New Assistant Principal KS4 Lead, Tim Smeaton, is a former Associate Vice Principal who has joined the UTC inspired by the college’s focus on the world of work. Tim also teaches maths at the UTC.
Why teach Maths?
I’ve been teaching maths for nine years and I really enjoy it. It was the subject I enjoyed most at school, alongside Sport. I was naturally good at it, so I went on to do a maths with education degree at university.
What’s the main difference about teaching maths at a UTC?
The way the students’ studies are linked to practical work. We link all the topics together so that learning is more integrated. Maths isn’t just maths in isolation, it’s linked to engineering so students can understand maths in context.
Are there other differences?
I think it’s very interesting the different maths courses that are available at the UTC to suit the learner so they can complete their engineering course. There’s the A Level maths and further maths courses, then there are maths with engineering courses that I didn’t realise existed. They offer great opportunities for students to achieve a qualification that will allow them to go on to study engineering either in a higher level apprenticeship or a university.
How have you found the UTC?
The students have exceeded my expectations in terms of their behaviour and the effort they want to put in. They really care about their learning.
Why do we need UTCs?
I think that UTCs prepare students more effectively for the working world. They get more employers coming into school, so they’re learning about interview skills and what’s expected at work. The way that they’re treated at the UTC and the uniform they wear is preparing them for professional life. They also get chances for work experience and workplace visits that they wouldn’t have at other schools. They’re allowed to go into the workplace rather than think it’s just about the school all the time.
What are your ambitions for maths at the UTC?
I want to build on what’s been achieved already and to help more students to achieve their potential in maths. I would like more students to join the higher maths sets and to achieve higher grades. I think there’s a lot of opportunity here.