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Counting on the new maths team

A talented team has been recruited to spearhead the NSETC’s Mathematics teaching, which is a key element of the STEM provision.

The new Head of Maths is Assistant Principal Charlie Peake, who has 19 years’ teaching experience in a wide range of schools throughout the South West. Charlie has held the post of Head of Mathematics in two schools, and was seconded for two years as Secondary Mathematics Consultant for Devon.

He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has a keen interest in promoting and making explicit the applications of mathematics within all aspects of every day life, with the aim of developing students’ transitional skills across all STEM subjects.

He said: “I am very excited at the prospect of contributing to the expansion of NSETC as the school continues to grow and flourish. It provides an enriched and unique opportunity for students to enhance their essential skills in preparation for the world of work and I am very much looking forward to supporting them in their development.”

Supporting Charlie is Maths teacher James Sully, who is also Head of the brand new Year 10 at NSETC, and who is equally excited at joining the NSETC team.

He said: “After working at Reading University as a researcher, and studying for a PhD in Economics, I have first-hand experience of the problems young people face, and have seen how the NSETC is able to prepare students for university or a career in industry.

“I have helped students conduct market research projects with companies as diverse as Unilever, Nestle and Innocent to small organic farms. Most recently, as a qualified mathematics eacher, I have spent an enjoyable two  years teaching at a secondary school in Weston-super-Mare.

“Having worked with companies in industry, I am familiar with what they want from potential employees, and NSETC is in the perfect position to equip students with all the skills and real-world experience they need to succeed and thrive.”

Charlie and James join existing NSETC Maths teacher Fiona Withers, who has been with the new school since it first opened last September.

She said: “I have always loved both physics and maths, and am lucky enough to teach both. “I studied applied mathematics as an undergraduate, then went on to complete my teacher training in physics, both at the University of Nottingham.

“As a student I volunteered for the Institute of Physics as part of their “Physics on the Road” team, and found that I loved helping young people to find out more about the world around them, something I still count as one of the best parts of my job today.

“My enthusiasm for earning is boundless and studied throughout my first few years of teaching; achieving my Masters n Education from Bishop Grosseteste university in July 2013.

“I believe that this enthusiasm for learning s one of the greatest qualities a student an have, whether they have been inspired y environmental concerns over our energy resources, a desire to design faster, afer cars, or even whether hey just love watching Brian ox on TV!”

Karen Cornick, NSETC Principal, said: “Since we’re lying the flag for STEM earning, it was essential that e established an extremely strong Mathematics teaching team. I’m excited about the appointments we have made, and, more importantly, I am confident they have the knowledge and ability to provide NSETC learners with all the mathematical skills they need to help further their careers.”



Source: NSETC

New recruit joins team to drive employment exposure

Emma Cox has joined the NSETC as its new Business Development Coordinator.

Emma has worked in schools and colleges for the last seven years, developing and establishing links with local and national businesses, creating careers education programmes and engaging employers into the curriculum.

Emma’s role at the NSETC is to bridge the gap between education and employment. The NSETC is committed to giving students purposeful work placements and opportunities to link with career professionals throughout their education. As Business Development Coordinator, Emma’s key role is to give NSETC students those opportunities as well as to provide and support employer links throughout the school.

Emma is really excited about the opportunities offered to students through the NSETC, she said: “I’ll be working closely with local business networks to ensure NSETC students are equipped with all the skills and resources they need to succeed in the future as well as to broaden their knowledge of industry and careers through networking, trips and employer engagement.”

“Our students are interested in a wide range of STEM and business related careers and we want to give them a genuine insight into potential employment pathways.”

If you are interested in working with the NSETC as an employer or you would like to find out more about how NSETC students can engage with your business, please contact Emma on 01934 411477


Source: NSETC

Building firm foundations for the future

A multi-million pound project to create the new North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) in Weston-super-Mare is well under way.

Building work on the purpose-built premises at the Junction 21 Enterprise Area is on schedule to be complete in July 2016. The building will then open its doors to its first students in September 2016.

Last November, BAM Construct UK was awarded the £12 million contract to build the centre, which is part of the Weston College Group.

