really do, so I hope they’ve taken a lot away from it.

“The gap between academia, industry and education is far too wide and it shouldn’t be, because education is about preparing people for the workplace and for life.

The Ron Dearing UTC students who took part in the Reckitt Festival of Science, pictured with Dr Angela Naef, Chief R&D Officer at Reckitt, and Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer and Campus Lead at Reckitt.


“It’s beneficial to us to give them that exposure but beneficial to them to be able to see and experience it, potentially inspiring them work somewhere like Reckitt.”

Student Scarlet, who was part of the winning team, said: “It was a big team effort and a really fun experience. It has definitely added to our employability skills.”

In partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, the Festival of Science also saw students from Mersey Primary Academy in east Hull take part in hands-on science workshops and meet Reckitt scientists. They were also challenged to develop a new product or change an element of an existing Reckitt product.

The school was also given £3,000 from The Sir James Reckitt Charity to create a science club, thanks to the donation from The Sir James Reckitt Charity, related to the Festival of Science.

The event was part of Reckitt’s inaugural Science Inside Symposium, a two-day broader programme of activities which recognised scientific talent across the company and showcased its brands and products through posters and presentations. The symposium brought Reckitt’s work to life and is set to become an annual event.

Hundreds of students find out more about potential future pathways at Careers Expo

More than 20 leading businesses met hundreds of Ron Dearing UTC students at a Careers Expo organised to help them plan their futures.

The expo was attended by current Year 10 and Year 12 students, as well as new Year 10 and Year 12 students who are joining the UTC in September and their families.

They met staff from 24 employer partners and other outstanding companies, finding out more about careers, potential job opportunities, work experience, required skills and more.

Lisa Regan, Assistant Principal – Horizons Professionalism at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The aim is to increase students’ knowledge of potential future pathways while building on their networking skills and confidence when speaking to employers.

“This is the highest number of companies we’ve ever had involved in the expo and the response and feedback has been amazing.

The Careers Expo at Ron Dearing UTC.


“This event has opened our students’ eyes to potential jobs and careers they may not have considered and they’ve been able to understand more about the breadth of what the individual businesses offer.”

“One of the best aspects of this year’s expo was welcoming back so many former Ron Dearing UTC students who are now working for our employer partners.”

Staff from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, were among those who attended the Careers Expo, which was held at the UTC.

Watch Manager Ben Thomas said: “None of the students are old enough to join the fire and rescue service yet but you can see the interest is already there. They’re considering what skills they have and how that aligns with particular roles.

“It’s not about being fit and strong. It’s about behaviours and people with integrity and leadership skills who put communities first. We can teach people to be firefighters but we can’t teach people to be decent people.”

Ron Dearing UTC students met representatives from more than 20 leading businesses.


Wendy Hiley, HR and Talent Acquisition Business Partner at specialist rural broadband provider Quickline, also met students at the expo.

She said: “It’s really important that we provide students with opportunities for the future, giving back to our communities.

“We love to see new talent and new technologies coming through because they can change our thinking for the future.”

Year 11 student Alfie Lansdell, 16, is currently studying photography at Ron Dearing UTC and said he was pleased to attend the expo.

He said: “Ron Dearing UTC is an amazing school and the Careers Expo is the best opportunity I’ve ever had. It was a really good experience and I met people from the Army, Royal Air Force and other great companies.”

Fellow Year 11 student Hayden Taylor, also 16, said: “Everyone at the expo was really easy to talk to and it’s nice to be able to look at so many career options in one place.

“It’s better than looking online and searching for jobs and careers on the internet because you can speak to people in person and find out more.”

Ron Dearing students inspired to put life-saving skills into action after completing advanced first aid course

Two Ron Dearing UTC students hope to become Community First Responders after completing an advanced first aid course during their spare time.

Six Year 13 students achieved the Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (FREC3) through training provider Source Solutions UK as part of the professional qualifications the UTC offers in addition to its main curriculum.

