UTC@harbourside competes in the Junior Field Gun Competition

From Monday 3rd July our students started their (only!) one week of training for the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition, which was hosted by HMS Collingwood and culminated in the final competition on Friday 7th July. The competition is for those aged 16-24 and several UTC’s from around the country were represented, as well as teams from Fareham College, Chichester College and Sea Cadet units.







The team from the UTC@harbourside had 18 members in total and were inspired by the mentors and trainers messages of commitment and integrity, which made them really focus their minds from the get-go quickly at the start of training.

Although there were complaints of difficulty at first, these quickly faded out and our team showed positivity and encouragement with lots of suggestions on how they could improve, “next time we need to do it quicker” and “come on guys! We’re a unit!” The amazing team-working and leadership skills displayed by our students really shone through in the final competition on Friday and showed how much they would take away from this experience.

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE addressed the teams on completion of the event, saying “You have taken part in something pretty extraordinary this week. You have overcome the challenge of moving something the size of a small car. Remember what you have achieved because it is extraordinary.”


UTC@harbourside Student Wins Newhaven Community Award for Young People 2017

The 2017 Newhaven Community Awards for Young People were presented at the Annual Town Meeting, which took place on the 2nd May at the Hillcrest Community Centre, and was organised by Newhaven Town Council.

Awards were presented to young people who had accomplished significant achievements or made exceptional contributions to the Newhaven community. In addition to the award ceremony, several local organisations spoke about the work they did within Newhaven. Sophie Lewis, Young Mayor of Newhaven and UTC@harbourside student also attended the presentations.

Seb Zuddas, also a student at the UTC@harbourside, was awarded the overall Newhaven Community Award for Young People. Seb was the first student to volunteer when the UTC was challenged to build something from nothing, and he did this by working with other students as a single team, identifying initiatives and delivering them. He managed this with no funding and little resources and now has eleven other UTC students on board with him to deliver the current three projects he is helping to run.

(Photo Credit – Haven News)


Students Win Future Foundations Awards

Future Foundations, an independent training organisation with a mission is to inspire young people to achieve their full potential and become leaders in their lives and within society, named UTC@harbourside student Callum Beers as the national winner of their Individual Impact Award at their Annual Awards ceremony on March 25th.

Callum was accompanied at the event at Wellington College by colleagues from the UTC and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, who’s students Caspian Armani, Keeley Wade and Rebecca Farley won the ‘National Citizens Service (NCS) Award’ for their Community Hub and Café project.

Future Foundations and the Wellington Leadership Institute are committed to supporting and celebrating young people who are working on innovative social action projects across the globe. Callum’s award was open to members of Global Social Leaders Societies they have established and assessed on criteria including measurable impact to date on the community, the student’s personal growth, learning/knowledge and skills gained, and creating a sustainable social action project involving other people and/organisations.


Girls Night In and Employer Links Address Science and Tech Education Gap


As a national report reveals what science and technology workers thought of their schooling and on the eve of British Science Week (10-19 March), UTC@harbourside is working with employers and organisations to prepare Sussex students for the world of work.

A report published last Tuesday (28 February) by the Baker Dearing Trust reveals that many workers in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing (STEM) jobs would have liked more technical skills training and employer involvement in their education (1).

UTC@harbourside in Newhaven specialises in STEM education for 14-18 year olds from across Sussex. This year it has liaised with the University of Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne councils, STEM Sussex, Sussex Engineering Skills, Sussex Heritage Trust and Newhaven Enterprise Zone to develop its strategy to equip students to become the highly qualified workforce Sussex’s hi-tech growth industries need.

Employers who have pledged to provide work experience and input to the curriculum include Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Brightwells and Newhaven Port.

Activities this term include a STEM Girls Night In last Friday (3 March) with STEM Sussex and GCSE science and maths revision sessions – all open to students from other schools. Work experience and challenge projects from local employers are in the pipeline and the UTC is hosting an employers event with STEM Sussex at the end of March.

Principal Adanma Umunna says, “Employers in region have more than 90,000 jobs in science and technology roles and industries such as low carbon and environmental, advanced engineering and digital and IT are all forecast to grow. One in four year 10 students across Sussex will need to study for STEM qualifications if this demand is to be met.(2, 3, 4).