Over the next four weeks, the foundations will be laid for the main building and adjoining sports hall, and by the end of July work is set to start on the structure’s steel frame.

Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of NSETC sponsor Weston College said: “This plot of land is being transformed into a place for innovative, work-related, learning. “This project reinforces the relationship between the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Weston College, and North Somerset Council. It recognises the massive work which has been done with the Department for Education to make this development happen.”

NSETC will house specialist facilities dedicated to the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The ground floor will house engineering and design technology workshops, a large lecture theatre and cafeteria. The first floor will contain top-of-the-range IT suites, classrooms and seminar rooms, food technology, textiles and art workshops and an open-plan library.

The top floor will feature science laboratories and several ‘super labs’, which will run the length of the building. A terraced area will allow students to conduct outdoor experiments safely, and there will be communal areas on each floor to provide work spaces for the students and for business workshops.

NSETC Principal Karen Cornick said: “Engineering and design technology are a major part of the STEM vision at NSETC. “Specialist workshops and teaching spaces,

alongside high-spec computer rooms, will allow this to become a reality for students. “The fact that this is the only school in England to be built within an enterprise zone means that, from the start, we are part of a wider development in Weston which focuses on developing STEM training, expertise and employment within the region.”

Junction 21 Enterprise Marketing Group said; “We welcome the decision of NSETC to choose Junction 21 for its permanent home. When fully operational we see the presence of a campus equipping young people with skills valued by business as powerful catalyst for further long-term investment; particularly as the skills agenda is increasingly placed high on the agenda of decision makers thinking about expansion or relocation.”

Source: NSETC

Learning outside the classroom

This year, NSETC students on a variety of courses have had the opportunity to visit a number of different companies and key establishments.

This is part of NSETC’s continuing ambition to strengthen the links between education and vocation, and to equip its students with qualifications and work-ready skills that will put

them ahead of the competition when applying for jobs or Higher Education. At the beginning of the year, NSETC’s Health and Social Care Level 3 students joined Weston College colleagues on a four-day adventure to Disneyland Paris as part of a learning/ study trip.

The visit enabled students to explore themes relating to their practice in health and social care, including equality, diversity and discrimination. They were able to gain an insight into how a range of policies apply in the work place, including in large hotels and leisure parks.

In March, students on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering were given the opportunity to visit Agusta Westland, a multi-national helicopter design and manufacturing company, which gave them the opportunity to see first-hand the

production and assembly of helicopters and aircraft parts.

Students witnessed how virtual reality trainers prepared pilots, looked at the design process for key components on the rota heads for the aircraft, climbed on top of a Merlin helicopter to see the maintenance procedures taking place and walked through the flight shed to view Super Lynx, Merlin and Apache helicopter at different stages of their construction.

The students also met with the apprentice trainers and were given an insight into the apprentice training programme an AgustaWestland apprentice would follow.

Andy Davidson, Deputy Head at NSETC, said; “This is always such an inspiring company to visit especially for a student that has a keen interest in engineering, you can never be anything but amazed when you see a flight shed with 20 helicopters all at different stages of their construction. All the students left the site with a real buzz about the opportunities that the industry can offer”.

A Level students visited the University of Cambridge. The trip was organised to provide students not only with the experience of Higher Education establishments, but also to encourage them to have the highest aspirations for themselves in terms of next steps.

The students gained experience in a number of subject areas through tours of the Sainsbury Lab and Gardens, and the Fitzwilliam Museum with a current post-graduate in the relevant subject areas. They also found out about the university application process, and specifically about the range of courses that run at the University of Cambridge.

A Level student Jacob Coles commented; “The Cambridge University trip was a real eye-opener. We had the opportunity to stay at Trinity Hall, one of the smaller and older colleges at Cambridge; we also visited Robinson College to get a feel of what other, more modern, colleges at Cambridge are like.

“We visited the Sainsbury’s laboratory, which was really inspiring to see what a state-of-the-art laboratory looks like, and to see how the botanic gardens were used with all the different species of plants being grown there. The trip has really inspired me to want to do really well in my exams to enable me to get into Cambridge, the courses they offer really suit me and you’re getting tuition that is the best in the world.”