They learnt various life-saving skills, including CPR, how to treat burns, crush and spinal injuries, how to administer oxygen and use a defibrillator, and more.

Now, student Marcus Swaby, 18, has applied to become a Community First Responder in the East Riding and fellow student Isabella Acaster, 17, plans to do the same when she turns 18, which is the required age to take up the voluntary role.

Community First Responders aim to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first critical minutes before an ambulance crew arrives. They help to stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives to take over the treatment.

Isabella Acaster and Marcus Swaby both hope to become Community First Responders.


Marcus, who is also Chair of the Ron Dearing UTC Student Board and plans to go to university in September, said: “I absolutely loved the course. It was informative, the teaching was outstanding and the facilities were brilliant. If someone was unconscious in front of me, I feel equipped to save their life.

“I’ve applied to become a Community First Responder and I’m waiting to find out if I’ve been successful.

“Ron Dearing’s massive selling point is giving you the edge and nothing looks better on your CV than being first aid trained. You have the edge if you’re coming into the workplace with these skills.”

All six students have also completed the first aid at work course through Source Solutions UK, which enabled them to move onto the advanced qualification.

Isabella, who plans to begin a degree apprenticeship in September, said: “It was good to build on what we learnt on the first aid at work course and feel confident about stepping in if something to happened to someone.

Marcus Swaby and Isabella Acaster with their certificates.


“It has inspired me to help other people. You can use these skills in the real world and they could be really useful in the future.

“Ron Dearing UTC offers students so many opportunities and they’re there for the taking if you want them.”

Student Lewis Hudson, 18, who also completed the course, is a first aider and fire marshal at the MKM Stadium in Hull and recently offered assistance at the scene of a road traffic accident, while student Robert Kearton, 18, supported a fellow Ron Dearing student who fainted at school.

Fellow students Freya Ilyas and Amarni Welton, both 18, also successfully completed the course.

Lisa Regan, Assistant Principal – Horizons Professionalism, at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re so proud of all the sixth form students who completed the course and delighted to know it inspired them to put their life-saving skills into action.

“We offer lots of additional qualifications and development opportunities to our students and this is just one excellent example of how these opportunities can add to their CVs and skills.”

First student Radio Ron podcast goes live

Ron Dearing UTC students have launched their first podcast capturing a host of interviews, songs and book reviews in a 35-minute episode.

Twelve Year 10, 11 and 12 students have taken up various roles including interviewing, producing, writing, recording and presenting to create the first Radio Ron podcast, supported by artist and West Hull FM Drive Time radio presenter Andy Pea.

The first episode includes the students’ top six favourite songs, an interview with Mark Ollerenshaw, Ron Dearing UTC’s Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare, about the school’s extensive enrichment programme, and a chat with Year 11 student and Hull’s Young Mayor, Amaya Newman.

It also incudes an interview with Brandon Hunt, who appeared on ITV1’s hit TV show Starstruck and speaks to students about mental health and online safety.

Additional content covers book reviews, interviews with former Ron Dearing students who are now graduate apprentices at UTC Founding Partner Reckitt, and an interview with Year 11 student Brad Taylor, who has recently celebrated success in major trampoline competitions.

Year 11 student Ciaran Porter and Year 12 student Imogen Connolly working on the Radio Ron podcast.


Year 12 student Imogen Connolly, 17, who is studying Double Engineering and Maths at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, is an interviewer and producer on the Radio Ron podcast team.

She said: “It’s been a fun and interesting experience and something completely different to what I’m studying.

“I was interviewed on BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Look North when I was younger and I enjoyed the experience, so I put myself forward to get involved in Radio Ron.

“I’m really pleased with the first episode and I’m most proud of the amount of content included and the number of people we were able to interview. I’m really looking forward to everyone hearing it and making future episodes.”

Radio Ron is part of Ron Dearing UTC’s Horizons Cultural Capital programme which promotes culture and creativity and broadening students’ horizons beyond the classroom.

Year 12 student Imogen Connolly is excited to be on Radio Ron.


