UTC Warrington students are celebrating their GCSE results, which have seen a significant improvement from the previous years’ grades, as the college continues to raise the bar in STEM education.
The University Technical College, which was awarded a Good Ofsted grade earlier this year, has seen milestone achievements in its latest GCSE results, including English, Maths and Science. The grades are only the college’s second set of results and already there have been a positive increase in the number of students achieving a Grade 4 or above in core academic subjects.
Students studying separate sciences have benefitted from high-quality teaching, with 92% of students achieving a Grade 4 and above in Physics, whilst over 86% of those studying the specialist Principles of Engineering course also secured top grades.
Lee Barber, Principal & Chief Executive of the UTC, says that the combination of employer-led learning and good quality teaching has helped students secure a good set of results.
He said: “We have seen a noteworthy increase in the number of students achieving a Grade 4 or above in key academic and technical subjects. Our Year 11 leavers joined us in our second year and since then we have delivered an excellent programme of employer-led learning and an improved quality of specialist teaching across the college.”
“Throughout the last twelve months, UTC students have had over 90 employer engagement opportunities; that’s 1 in 2 days where a local business or employer partner has interacted with our students. There is no doubt in my mind that this level of employer activity has been crucial in motivating students to achieve the best possible grades.”
Latest research from University Technical Colleges has found that nearly 1 in 3 students have thought about how specialist subjects will influence their career and more than a fifth of students said that they would have benefitted from more contact with local employers whilst at school.
Earlier this year, UTC Warrington was praised by Ofsted for changing the perspective of education amongst their students. Mr Barber said: “We have students who chose the UTC for a fresh start and, in some cases, have been disengaged at their previous education. With the support of employers and a passionate staff team, we have shown that we can change their approach to education, provide them with experiences they may never have had before and, most importantly, ensure they are ready for the world of work with a good set of results.”
One of those students who has transformed during his time at the UTC is George Guilfoyle, who secured Grade 4 in English and Maths. He says that he was given a fresh start and dealt without judgement by staff at the college.
He said: “I didn’t do well in my old school and the UTC gave me a chance at a fresh start. I’ve had good support from the staff at the college and I wouldn’t have achieved these grades in my old school.”
High achievers included Daniel Neve, who secured Grade 9s in Maths, Physics and Computer Science as well as high grades across core and technical subjects. He is going on to study the new Cyber Computing course in September. Daniel says that the UTC’s specialist subjects have helped him follow his understand new aspects of STEM, including cyber and computing.
He said: “I chose UTC Warrington because I wanted more experience in Engineering and I saw the opportunities available at the college. The curriculum is focused and you can study what matters to you. It’s been great to gain relevant work placements, good careers support and meeting like-minded people.”
Amber Thomason secured top grades and is now looking ahead to her future in the Science and Engineering sectors.
She said: “I am looking to either study Architecture at University or secure a Degree Apprenticeship with Sellafield. The UTC has helped me focus on my future career and I am looking forward to returning to sixth form to study BTEC Engineering and A Level Maths.”
Will Arnold, who also joined in 2017, has secured an apprenticeship with Wood PLC.
He said: “I chose to get an apprenticeship since becoming interested in Engineering and the college has helped me secure an apprenticeship with Wood PLC. The UTC is more personal than my previous school and I have been given more opportunities to build my character through leadership and cadet activities.”
UTC Warrington is hosting two showcase open events in September for prospective Year 10 and Year 12 students:
- Thursday 12th September, 5.30pm – 8.00pm
- Saturday 28th September, 10.00am – 12.30pm