Ron Dearing sporting students shine on regional, national and international stage

Four students from Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) are excelling in their sporting fields, including two representing their country on the world stage.

Year 12 students Zach Hood, Jack Shepherd and Ellie Grayson-White, all 16, and Year 11 student Brad Taylor, also 16, spend much of their spare time competing at the highest possible level in their relevant age categories, setting their sights on sporting success alongside their studies.

Zach is part of the Great Britain Pentathlon Squad for his level of ability in the sport, which includes running, target shooting, swimming, fencing and show jumping. He began competing when he was just seven-years-old, following in his older brother’s footsteps, and is now competing internationally.

Zach finished 15th in the European Championships under 17s category in Poland in June and 32nd in the world in his age group in a further international competition. He also competed in the World Championships in Italy in September, finishing 4th in the relay section alongside a teammate.

From left, Brad Taylor, Zach Hood, Ellie Grayson-White and Jack Shepherd.

 

Zach, who hopes to become an engineer in the future while continuing sport in his spare time, said: “I’m competitive and I like trying to beat what my brother achieved. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far and the World Championships is the highest level competition I can enter at the moment, so I’m very happy with that result.

“Ron Dearing UTC has been so supportive and the staff are really interested in what I’m doing.”

Jack, who is studying Double Engineering and Maths at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, will represent England at the International Ski Federation World School Championships in Turkey in February.

He took up the sport when he was nine-years old-and was later accepted into the English Schools Ski Association Senior Squad, representing England in his age category and training in Norway.

Zach Hood is part of the Great Britain Pentathlon Squad.

 

Jack was placed in the world’s top 15 for his age group in the alpine English Championships in Italy in 2021 and returned to England for the dry ski slope season, finishing first overall for the season in his age category.

Jack, who also represents Wales in his age group, finished third in the 2021 Welsh Championships, third in the British Championships and secured other podium places.

This year, he podiumed 10 times out of the 14 dry slope races he competed in, winning the under 18 Welsh Championships and finishing third in the under 18s British Championships. He was also awarded the 2021 Bridlington Sports and Community Award for Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Jack said: “I’m really proud. My dream is to take dry slope skiing as far as I can while studying, but I’d like a career in engineering. Everyone at Ron Dearing is really pleased for me. I don’t compete in major tournaments or competitions during the school term, as I don’t want it to affect my studies.”

Brad Taylor is taking part in the Yorkshire Regional Trampoline Competition in Bradford.

 

Ellie, who took up figure skating five years ago, began synchro skating in 2019 and competes as part of the Hull Synchronised Skating Team, Northern Starlets, training weekly in Hull and Grimsby.

The team recently competed in the Skate London Synchronised Skating Competition Open at Alexandra Palace in the capital, finishing second out of four teams. They will now go on to compete in Scotland later this month, which will see them progress to the world level of the contest if they are successful.

International competitions will also take place in Nottingham and Sheffield in January and February.

Ellie said: “I’d like to become a marine biologist in the future but be a professional skater in my spare time. I love being part of the team and everyone at school is really happy for me. I’m looking forward to Scotland.”

Ellie Grayson-White competes as part of the Hull Synchronised Skating Team, Northern Starlets.

 

Brad is a trampolinist at Aspire Gymnastics Club in east Hull. He will represent Ron Dearing UTC and his club at the Yorkshire Regional Trampoline Competition in Bradford this weekend, with the chance to compete in Northern Ireland if he places first, second or third.

Brad said: “I’d like to join the Royal Air Force as a pilot in the future and trampolining could be connected to my aspiration to fly.

“The staff at Ron Dearing encourage me in my sport and training. They’ve boosted my confidence enough to make me want to do the competition. I’m really grateful for the support I’ve had and I’m proud to represent my school.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re incredibly proud of Zach, Jack, Ellie and Brad and it’s amazing to have such elite athletes in our Ron Dearing UTC community.

Jack Shepherd, who will represent England at the International Ski Federation World School Championships, in action.

 

“While sport is not the main focus at our school, it is a major part of our extensive enrichment programme and it’s fantastic to see young people who are so passionate about their sport, excelling in their chosen fields.

“Perseverance, determination, high standards and the pursuit of excellence are really important employability skills and participation in these sports is teaching our students skills for life.”

Sixth form students learn importance of health and safety during tour of Ron Dearing UTC’s expansion site

Engineering students at Ron Dearing UTC gained vital health and safety knowledge thanks to the team behind construction of the school’s expansion.