It is available to listen to via the West Hull FM and Ron Dearing UTC websites.

Chris Berry, Assistant Principal – Horizons Cultural Capital at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m really proud of the work the students have done on this. With great support from Andy, they’ve owned it and it’s a brilliant creative outlet for our students.

“They’re learning additional skills to add to their CVs and gaining confidence along the way. We’re looking forward to Radio Ron becoming a regular feature at Ron Dearing UTC.”

The next episode of Radio Ron will again be created by current students and aimed at the school’s new Year 10 and Year 12 cohort joining Ron Dearing UTC in September.

It will offer advice to new students about making the most of their time at the UTC, how to settle in quickly, equipment needed and more.

Listen to the first episode of the Radio Ron podcast here from 00:01:49:

Ron Dearing UTC mathematicians celebrate success

Maths students at Ron Dearing UTC are celebrating success after one team won a challenging competition and another secured a sought-after opportunity at a prestigious university.

Two groups of four Year 10 students recently entered Maths Feast 2023, a fun educational challenge at the University of Hull, which put their problem-solving and teamwork skills to the test.

The teams completed an “all-you-can-eat feast” of Maths problems in several rounds of the competition, drawing on various skills and strategies as well as improving teamwork and communication skills.

Run by the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme, Year 10 students Harry Walker, Jack Potter, Sophie Lewis and Luke Marshall were crowned the overall winning team of Maths Feast 2023.

Fellow Year 10 students James Caley, Alex Croft, Chloe Barlow and Muhemmed Sajid also competed, with 10 other teams from Hull and East Riding schools also taking part.

All eight Ron Dearing UTC students who took part in Maths Feast 2023. From left, Harry Walker, Jack Potter, James Caley, Muhemmed Sajid, Luke Marshall, Alex Croft, Chloe Barlow and Sophie Lewis.


Jack said: “It was very enjoyable experience and we worked well together. Our hard work paid off and we’re very pleased to win.”

Ron Dearing UTC Maths teacher Lizzie Dommett said: “The judges said our winning team scored very highly across all four rounds. They fought off some tough competition from excellent mathematicians at other schools and we’re really proud of their achievements. They all did so well.”

Year 12 student Lois Stainforth, 16, who studies A-level Maths and A-level Further Maths, was successful in her application in a highly competitive field to attend Christ’s and Trinity Colleges annual Women in Maths residential at the University of Cambridge last month.

The programme targets potential female applicants to Maths courses at top universities. Lois attended lectures and classes taught by Cambridge academics and met current students and admissions staff.

Laura Dobbs, Maths teacher at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It was a wonderful opportunity for Lois to gain an insight into what it’s like to study at Maths at the University of Cambridge.

“She also had the chance to explore Christ’s and Trinity Colleges and take part in social activities and other Maths-related activities alongside the academic lectures and classes.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s new cohort gear up for the year ahead

Ron Dearing UTC’s new Year 10 and Year 12 cohort enjoyed an additional Open Event at the school to find out more about the year ahead and the exciting options available to them.

Hundreds of new Year 10 students who have been offered a place to join the UTC in September heard from key members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team as they prepare to hit the ground running at the start of the new academic year.

Attending with their families, they were given more information about the core curriculum, including English Language and Literature, Maths and Sciences, as well as details on their options for Engineering, Digital and Computing, Art and Design and Photography courses.

The new students heard how they will log all enrichment activities and courses they complete throughout their Ron Dearing journey to demonstrate their level of employability and found out more about the school’s 40-hour working week before meeting individual staff members.

Jay Riley, 13, who attended the event with his dad Adam, said: “I’m really excited to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 in September. There are so many options here and I’d like to study Engineering.”

New Year 10 students meeting Ron Dearing UTC staff.


Adam said: “The way Ron Dearing UTC operates is great. They’re gearing young people up for the world of work and a proper working week. Studying Engineering at this age will put Jay ahead for the future. I’m really pleased for him.”

