Induction, even the word sounds boring. For many, having started new jobs and new schools before it is a series of mundane, form filling, box ticking, hanging around, making polite small talk based activities.
Fun, no. Memorable, no. Life changing, no.
So watching 300 young people explore, experience, try, taste and touch the first few days at the UTC is so far from the average.
It is life changing.
Taking the first steps into finding a career. Making new friends. Challenging your sense of self. Deciding who you want to be now and what you want to achieve going forward. Realising that dreaming it, believing it and actually doing it can all be for real, right now. Being bold and letting the journey happen.
There is doubt, there is fear, but there is also a series of meticulously planned experiences that guide students step by step, slow and steady along that journey to success. And all of the experiences that our new UTC students have experienced so far this week are designed to do just that.
Words of wisdom from inspirational local people, scientists, artists, CEOs, academics to remind you it can be done. ‘To fall down but get up quick’ – thank you Dr Paul Myers. Opportunities to test your boundaries, Bollywood dancing where ‘the more you hold back the less cool you look,’ thank you the Rushee team, an incredible Indian Arts company. Time to explore new careers, radiography sessions and Sensor City visits – thank you the University of Liverpool. Time to explore new cultures – thank you Al rhma Masjid Mosque, henna art, and our amazing catering team for an amazing Bengali lunch.
But most of all, the UTC induction is the chance to meet the people that will be your people for the next two years.
Your future mates who will remind you that it was okay to move away from your previous school leaving behind best friends.
Your new teachers and mentors and pastoral managers who will take you through the tough days, the early mornings and late nights, the frustrations and be there to celebrate the breakthroughs and the penny drop moments that help you to become your future self.
And on the day you finish, with your next step decided, GCSE, A level and BTEC results confirmed and a story about your time to tell, I hope you will forgive me for challenging you to be a record breaking record breaker, to wear as many Tshirts as you can in a minute, to balance as many CDs on a finger as you can, to eat the most cream crackers on your very first week.
Mr Ian Parry