UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s Class of 2021 share hopes for the future

UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park students have shared their hopes for the future after receiving their A Level and technical results this week.

At the technical school for 13 to 19-year-olds – which is Ofsted graded ‘good’ – students complete A Levels and technical qualifications in computing, health sciences or sport science.

One student is going to the University of Cambridge to study mathematics after achieving four A* grade A Levels. Other UTC students are progressing to a range of higher education institutions and employers including studying medicine at the University of Sheffield, sport science at the University of Leeds, artificial intelligence at the University of Manchester and starting an ICT apprenticeship with B.T.

Jess Stevenson, Principal of UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “I am incredibly proud of our students who have worked extremely hard and shown incredible resilience during another challenging academic year as a result of the pandemic. I wish them every success with their next steps.”

At the UTC, students work on employer-led projects, developing skills related to their subject specialism as well as team working and problem solving.

Case study – Thomas Fairey

Student Thomas Fairey, 18, completed the computing specialism at the UTC and is looking forward to starting a degree apprenticeship.

He gained an A* grade in A Level computer science as well as a distinction* distinction in an IT technical qualification and an A*and A in two additional technical qualifications in cybersecurity and mathematics.

He said: “I’m very happy with my results – they are much better than I was expecting after what has been such a difficult year to navigate. Thanks to my results, I have been offered a degree apprenticeship with Stagecoach, working in software development and towards a Degree in Software Engineering. I’m looking forward to my next steps and learning more about the industry.”

One of Thomas’s favourite memories at the UTC is working on an employer backed project with Stagecoach for his computing coursework. Thomas explained: “I worked with them to create an app that would be used by multiple operators throughout the entire country, which was a great experience. I really enjoyed working alongside the employers, as it gives you the real-life experience and prepares you for the industry.”

He added: “Before I joined the UTC, I didn’t know anything about coding and software engineering, whereas now I feel like I’ve learnt the basic skills in these areas. The UTC has helped me to understand what’s expected when working within the computing sector, and my time here has improved my ability to communicate with lots of different people. It’s prepared me confidence-wise, and I have a better understanding of what I want to do as my future career, which is reassuring.”

Case study – Kate Parkin

Kate Parkin, 18, has received top marks for her sport science technical qualification, giving her the grades she needs to progress to university. Kate said: “I’m really happy with my results, I don’t think I could have done much more.”

Kate achieved distinction*, distinction*, distinction* in her sport technical, the top grade achievable, alongside an A grade in A Level biology and a C grade in her A Level maths.

She will now be progressing to a Degree in Sport Science and Physiology at the University of Leeds, where she hopes to continue her passion and gain the skills she needs to become a physiotherapist.

Kate added: “I chose to join the UTC because of the smaller classes sizes, so it was easier to learn as you got more one-to-one support from tutors. There was a higher chance of getting the best grades possible at the UTC, so it seemed like a great experience. Not many places offered a sport science course that was as high standard as this one, so I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity.

“The teachers are always there to help you when you need support. The UTC strongly encourages students to gain experience of working with employers in industry, which helped me with my schoolwork. I’m grateful that the UTC provided me with a foundation in sport that has prepared me for my future career.

Case study – Imaan Naeem

Health sciences student Imaan Naeem is one step closer to her ambition of becoming a midwife after receiving a strong set of results.

In September, Imaan will begin a Degree in Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University after achieving distinction*, distinction, distinction in her health technical qualification. Imaan said: “I’m feeling really good about my results, and they’re above my targets.”

Discussing why she wants to pursue a career in midwifery, she said: “It’s all about women and their reproductive process. I’m really fascinated by the birth process, so I’m excited to start my degree.”

Imaan said: “I particularly enjoyed the biology unit of the specialism. It was interesting and covered a broad range of topics. I’ve also enjoyed the small class sizes and the focused nature of the study here.”

To other students considering UTC, Imaan would say: “Go for it! Everyone is really supportive here, but they also let you be an adult and give you freedom.”

The UTC is equipped with cutting edge industry standard facilities. Organisations supporting the UTC include Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, employers on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

UTCs are government funded technical schools that provide academic and technical qualifications to match the skills needs of regional employers, supporting economic growth and employment.

Young people can join the UTC in Year 9 at the age of 13 or in Year 12 at the age of 16. Some places are still available for this September. Apply now. Visit https://www.utcsheffield.org.uk/olp/. Follow @UTCSheffieldOLP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.