The UTC is currently increasing student places from 600 to 800 to meet growing demand, redeveloping space in the existing school building, and renovating and repurposing the former Central Fire Station next door to the school into a satellite site.

Contractor Sewell Construction invited eight Year 12 students to a “Toolbox Talk” and shared their specialist knowledge on health and safety, showing the students how work on the fire station site is progressing and enabling them to visit the site offices.

Dave Major, Sewell Construction Project Manager led the tour alongside Sean Boynton, Safety, Environmental and Compliance (SEC) Manager and Sewell Quantity Surveyor Richard Hoe.

They spoke about the importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on site, how waste is tracked when it leaves the site, first aid, site inductions and relevant paperwork.

Ron Dearing UTC students learning more about health and safety from Sewell Construction.

 

They also explained how the construction team works with the local community and the measures Sewell Construction puts in place to look after its own workforce and supply chain, including mental health support.

In addition, Dave shared knowledge on erecting scaffolding and controlling dust on site and the students were encouraged to ask questions during the visit.

Dave said: “There’s nothing more important than our people going home safely and our procedures support our teams in achieving this.

“All of these checks and processes ensure we’re as safe as we can be. Safety comes first and everything you do has a risk assessment. It’s about preventing accidents and stopping things from becoming a problem.”

Sewell Construction is planning to hold a further Toolbox Talk focused on sustainability as the project progresses.

The team has recently achieved the business’ highest ever “Considerate Constructors” score of 44 out of 45 during a recent audit on site. The scheme is independently run and supports and guides positive change in the construction industry.

Ron Dearing UTC students on a tour of the school’s expansion.

 

Construction teams are assessed on respecting the community, caring for the environment, and valuing the workforce.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The Toolbox Talk was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience health and safety in the workplace, learning from industry specialists on site.

“As health and safety is the most important part of engineering and the construction industry, it’s vital that the talent of tomorrow has a sound understanding of how it is applied.

“Thank you to the Sewell Construction team and Sean for taking the time to share their knowledge with our students. It was a very valuable experience for all involved.”

Year 12 student Harry Wilson, 16, said: “I learnt a lot from the talk. I didn’t realise how much goes into the planning side of a project, including health and safety, before construction can start. It was really interesting, and I can see how important health and safety is.”

Fellow Year 12 student Skylar Dawson, also 16, said: “There is a lot to think about in health and safety. It’s so much more than I ever realised and very important. I enjoyed the tour and I’m interested to see how the fire station will look when it’s finished.”

Former Ron Dearing UTC students begin apprenticeships with global renewable energy leader

Global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa has employed five apprentices from Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC.

The company, which has world-class wind turbine manufacturing, assembly and logistics operations at Alexandra Dock in Hull, is a Founding Partner of the school and has employed a total of seven apprentices since 2019.

Of those employed this year, four production apprentices are based at the Hull Blade Factory on Alexandra Dock while completing their studies with training and consultancy company CQM, and one construction apprentice is undergoing her training at Airco in Goulton Street, west Hull, before working on offshore wind turbine sites.

Kavin Horncastle, Ben Skoof, Lewis Stevenson and Harvey Atkins, all 18, are completing their two-year production apprenticeships and will rotate around various departments during their training, while Lucy Good, also 18, is completing a four-year construction apprenticeship.

Lewis, who achieved a Distinction in Double Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC and will also bolster his apprenticeship with one day per week at college from next year, said: “I’m involved in preparing the wind turbine blades before they’re fully finished, including repairing moulds and laying fibre glass and filters.

From left, Siemens Gamesa production apprentices Harvey Atkins and Kavin Horncastle, construction apprentice Lucy Good and fellow production apprentices Ben Skoof and Lewis Stevenson.

 

“I knew I wanted an apprenticeship because I want to learn valuable skills on the job while earning money and working in a real life environment is the best place to do that.

“Siemens Gamesa is a great company to work for and everyone is very supportive. I’d like to progress as much as possible here and get a job in the engineering department after my apprenticeship.

“As a Ron Dearing UTC student, I learnt the manufacturing side of engineering alongside the theory, which has really helped me in my apprenticeship.”

Lucy hopes to work as a Wind Turbine Technician on wind farms in countries including Germany and Denmark and is also studying via North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, as part of her apprenticeship.

