THE NEW multi-million pound school, set to transform the region’s science and tech education, will open its doors beside Newcastle’s Central Station for a cohort of would-be students on January 17.
To confirm the commitment of local employers, some of the 400 staff from games giant Ubisoft in the city will demonstrate live gaming, answer questions about the latest releases and give away free Ubisoft games to the keen students.
North East Futures UTC will host the event with Ubisoft, as well as representatives from Newcastle’s wide range of NHS services, corporate computing specialist Accenture and FTSE 100 software firm Sage. All are supporting education from age 14 as they see huge growth ahead in digital tech and health science. The January 17 open evening will be a chance for students to rub shoulders with teachers and employers and to learn how the school will teach GCSEs, BTEC and A levels with both classroom and practical lessons.
“Already a quarter of first year places are signed up with a great mix of boys and girls passionate about digital and health science – wanting a new school choice for GCSEs or A levels,” said principal designate Dan Sydes. “They are really switched on by the specialist focus we have in a friendly, small school – and they see it as well worth the commute to town, whether nine minutes from Chester-le-Street, 19 from Morpeth or even 45 minutes from Berwick or Darlington.
“Our January 17 open event is a fantastic opportunity for young people to come and learn more about what will be a truly exceptional learning environment.
“We have a unique offer at North East Futures – for young people who have a passion for a career in digital technology or healthcare science this will be a fantastic offer for them. We will take their passion and match it with a fantastic standard of teaching and unrivalled support from industry, to ensure students enjoy an enriching student experience, and leave with all of the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their chosen career.”
The January 17 event takes place at Boilershop, in the city’s Stephenson Quarter, and see teachers, experts and employers share more with students about the opportunities within the digital tech and health science sectors – and how they will work with the UTC to offer work experience and support to its students. The first 150 young people to attend the open event will also get their hands on a free Ubisoft game.
Industry mentors, who have signed up to work with students to guide them during their studies, will also be attending the open event to talk about the role they will play when the UTC opens in September.
Jamie Hardesty, who is community engagement manager for Tech Nation, is excited to share his wisdom with the next generation on January 17.
He said: “The UTC is a perfect example of something that is really training people for the world of tomorrow, so that’s exactly why it is going to play an important role. This school in particular is really arming young people with the skills they will need to enter any industry.
“Digital is disrupting every single industry. Every industry requires more and more skills – new age skills. The tech sector is one that young people should be really excited about – there is so much opportunity and the UTC will prepare the next generation for that.
“I’ve chosen to stay in the North East. I am very, very passionate about the region and keeping talented people here. I think through mentorship, people can share experiences and learn more about the opportunities that are here. I would say to my younger self that I should take up an interest in tech, so it will be good to talk to young people about why in my role as a mentor.”
Students set to move into years 10 and 12 this September can enrol with the UTC and begin their studies in September. Students starting in year 10 will complete the two school years leading to GCSEs and can continue through ‘Sixth Form’, with year 12 students having the option to complete A levels or BTEC programmes. There is a focus on maths, physics, chemistry and biology, all taught as separate subjects, which can provide students with a pathway to medicine, natural sciences or applied further education.
Anyone interested in attending the open event, which runs from 5:30pm until 7:30pm on January 17 at Boilershop, should register at http://bit.ly/NEFUTC1