Source: NSETC

A taste of univeristy life

NSETC students have this term been attending the University of the West of England (UWE) for taster days to give them experience of independent, university life. The days support NSETC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) specialism and include a lecture, a practical lesson in one of UWE’s laboratories, summative activities and free time on the university’s campus.

Dan Robinson NSETC’s Innovation and Learning Lead said: “We are extremely grateful to UWE for offering our students this fantastic opportunity to experience science subjects at university. It is so important that students understand that there is more to their course than what first appears, and this opportunity to explore these subjects is a unique and brilliant way for them to discover the wider areas of study available. We hope that this raises our students’ aspirations and engages them to see the relevance of science courses and careers to their chosen pathway.”

The taster days focus on three particular scientific areas: biomedical science with practical work on nerve conduction velocity, forensic science with practical work on analysis of bodily fluids and environmental science with practical work on adaptive response. They are aimed at students studying A Level Science, Health and Social Care, Sports and Exercise Science and Applied Science BTEC. They are a result of NSETC’s link with the University of West of England as a STEM school for the South West region.

Charlie Waugh, who attended a recent session, said: “I thought it was a brilliant afternoon, and really enjoyed experiencing life at UWE in their science labs.” “We shocked our arms to see the speed of nervous impulse, which was something we would not have been able to experience in our normal studies, and we were able to use some of the cool equipment that you only get to use at university level.” The lecture was fascinating and gave us a real insight into the subject and made the practical work more relevant. Overall, it was a useful look into what life is like at university and I can’t wait to go to the forensics session next week.


Source: NSETC

Principal announced for new Bristol Futures Academy

Caroline Down has been appointed as the first principal of the new Bristol Futures Academy (BFA), which will open in the 2015/16 academic year.

BFA will be a free school in East Central Bristol for pupils aged 14 to 16, and will provide an innovative approach to learning for those who find mainstream education challenging.

Mrs Down was born in Bristol and has been teaching for 25 years, of which more than 18 were spent at the City Academy in Bristol, where she was Senior Vice Principal and was most recently Acting Principal.

She said: “BFA is an exciting and unique proposition.  It will offer young people who have been unable to engage in mainstream provision the opportunity to be successful and to move forward with confidence.

“Students will be involved in planning their own programme, working with specialist advisors to ensure progress. We will offer an alternative curriculum and a range of activities and programmes to enable young people to re-engage with education.

“I am really excited and honoured to be appointed as Principal of BFA and remain committed to the education of all young people within their community.”

BFA is part of the Inspirational Futures Trust, which is sponsored by Weston College. The Trust have worked with Bristol City Council and its recently-established City Learning Partnership to create an education model that helps serve the community.

The approach to learning at BFA will be based upon the successful model developed by Weston College, which was named College of the Year and Overall FE Provider of the Year at the 2015 TES Awards, and was named as ‘Outstanding’ at its most recent Ofsted inspection.

Each pupil will be allocated an appropriate specialist who will work with them to develop and track their personalised programme and will also engage with parents and carers, mainstream education providers and local authorities, plus other providers and employers.

Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Weston College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We believe that all young people are entitled to an inspiring and engaging education which will enable them to aspire to and achieve meaningful and productive futures, both in terms of careers and in personal independence and an ability to make a positive contribution to society.”

Jacqui Ford, Chief Executive of the Inspirational Futures Trust and Vice Principal at Weston College, added: “All students can and should leave education well prepared for their life ahead academically, personally, emotionally and professionally. Inspirational Futures Trust and I are committed to providing excellence for all students.”

In the first phase, BFA will have 25 pupils aged between 14 and 16, and this will rise to 100 pupils as the provision develops. All pupils will be referred to the school by the local authority or educational establishments.

The curriculum will enable pupils to gain academic and vocational qualifications, and will aim to prepare pupils for life beyond school and for the world of work. Group sizes will be small to allow for personalised learning, and each pupil will have regular individual sessions with their personal advisor to work on personal targets and strategies.

The location of BFA will be in East Central Bristol, and will be announced at a later date.

Inspirational Futures Trust
Weston College Group