Lucy, who achieved a Distinction in Triple Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m training to be an electrician to service wind turbines.

“I’m currently learning about health and safety, first aid and working at heights, and I’ve already worked with plugs, sockets and one and two-way circuits.

Construction apprentice Lucy Good is loving life at Siemens Gamesa.

 

“While it’s a male-dominated industry, this hasn’t been a problem for me at all, and I want to travel the world with this job and show that other women can do the same.

“Ron Dearing UTC is a great place to study and I learnt so much which has been transferable to my apprenticeship. I’m really enjoying it so far.”

Siemens Gamesa is a leader in the renewable energy industry, working to provide the world’s best offshore and onshore wind turbines and services.

The company regularly sets employer-led projects for Ron Dearing UTC students, enabling them to learn manufacturing processes as part of their studies.

Staff also volunteer their time to run employability skills workshops, including mock interviews and showing students how to process data to support manufacturing and decision making.

Andy Sykes, Plant Director at Siemens Gamesa, said: “It’s vitally important we engage and inspire the next generation. Our partnership with Ron Dearing UTC is going from strength-to-strength and it gives students a fantastic grounding in readiness for work.

“I was incredibly impressed by the apprentices’ approach and interview skills and it gives me a great deal of confidence that they understand what it takes to be successful.

“The feedback from their managers has been very positive and I’m looking forward to them being able to apply their learning.”

Smart tech company takes on four former UTC students

Four former Ron Dearing UTC students are settling into trainee developer roles after smart tech company Sauce welcomed them to the world of work.

Alan Strauhs, Jake Morris, Sam Osborne and Ellis Calow, all 18, completed a three-month internship at Sauce over the summer and were all promoted to trainee developers as part of a 12-month programme.

If successful, they will then progress to junior software developer roles and continue their careers at the company, based in Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub in the city’s Fruit Market.

Sauce is an award-winning business specialising in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating innovative solutions to key business challenges across multiple sectors to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

Alan, who excelled in Maths and Digital Technology at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, is helping to write codes for apps at Sauce.

Sauce trainee developers, left to right, Alan Strauhs, Ellis Calow, Jake Morris and Sam Osborne, with the company’s Chief Technology Officer John Polling, centre.

 

He said: “My job is going very well and I’ve learnt so much already. It’s very fast-paced and I’m working on real projects for clients.

“Ron Dearing UTC staff treated us as adults and the school replicates a professional working environment, which helped prepare us for work.

“Sauce is a great place to start my career and I hope I can stay. It’s a really good job to secure straight from sixth form and my colleagues provide great support.”

Jake, who also excelled in his Maths and Computer Science studies at Ron Dearing UTC, is involved in coding, quality assurance and testing apps at Sauce.

He said: “Sauce is a great environment to work in and we all work as a team.

“The Computer Science course I studied at Ron Dearing UTC was hands-on and I learnt a lot of skills which are helping in my work, including website and app development, coding, reviewing and testing. It helped me to appreciate user experience and user interface.

Sauce’s new trainees are loving their work.

 

“Technology moves so quickly and can often become outdated. Working at Sauce means you work with the latest technology and you move with it all the time, which I enjoy.”

This is the first time Sauce, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing, has employed a group of students from the UTC and there are plans to offer additional students similar opportunities in the future as its team of more than 30 employees continues to grow.

Former student Lewis Taylor was also employed in a Support Developer role on a short-term contract at Sauce last year before moving on to university.

John Polling, Chief Technology Officer at Sauce, said: “The trainees have done so well so quickly and they’re already contributing to coding on real life projects for clients, which is really impressive and promising.

“The internship gave them chance to showcase their skills before we offered them all a 12-month traineeship.

“They’re all really keen and the fact they’ve all progressed so well gives us even more confidence for employing more students from Ron Dearing UTC in the future.”

Luxinar opens up world of opportunity for 10 former Ron Dearing UTC students

CO2 laser manufacturer Luxinar has employed 10 former Ron Dearing UTC students in a range of apprenticeship roles as the business continues to grow.

Luxinar, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has installed thousands of lasers worldwide for use in a vast range of industries and applications and the company has now taken on apprentices from the employer-led school for the second consecutive year.

The apprenticeships range from Quality Assurance (QA) and Information Technology (IT) roles to workshop positions and a range of general engineering posts based at Luxinar’s headquarters at Bridgehead Business Park in Hessle.

