Employer Engagement Blog

By Mar.07, 2017

Hi Everyone,


Here at UTC we are focused on making sure our students are making the most of the employer ties we have by being in the heart of the northern digital sector here at MediaCityUK. We have two dedicated members of staff who focus on marketing the UTC and bringing in business men and women from around the area to talk to and hopefully inspire our students to make the most out of their education. One of these members of staff, Laura our Employer Engagement Lead now writes a blog which is updated multiple times a week to detail the great employer engagement work being done here at UTC.


If you would like to hear more about our Employer Engagement be sure to have a look at the blog by clicking here or following the link below.




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Explaining Progress 8

By Feb.22, 2017

We would like to share the following useful video that we hope will help explain the ‘Progress 8’ system that is now used for tracking school performance. This has replaced the previous measuring system of 5 A*-C grades including Maths and English.


If you would like to know more please be sure to watch the video posted below and if you have any questions afterward please feel free to let us know.


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IWM – Student Holocaust Memorial Videos

By Jan.27, 2017

Some of our students work was screened today at the Imperial War Museum North for Holocaust Memorial Day.

10 students from the UTC were involved in a project with the IWMN and Chocolate Films, working with Holocaust survivors. They worked to capture survivor testimony and used animation to present their ideas.

The students worked in a very sympathetic and mature way to present this very moving information. Members of the public congratulated our students on how they had worked so thoughtfully with the Holocaust survivors. 

Below are the video links to the students work, please feel free to check it out:



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UTC @ Granada News Studio

By Nov.21, 2016

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ITV regional television presenter Natasha Carter welcomed UTC television and Film students to the News studios last week. Students had hands on experience of the cameras and got tips from evening show hosts Tony Morris and Lucy Meacock.

Later students had a go themselves and tried using the auto cue with ear piece direction. There were recordings of the session made and producers will be sending it along for UTC to share online.

The whole experience was a great event and students forged links with the professional to get future work experience.


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National Anti-Bullying Week

By Nov.09, 2016

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Arts company Art with Heart worked with UTC students to explore equality and discrimination ahead of National Anti-Bullying Week. The award-winning

arts company have been supported by the Police Crime Commissioner to deliver a series of workshops exploring equality past, present and future across Greater Manchester schools.


The thought-provoking workshop was born out of a need for open, safe and eloquent dialogue around issues of discrimination and bullying and has been informed by recent research conducted by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label. Research collected showed that over 1.5 million young people (50%) have been bullied within the past year, 145,800 (19%) of these were bullied everyday.

Rachel Moorhouse of Art with Heart says, “We do a huge amount of work with young people and see the devastating impact that bullying has on their health, behaviour and self-esteem. Our workshops will offer young people the freedom and opportunity to explore what discrimination and equality mean, who they are, what they want their world to look like and how to make change happen.”

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Imperial War Museum Work Experience

By Nov.08, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day Documentaries
Imperial War Museum and Chocolate Films work experience article 1 of 2
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I really enjoyed this week long project and I feel that I’ve learned a lot about the process of making a documentary. I learned how to produce animations, how to light sets and how to interview and many other things.  Also working to deadlines.
On day one we were introduced to the project subject matter it was to be about the Holocaust. We firstly began planning the questions for interviews. While we did this we learned how to get the est sound with the audio and visual equipment.
On day two we interviewed both holocaust survivors – Gisela who is 93 and Arek 83. At this point we split into two units of 5 to work separately on both documentaries. My team was working with Gisela. It was very moving to listen to her recount her life. She had escaped the concentration camps and was hidden away from the Nazi’s for her own safety. The other group interviewed Arek, who was a young boy in the notorious Auschwitz Camp. After we had the footage we began planning out the order and how we would trim 45 minutes of footage down to 5 minutes.
On day three we carried on planning and trimming the documentary. Later that day we were given access to animating with software called “Dragon Frame”, which compiled all the photos into an animation and allowed us to easily modify frames.
On day four we were animating and editing the documentary, making sure we had the right timings, sound effects and animations.
On day five we added the music and credits. The music had to reflect the subject matter, so was sad in parts but uplifting towards the end.
We presented our documentaries to the Imperial War Museum staff. They were very happy. The documentaries will be projected on to the walls in the museum for the general public to see.
I found the project amazing and would happily get involved again. I liked working as a team with students I didn’t know previously.
Jamie Brown
Year 10

Imperial War Museum and Chocolate Films work experience 2 of 2

I had a week of work experience with the Imperial War Museum in a group of ten students from UTC. We were asked to produce two films about the holocaust .We split into two teams of five. I was in the group that a man named Arek an 83 yearold who survived Auschwitz. It was very moving to hear their personal accounts on their experiences in World War 2.

