Students share their hopes for future and relief after receiving GCSE and technical results

Posted on 21 August 2020 in News, UTC Sheffield City Centre

Alex Reynolds

UTC Sheffield City Centre students have shared their hopes for the future and relief at receiving their grades after an unprecedented academic year.

At the Ofsted graded ‘good’ technical school for 13 to 19-year-olds, on Matilda Street, students complete GCSEs as well as technical qualifications in engineering and advanced manufacturing or creative and digital media.

Sophie Ellam, aged 16, has achieved strong grades in her GCSEs and technical qualifications. She was awarded three grade 8s and three grade 7s in her GCSEs, as well as distinctions in her engineering technical qualifications.

Sophie said: “I am very happy with my results. I was trying to prepare myself and when I opened them, it was a lovely shock. I feel very pleased and relieved.”

She added: “It’s been great studying at the UTC. When I heard about its specialist facilities and engineering equipment, I jumped at the opportunity to study there.

“It’s been good to be able to study academic and technical courses and gain work experience with employers such as Rolls-Royce. It has prepared me well for my next steps.”

Sophie is progressing to post 16 courses at UTC Sheffield City Centre, where she will study engineering, further maths, maths and physics, and build on her technical knowledge and skills.

Her career ambition is to become an engineer within the armed forces. Sophie is applying for a Royal Navy bursary. If she is successful, it will enable her to start officer training after her A Levels or university.

Sophie added: “I’ve always had a strong interest in STEM subjects and engineering is within my family. I love problem solving, and being creative as part of that.”

Sam Kearsley is looking forward to staying on at UTC Sheffield City Centre for Post 16 courses. The 16-year-old has achieved some top grades in his GCSEs, gaining 9s and 8s in science subjects, and a distinction star in his engineering technical qualification.

Now he going on to study three A Levels in maths, physics and product design as well as the next level technical qualifications in engineering. He said: “I feel very happy with my results and relieved. Even though we didn’t have the pressure of sitting exams, I still did a double take when I saw my results.”

He added: “I’ve had a really positive experience at the UTC. The teachers know us as individuals, as well as our abilities and potential.”

During the coronavirus lockdown, Sam was still able to develop his employability skills, including taking part in a virtual work experience placement, for four days via Zoom, with InvestIN, which runs career programmes in 20 different subjects in in person, online and globally.

Sam’s long-term ambition is to secure a degree apprenticeship with a large engineering company and he is looking forward to starting back at the UTC in September.

Amy Jenkins is pleased that the wait for her grades is over.  The 16-year-old has achieved some strong GCSE grades as well as a technical qualification in creative and digital media.

Amy said: “It’s been a challenging year but I am very happy with my results, particularly a grade 9 in English Language.” Amy is going on to study four A Levels in English language, psychology, product design and sociology at a local school sixth form.

She added: “I have really enjoyed my time at the UTC. It’s been great to have the chance to develop creative and technical skills for real life and employers. The UTC has provided me with a lot of experience to help me with my future.”

Alex Reynolds, Principal of UTC Sheffield City Centre, said: “I am so proud of our students and staff who have pulled together and shown great resilience and determination in the face of significant upheaval.”

He said: “It’s been an extremely challenging year with the coronavirus lockdown, shift to remote learning and changing announcements about the grading of results. I want to commend our students for their hard work, congratulate them on completing their studies this year in challenging circumstances, and wish them all the very best as they move on to the next stage of their lives.”

The UTC is equipped with cutting edge industry standard facilities. Employers supporting the UTC include AES Seal, Bauer Media Group, Fernite, Festo, Finger Industries, Hive, Inspec Solutions, Lavender International, PES Performance, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Live, the University of Sheffield, Siemens and Sumo Digital.

Students work on employer-led projects, developing skills related to their subject specialism as well as team working and problem solving.  Previous students have progressed onto university, employment or further training including high quality apprenticeships with employers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Boeing, British Aerospace and Amazon.

UTCs are government funded technical schools that provide academic and technical qualifications to match the skills needs of regional employers, supporting economic growth and employment. Young people can join the UTC in Year 9 at the age of 13 or in Year 12 at the age of 16. Some places are still available for this September. Apply now at