How long have you been at the UTC for?
I’ve been at the UTC for over three years now, and I’ve loved my experience of teaching here. No day is the same here, which makes it incredibly interesting.
How did you get into teaching?
Previously, I worked in Investment Banking for a few years, which provided me with some valuable knowledge; however, I felt like I was ready for a change. I was interested in a career that was more interactive and varied, and teaching felt like the right next step for me. I love working with people and wanted to make a difference to the students’ lives. Since 2010, I’ve worked as a teacher, learning all about the education sector and developing my knowledge in my subjects.
Why did you decide to start teaching at a UTC?
I saw how UTCs stood out compared to other schools, as they offered a range of exciting technical specialisms, alongside GCSEs and A Levels. I was interested in exploring a new subject and preparing students for their future careers. Teaching at a UTC seemed like it would be a great opportunity to work alongside others who are passionate in their fields.
What do you think are the strengths of a UTC?
UTCs have strong relationships with employer partners, which benefits students, as they get an insight into the real world of work. They also provide students with excellent technical qualifications, valuable knowledge, and transferable skills for industry. Another strength of UTCs are that they are typically smaller, so everyone knows each other, which is a friendly environment to be in. There’s access to industry-standard equipment that helps with projects, and it feels like a real business environment.
What is the most enjoyable thing about teaching your subject?
Computer Science and IT are quite challenging subjects, so it’s really rewarding to see students achieve and accomplish a project or task that they found difficult. My subjects encourage students to think outside the box, so I enjoy pushing them to reach their potential. It’s interesting experiencing how each individual tackles a problem, and I like seeing a range of different ideas and solutions that my students come up with.
What kind of projects do the students work on in your subject?
Our sixth form students have been set a project by Fujitsu called Operation Innovation, where they have to work in teams to invent the next solution for Education or Healthcare. My teams came up with new products, including an automatic hand sanitiser and a new mobile phone app. Our projects encourage students to come up with ideas for real problems in the world, which helps to prepare them for their future careers. Fujitsu have been incredible to work with in our Cyber Science specialism, as they help students to understand what to expect when working in industry.
What skills do students develop from studying this specialism?
Students gain problem-solving skills, resilience, independence, and team-work skills. They have learnt how to stay self-motivated when working on their projects, particularly during this challenging period, which is a really important skill to have.
What has been your highlight of working here?
My highlight was my second year of working here, when we rolled out a new PSHE Programme, which was based around the motto ‘Excellence and Kindness’. This helped us to develop the culture here at the UTC, to make it a positive environment to be in, and it’s an ongoing goal. This has been mentioned in our previous Ofsted reports, which is an excellent achievement for us.
What are your goals for the department?
I aim to provide innovative and exciting lessons and a good quality education for my students, so they feel prepared to enter the next chapter of their life, after finishing at the UTC.