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Our Curriculum

We view the curriculum as a 7-year plan in which skills are mapped to optimise student success and to support each significant transition. Our aim is to furnish learners with a deep understanding of the curriculum. We endeavour to ensure that each and every student we teach achieves the very highest standards possible, and focus our lesson planning and delivery methods upon a ‘Teach to the Top’ mentality.

The UTC specialises in the fields of Innovate, Design, and Build and aims to equip our students with the academic, technical and employability skills for successful future careers and lives. The combination of employer mentors, extensive work experience, an employer developed curriculum incorporating real-world projects, specialist facilities and a professional work environment is designed to provide an outstanding education for all learners.

The UTC aims to provide a first-class education where students, parents and staff alike have the highest expectations of academic success, career progression, personal development, attendance and behaviour. This will develop into recognition of the UTC as a beacon for the highest quality academic and technical education. The curriculum will help students, regardless of background, make outstanding progress from their starting points. Governors will challenge and hold leaders to account to ensure that there is a sustained commitment to achieving an outstanding education for all students. Students of the UTC will develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Our curriculum has been designed to equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life beyond the UTC. By ensuring that we employ teaching staff with expert subject knowledge as well as previous industry experience we aim to deliver a curriculum which promotes academic rigour and the value of scholarship alongside exceptional links with employers and projects which engender real life appreciation of cutting-edge technology and its application to 21st century ventures. The personal development of our students is a central pillar to their education at the UTC, and we believe this approach therefore develops the whole individual not just their academic skills.

Key Stage 3

Careful consideration is given to the curriculum studied at primary school so that our learners are fully supported with their transition to secondary school. We provide support and guidance but also rigour and challenge to mitigate against lost learning and provide opportunities for all to flourish. Our KS3 curriculum is rich and ambitious. In Year 7 and 8, the culture for learning is established. Our belief is that academic input coupled with experiential learning prepares youngsters for a bright future. At the UTC, we develop a culture that fosters a high degree of independence, and we work in partnership with students to raise aspirations. Our longer than average school week, with fewer sessions affords the opportunity to cover the full breath of the curriculum. This is supplemented by the UTC extra-curricular programme.

We strive to imbue a natural curiosity and love of learning in our young people. At the UTC, we understand that proficient skills in literacy and numeracy are a prerequisite to success. Therefore, we provide rich opportunities for these skills to be developed across the curriculum. At Key Stage 3 students will follow all areas of the national curriculum alongside extra time on STEAM subjects such as Art, Business, IT including Coding, The Built Environment and Design Technology. Our longer school day allows this to happen.

The KS3 curriculum has been developed into a detailed but user friendly ‘Online Curriculum’ resource which can be accessed at home by students and parents to follow the courses they are studying when not in school and also to supplement students’ learning with additional resources and homework.

Year 9 Transition

The Year 9 curriculum is detailed on our OLC and is mapped out to build on the knowledge acquired during Year 7 and Year 8. Year 9 students will enjoy a curriculum co-produced with our partners at Thomas Telford School. The year is designed to equip students with a solid foundation that provides a transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4.

To avoid redundancy and to prevent stagnation in progress, students choose which of our specialisms they want to gain greater depth in at this stage in their educational journey at the UTC. Year 9 is therefore designed in a way that maximises students’ opportunity to build their knowledge through an enriched curriculum.

The transition year allows Thomas Telford UTC to excel in the Personal Development of our students, by giving them the opportunity to participate in additional drop-down days, trips, careers events and personalised employer mentorship, which has helped many of our past students successfully achieve their aspirational destinations. Most importantly our Year 9 students will also immerse themselves in Employer-led Projects based on our specialisms, which are fantastically successful, and are a great benefit to building students’ leadership and team-work skills, their confidence and self-esteem.

Students’ exposure to Humanities is maintained through cross-curricular links within our ‘Build’ specialism (such as ‘Sustainability’, ‘Regeneration’ and the evolution of Architecture), as well as through coordinated topics chronologically linked to English and science.

Computer Science is also threaded through the full Year 7 -11 curriculum via our Design and Innovate curriculums, which utilise Computer Aided Design, Building Information Modelling, coding, music technology and sequencing, 3D printing and Virtual Reality amongst other ICT applications.

Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 students in Years 10 and 11 follow the core academic subjects of English literature and English language, maths and combined science alongside subjects which deliver technical knowledge and practical learning, through which they will also work with local employers on projects using industry-standard equipment within our Design, Build, and Innovate programmes. Students also have the option to choose a third science, art or humanities GCSE, and a BTEC option in ICT or Business to complete their Level 2 set of qualifications.

GCSE Curriculum Offer

All students will follow a core curriculum of 5 GCSE’s in English, Maths and Science:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Core Science
  • Additional Science.

Students will also be able to choose four options subjects from below:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Design Technology
  • Art
  • Business
  • Introductory Construction
  • Performing Arts
  • Spanish
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Computer Science
  • Music
  • Sport
  • Triple Science
  • Religious Education
  • Construction.

In addition to their GCSE and BTEC qualifications, all students will follow these programmes:

  • UTC Extra – our programme of extra-curricular activities, sport and intervention.
  • Core PE – One compulsory session a week of fitness activities.
  • PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education.

In Years 10 and 11 students will further develop their skills and knowledge in preparation for GCSEs and full-participation in employer-led projects.

Sixth Form

The Sixth Form curriculum provides considerable breadth and depth for students through a range of academic A-Levels including mathematics, English language, biology, chemistry and physics as well as vocational courses linked to our Design, Build, and Innovate specialisms. There is something for everyone irrespective of ability. Students will study three or four A-Level's or vocational courses.

Additionally, T-Levels are a new course which commenced at the UTC in September 2021. It follows GCSEs and is equivalent to three A-Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work. T-Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 350 hours (approximately 45 days). It provides the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.