Apprentices in the general engineering positions experience each area of the business on a rotation basis as part of their two-year Level 3 apprenticeships, including manufacturing, service, after-sales, soldering and wiring.

Dan Greenacre, 18, is completing a Level 3 Engineering Technician apprenticeship over three years and also studies at East Riding College one day per week.

Dan, who studied double Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m based in the workshop at Luxinar and I’m making parts for lasers, as well as picking up any repairs for customers. I’m really enjoying the job and being part of a great team.

“Being a student at Ron Dearing UTC helped me to be sure of what I wanted to do. I learnt a lot and the staff were so helpful. I’m looking forward to progressing at Luxinar.”

Aiden Tiffany, 18, is completing a one-year Level 3 Improvement Technician apprenticeship at Luxinar and is supported by Leeds-based external training provider Springfield Training Ltd on a regular basis.

Ten former Ron Dearing UTC students have begun apprenticeships at CO2 laser manufacturer Luxinar. They are pictured with Chris Newman, Luxinar’s Learning and Development Lead, third from right.

 

Aiden, who studied double and single Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “My apprenticeship is going really well so far.

“I work in the improvement team to find solutions to problems and make sure they don’t happen again. I also carry out dispatch inspections on the lasers before they’re distributed.

“I always knew I wanted an apprenticeship because you can learn on the job, combine the theory and practical elements and get paid.

“Ron Dearing UTC supported me to get the qualifications I needed and helped me through the whole application process. Luxinar is a great company to work for.”

Aimee Laws, 19, is completing an 18-month Level 3 IT Technician apprenticeship at Luxinar and is also supported by Springfield Training Ltd.

She studied double Digital Technology and single Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC and is currently coding software to digitise documents connected to the lasers at Luxinar.

Aimee said: “This is exactly what I wanted to do. It’s challenging and a big project for the business but I’m really enjoying it.

Chris Newman, Luxinar’s Learning and Development Lead, with some of the company’s new apprentices.

 

“I learnt coding at Ron Dearing UTC and it has given me a head start in my apprenticeship. Working a 40-hour week at Ron Dearing UTC has also helped with the transition to a working environment. I’m excited for the future.”

Luxinar appointed four Ron Dearing UTC apprentices within the business last year, taking the total number to 14 with this year’s intake.

Chris Newman, Learning and Development Lead at Luxinar, said: “This is the first year we’ve had QA, IT and workshop apprentices because they’re new positions within the business. As we’ve taken on Ron Dearing UTC apprentices before, we knew they’d be up to the challenge and they’ve proven that.

“They’ve arrived with a professional attitude, they’re very friendly and they all have a willingness to learn and ask questions, which is down to the grounding they’ve had at Ron Dearing UTC.

“The feedback from their managers has been excellent. We couldn’t have asked for more and they’re exceeding our expectations, building on their skills and growing in confidence. We’re looking forward to seeing them progress.”

Leading businesses employ dozens of former Ron Dearing UTC students in host of exciting roles

Dozens of former Ron Dearing UTC students have embarked on exciting career paths for the fourth consecutive year, securing apprenticeships and employment with leading businesses.

Sixty-five of the employer-led school’s 127 Year 13 sixth form students secured apprenticeships and 41 went to university, including 14 at one of the prestigious Russell Group universities.

Five students from the Hull school moved on to further education colleges, 16 secured employment and one joined the Armed Forces.

The apprenticeships cover a wide range of roles and skills, from Engineering and Digital to Quality Assurance (QA) and Information Technology (IT), while several students have secured traineeship opportunities in software development positions.

CO2 laser manufacturer Luxinar, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has taken on 10 apprentices this year after employing four in 2021. The company, based at Bridgehead Business Park in Hessle, has installed thousands of lasers worldwide for use in a vast range of industries and applications.

Sauce trainee developers, left to right, Alan Strauhs, Ellis Calow, Jake Morris and Sam Osborne, with the company’s Chief Technology Officer John Polling, centre.

 

Chris Newman, Luxinar’s Learning and Development Lead, said: “We’re delighted to take on a further 10 apprentices from the UTC and they’ve settled in really well.

“They’ve arrived with a professional attitude, they’re very friendly and they all have a willingness to learn and ask questions, which is down to the grounding they’ve had at Ron Dearing UTC.