Phoebe Rackley, 14, is also joining Year 10 at Ron Dearing UTC in September and is looking forward to completing a photography course as one of her options.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to being a Ron Dearing UTC student and think I will love it. I received a digital camera for my birthday and I’m looking forward to using it.”

Prospective Year 12 students who have been offered a provisional place in Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form based on their grades also attended the Open Event, alongside prospective Year 12 students who are interested in Creative, Maths and Science courses but have not yet applied to join in September.

Members of the UTC’s Senior Leadership Team told the students and their families about the outstanding employer-led projects they could work on, the school’s approach to careers, advice and guidance, professional qualifications they could complete and support available to move on to positive destinations once they leave sixth form.

The new Year 10 cohort hearing about the year ahead for them.


They heard more about building their own personal brand and important skills they’ll learn which will underpin their future choices, opportunities for Industry Insight experiences and placements, and the school’s exciting expansion plans.

Ron Dearing UTC is currently undergoing expansion to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following growing demand and will open STEAM Studios within Hull’s former Central Fire Station nearby in summer.

Ruby Morfitt, 15, is already a Ron Dearing UTC student and hopes to achieve the required grades to secure her place in the sixth form in September. She attended the Open Event with her parents, Nicola and Patrick.

Ruby said: “Ron Daring UTC is a great place to learn and the teachers are brilliant because they treat us as young adults. I’ve had a really good experience here so far and I hope it can continue.”

Steve Willacy, Head of School at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We had a fantastic turnout for the Open Event and it was great to be able to meet so many of our 2023 cohort, as well as Year 12 students who have not yet applied, in one evening.

“It’s brilliant to be able to bring them up to speed with what to expect as they prepare to hit the ground running in September. We’re looking forward to another fantastic year ahead.”

A limited number of places are available to join Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form in September. Prospective Year 12 students who would like to join are asked to visit for more information and to apply as soon as possible.

Ron Dearing UTC duo crowned Regional Champions in Formula 1-inspired competition

Two Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC have scooped first place and a string of further accolades in the Regional Finals of the F1 in Schools UK challenge, securing their place on the starting grid of the National Finals later this year.

Mach Racing, comprising of Jess MacLachlan and Mercy McFarlane, competed against various other schools from across the country at the National STEM Learning Centre in York as the latest season of the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition got underway.

They were crowned overall Regional Champions, with their car reaching the end of the track in just 1.333 seconds. In addition, the team also won awards for Lightening Reaction Time, Pit Display, Team Identity and Sponsorship and Marketing in all classes.

Jess and Mercy also competed in the first round of last year’s Formula 1-inspired competition and won the Star Quality: Verbal Presentation Award.

It is the second consecutive year a Ron Dearing UTC team has taken the top spot in the Regional Finals of the competition. The UTC’s Vortex Racing team won first place last year and went on to compete in the National Finals.

From left, Cieran Dowling, Jess MacLachlan, Mercy McFarlane and Glenn Jensen.


Jess and Mercy were accompanied at this year’s Regional Finals by Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, Cieran Dowling, Ron Dearing UTC’s F1 in Schools Coordinator, and Laura Wiles, a member of the school’s Sixth Form Pastoral team.

Jess said: “It feels amazing to win. This journey has been tough but it was all worth it in the end.

“To finally pick up that number one trophy felt fantastic. F1 in Schools has taught us so much and we wanted to give up many times but we’re thankful we persevered.”

Mercy said: “Winning the F1 in Schools Regional Finals was an amazing feeling, proving that dedication and hard work was worth it. It also feels great knowing we have influenced many young students along the way.

“Throughout the competition I’ve become more confident in myself and with public speaking, as well as becoming a better engineer and critical thinker.”

Jess and Mercy at the Regional Finals.


The F1 in Schools challenge sees more than one million schoolchildren from 40 countries take part each year. Each team designs and manufactures and 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 said: “This is an absolutely fantastic achievement for Mach Racing. Not only are they the regional winners but they also picked up awards for the hard work they’ve put in over the last two years.