The first few days was spent gathering information about the survivors. We learnt the skills needed to record the interview – such as how to operate the microphones and cameras. When we had gathered enough information to write around 20 questions that will be asked on the day.

On the day of filming we setup all of our equipment which was interesting. It highlights the amount of time and planning is needed before actually recording takes place. We then met Arek and his wife and had a short conversation before we began interviews. After the interview was finished, we had over 40 minutes of footage. The footage would have to be condensed into just over 3 minutes.

The last remaining days were spent planning our story line as well as what footage we should use. We learnt how to use final cut pro x on the mac, to enable us to place and create the timeline of footage. We also spent time planning our animation ideas for each piece of information. We did this by using a row of sticky notes and placing them in order. This was an interesting method as it allows the stages and ideas to be clearly viewed and moved about freely.

On the final two days and after planning a clear path of what was going to be animated. We decided what type of animation was going to be used. For this we learnt how to use Dragonframe software, to animate stop motion of different types. We finally managed to animated and fit it with the clips of the interview and had a finished video ready to show.

Overall this whole experience is something I would do again as it was fun and interesting. I feel I have learnt a lot over the course of the week. Such things as how to use professional editing software and how to set up a proper camera and mic setup. All of these amazing skills I have learnt over the course of a week as well as being able to meet a holocaust survivors.

Giovanni Laylor
Year 10
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Youth Charter Olympic Broadcast

By Oct.21, 2016

Youth Charter Legacy Debate Live at UTC@MediaCityUK



The Youth Charter held a Live Debate on the 21st October at UTC@MediaCityUK about the legacy of the Rio Olympic Games with special guest The Rt Hon John Bercow MP the event was streamed live and can be viewed here. UTC Principal Sharon Gardner announced it was hoped that this would be the first of many UTC/Youth Charter collaborations. Over 100 UTC students produced and directed the entire project. Pre-recorded video content and animation was led by Trisha Mistry, Ben Eckersall and Isaac Chohan There was a team dedicated to the filming and live-streaming on the day, co-ordinated by Year 13 student Liam Lyall. Further content was shot by UTC students filming in local primary school with children from Moorlands Juniors in Sale.

They had attended the Olympics Parade and met Olympians. Students attending a sports conference at Old Trafford interviewed key sportsmen and women at the event.

The Youth Charter is a UK based registered charity and that create and deliver a social legacy development programmes and projects globally.

Friday’s event was hosted by Geoff Thompson who handed over to speaker of the house RT Hon John Bercow to chair the debate. The special guests included Boxer Jordan Thompson and Team GB Long jumper Abigail Irozuru.

The whole 2016 Legacy Debate was be an exciting and engaging debate and discussion. Among the schools invited were from Loretto College, Darwin Academy and Moorlands Primary Schools.

After an introduction and film detailing the fine work that Charter carries out in the community, UK and globally. The panel soon began to answer debate questions from the audience and also give their opinions on sport it’s funding and the place of social media within sport.

The athletes were encouraged by the speaker, to pass on their experiences to the young audience, talking about of their own struggles in reaching success with their sports.

Speaker John Bercow praised the work done by the Charter but also stated that there was still much work to be done to build upon the legacy of team GB triumphs as it was important to draw more people in to the cause.

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UTC@MediaCityUK hosts their first annual ‘Oscars’ Ceremony

By Jul.19, 2016

The first annual ‘Oscars’ award ceremony will be taking place on Thursday 21st July 2016 to celebrate the hard work done by students throughout the year and the contribution of our employer partners.

Students, parents, governors and industry partners will be in attendance. Awards will be presented by special guests including: including Liz Vega (Informed Solutions), Julia Fawcett (The Lowry), Angie Wiseman (Talk Talk), Nick Clackett (Brown Bag Films), Arlene Bulfin (UK Fast), Geoff Thompson (Youth Charter), Lily Charnock (Magnetic North) and Tom Marshall (Captive North).