“The feedback from their managers has been excellent. We couldn’t have asked for more and they’re exceeding our expectations, building on their skills and growing in confidence.”

Smart tech company Sauce, a Major Partner of the UTC, has employed four former Ron Dearing students as trainee developers as part of a 12-month programme following an initial three-month internship this year.

If successful, all four will progress to junior software developer roles and continue their careers at the company, based in Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub in the city’s Fruit Market.

Ten former Ron Dearing UTC students have begun apprenticeships at CO2 laser manufacturer Luxinar. They are pictured with Chris Newman, Luxinar’s Learning and Development Lead, third from right.

 

The award-winning Sauce team specialises in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating innovative solutions to key business challenges across multiple sectors to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

John Polling, Chief Technology Officer at Sauce, said: “The trainees have done so well so quickly and they’re already contributing to coding on real life projects for clients, which is really impressive and promising.

“They’re all really keen and the fact they’ve all progressed so well gives us even more confidence for employing more students from Ron Dearing UTC in the future.”

Global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa, a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has employed five apprentices from the school this year, taking the total number of former UTC students employed since 2019 to seven.

Of those employed this year, four production apprentices are based at the company’s world-class wind turbine manufacturing, assembly and logistics operations at Alexandra Dock in Hull. One construction apprentice is undergoing her training at Airco in Goulton Street, west Hull, before working on offshore wind turbine sites.

From left, Siemens Gamesa production apprentices Harvey Atkins and Kavin (correct) Horncastle, construction apprentice Lucy Good, and fellow production apprentices Ben Skoof and Lewis Stevenson.

 

Andy Sykes, Plant Director at Siemens Gamesa, said: “It’s vitally important we engage and inspire the next generation. I was incredibly impressed by the apprentices’ approach and interview skills and it gives me a great deal of confidence that they understand what it takes to be successful.

“The feedback from their managers has been very positive and I’m looking forward to them being able to apply their learning.”

Leading engineering business Spencer Group, also one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, has taken on 14 apprentices from the school this year. The company has employed 42 apprentices from the UTC in just three years, including 14 in 2019, five in 2020 and nine in 2021.

Former Ron Dearing students now make up a significant proportion of the company’s workforce of more than 300 directly-employed staff.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, said: “As a growing business, it’s essential we bring in and develop young talent and that’s exactly what we’re doing with these exceptional young apprentices.”

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, with Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, left, and Sarah Pashley, Principal at Ron Dearing UTC, right, and 14 new Spencer Group apprentices.

 

Opened in 2017, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

It is currently increasing student places from 600 to 800 to meet growing demand, redeveloping space in the existing school building and renovating and repurposing the former Central Fire Station next door to the school into a satellite site.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re incredibly proud of our track record of supporting students to secure positive destinations when they leave our sixth form.

“This year is no exception and it’s fantastic to see them settling in so well in a range of roles across a variety of sectors.

“Thank you to our staff and employer partners for their continued support and opening up so many wonderful opportunities for our students. They have very bright futures ahead of them.”

Dozens of former Ron Dearing UTC students embrace university life

More than 40 former Ron Dearing UTC students who left the school’s sixth form this year to go to university have settled into studying their degrees.

A total of 41 of the UTC’s 127 Year 13 students moved onto university as their chosen destination, including 14 who secured a place at some of the prestigious Russell Group of universities.

They are studying a wide range of courses, from Prosthetics and Ethical Hacking to Cyber Security, Architecture and Fine Art.

Former Year 13 student Sherry Atkinson-Burton, 18, is studying a four-year degree in Games Design at Leeds Beckett University after excelling in her triple Computing studies at Ron Dearing UTC.

Sherry said: “I’ve always had an interest in games and I’d like to work with businesses within the industry I’ve always followed.

Sherry Atkinson-Burton.

 

“Being a student at Ron Dearing UTC definitely helped me to find the right university course and helped me to build my confidence.

“I have Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and the support and teaching I received from the staff was brilliant. It’s a great place to study and the staff support your ambitions.”

Kian Adams, 18, also left Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form this year and is now studying a three-year Creative Writing degree at Brunel University London.

Kian, who studied double Computing and Maths at the UTC, said: “University is going really well and I’m really enjoying my course.

“I want to become a published author of fantasy and fiction books in the future and this course includes a unit on sci-fi, fantasy and that style of writing, which is why I was drawn to it.

Kian Adams.

