The SGS Berkeley GREEN University Technical College for learners from 14-19

11th March 2016

It is just over a year since the announcement that our application to form the SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College (UTC) could proceed to the Pre-Opening stage and we are delighted to report that the project is on track for opening in September 2017.

So far to date, we have:
  • Held a public consultation on the proposed new UTC specialising in Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Technologies including Cyber Security
  • Confirmed the location of SGS Berkeley Green UTC at the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, Berkeley
  • Made a planning application to build a 5000m2 bespoke centre; we anticipate a decision by early March with building work starting over the summer, ready for opening in September 2017
  • Confirmed the planned curriculum as part of our Education Plan
  • Held a series of successful open events for employers, parents and young people, as well as half term taster days, generating interest from over 300 young people

So what will learners study if they join the UTC at age 14?

If a young person joins the UTC at year 9, they will study the same national curriculum they would study at any other secondary school and achieve the same number of GCSE qualifications. What makes the SGS Berkeley Green UTC different is that due to the extended day, learners also study technical qualifications in either Engineering or IT and project management qualifications alongside their GCSE programme and also undertake a large number of employer designed projects enabling them to be more work ready on completion of their time at the UTC.

The aim of the UTC is to develop young people with the skills need by local employers in Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Technologies with at least 40% of the curriculum pre-16 and 60% of the post-16 curriculum spent on vocational skills development in addition to the students taking vocational qualifications.

What does the UTC curriculum look like at ages 14 and 16?


So how can employers get involved with the UTC?

There is a real opportunity for local employers to be involved and to help us design and deliver the right vocational experience for the students. Employers can support this vital skills development of our local young people by:

  • Employers can help to shape the curriculum and:
    • Work with us to identify the best vocational learning experience for young people to meet the skills needs of your sector
    • Help to define the optional elements to give young people the required broad knowledge base to support their career development within in these sectors
  • Sponsoring real life projects such as:
    • Year 10 students gain practical experience of how Fire and Security controls - intruder alarms and access controls work through developing aspects of a complex system by working with and visiting a local employer
    • The UTC will have a 'dirty lab' so that students can simulate attacks from hackers and test measures against viruses in a secure environment
    • 'Amphibious Vehicle Design Project', a year-long cross-year-group challenge to design and manufacture a radio-controlled amphibious vehicle to transport a box of eggs across the Berkeley Pill (the local estuary).
    • The Big Design, year-long all aged project, such as one focused on paintballing. We have an ideal site to construct a layout for 'urban' paintballing and combat simulation. The SGS College army cadet force will be the 'customer' for the project and students will work on a wide range of employer-led projects linked to the specialisms, such as Identify Friend or Foe (IFF); design/manufacture of uniforms/body armour/protective gear; intruder alarms; infra-red sensors
  • Hosting of placements
    • Provide either block or thin placement for students, which is an opportunity for students to understand how their vocational learning meets your industry's needs
  • Participating in co-delivery
    • Supporting the development of key younger members of your staff by them acting as mentors to the students
    • Leading the learning delivery for particular applied aspects of the curriculum
    • Supporting the development of UTC's teaching staff in bespoke industrial innovations and developments

Please contact Clare Wilson, clare.wilson@sgscol.ac.uk for further information.

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