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UTC Reading newsletter March 2016

Welcome to the March edition of the UTC newsletter. Take a look at the range of exciting activities that have been taking place throughout the past month.

Skills training prepares students for next steps

During the half term break, a large group of our sixth form students took part in “Skills Training Week”.

The four training days were delivered by our industry partners, with the aim of helping students to prepare for their next steps after leaving the UTC.

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Kier present valuable opportunity to UTC Reading students

On Thursday 4 February, UTC Reading students were visited by Ian Dickerson, Head of Funding for Kier Group. Ian introduced Kier’s sponsored degree programmes with Sheffield Hallam University, giving students an insight into one of the ways in which they could join the company after completing their UTC education.

This form of recruiting students is becoming increasingly popular amongst employers who value hands-on experience as a means of developing young talent in their organisation, whilst supporting them with a first-class education. We were very excited to hear about the programme and hope to see some UTC Reading alumni taking up this fantastic opportunity next year.

First Revit qualification at UTC Reading

Katie Munday, Year 13 student, took an exam during Skills Training Week that has led to her becoming the first student to receive a Revit qualification at UTC Reading. Congratulations, Katie!

Katie, who is aiming to become an Architectural Technologist in the near future, said: "I'm proud to have achieved and been rewarded with my Autodesk Revit qualification. I'm very pleased to have been given the opportunity to learn Computer Aided Design at UTC Reading.

“I independently committed to studying and developing my ability in Revit to support my chosen engineering project. This process has enhanced my knowledge of Building Information Modelling and I hope these fundamental skills will support me in my future career as an Architectural Technologist."

UTC Reading delivers first Microsoft MTA exams for industry partners

On Friday 12 February, eight John Lewis employees sat a Microsoft MTA exam at UTC Reading. This followed a one-week training course delivered by the UTC. All eight employees passed the exam first time - congratulations to a great industry partner!

Chartered Institute for IT holds first Codeathon at UTC Reading

The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) held their first Codeathon at UTC Reading on Saturday 6 February. Teams from the UTC, University of Reading and BCS members competed to build an app in one day.

Each team of four people had to think of and implement their own ideas with no instructions. One group from UTC Reading received an award for the most ambitious idea, an isometric randomly generated networked maze game.

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In the driving seat for F1 in Schools

UTC Reading has been busy with F1 in Schools in more ways than one over the last few weeks.

Five local primary schools joined a regional heat of F1 in Primary Schools at the UTC on Tuesday 9 February.

Meanwhile, the UTC’s F1 in Schools teams took part in a regional final at Stamford Bridge Football Stadium on Wednesday 2 March. Two teams from the UTC competed; The Green Machine, which consisted of four Year 13 students and a Rookie Class (beginner) team of four Year 10 students called Servants of Speed.

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UTC Reading hosts third chocolate factory challenge

UTC Reading hosted a “Children and the Chocolate Factory” event for primary schools for the third time on Tuesday 23 February. The aim of these events is to give pupils a taste of engineering and raise awareness of the role engineers play in our lives.

Pupils were tasked with working in groups to build a tower, before designing and building a mini-network of water pipes to supply a fictional group of customers, including a chocolate factory. Their work was finally put to the test using water.

Liz Banks, from Thames Water’s education team, said: “It has now been our third of these events and we have had some great feedback from the teachers and pupils who really enjoyed getting stuck into engineering.”

The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were very keen to get involved throughout the day. It was a great success and we are already looking forward to the next!

Prize visit for UTC Reading’s winning drone team

Following last term’s Big Data Project with Peter Brett Associates (PBA), the winning team revealed its innovative emergency drone to the Institute for Environmental Analytics as part of their prize.

The students designed the drone to take instant aerial shots at the scene of an accident or disaster, sending information to emergency control centres to inform decisions on which 999 and specialist units to deploy and where.

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Students inspired by maths event

A group of Sixth Form UTC Reading students joined a Maths Inspiration Event at the Hexagon Theatre on Monday 29 February.

The presenters and guest speakers were among the top mathematicians and engineers in the country. The students thoroughly enjoyed their talks, which were humorous as well as educational and focused on how students’ maths skills can be used in the real world.

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Industry visit for Computer Science students

A group of Year 12 computer science students recently spent the day at Oracle, hosted by Paul Hendrick (Principal Advanced Support Development Engineer, Performance Diagnostics).

Students heard from a number of speakers, including a graduate recruitment programme representative, about their jobs and some of Oracle’s projects, software and hardware.

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UTC Reading students build bridge with professional engineers

On Monday 29 February, 27 Year 10 pupils at UTC Reading took part in a bridge-building challenge led by a group of professional engineers.

Peter Brett Associates sent three engineers to the UTC to give pupils the chance to experience life as a civil engineer, as part of the Institution of Civil Engineers Bridges to Schools programme.

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Intermediate Mathematics Challenge 2016

A group of Year 10 and Year 11 UTC Reading pupils recently took part in the UKMT Intermediate Mathematics Challenge.

Christopher Long and Andrei Chirovici were amongst the top 10% of students who took part in the challenge nationally and have received gold certificates. They have been invited to take the next round for European Kangaroo.

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Geography students plan trip to Snowdonia

A group of UTC Reading geography students will be going on a trip to Snowdonia next October.

Students will be given the opportunity to fully participate in an extended fieldwork experience with qualified instructors, helping them to complete the fieldwork element of their GCSE coursework.

Whilst in Snowdonia, pupils will be following their programme on River Studies on the Afon Conwy or Afon Nant Peris, collecting the necessary data for their work.

Overseen by UTC Reading Geography Teacher Nicola Gibson, students will be responsible for planning their route and timings for the journey, ensuring they have complete kit lists and ensuring all staff, parents and other students have the information they require.

We look forward to hearing how they have got on.

Key dates and events

For an opportunity to meet the Principal and tour the UTC, please register for our next Open Morning for new parents:

Tuesday 15 March, 9-10:30am

Keep in touch

You can also keep up to date with the latest developments of UTC Reading through our website and social media channels:

Twitter: @UTCReading


  • Active Learning
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of Reading
  • Network Rail
  • Peter Brett