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There are many highlights detailed in the report, highlights that praise the staff and pupils in our school: • Pupils thrive both socially and academically because they are well looked after and kept safe in a caring environment that puts their needs first.


• Teachers plan interesting work that motivates pupils to try hard and do their best. • There has been a relentless drive for improvement over the last two years. • Pupil’s are polite and courteous and the school is a calm and orderly place.


The main areas for further improvement so that we can work towards becoming an ‘Outstanding’ school


are as follows: • Improve teaching in the Nursery so that it is as consistently good as teaching Reception. • Ensure teachers plan work that consistently provides the right level of challenge for the most able pupils.


• Close the gap between pupils’ attainment in reading and writing.


If you would like to read our report in full, please go to either our school website via www.downs.essex.sch.uk, or the Ofsted website via www.ofsted.gov.uk. Should you have any questions about The Downs Primary School and Nursery or would like to


arrange a visit to have a look around, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Liz Gelston – Headteacher


Sir Charles Kao University Technical College Year 12 Student Published in The Guardian


We are pleased to announce that Sofia Gattuso in Year 12 (see photo below) was recently published on The Guardian’s website1 as part of their blogging students’ programme. Sofia joined the UTC in September and is studying for


qualifications in Computer Science and Engineering spoke about why she believes more students should join her in work-


ing towards a future STEM career. As part of her article Sofia also spoke to fellow Year 12 students Holly Garrod and Olivia Ward about their experiences. This publication was in advance of International Day For Women and Girls in Science which was celebrated for the first time this year.


Sir Charles Kao UTC Launch Smart Home Environment ‘Intelligent Flat’ The flat, a smart home environment situated on the first floor of Sir Charles Kao UTC was


launched at an event on Thursday 3rd March. Visitors had a chance to hear from a number of industry experts, staff and students about how this innovative learning space is integrated into the curriculum. The flat provides students with a distinctive opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of


configuring and using the latest smart technologies. As part of their curriculum students will learn how they can centrally manage all smart home systems such as lighting, heating and cooling,


audio and video features. These systems can provide intelligent automation allowing an automatic response to events around the flat, like arriving home, security breaches or burst pipes whilst also providing event notifications to the homeowner by text or email. Sir Charles Kao UTC Principal Michael


McKeaveney said, “The two specialist learning areas within the UTC, which also includes our Smart Box, provides unique learning opportunities for students and enables students to see their work come to life. Through using this software, our students will be well-equipped to fill new and exciting jobs in a growing industry.”


Sofia Gattuso trying out a Virtual Reality Headset


1. www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2016/feb/10/im-the-only-girl-in-my-computer-science-class


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