News & Media

Young Scientists at UCEA receive offers for Nuffield Research Placement Scheme - 20/04/2018

All of the Year 12 students studying A Level Science at University Church of England Academy (UCEA) have been successful in being offered places on the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme for the Summer of 2018. The Nuffield Research Placement Scheme provides students with the opportunity to work alongside professional Scientists (including Quantitative Social Scientists), Technologists, Engineers and Mathematicians. The placement scheme is available to a select number of students completing their first year of a post-16 STEM course. Each student went through a rigorous application process, similar to applying for a university place, in order to enrol on the scheme and also had to achieve the minimum grades required. Each student will undertake a research project which must include scientific or technical content and their projects do not have to be laboratory based. They might be office-based or include a lot of fieldwork, or they might focus on engineering, data science or computer science. The Placement Scheme will last between four and six weeks in length and may take place in a university, research institute, a place of business, or voluntary organisation. Students will also gain the in-depth experience of working alongside professional and post-graduate researchers on a project that is an important part of their academic research or business. To conclude the course, each of the students will be presenting their findings from the research project in front of scientists from some of the biggest universities in the country. Each of the successful applicants can now use this opportunity to support their current studies at the Academy, and the experience will also contribute towards their future university applications and career prospects. Congratulations to Josh Nolan, Erin Jarvis-Dunne, Ethan Lonergan, Jaimie McLoughlin and Joe Davies for being successful in receiving a place on the scheme. Paul Jenkins, Head of Science at UCEA, said: ”This is the second year that Science students from the Academy have been successful in gaining research placements. I am so proud of the students for applying as it will make a massive difference to their outlook on undergraduate study and the quality of their UCAS statements”.

UAW students campaign for environmental changes - 17/04/2018

Over the last half term students in Year 7 at the University Academy Warrington (UAW) have been studying the major environmental issues our planet faces, such as deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and the lasting effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. A topic which really struck a chord with students was the issue of ‘plastic oceans’ and the extreme impact this is having on marine life. During a recent Geography lesson, students were given the opportunity to write a letter to members of the government expressing their concerns, providing some solutions and explaining how they will be changing their own lives through recycling. A selection of the best letters were then sent to the Prime Minister, Theresa May. To the students’ surprise, they recently received a response from the correspondence officer at 10 Downing Street thanking them for their “excellent letters” and for taking time to research and raise the issues. The government have now forwarded these letters on to the Department for Education, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as they are responsible for government policy on plastic oceans. Mr Hinchliffe, teacher of Geography at the Academy, said: “The students produced fantastic letters that clearly explained why they were concerned about the environment and what they would do about it.”

UCEA students reflect on life and death during Easter celebration assemblies. - 29/03/2018

To celebrate Easter as a whole school community and welcome participation from the wider school community, the Academy hosted a special Easter Service on Tuesday 27th March 2018. During the Easter Celebration Assemblies the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, spoke passionately about the death and resurrection of Jesus. We were then pleased to welcome pupils from the Christ Church of England Primary School Choir who brilliantly performed two songs in front of a full theatre. Staff, students and visitors then joined in prayer which was led by Rev Gordon McGuinness from St. Thomas Church. Mr Anderson, Chaplain at University Church of England Academy, said: “It was an enjoyable experience for all those involved and the key message delivered by the Bishop hopefully will inspire younger minds to carefully consider the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was also wonderful to have the choir taking part and look forward to future collaborations with Christ Church of England Primary School.” The Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair commented: “It was great to celebrate Easter at the University Church of England Academy. I especially loved the songs from Christ Church Primary and the dance, which seemed to help us hear the message of Easter from Friday to Sunday. It was great to see a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For what I received, I passed onto you that Christ died for our sins in keeping with Scripture and that He was buried and raised again on the third day.” on the television screen, reminding us of the faith we’ve been given and the call to give to others.”

Year 10 STEM students prove they have the ‘drive’ to build sustainable energy race car - 28/03/2018