The event will be broadcast around the building and live on YouTube out of Studio 1 and Studio 2. Studio 3 and Studio 4 will also be setup as viewing rooms to accommodate the number of visitors.

This black-tie event will begin with a red carpet and canapés entrance and DJing from a Y12 sound and radio studio.


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By May.23, 2016

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mN select winners of UTC@MediaCityUK competition

By Mar.31, 2016


Last week, UTC@MediaCityUK students headed over to the mN studio to pitch their vision pieces on the future of digital. In case you missed it, this was to help celebrate mN’s fifteenth anniversary as a digital design studio (you can read the full story here). For the competition, we asked students born the same year as mN to create an idea that looked to the next 15 years in digital product and service design.

After some of the mN team visited the college back in December, the final groups were shortlisted from a selection of 20 + pitches. We chose four groups that delivered something original; whose ideas had the potential to be realised as digital products of the future.

For the final, we asked the students to condense their presentations and deliver them in the form of an elevator pitch, lasting just three minutes. Within this time, the students explained their concepts and presented their vision pieces; leaving lots of time for questions. The design and technical team loved listening to all their ideas and were impressed by their delivery and fresh perspectives offered on the future of the digital industry.

Before we reveal the winner, here’s a quick summary of the finalists’ ideas:

Group 1: WATCHIO

Radio & Audio specialists Jack & Jack (that’s right) kicked off the pitches with WATCHIO – a smart watch that recommends songs tailored to suit your mood. Equipped with a Bluetooth ear piece, users can tell WATCHIO how they’re feeling, resulting in a radio channel that represents a genre most suitable.

Why we liked it:

Jack & Jack showed plenty of enthusiasm and put a lot of thought into every aspect of their pitch. We also liked their environmentally conscious approach to the design, offering a solar panel across the strap of the watch!
Group 2: Digikitchen

In a nod towards trends around the Internet of Things, TV and Film students Ethan, Paige and Beth pitched Digikitchen – a digital app to manage all of your smart kitchen appliances in one place. The app connects to different items in your kitchen, allowing you to be notified on food you’re running low on, control the temperature of your oven etc.

Why we liked it:

We really enjoyed their vision piece and were impressed with how they articulated the idea. Even though smart kitchens have been on people’s radars for some time, the group showed how the tool would not only help people in their homes but also benefit a range of businesses including restaurants and catering services.
Group 3: Givechester

Making great use of Manchester’s MiGuide screens, TV and Film students Katie, Jessica and Caitlyn pitched Givechester – an app to help the homeless. The donation app would allow the public to list available goods from their smartphone whilst those in need use interactive screens across the city centre to view the items up for donation. Only once registering a profile can the donor and recipient arrange a collection, which is recorded via the app to ensure a safe and smooth meet up.

Why we liked it:

With an increasing number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester, we admired Katie, Jessica and Caitlyn’s decision to creating something that would benefit the wider community. We thought Givechester offered a great way to help those in need across Manchester, utilizing digital services that are accessible for the public whilst encouraging more people to donate to the homeless.
Group 4: Digital Art Café

Graphics and Design student Henry introduced us to Digital Art Café. Shifting to physical spaces for digital tools and services, the idea of Digital Art Café is to provide a creative space for those developing new skills or working in the digital industry. The café would offer a range of digital classes, which visitors can take part in whilst sipping on their favourite cup of coffee.

Why we liked it:

Although there are places that offer PC and Mac suites for creative types such as Manchester Central Library, we loved Henry’s ambition of creating a workspace with digital at the heart. There is certainly a huge opportunity to create city centre spaces for young developers and designers to collaborate and learn.

After the students presented their pitches, the mN team huddled together to discuss who would be crowned winner of the competition. After a heated discussion, Katie, Jessica and Caitlyn were chosen for their Givechester idea. We felt that they offered something original yet realistic; and were inspired by their decision to use technology for social good.

Whilst we’re happy to have a winner for the project, all four groups resonated with us for different reasons. Therefore, we’ve offered all of the students support in the future, whether this be work experience or advice on how to bring their idea to life.

We want to thank all of the students for their hard work and the finalists for coming into the studio to share their creativity with us. Here’s to the next 15 years of digital, it’s sure to be in safe hands with young talent like this.

– Article taken from the Magnetic North website.


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