Thursday 12th July saw the second annual LAT Awards take place at Strood Academy. It was a glittering, red-carpet event to celebrate the achievements of some of our very best staff and governors. Nominees were put forward by their colleagues and winners were decided by an independent panel of judges.

The evening started with a prosecco reception and was followed by dinner provided by Cucina and entertainment from Donnel, a sixteen year old exceptional pianist from The Halley Academy in Greenwich.

Master of ceremonies for the evening was the Trust’s Deputy CEO, Neil Willis. Nominated staff and their guests watched the Trust’s latest video featuring CEO, Simon Beamish, promoting its first ten years as an organisation.

Prizes were presented after dinner by senior LAT executives and Directors with the support of Nicola Everett from kmfm. A closing speech was delivered by LAT’s Chairman, Bob Findlay. Award winners were as follows:


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As part of the evening, a £2,000 cheque was presented to the winner of the inaugural Leigh Prize by Cllr Jeremy Kite, MBE, Leader of Dartford Borough Council and LAT Director. It was awarded in its first year for the best dissertation on the topic of teacher wellbeing. The top prize was awarded to Sophie Dickinson from The Leigh UTC for her excellent essay which will now be published nationally.

The Trust is already planning the same event for next year which it is hoped will be even bigger and better still. In addition, plans are now underway for an inaugural LAT Christmas Ball to take place in December 2018. It is events like these that bind us together and remind us that we are much more than simply a set of individual schools.

Click here to see the photos from the evening.

Bore Farm – Design and Technology food trip

Year 7 recently visited Bore Farm in Tonbridge as part of a Design and Technology food trip. During the trip, students were able to harvest ingredients from the farm before they worked in teams to prepare and cook a seasonal two course lunch of leek and potato soup with soda bread which was followed by a very tasty rhubarb crumble.

Following the lunch they had a tour of the fully working dairy farm and were shown how the farm operates on a daily basis. Guides and teachers helped explain to them how the farm was completely sustainable in its farming approach leaving no product to waste. They had a great experience visiting the farm, picking their own vegetables and fruit, cooking their own lunch and of course seeing and smelling the cows!

Volvo Group at The Leigh UTC

Two members of management from the  Volvo group came out to The Leigh UTC on Wednesday 2nd May to showcase their new all electric bus currently being trialed along the Fasttrack in Dartford.

Adrian Felton delivered a presentation to our year 12 engineering students about the Volvo group and their research and development into new technologies. The presentation touched on Volvo Group activities across the world and importantly job opportunities particularly for those wanting to follow an apprenticeship pathway.

UTC students participated in the presentation with thorough questioning of why this move to elecrication is important and issues that may arise.

Students where then invited onto the electric bus to see how it works.  They then went on a journey to the charging depot in Greenhithe to see the new technology up close.

With the advances in battery and charging technology students could see the bus fully charged in under 10 minutes.

On return to The Leigh UTC Volvo set a design challenge for our engineering students to come up with a viable solution to a real ongoing problem.

Over the next term students will work in teams to come up with a solution and present their findings to Volvo.  The winning team will receive a suitable prize for their efforts.

Steve Leahey, Principal of the UTC commented that such industry / education partnerships are increasingly vital for a sector with huge national skills shortages. We plan to work more closely with Volvo group on a number of initiatives over the coming year which will help our students have a clear understanding of work related learning.

Year 7 Parent and Tutor Day

We had a wonderful Y7 parent and tutor day yesterday to help focus and target set for our year 7s, helping to prepare them for the upcoming end of year exams in module 6. It was also a great opportunity for the students to give personalised tours around our fantastic new building.


Inspiration Academy SEN Coffee Morning

We held our first SEN Coffee morning yesterday with an ASD awareness focus. It was a fantastic opportunity for parents staff and Educational Psychologists to develop a network and have time to share and discuss our students in depth. Thank you to Lucy Robertson and Ryan Cullen our Educational Psychologists and Clive Barker our SEN Governor who supported the event. Please watch out for future Coffee mornings in the Autumn term.


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Bloodhound Regional Finals

A huge congratulations to Jacob Woodhouse, Tom Argent, Jake Whiteman, Yahya Furrukh who came in 2nd place today at the Bloodhound regional finals. They had 1.5hrs to build and complete their rocket car for the race. We will find out next week if they have qualified for the national finals in June… fingers crossed for them!!