 

“Ron Dearing UTC helped me to become more rounded as a person and the staff were really supportive. The teachers have their own specialisms and so much experience, which really helped us as students.”

Fellow former Ron Dearing UTC student Jordan Harwood, 19, is studying a two-year Fine Art foundation degree at Hull College, followed by a further year of study to complete her full degree.

Jordan, who studied Art and Creative Digital at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “My course is great. It’s fast-paced and I can focus on Art while learning something new all the time. I’d really like to get involved in character design, illustration or become an Art Director.

“Ron Dearing UTC prepared me for my course, higher education and for work in the future.

“The style of teaching at the UTC is great because the teachers are so passionate about their subjects. I chose to further my education rather than follow an apprenticeship route because it gives me more time to enhance my skills.”

Jordan Harwood.

 

Haitam Amudi, 18, is also settling in well at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he is studying a four-year degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

His ambition is to become a Prosthetist, making artificial limbs for people with disabilities, improving their mobility and helping them to live as pain free as possible.

Haitam, who studied Maths, Chemistry and Biology in Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form and left in summer, said: “I want to help improve people’s lives and my course is very interesting, covering a good mix of manufacturing and problem solving.

“Ron Dearing UTC helped me to develop my professional skills, including communication and confidence, and the projects we completed helped me to come out of my shell and get me to this point.

“I always knew university was for me. I’m the first person from my family to go to university and I’m really proud of that.”

Haitam Amudi.

 

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “Ron Dearing UTC has a fantastic reputation for engineering, digital and creative studies.

“This year we’ve also seen many students progress into financial, health and other sectors and continue their education at university or other further and higher education establishments, which is great to see.

“We’re really proud of all our students and the paths they’ve chosen and we’re looking forward to following their journeys as they move forward to bright and successful futures.”

Ron Dearing UTC students on the starting grid for national finals of Formula 1-inspired competition

Ron Dearing UTC students have secured their place in the national finals of a global Formula 1 racing-inspired competition.

Two teams from the employed-led school – Vortex Racing and Mach Racing – entered the F1 in Schools challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition, for the first time this year.

Based on the official F1 model, the teams designed and manufactured their miniature cars using specialist computer software. They also developed their brand, time management and budgeting skills, built their social media presence and linked up with businesses to raise thousands of pounds in sponsorship for their teams.

The competition cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a 25-metre track by a nylon wire and raced. They are timed by a computer from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line.

The regional finals of the competition were broadcast on YouTube on October 6 and 7, with the Ron Dearing UTC teams competing against 19 other schools across Yorkshire, the Humber and the East Midlands.

The Vortex Racing team.

 

Vortex Racing were crowned the regional champions and will now compete in the national finals as part of the Autosport International Show at the NEC Birmingham from January 12 to 14, with the chance of qualifying for the world finals.

The team also posted the fastest race time overall in the Yorkshire and Humber region in the first day of the regional finals, with their car achieving 1.234 seconds from start to finish on the track.

The UTC’s Mach Racing team also won the Star Quality: Verbal Presentation Award for the region, which highlighted their ability to engage with the judges while describing their work.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students have worked so hard and it’s fantastic to see their dedication recognised.

“To be crowned regional champions in the first year Ron Dearing UTC has entered the competition is an incredible achievement.

“This is testament to the time and effort they’ve put in and the amazing backing they’ve received from our employer partners other leading regional businesses.

“Well done to both Vortex Racing and Mach Racing. We’re looking to seeing how far Vortex can progress in the next stage of the competition in January.”

As part of their fundraising and networking efforts, both teams held a fundraising event at Porsche Centre Hull at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle earlier this year, which raised thousands of pounds towards offsetting the costs of each team and their potential participation at each level of the competition.

Mach Racing.

 

The event saw more than 100 invited guests meet the teams, listen to their pitches, race F1 in Schools-style cars and take part in a silent auction and raffle.

The teams pitched to potential sponsors, including representatives from the UTC’s employer partners, other leading businesses across the region and the students’ families and friends, about how their logos would be displayed and promoted on an international stage in the competition.

Year 11 student Zach Craig, 15, of Vortex Racing, said: “We’re over the moon with the performance of the team and our car during the regional event. The hard work has paid off and the knowledge we’ve gained will go a long way into our engineering careers.

“We couldn’t have achieved any of this without the amazing support from our sponsors. We’re looking forward to the national finals and can’t wait to make our sponsors and Ron Dearing UTC proud.”

