UTC South Durham students working in the Engineering Hall

From September 2021, UTC South Durham will welcome its very first Year 9 cohort. This is a very exciting step in the history of our school and is something we believe will benefit you if you join us at the start of the next academic year.

Here’s why…


  1. You’ll be better prepared for your GCSEs

Not only will you have more time to get used to life at UTC South Durham (the balance between technical and academic education, longer working hours and the focus on your personal development), but Year 9 will also allow you to comfortably decide which courses to take at GCSE level.

Furthermore, you’ll already be used to many of our staff members by the time you reach Year 10, giving you a much more comfortable and supported attempt at your exams.

Find out more about our Year 9 curriculum here.


  1. You’ll gain more practical experience

UTC South Durham is a state-funded school that has a focus on the STEM subjects and, in particular Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing.

Because of our very nature as a UTC, we are passionate about you developing employable skills and gaining a meaningful experience of the workplace. That begins inside our very own Engineering Hall, where you’ll be given the freedom to develop your own understanding, as well as experiment with systems, design and manufacturing.

It is this hands-on way of learning that many current students have stated as to why they joined the school in the first place, as well as stay and study at A-Level.


  1. You’ll be trusted and respected like a professional adult

When you’ve completed your GCSEs, you’ll be ready for whatever comes next. Whether you decide to stay on and study A-Levels with us or go elsewhere, apply for an apprenticeship or enter the world of work, you will leave as a professional.

By joining us in Year 9, the foundations of workplace etiquette will be modelled in every part of your UTC life. With longer working days, you’re given the chance to get used to industry hours; with being on a first-name term with staff, you’re being respected and treated as a colleague and, with our dress code, you’re being encouraged to take pride in your own self-promotion.   

Furthermore, we are located on Aycliffe Business Park. When we opened, this was a very conscious decision, as we wanted our students to feel like – from the moment they began – they were a part of a professional and respectful workforce. As one of our current students has said, “it feels more like a workplace than a school.”


  1. You’ll be better informed of post-16 opportunities

We are just as passionate about your desired destination as you are. That’s why we want you to know exactly what sector you can move into when your GCSEs are done and dusted.

Our Careers Programme includes work experience and project-based learning, giving our students a meaningful insight into the world of work. Our Industry Partners (Gestamp, University of Sunderland, Hitachi and more) are also on hand to provide guidance and a real-world awareness of the range of careers that are available to you.

Additionally, our teaching staff incorporates career information into their lessons, so that you will track how the skills and confidence you gain within the UTC can transport you into the destination of your choosing.


  1. You’ll develop your employable skills

By working alongside teaching staff, support staff and our business partners, you will enhance the skills that employers will be looking for.

From the teaching in lessons, to the practical nature of the projects and the confidence you gain from liaising with our Industry Partners, you will shape yourself around these core skills:

  • Communication
  • Organisation
  • Perseverance
  • Reflection
  • Collaboration
  • Respect

By joining UTC South Durham in Year 9, you will be giving yourself more time to embed those traits into your way of working and, by doing so, you’ll look for the opportunities to develop them further and make sure you are on the right pathway for you.


Want to apply to our vey first Year 9 cohort? Click here