Our experience of the UTC – parent views from Lauranne and Gregg
Gregg and Lauranne, parents of Creative & Digital Media student, Ruby, talk about their experience of UTC Sheffield City Centre so far. Students join the UTC in Year 9 and also in Year 12. Ruby joined in September 2020 in Year 9.
How did you find out about the UTC?
One of our friends had taken their son to look around and they told us about this “fantastic facility in Sheffield”, which was the UTC. We also received a letter from the Council which had some great information in. So, the combination of these two things encouraged us to have a look around the school with Ruby.
What was your first impression of the UTC?
We were thinking, “What’s the catch?”, as the school sounded too good to be true to be honest! However, the minute we walked through the doors on the first open evening we went to, all of our reservations went away.
We were blown away. The facilities are unreal and far-surpassed the facilities at her previous school.
The general feel of the place was great as well, the staff were so welcoming and enthusiastic, as were the students who showed us around – they really sold it to us!
Is Ruby enjoying her time as a UTC student?
She absolutely loves it. She’s like a new person! Even though we live in the Peak District, it hasn’t deterred Ruby from travelling into Sheffield City Centre – so despite our reservations about travel, it hasn’t been an issue at all because she really wants to go and enjoys it. She’s really missed going in recently because of lockdown.
How have you found the UTC’s approach to online learning?
There are two things that have impressed us the most.
Firstly, we receive regular updates from the school about what’s going on without having to ask.
Secondly, when we have had a question that we need to ask, the communication with teachers has been fantastic. It’s been so easy to contact the teachers with any queries and we’ve always had a quick and thorough response. The teachers’ relationship with the students has also been amazing. Despite learning online, Ruby has received a huge amount of support, which has been extremely reassuring.
Why did Ruby decide to do the Creative and Digital Media Pathway?
Ruby’s always been a creative person and enjoyed doing art, she would always be painting and drawing, so I think this sparked her interest to find out more about the Creative and Digital Media Pathway. Once we looked around and found out more about the course and the wide syllabus, which included sketch and animation, it really appealed to her.
She’s really enjoyed the course so far and it’s broadened her knowledge about the creative sector and the possibilities it could bring – her dream job would now be to work for Pixar or Disney as an animator!
Do you think the UTC has had an impact on Ruby?
One hundred percent. I think from the moment she started she felt comfortable there and from that point onwards she’s felt really positive about it. I think because the teachers treat the students as young adults, it gives them that responsibility and room to grow as an individual which Ruby relishes.
Why do you think we need UTCs?
It’s a different way of learning. The UTC is a professional environment which allows people to have that room to grow and learn from a curriculum which suits them and their interests.
The UTCs will give us a group of people who are much more well-rounded individuals and who are able to contribute quicker to society.