“We’re extremely proud that two of our aspiring young female engineers have been able to achieve this and we can’t wait for the National Finals later this year. We’re very proud of Jess and Mercy and they should be very proud of themselves too.”

Ron Dearing UTC students travel to Parliament to demand climate change action

Three Year 11 students from Ron Dearing UTC travelled to Parliament to demand climate change action.

Hull’s Young Mayor Amaya Newman and fellow students Josh Bishoprick and Aoife Curran-Smirk, all 16, joined young people from Taunton, Skegness and Suffolk in Westminster Hall to plead with parliamentarians and Government officials to protect their communities from the impact of flooding.

They asked them to accept amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that would help to protect homes from flooding.

The event was organised in partnership with rights and climate group Rights Community Action and creative collective Glimpse as part of the #WeAreHere campaign, which empowers “at risk” local communities across the country to speak out about how they are under threat from climate change.

Chris Berry, Assistant Principal – Cultural Capital at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our students for giving very confident, powerful speeches and holding those in power to account.


Ron Dearing UTC students Amaya Newman, Josh Bishoprick and Aoife Curran-Smirk talking with Government officials.


“They asked intelligent questions and made politicians sit up and listen. They saw politics in action and it has helped them to realise that politics is for young people from Hull, not just for people from other areas.”

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill entered committee stage in the House of Lords on February 20. Baroness Hayman has proposed a ‘community resilience to climate change’ amendment no. 270, responding to the needs of people and places who are facing uncertain and risky futures.

Ron Dearing UTC students shared their stories about the threat posed by climate change and displayed some of their artwork inspired by the Shorelines Hull project.

Shorelines has been running in the city for the last three years and saw Ron Dearing students create a mural with Mexican artist Gustavo Chavez Pavon in December 2021.

Aoife said: “Living in Hull, we already know about the impact of climate change after the catastrophic floods of 2007.

“We think the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is a fantastic opportunity for the government to show they are serious about tackling the climate crisis and the massive impact it has on communities such as ours.”

Josh said: “I don’t want Hull to flood again. Raising awareness on such a grand scale and having my voice heard was the most important part for me.

“We have to take action and it was a really good opportunity to do that. It was a nerve-wracking but liberating experience.”

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy with the Ron Dearing UTC students.


Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy was among the MPs who hosted the event. Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis and Flooding Minister Rebecca Pow MP also attended to listen to the students.

The Ron Dearing students are now preparing to send an open letter to more than 50 MPs in flood risk areas to summarise their climate change thoughts following the event.

Emma said: “It was a pleasure to host this event for the students of Ron Dearing UTC. Hull is in the firing line of climate change-affected flooding from all sides, with increased rainfall, rivers and rising tides.

“It’s vital our young people understand the challenges ahead and learn how they can better effect change through the democratic process. I hope their visit demystifies what goes on in Parliament and opens up new ways for them to lobby for the future they deserve and that we all need.”

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Director of Rights Community Action, said: “It was fantastic to see the students speaking truth to power in Parliament.

“Their heartfelt concern on climate change and commitment to the places in which they live should be a massive boost for changes to the Bill currently going through the House of Lords.

“We need laws that can be relied on rather than policies that can be changed at the drop of a hat and the climate crisis needs long-term solutions in places like Hull and Skegness.

“Our #WeAreHere project, along with our partners Glimpse, is now helping to bring these young people’s voices to Parliament and to make sure they are heard.”

Ron Dearing UTC student set to represent UK at international camp in Argentina

A Ron Dearing UTC student who is part of a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace is set the represent the UK in Argentina later this year.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton, 15, is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.

It supports children and young people to develop their potential as future leaders and active citizens, encouraging them to make a difference in their own communities and across the world.

Members also build global friendships and networks, learning more about human rights, diversity, conflict resolution and sustainable development while promoting friendship and mutual understanding to achieve peace.

George will travel to Argentina as an International Peace Delegate on Boxing Day, December 27, and meet other delegates from across the world at the two-week camp.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.