“We can see just how exciting the future could be for young people so we are giving them the best possible chance to be part of the planned regeneration of this region. The Greater Brighton Deal and the new Enterprise Zone in Newhaven bring great employment and commercial opportunities for people with the right education and training. With £15m invested in UTC so far, our state of the art STEM specialist facilities ensure we are well placed to support regeneration across Sussex and beyond. Also, as we build on partnerships with employers in the local community we hear time and time again that they have been waiting for this opportunity for years; this is great news for our students.”

“UTC@harbourside is a pioneering provision, targeting science and engineering and working closely with employers and organisations to make sure that the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers leave school with the qualifications, attitudes and mindset needed to take on the challenges of regeneration, in Sussex and across the country. Alongside the other schools in this area, we are committed to closing this skills gap and transforming the life chances for the next generation”

Danielle Vences, Head Girl of UTC@harbourside, says the school is preparing her for a future career in engineering or technology.

“Through being a part of UTC, I have learnt and continue to learn countless expertise, I have developed transferable skills to the industry I will succeed in. I look forward to the future and all the prosperity it holds for not only myself but the fantastic students that stand beside me. Call me biased but there is no academic institution I would choose over UTC@ harbourside. We are family.”

One employer committed to providing learning opportunities for UTC@harbourside students is the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, being built off the Sussex coast. Pete Andrews, Plant Manager there said: “The ability to solve technological and operational problems are key skills for young people looking to work in the offshore wind industry. Having the opportunity at college to build technical aptitude and to experience hands on engineering is of great benefit to young people interested in pursuing this type of career.”

Activities coming up at UTC@harbourside include:

  • Thursday 16th March, 5.30pm – trial exam night and parents’ exam prep evening to share advice on the best way to get ready for exams.
  • Saturday 25th March, 10-2pm GCSE science revision
  • Tuesday 28th March open evening for potential students and their parents, 6-7pm.
  • Saturday 22nd April, 10am-2pm GCSE maths revision
  • Saturday 20th May, 10am-2pm GCSE science revision
  • Thursday 15th June, 6-8pm – engineering pizza and pi night for new students
  • Thursday 6th July new student induction night.

To find out about any of these events visit www.utc-harbourside.org/events or call 01273 916170.


Executive Principal Appointed For South East Schools


Rob Reed has been appointed as Executive Principal for its cluster of schools in the South East – Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies and UTC@harbourside. The new role was advertised nationally in December, attracting a strong field of candidates. The appointment follows an interview process involving students, staff and governors at all three schools earlier this week.

Dylan Davies, Principal of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy with Rob Reed, Executive Principal of Aldridge Educations South East Cluster.

As Executive Principal Rob will be working with the Principals, Dylan Davies, Katie Scott and Adanma Umunna, to build on the successes of the schools to date. This will include helping them to further develop joint-working and sharing specialist resources for the benefit of all Aldridge students locally; growing the regional cluster; and further strengthening relationships with other schools, the Local Authority, the business community and other key stakeholders.

Rob Reed joined Hove Park School as Headteacher in September 2015, successfully leading the school through an Ofsted Inspection in October 2016 and achieving Apple Distinguished School status in November. He played a central role in the successful bid by five local schools to establish a teaching school alliance.

Prior to joining Hove Park he was Headteacher at Chessington Community College in Kingston; led The Hillsyde Federation of Schools in South London; and held Deputy and Assistant Headteacher roles at a school in Tower Hamlets.

Chief Executive Chris Tweedale said: “Rob has a very strong track record as a school leader and in building partnerships that bring real benefits to his schools and their students. He also brings his excellent knowledge of Brighton and the Sussex region to complement that of our existing Principals. This is a very exciting appointment for us.”

“We are very ambitious for our schools locally. UTC@harbourside in its second year and is building its reputation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Both PACA and BACA have recently been recognised as Good in every category by Ofsted, and are in a great position to be recognised as outstanding in future.”

“Rob will work with each of the schools to continue to improve the education we offer to all of our young people across the community, and will also be working with other head teachers and governors who wish to explore joining our growing Trust.”

Rob Reed said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed to this post. As a local head teacher, I have observed first hand the superb work of the Trust in Brighton and Hove. I am tremendously excited at the prospect of contributing to the Trust’s impressive record of providing excellent education that gives young people the skills and qualifications they need.”

(Photo L-R) Dylan Davies, Principal of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy with Rob Reed, Executive Principal of our South East Cluster.


Young Mayor Sophie Takes Office


UTC@harbourside student Sophie Lewis, 15, took up office as the Young Mayor of Newhaven at Newhaven Town Council meeting last Tuesday (8 November).

