We are delighted to announce that LDE UTC has been chosen as one of 50 digital flagship schools celebrated for its pioneering approach to education in this year’s EdTech 50 Awards, it boasts a cohort of ‘Double Distinction’ graded Year 13 students – and in just three years has earned a glowing reputation as a tech academy of excellence.
But every student who walks through its doors starts from the same place, as Principal Geoffrey Fowler says: “Our students begin by building Lego and end up building the future for some of the world’s best companies.”
Supported by Intel, EdTech 50 schools is a celebration of the work going on in schools using education technology to support great teaching and learning across the UK and Northern Ireland.
As an EdTech 50 school, LDE UTC’s curriculum provides convincing insights for future schools’ successes. Driven by a specialised engineering and design focus, with top of the range resources to support, learning is structured around a thematic approach that taps into civil engineering and automation engineering disciplines. “The curriculum is all encompassing. It’s all about solving real world problems and actual physical outputs that you can see,” says Fowler.
Flipping the national curriculum on its head, LDE UTC uses real-life business briefs to bring learning to life for students. Working with companies such as Costain, Thames Water, Skanska and the BBC, the school motivates and empowers students to solve real world problems. So far, it has a 100 per cent success rate, with 53 per cent of students going to university and 47 per cent embarking on apprenticeships with companies such as BA, Rolls-Royce or going straight into employment.
Businesses play a key role in supporting the curriculum via two separate routes: DCL and EPQ. The DCL path, thematic learning, means a business sets the project brief itself and teachers use this within their lessons. Meanwhile, the EPQ route is an extended project qualification, in which businesses supply team projects – like a recent Water Aid project, for example.
The power of technology to transform education is palpable at LDE UTC and underscores the need for events like EdTech 50 to elevate and share in schools’ success – so others might follow suit. James Culley, Assistant Principal Director of Apprenticeships at LDE UTC, says: “Being recognised is exactly what we want because the students are doing fantastic work. We adopt an ‘always on’ approach and everything here is connected – we want people to embrace technology and the wonderful things it can achieve.”