George, who was inspired to join CISV after his sisters pursued similar paths with the organisation, said: “We talk about what’s happening in our own country, as well as about the environment and global issues.

“Being part of CISV since I was nine years old has given me more confidence to speak in front of large crowds and knowledge of new things happening in the world and human rights. I’ve learnt so much.

“You meet so many different people from different backgrounds and experience their culture. I’m really excited to go to Argentina and do the same there.”

George, who hopes to become an Astrophysicist, Anaesthetist or a Radiologist in the future, has already represented the UK at CISV camps in Portugal, Brazil and Sweden, as well as closer to home in London and Leeds.

He added: “I think people across the world can often be quick to act without thinking about the consequences on the environment and peace relations.

“Being part of CISV helps me to take into account a lot more factors around world issues than I would have done before.”

Founded in 1950, CISV member associations operate in more than 60 countries and over 200 cities around the world.

CISV is a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace


CISV is also an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation  (UNESCO), which promotes world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re incredibly proud of George and the work he is doing to broaden his own horizons while understanding and learning more about important global issues and cultures.

“The skills he is gaining through CISV will help him throughout his entire life, especially as he begins to think about his next steps after Ron Dearing UTC.

“We actively encourage our students to embrace opportunities like this this outside the classroom to enrich their learning and give them new experiences. We’re looking forward to hearing more about George’s trip to Argentina when he returns.”

Ron Dearing UTC students embrace great outdoors in five-day challenge

Sixth form computing students from Ron Dearing UTC took part in a challenging residential trip in the Lake District to boost their confidence, resilience, communication and teamwork skills.

Run by The Outward Bound Trust in Ullswater, the trip saw 10 Year 13 students embrace team-building, orienteering, canoeing and an overnight expedition over five days.

The UTC’s Employer Partners, which offer apprenticeship and employment opportunities to Ron Dearing students each year, encourage teamwork and communication skills in their workforces and the trip was designed to build on those areas to help set students up for the future.

Raft building

Day one of the trip included team-building games, a jog and a swim in the lake, while day two was focused on orienteering. The students were awarded points which could be converted into money to buy materials to build a raft and sail it back across the lake.

They had to plan the route, how to build the raft and establish what kit they’d need to meet the requirements of the challenge.

Day three was the start of the 10-mile expedition, which involved climbing the Seat Sandal fell from Patterdale, staying in a hut overnight, and walking to Glenridding the following day.

The focus was on working as a team, ensuring no one was left behind, and the students ate meals from ration packs.

On top of Sandle Seat
Students at the top of Seat Sandle

Day four saw the students canoe four miles from Glenridding back to the Outward Bound base in Ullswater.

Jason White, Head of Computing at Ron Dearing UTC, and Digital Teacher Robbie Olsen accompanied the students on the trip and completed the activities with them, encouraging and supporting them along the way.

Robbie said: “Some of the students had never done anything like this before and they all gained very valuable skills. They were pushed out of their comfort zones and they all did really well.

“Experiences like this build on the students’ confidence, communication and teamwork skills, which our Employer Partners want to see in their future apprentices.  It’s character-building and it also gives them  wider experiences to include on CVs and discuss during interviews.

“It was a fantastic week and we’re looking forward to taking more sixth form students along for the experience next year.”

The Outward Bound Trust aims to inspire young people to believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible. The charity partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach young people to believe in themselves.

Student Kenzi Wilson at the top of Seat Sandle

Following the trip’s success, it will now become an annual event and another is planned for a further 12 Year 13 students in October.

Kenzi Wilson, 17, said: “It was hard work but I gained a lot from it. It improved my confidence and I found the experience very enriching. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Fellow Year 13 student Layla Richards, 18, said: “The trip taught us how to work as a team and I really enjoyed canoeing. I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Ben Garner, 17, added: “The trip helped me to improve my social skills. I’d like an apprenticeship to become and IT Engineer with one of the school’s employer partners when I leave Ron Dearing UTC. If I can communicate better in a team, it will help me in the future.”