We believe that students need a varied and interesting learning experience. At GPUTC our students will experience tutor-led seminars, develop effective individual learning techniques, experience working life with our employer sponsors and practise what has been learnt during work based projects. An average week at GPUTC will be built around such projects as they provide the ideal opportunity for our students to reflect on the real challenges that our sponsors and partners face on a daily basis. The projects provide our students with the practical understanding of the theory that forms the basis of each module. We feel it is such an exciting opportunity to have employment-driven qualifications which are vital once you leave education. That said, you can expect to leave GPUTC well qualified and with a portfolio of ‘work experience’ on your CV.
The vision for teaching and learning
The UTC’s approach to learning and teaching will be applied, practical and explicitly set within the context of the UTC’s technical specialisms wherever possible, within both core and technical learning. Teaching and learning will be collaborative activities with staff and teams of students working together to support each individual’s learning and achievement. Learning will increasingly be blended across disciplines as the UTC develops, while also supporting academic rigour. Employer-led challenge projects are at the centre of the UTC’s curriculum and they will provide the framework for exploring and developing knowledge and skills within the technical learning programme and will enable students to apply their core learning in practical contexts. In addition to this there will also be a commitment to the enrichment programme and the development of technical, employability and personal skills.
Rationale for the curriculum
The curriculum provides a broad, general education alongside strong technical learning and skills. The focus on applied and contextualised learning provides an alternative to the traditional approaches available in schools and one that is co-designed and implemented with employers, PRC and ARU to match the wide range of needs and to facilitate a corresponding range of progression routes. The approach to learning is holistic and integrative with employer-led challenge projects at the centre of student learning. Core learning, e.g.in mathematics and science, will not take place in isolation but will increasingly be integrated with technical learning. There will be a clear line of sight to the real, practical engineering context that will be the hall-mark of the UTC. The practical application of students’ learning at the UTC will be explicit and students will know that their learning and qualifications have high ‘exchange value’ with local employers and universities because these organisations have co-designed and co-delivered the curriculum.
Project-based learning (PBL)
Students will work in teams tackling problems relating to engineering, the built environment, sustainability, business and enterprise. Projects will generally last from 6-8 weeks and cover key engineering and/or built environment content whilst also developing employability skills. In the UTC there will be a broad range of teaching and learning activities, including some traditional “lessons”, lead lectures, master-classes and briefing/seminar sessions to introduce new topics and launch projects. Students will be coached by GPUTC tutors and supported by mentors from employers, ARU, PRC and other partners.
Project-based learning is central to the approach to learning within the technical curriculum. GPUTC will develop the pedagogy of PBL which will be central to the UTC’s approach to teaching and learning across subjects in Key Stage 4 and post-16.
It is not intended in the initial years of the UTC to fully integrate core subjects and the technical curriculum. Core subjects will have ‘dedicated’ timetabled lessons to ensure effective delivery and time to achieve examination qualifications in the relatively short period of time that the UTC students will have after joining. Over time as new programmes of study are developed it will be intended to achieve greater integration between the core and technical programmes.
A personalised approach to learning
Each student will have an Personal Development Plan which will be reviewed regularly to ensure that their individual needs are being met and their learning and achievement are maximised. CEIAG (Careers education, information, advice and guidance) will be provided to every student focused on his/her needs, interests and aspirations. Diverse progression routes will be available encompassing apprenticeships, higher education, further education and employment with training.
Personal Development Plans for every student will regularly be discussed and reviewed between staff, students and parents/carers with individual support matched to individual need from learning support staff, industry and university mentors and staff from GPUTC’s partners. iSAMs (Management Information System) will be used to track and analyse individual learning, review progress and plan next steps and to share information and progress with students and parents/carers
The Enrichment Curriculum will enable each student to discover and develop their interests in areas linked to the specialisms as well as other complementary areas.
Some students may choose to leave the UTC at the end of Key Stage 4 to focus on craft/trade skills and this will be facilitated by a transition to Peterborough Regional College (PRC) and its FE and apprenticeship offer, or other post-16 providers, to meet the needs of students. Older students from the UTC will choose to pursue a higher education programme and this will be supported through high quality IAG, helped by the close links with ARU. Through the close involvement of employers, who see clearly that the UTC contributes to the talent pool for them and their sectors, students will be in an unparalleled position to capture the opportunities that exist in GPUTC’s areas of specialism.
GPUTC students will develop key technical skills within engineering and the built environment and also the employability skills required by today’s employers. When students leave GPUTC, they will be “work-ready” and as a result they will be the employees and students of choice for employers, universities, colleges and other providers.
What is Qualifications Plus [QP]?
Qualifications Plus permits our students to leave us with a set of distinct advantages over other young people who have had a more traditional education. Through our employer projects, vocational education, leadership training, critical thinking and increased exposure to the realities of the world of work and higher education you will develop a portfolio of skills and achievements that will be accredited by a number of external bodies. You can take this record with you to interviews as proof of the extra achievement you have attained. This gives you a much better chance of demonstrating how you have put the effort into your broader development and how ready you are for that important next step.
As well as the core subjects you will be studying, the curriculum for all students includes:
- Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)
- Information, advice and guidance (Including careers and progression)
- Enrichment programmes
- Extended Project Qualification
- Philosophy and Ethics