Sophie was elected by her peers from the town’s two secondary schools, Seahaven Academy and UTC@harbourside, in a contest with three other candidates from the two schools.sophie-lewis-newhaven-mayor

She is pictured receiving her badge of office from grown-up Mayor, Cllr Steve Saunders, accompanied by her father, Paul.

Sophie, who lives in Peacehaven, has attended UTC@harbourside since September 2015 and is currently in Year 11. Her ambition for the year is to use social media to share information about the town with other young people and she would like to develop an app to help them get more involved in activities.

Sophie said, “I am looking forward to my year as Young Major of Newhaven and would like to develop an app to make it easier for young people to be more involved in town life.”

Her first engagement in her new role was to lay a wreath on behalf of the town council at Sunday’s Remembrance Day service at Memorial Green, also pictured.

The other three candidates: Callum Beer, Vickie Mae Knight and Leah Greetham will accompany Sophie on a visit to Parliament in the New Year.

1. Sophie Lewis, top, wearing her badge of office, with adult Mayor, Cllr Steve Saunders and her father, Paul Lewis, behind her.

2. Sophie, right with Mayor Saunders at Newhaven’s Remembrance Day service on Memorial Green on Sunday, 13 November. Also pictured, l-r are he High Sheriff of East Sussex, Michael Foster, David Allam – a Deputy Lieutenant who laid a wreath for the Lord Lieutenant and, the Mayoress, Sharon Bewley.


Atomic inspiration for students at end of first year for UTC@harbourside


Students and staff at Sussex’s only specialist science and engineering school reflected on a busy first year at UTC@harbourside’s first prize giving on Thursday 21 July.

Keynote speaker Chantal Nobs is a young nuclear physicist at the University of Brighton working on an international research project to understand the innermost workings of an atomic nucleus. In 2013 she founded Physics FUNdamentals (http://www.physicsfundamentals.org/) to give talks and demonstrations to make science more accessible.

Chantal praised UTC@harbourside students for their ‘drive and desire to succeed’ and urged them to “seize the day, embrace opportunities, challenge yourselves and strive to be the best version of yourself every day.”

After prizes were awarded for achievement and progress in all subjects and , Chantal commented, “I was overwhelmed by the amount of equipment here and the students’ enthusiasm for their subjects. If I’d had something like this when I was at school it would have been a much easier and obvious route for me [to become a scientist]. I think the students are very lucky and I wish them all the best.”

Also attending were Baroness Whitaker, President of the South Down Society, and Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes. Maria Caulfied said, “I am very impressed with the students who have got a real passion for science and engineering. They have come here not just to study but to immerse themselves in science and are really keen to push boundaries for the future”.

UTC@harbourside is the only university technical college in Sussex. Its mix of academic study and practical, real-life challenge projects, working with local employers, is helping to equip its 14 to 18 year old students for fulfilling careers or further study. It specialises in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing (STEM subjects) with a focus on marine and environmental engineering.

Activities and achievements in the first year have included:

  • being one of only 10 schools in the country invited to take part in the Royal Navy Field Gun Challenge in Portsmouth
  • students using state of the art lathes, milling machines, 3D printers and other equipment in the school’s engineering suite and super-science lab which are unrivalled in the county
  • work experience with local employers including Newhaven and Shoreham Ports, the National Trust, boat builders, engineers and metal workers.
  • designing and building robots and electric vehicles
  • entering a raft in the Rampion Raft Race from Lewes to Newhaven and hosting the end of the race
  • the building winning a Sussex Heritage Trust Award for design quality
  • learning how to build and destroy a bridge with the Royal Engineers
  • Eight graduates of the National Citizen Service
  • students setting up a VEX club to make robots in their own time.
  • growing rocket plants from seeds that British astronaut, Tim Peake had taken to the international space station
  • an A-level marine biology field trip to Malta
  • physical activities including sailing, rock climbing, mountain biking, badminton, gym and scuba diving.The last day of term was Friday 22 July and the UTC will re-open on 7 September for new student induction and 8 September for all students.
  • The UTC is now recruiting students interested in STEM subjects who would like to join Year 10 or Year 12 in September. It is open to 14 to 18 year olds from across Sussex and applications can still be accepted during the summer holidays. For more information see http://www.utc-harbourside.org.

Careers advice from local employers boosts UTC studentsconfidence and future earning power

Press release 20 July 2016

Students attending UTC@Harbourside in Newhaven are benefitting from careers advice from local employers, which not only makes them more confident about getting a job, but could boost their future earnings by 10 per cent, says an education charity today (20 July 2016).

