Employers and the UTC – how to get involved with Computing

University Technical College Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park provides school students with specialist education in Computing, here's how employers can get involved.

    Sheffield’s second UTC opened at the Olympic Legacy Park in 2016 with a mandate to provide specialist education in Computing, Sports Science and Life Sciences alongside traditional GCSEs and A-Levels.  The flagship £10-million-pound building provides a unique experience for students to study adjacent to elite athletes and professional sports people. At the UTC itself, we benefit from cutting-edge facilities such as a three-dimensional motion capture studio, a sports science laboratory, a fitness suite, a health and development suite, a user experience lab, together with research and computing labs. The specialisms of health sciences and computing were chosen specifically to address key skills shortages, not just in the UK but globally, and will give students an excellent route into employment or higher education.

    Students in Year 10 and Year 12 study technical qualifications in IT/Computing that relate directly to the skills that employers need. As part of that, UTC offers something special in terms of embedded engagement from employers. While we work with several employers we are keen to expand our employer network in the region in different capacities.

    Our curriculum is built around employability skills in the IT/Computing industry from project management, programming and hardware. While we teach these in order to pass an academic course, we are keen for employers to engage with us and give students a live project to work on that forms part of the qualification and extends their learning.

    Here are some of the current curriculum areas that we would like to develop:

    Year 10 (14 -15 year olds)

    • Programming of Games

    Year 11 (15 – 16 year olds)

    • Interactive Multimedia product creation
    • General IT Project
    • Computer Hardware and Networks

    Year 12 (16-17 year olds)

    • Product development
    • Project Management

    Year 13 (17-18 Year Olds)

    • Systems Analysis and Design
    • Big Data
    • Internet of Things
    • Virtual and Augmented reality
    • Programming Project

    Projects generally involve three stages:

    1. Client Brief Session – for you to deliver the brief and allow students to capture requirements
    2. Design Session – students present to you their Requirements Analysis and Designs
    3. Completion/Acceptance testing – students present back their product and their testing for acceptance/feedback.

    Visits

    We are keen to get students into the workplace to see exactly how the industry works. Trips can be anything from a one hour tour to a full day with interactivity with staff/sessions presented and this is entirely flexible. If you think you can offer any of these please let us know so we can discuss how this fits with curriculum.

    Employer Mentoring

    Three times a year we have an ‘employer mentor day’ where employers will discuss with a small group of students their aspirations, qualifications, employment prospects or anything else that will help students understand about the industry. Generally speaking we allow students to suggest employer mentoring of specific groups down to interests such as:

    • Programming and Development
    • Networking
    • IT Systems and Support
    • Project Management
    • Media/Graphics

    Mentoring is a great way to see what students are doing and guide them on the right pathways to becoming great industry professionals, current employer mentors find it very rewarding. Our next mentor days are:

    Friday 15 December
    Friday 16 March
    Friday 13 July

    Student Showcases

    Employers are always welcome to attend our Showcases. The next dates are:

    Tuesday 24 October 2017 5.30pm – Y9/Y10/Y12 Showcase
    Tuesday 5 December 2017 5.30pm – Computing Showcase
    Tuesday 6 March 2018 5.30pm – Bitesize Evening
    Tuesday 26 June 2018 5.30pm – Final Showcase – TBC

    Working with us

    In the first instance, you can contact:
    Lisa Parkin (the Principal’s PA)
    Colin Smith (Curriculum Director Computing)

    Find out more about Computing at the UTC Olympic Legacy Park.

     

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