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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”