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.
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.”
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.
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.