Video and photo gallery: Bottle of bubbly in county’s tallest classroom marks milestone for Norfolk University Technical College

University technical college Norfolk in Norwich opens this September. Photo: Bill Smith University technical college Norfolk in Norwich opens this September. Photo: Bill Smith

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
2:39 PM

A 57-foot tall tower which has been dubbed Norfolk’s tallest classroom was the venue for the topping out ceremony for the county’s first university technical college.

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University technical college Norfolk in Norwich opens this September. Principal Alex Hayes. Photo: Bill SmithUniversity technical college Norfolk in Norwich opens this September. Principal Alex Hayes. Photo: Bill Smith

A 57-foot tall tower which has been dubbed Norfolk’s tallest classroom was the venue for the topping out ceremony for the county’s first university technical college.

Principal Alex Hayes this afternoon sprayed the traditional bottle of bubbly from the roof of the landmark yellow tower that marks the Old Hall Road site of the Norwich University Technical College, ahead of its opening in September.

• View our photo gallery of the current state of Norfolk UTC here

The college, which will offer combination of hands-on engineering skills and academic learning focused on science, technology, engineering and maths, has already recruited 200 students.

Mr Hayes said the 73 year 10 pupils, and 127 year 12 students, were drawn from 50 of Norfolk’s 54 state and private high schools, with more than 5pc coming from the independent education sector.

The building is due to be handed over on July 21, and its tower will be home to a weather station which will allow students to check the temperature to see how well the 250msq of solar panels are performing.

The college building includes a main forum at one end, and an industrial area at the other, which will be fitted with £1.3m worth of specialist equipment.

Mr Hayes said: “I feel very strongly that clearly what employers are saying is that we have a system set up on an academic and vocational divide, but employers want people who know the academic but can apply it to a practical situation.”

He said the college would put maths in context.

As well academic and vocational work, students will be set a challenge by employers every half term, which they will have to work as a team to solve.

Mr Hayes said that through these links with employers, students will have a good idea of what jobs there are in Norfolk and will be able to make an informed choice about their next steps.

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