The Vortex Racing sponsors are AJ Building Ltd; Rix Oil; Jupiter IT Support; Cool Hand Luke; Barak Forklifts; Tracy Westwood; G4 Design and Print; House of Townend; Pizza Mama; Influence Media and backers of the silent auction.

Year 13 student Mercy Macfarlane, 17, of Mach Racing, said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to develop my communication skills and my design and manufacture abilities. We’re really proud to have won the award for best verbal presentation and would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support as we look towards next year’s race season.”

The Mach Racing sponsors are ARCO; Tommy Coyle; Siemens Gamesa; Sowden and Sowden; Autodesk and Dresses with Pockets.

Other Vortex Racing team members include Year 11 students Rhyse McCloud, Thomas Jimmeson and Keanu Mkhize, all 15, and Year 13 students Jack Macmillan and Kieran Thompson, both 17.

Mach Racing also include Year 13 student Jessica MacLachlan, 17.

State-of-the-art technology brings future learning space to life for UTC students

Students at Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have been given a high-tech first glimpse of exactly how their state-of-the-art school will look once expansion work is complete.

The employer-led school in Kingston Square has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017. Following significant funding from the Department for Education (DfE), it is increasing student places from 600 to 800 to meet growing demand.

Phase one of the expansion, completed in August, involved remodelling areas of the existing school building to create two new science laboratories, a new science classroom and additional independent study space for sixth formers.

Phase two includes the renovation and repurposing of the former Central Fire Station next door to the school into a satellite site.

Contractor Sewell Construction organised a mixed and augmented reality (AR) tour of the former fire station for the Ron Dearing UTC Student Design and Build Team, who used the latest holographic technology to bring the architect’s plans to life based on a 3D model of the site.

Year 12 students Lleyton Sharpe and Molly Warburton, both 16, being given a high-tech look at the Ron Dearing UTC expansion.

 

They used headsets, hollow lens equipment, tablets and mobile phones to visualise exactly how each area of the building will look, scanning QR codes to pinpoint various parts of the project.

The space was brought to life during the tour, enabling students to digitally feel part of the finished environment.

Mark Boothby, Joint Managing Director of Sewell Construction, which is embedding AR technology across the business, said: “Until this technology became more available, the only way to view the finished outcome was on a fixed screen or wait until it is constructed.

“Now, you can take it to site to compare it to the real-life environment, rather than having to rely on  2D information, and this approach will be used even more widely in the years ahead.

“It’s important for us to show the students where the industry and technology is heading and vitally important they are aware of it. Some of them may want to work in the construction industry and this is showing them the future.”

Sewell Construction gave students at Ron Dearing UTC a mixed and augmented reality (AR) tour of the former Central Fire Station.

 

The ground floor of the former fire station will house a “smart” exhibition centre which will be used by students and the UTC’s employer partners to showcase low carbon technologies and lead the green revolution across the region. It will also double up as a creative exhibition space to host artists in residence, art exhibitions, arts markets and community arts projects.

The first and second floors will be home to STEAM Studios, which will provide the UTC’s fast-growing Creative specialism with three first class art and design studios, a ceramics room, printmaking facilities and two high-tech digital labs. Floor one will also house a brand new Sixth Form Centre.

The project is being carried out with a strong emphasis on sustainable construction practises, making use of green technologies to bring the former fire station back to life and ensure it is transformed into a vibrant, low carbon building.

Year 12 student Molly Warburton, 16, used both mixed and augmented reality (AR) technology during the tour and saw the former fire station brought to life as a working learning environment.

She said: “I could see a creative studio through the lens and I was really impressed by the level of detail. It’s a really exciting time for Ron Dearing UTC and it’s brilliant to see how the fire station will look when it’s finished. The tour was really interesting and a great opportunity for students.”

From left, Year 12 students Lleyton Sharpe and Molly Warburton, Mark Boothby, Joint Managing Director of Sewell Construction, Amie Mangham, Assistant Design Manager at Sewell Construction, and Dave Major, Project Manager at Sewell Construction.

 

Fellow Year 12 student Lleyton Sharpe, 16, who hopes to secure an engineering apprenticeship in the future, said: “The tour was really good because it’s teaching us additional skills using new technology and helping us understand more about sustainability. You don’t often see this side of a building project.

“The expansion will be great for students in the future and I think more people will want to come and learn at Ron Dearing UTC.”

