UTC on track for September 2017 opening

16th March 2016
UTC on track for September 2017 opening

In the build-up to UTC Day, which takes place Friday 18th March, SGS College would like to share with you an update on the proposed University Technical College (UTC) that is scheduled to open at Berkeley Green, Gloucestershire in September 2017 and is sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

It is just over one year, 11 March 2015, since the announcement that a UTC could proceed to the Pre-Opening stage. The UTC team is delighted to report that the project is on track for opening in September 2017.

So far to date, the UTC team has:

• 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; with a decision expected in March with building work starting over the summer.

• 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.

Public Consultation

The statutory consultation for the proposed SGS Berkeley Green UTC, ran between 10th June 2015 and 22nd July 2015.  The consultation documents were widely distributed and there were 89 responses to the questionnaire in total.  The plans were very well received, with 85% of people expressing support for the proposed UTC.

Working Together

The team hopes to develop a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with schools being able to:

• Access UTC resources to enable more pupils to experience real life employer issues and to appreciate employers’ needs for young talent.

• Benefit from support for teacher and staff development by providing joint workshops vocational innovations and enhancements.

• Consider sharing the delivery of curriculum including vocational and employability elements.

Overview of the Curriculum

The curriculum is being designed to enable those students who wish to achieve the English Baccalaureate, pre-16 and/or the Technical Baccalaureate post-16.

Key Stage 4

Core Curriculum includes:

• English language and English Literature.
• Mathematics.
• Science.

Science is offered as a triple award in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or a Double Award in Science at GCSE, in which case the student can then select an additional option from Geography, Computer Science, or a modern foreign language (Spanish).

Students will also follow a technical specialism including industry-led qualifications, choosing from two core options:

• Information and Creative Technology at an appropriate level OR
• Engineering and Product Investigation at an appropriate level.

Students may then choose a further GCSE from: 

• Computer science.
• Humanities: Geography and/or Business Studies.
•  a modern foreign language (Spanish).
• Design Technology: Graphics.
• Technical qualification such as ECDL.

Also students will follow a range of enrichment and skills qualifications, including:

• PSHE and enrichment, which will include the statutory RE curriculum requirements, and as we expand, Mandarin, French and German.
• Enterprise and entrepreneurship qualifications.
• Other professional and relevant qualifications and accreditations; these may include project management and business improvement qualifications; the Duke of York Silver Award.

Key Stage 5

There will be a choice of two flexible pathways to suit the expected intake of students at year 12:

Pathway A, a ‘classically academic’ pathway, provides a flexible curriculum model with 3 or 4 A level qualifications at its core, from a choice of Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Product Design, Psychology and Computer Science.  A single vocational qualification in either Information Technology or Engineering will also be an option on this pathway.

Pathway B, a high achieving, flexible and vocationally focused route, will centre on the students taking an extended Vocational level 3 qualification in either Information Technology or Engineering.  The route does allow for a student to take an A level qualification, including A level Maths or Core Maths which will access the TechBacc qualification.

The Information Technology route will provide opportunities to specialise in:

• Cyber security.
• Programming.

The Engineering route will provide opportunities to specialise in:

• Engineering.
• Advanced Manufacturing.

As part of either pathway, students will be able to opt for a Business qualification studied within the project-based approach, and will be able to undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), supported through tutorial, independent study time and personal development as well as in their project-based learning time.

Students may also take industry qualifications such as a Cisco, Microsoft or Adobe Certified Qualifications, the Duke of York qualification, and other industry standards as appropriate and as they become available. 

Employer partners have been consulted and recommend that project management and business improvement qualifications – such as EAL’s Business Improvement Techniques (BIT), PRINCE and Association of Project Management courses – are included in these options.

How to Find Out More

Please visit the website www.berkeleygreenutc.org.uk or email Clare Wilson at: clare.wilson@sgscol.ac.uk.

People can also register interest on the website to receive further updates on the UTC.

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