Jak Heslop - Vice Prinicipal
I have been a qualified teacher for 22 years, teaching GCSE Sciences and A Level Chemistry at a variety of schools across the North East. Until moving to UTC South Durham in 2016, I had been Head of Science at a local Ofsted Outstanding school for the previous 12 years, and prior to that, Head of Chemistry, and Head of Science at a local Sixth Form Centre.
Having completed A levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1992 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and then moved on to do some post graduate research for the Ministry of Defence at Cranfield Institute of Technology. I completed my PGCE in Science with Maths at the University of Leicester. Throughout my teaching career, I have worked as an examiner, marking across the age range and have been involved in piloting new GCSE courses.
As Vice Principal, my primary role is to monitor and develop Teaching and Learning strategies across UTC South Durham, coordinating quality assurance to ensure that all students are able to make the progress of which they are capable and organising professional development opportunities for colleagues. I closely monitor the progress of groups of students, coordinating intervention programmes where necessary.
Although a teacher of Chemistry, in my role as Faculty Director for Core and Inclusion, I have been responsible for the quality of provision, and the progress made in Maths, English, PE and PSHE. I have also coordinated the strategic allocation of the Pupil Premium funding, monitoring whether its use has been effective.
I believe passionately in encouraging students, and in particular, girls, to continue their studies of Science past GCSE. I have strong links with the University of Durham and other County Durham schools developing the profile and up take of Physics Post-16. My students and I were early participants in the Science Ambassadors scheme, and I currently enjoy coordinating the UTC Science Magnets, where our Year 10 students share and demonstrate their love of Science to local primary school pupils and at public events.