The findings, part of a national survey of students attending University Technical Colleges (UTCs) across the country, found that 98 per cent of students at UTC@Harbourside said talks from local employers were the most helpful source of information in planning their careers. Furthermore, 84 per cent are confident of getting a job when they have finished their studies.

The results support research by the Institute for Employment Studies which shows that young people who attend more careers talks by employers are more confident about their future, make more successful transitions from secondary schooling into employment, apprenticeships or higher education, and even earn higher salaries 10 years into their career compared with their peers.

UTC@Harbourside Principal, Adanma Umunna, said:

‘The great relationships we have with local employers like Royal Navy, EON UK plc, Brightwell Dispensers and Newbury Engineering  means students have opportunities like work experience, employer-led projects and face-to-face talks with employers. Because students are well-informed and able to develop crucial workplace skills like team working and communication, they feel more confident, not only about the direction they want to take their career, but that they’re able to achieve it.’

UTCs are state schools which offer 14-19 year olds the opportunity to study technical subjects, such as engineering or design technology, alongside the core curriculum and they are sponsored by local employers and universities. The Annual UTC Student Survey was commissioned by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which supports UTCs.


UTC@harbourside wins Sussex Heritage Trust award for design quality


UTC@harbourside’s riverside campus has won a Sussex Heritage Trust Award for the quality and excellence of its design. The Public and Community Building award Sussex Heritage Awardwas presented by the Rt Hon Lord Egremont, DL, President of Sussex Heritage Trust at the trust’s annual awards luncheon at Pangdean Old Barn, Pyecombe on Thursday (7 July).

Award judges praised UTC@harbourside in Newhaven, East Sussex, for  ‘providing an inspiring and impressively equipped environment for a school’. The judges noted this as “an outstanding regeneration project of high architectural quality and local historical significance.” Sussex Heritage Awards seek to recognise and reward high quality conservation, restoration and good design of newly built projects and encourage the use of traditional skills and crafts.

The conversion and extension of two 19th century Grade II listed marine and carpenters’ workshops at Railway Quay, Newhaven to house the new UTC was designed by HKS Architects, and built by Kier Construction.  Heritage features that have been retained include Victorian brickwork, cast iron pillars and a gantry crane once used to lift locomotive engines. The UTC opened in September 2015 for 14 to 18 year-olds from across Sussex interested in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing. It provides a 21st century learning environment with a fully equipped engineering suite, science super-lab, computer suite and business zone.

Paul Bevan, Chair of Governors at UTC@harbourside said, “This is wonderful recognition for the successful transformation of these prominent and familiar Newhaven buildings for UTC@harbourside.  The conversion honours their industrial heritage while providing modern, well-equipped teaching spaces that inspire our students to be the engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow. I thank HKS Architects and contractors Kier Construction for doing such a good job and Sussex Heritage Trust for this award.”

Alfonso Padro, Vice President and Director of Education for HKS Architects Ltd, said, “We are delighted with the award. Not only does it recognise the huge challenges to overcome with rejuvenating old buildings but also the hard work and commitment put in by the client, contractor and design team. The uniqueness of the project has allowed us to realise UTC@harbourside’s vision through showcasing the building’s industrial past, aligned with creating a state of the art teaching facility for pioneering engineers of the future.”

Martin Perry, Senior Project Manager, Kier Construction Southern, said, “We’re thrilled to have won this award, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams and our collaboration with UTC@harbourside and HKS Architects Ltd. We’re proud to have been involved in the project and to have created effective, quality facilities for teachers and students.”


Raft Race announced – Sunday 3rd July


The Raft Race will take place on Sunday 3rd July launching at Lewes Rowing Club at 2.30 pm with an expected 2 to 2.5 hour journey down the Ouse to it’s finish at a regatta to be hosted by UTC@harbourside. The students here are entering a raft they have designed and built themselves following the strict specifications for vessel design laid down by the organisers, Lewes Roundtable. This event has quickly become  local favourite and the organisers have expressed their intent to bring the community together as well as raise vital funds for charity. Last year there was a 70’s funk-styled theme!

This year the first UTC@harbourside raft has been called ‘Holy Mackerel’ so we might find both Batman and Robin on hand to ensure the river-worthy vessel makes it to the finishing line. The UTC@harbourside is honoured to host the regatta in its first year of opening and would hope to be able to support the Lewes Roundtable in this great event for many years to come.


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