Work to expand Ron Dearing UTC began earlier this year after Hull City Council gave the go-ahead for the plans. Hull Esteem Consortium LEP Ltd is acting as project managers on the expansion scheme, Space Architects drew up the plans and BuildingPoint UK and Ireland provided the technology for the student tour.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The tour showcased the importance of learning digital skills to open up further opportunities in the future and support students into exciting careers in the creative, construction, digital and renewables industries.

“Our creative pathway is in high demand and we’re delighted we’ll be able to accommodate so many more Year 12 students in such wonderful, purpose-built, creative facilities.

Work is underway to transform the former Central Fire Station.

 

“The additional space and specialist facilities also means we can increase the number of creative qualifications we can offer, including A-levels in Graphics and Product Design in addition to the Photography, Fine Art and iMedia courses we already run.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged from 14 to 19 and offers a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

The expansion will enable an additional 200 students to study Level 3 qualifications in engineering, creative and digital and provide local industry with additional highly skilled and qualified potential employees every year.

Prospective students learn more about Ron Dearing UTC in first of three open events

Hundreds of prospective students attended an open event at Ron Dearing UTC to find out more about the Ofsted-‘Outstanding’ rated school and view its first class facilities.

Students who hope to join the UTC in Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2023 turned out for the first of three open events, meeting the team, employer partners and current and former students while hearing more about the unique employer-led curriculum.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and Head of School Steve Willacy told students and their parents and carers about the support and opportunities the school’s employer partners offer students and how they help shape the curriculum in line with skills they want to see in their future workforces.

They also outlined how Ron Dearing UTC students follow a 40-hour working week, with homework scheduled into their school days, and how professional behaviours are instilled in the students from the moment they join, giving them the edge in their future careers.

Sarah highlighted the school’s extensive Enrichment and Cultural Capital programme, which encourage students to broaden their horizons and grow to become happy, confident and well-rounded individuals who appeal to employers and universities.

Prospective students, their parents and carers at the Ron Dearing UTC open event.

 

She said: “In addition to the qualifications students follow, we encourage them to participate in a wide breadth of experiences which help them to develop wider interests and discover who they are and how they fit into the world we live in.  We want them to develop their ‘personal brand’ and be able to talk about this articulately.

“This makes them very attractive to universities and employers alike. It also and also puts them in a good position to set up their own businesses, if they wish.”

Attendees heard about the UTC’s exceptional exam results and the positive destinations students have moved onto since leaving the school.

Sarah said: “We know that what we’re doing works because Ofsted rated us as Outstanding and were unable to identify a single improvement area. It was great to get such a strong stamp of approval.

“The Ofsted feedback we’re most proud of is that inspectors told us that every student they spoke to said staff at our school really care about them – and we do.”

Creative students at Ron Dearing UTC.

 

As well as sharing information about the range of GCSEs, A-levels and technical qualifications on offer, Steve highlighted less traditional opportunities available to sixth form students, including driving lessons and health and safety, first aid and Microsoft qualifications.

Violet Cook, 13, hopes to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 next year and attended the open event with her mum, Sarah, and sister Hermione, 15, who is a Year 11 student at the school.

Violet said: “Ron Dearing UTC seems like a really good school and the staff treat you like an adult. I’m interested in photography and the creative side of learning and I like the thought of learning in a professional working environment.”

Hermione said: “Ron Dearing UTC has really helped me to grow as a person, not just in education. I’ve met so many nice people and been given many opportunities.”

Mackenzie Dennison-Buchan, 15, hopes to join Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form next year and attended the open event with his parents, Tracey Dennison and Dave Buchan.

Prospective students found out more about the employer-led curriculum at Ron Dearing UTC.

 

Mackenzie said: “Ron Dearing UTC has really good exam results and job success for students. I’m interested in mechanics and it’s great to meet the employer partners. I’ve already applied for a place at the UTC and I hope I’m successful.”

Ron Dearing UTC is currently undergoing expansion to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following growing demand.

Work to remodel the existing school building is now complete and work is underway to transform the former Central Fire Station next door to the school into a satellite school, which is due to open in June 2023.

There are 150 places for Year 10 students to join Ron Dearing UTC in September 2023 and 200 places available in Year 12. More than 5,000 students are eligible to apply in each year group.

Visit www.rondearingutc.com/apply to apply and find out more.