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First ever cohort of Year 7 students at Greater Peterborough UTC relishing unique learning experience

The inaugural cohort of Year 7 students at Peterborough’s only specialist technical provider, Greater Peterborough UTC, have taken the unique expeditionary learning offer in their stride.

Greater Peterborough UTC welcomed the first 60 students in this year group at the start of this term and interest in joining next year’s cohort is already very high.

Expeditionary Learning, which is centred around ‘Learning by Doing’, places a strong focus on creative student thinking. The first programme completed by the students was ‘Our Planet’.

The question posed to the students was: “Are we heading towards another extinction-level event?”. Learning was centred around this topic and included studying the Black Death plague, greenhouse gases, ecosystems, the biological composition of animals and plants, and sequences and patterns that could be used to track a pandemic.

Brina Felks, Head of Year 7 at Greater Peterborough UTC which is part of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), said: “Everyone who is part of the Greater Peterborough UTC community — staff, students, parents and our industry sponsors — are working together this year to ensure the learning expedition is a success. It has been fantastic to see the enjoyment, enthusiasm, and achievements of our young people throughout the module.

“Expeditionary Learning blends different subject curriculums into a single authentic approach to learning and sees our students hypothesise, conduct research, problem solve, and engage in rigorous study and analysis. This innovative and engaging process allows our young people to embark on an educational journey, with a focus on real-life problems facing today’s world.”

Sam, a Year 7 student at Greater Peterborough UTC, said: “The aspect that I enjoy the most about expeditionary learning is that after every expedition we get to use our creative imaginations to make authentic outcomes that result in some amazing outcomes and pieces of engineering.”

The learning is supplemented by visits from businesses and organisations. For the ‘Our Planet’ programme, representatives from The Royal Navy visited the Year 7 group to discuss how they would respond to different scenarios including natural disasters.

At Greater Peterborough UTC students study STEM specialist, GCSE, A Level, BTEC and AQA Technical qualifications to prepare them for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Greater Peterborough UTC has already received a number of applications from Year 6 students looking to join the school next year. This interest was on the back of a successful open day held earlier this term where more than 100 families attended.

David Bisley, Principal of Greater Peterborough UTC, said: “It has been wonderful to see this cohort of Year 7s settle in so well and jump right into their study. At Greater Peterborough UTC, we aim to provide an outstanding educational experience that will equip our students with the technical skills and practical work experience needed to get a head start in their chosen technical or STEM based career. Expeditionary Learning is a great way to achieve this, as well as build character and confidence within our young people.”

The school is looking to develop partnerships with businesses that may want to offer work experience placements for students, partnership programmes or sponsorship. To get in touch, contact the school on 01733 715950.