Year 10 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) students at the University Church of England Academy are making great strides in their efforts to create a sustainable energy race car. This is an amazing opportunity for this group of boys at UCEA to prove themselves in a nationwide competition, hosted by GreenPower Education Trust. The competition provides a very exciting challenge for the team, allowing them to test their skills and talents against a number of schools across the country. The competition was developed specifically to give young people an opportunity to gain working experience within the engineering industry while also inspiring them to look for careers in the STEM sector. The brief is to create a viable, fully functioning sustainable energy powered car. Also, to be successful they will be racing the completed car against other schools in a number of trials (on a real race track) to find the most economical car. This project is being supported by the University of Chester whose STEM Outreach Team at Thornton Science Park has kindly supplied the school with the kit for the car. Support has also come from David Bolam, an experienced teacher in both Technology and Engineering, as well as Ian Dykes, a Science Technician at the Academy. David Bolam explains the progress made so far: “We have been working on the project now for a number of months and will continue over the next two years. The team meets each month and has already started to put the chassis and the main components together. With access to Thornton Science Park and their extensive University-standard equipment and machinery, we are able to use top of the range materials and processes which will give us the best chance to be successful. “This project gives the students involved the opportunity to look into real world energy problems while using cutting edge technology, hopefully opening related career pathways for them in the future. A successful run in this competition has the potential to open doors for STEM career opportunities in the local area and beyond.” He added: “The selected group of Year 10 students spent their first few sessions at Thornton Science Park assembling the chassis of their car. They are now well into designing the monocoque frame (single shell) for the car body which must be as aerodynamic as possible.” “The team comprises of Jamie Cavanagh (Group Leader) and his deputy Marcel Kucharski, together with Aaron Owens, Albie Rossiter, Ben Jones, Ben Taylor, Ben Walters, Liam Terry, Morgan Parry and William Nuttall. All ten boys have risen to the challenge and there is a real air of positivity, creativity and aspirational work taking place and the boys are thoroughly engaged. “This project has already given the boys a great insight into how STEM products operate in the real world situation and has opened their eyes to a vast range of career opportunities available in Ellesmere Port and the wider world. It has also shown how STEM initiatives can help work alongside their GCSE work giving them a better grasp on some Mathematic, Scientific, and Technological concepts to help their school work progress.” Jamie Cavanagh, STEM Group Leader, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of this project to build and race an electric car that we have made ourselves. I felt so proud that the team voted for me to be their team leader and I will try to show the qualities that they saw in me by voting for me. I look forward to racing in a renewable energy car and I understand we are very lucky as few schools have been given the opportunity we have been given.” Ben Jones, Year 10 UCEA Student, added: “This project has come at just the right time for me and has given me the chance to do something really worthwhile. My dad works at Thornton Science Park and has seen what we have done and he says he is extremely proud of me. I don’t want to let him or my team down.” David Bolam said: “This is an exciting and rare opportunity for young men in this community to show their passion for engineering and have an opportunity to develop a project that will help them no end in their future STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) careers. It will also be an exciting challenge for them to create a real working racing car and a brilliant opportunity for them to race at a real racetrack against other students from around the whole country. The project will also develop their knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing designers and engineers in the future by highlighting the need for alternative energies and sustainable designs for the future good of the planet.”

Academy student is Oxford bound! - 28/03/2018

The current Head Girl at University Church of England Academy (UCEA) has beaten stiff competition to be offered a place to study English at the University of Oxford, with the added bonus of a fully funded foundation year. Staff and students at UCEA are extremely proud of the achievements of Year 13 student, Zoe Butler. The University of Oxford paid for Zoe to travel down and stay overnight at Lady Margaret Hall, which is the college Zoe will be learning and living in. Zoe was tasked with preparing a piece of poetry analysis to discuss during the rigorous interview process and was one of only two candidates chosen, from over 300 applicants, to receive the fully funded tutoring. Already a positive role model within the Academy via her commitments to the role of Head Girl, Zoe is now a shining example of what students at UCEA can achieve through hard work, dedication and the right support. The Academy will now continue to support Zoe on her journey to achieve the grades required to make this life changing opportunity a reality. Zoe said: “The Academy has been instrumental on this journey, and every time I’ve doubted myself they’ve believed in me and it has really paid off. I’m so grateful to be able to say ‘I’ll be attending Oxford in September to study English’ as it has always been a subject I’ve loved and where I can always let my imagination flow. “In the future, I hope to complete my degree and then enrol onto a four-year training programme to become a Social Researcher in the House of Commons. The Academy has given me so many opportunities to really develop myself and find where my interests lie, and I think that the enthusiasm I had came through in my interview and was one of the reasons why I was selected. “I’m extremely thankful that all of the staff have been behind me every step of the way, and I can definitely say it has paid off!” Vicky Da Silva, Assistant Principal and Head of Sixth Form, said: “We are so pleased for Zoe and look forward to seeing her reap the benefits of all of her hard work and determination. This is an excellent experience for her on her road to a successful future career. She thoroughly deserves this opportunity and we are committed to ensuring she achieves her full potential.”

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