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Mayor of Hertsmere tours Elstree UTC in Borehamwood
A “radical” new technology college that opened in September is celebrating a “fantastic” first term.
Less than four months ago Elstree University Technology College in Studio Way in Borehamwood was an empty shell.
Now just 11 weeks later, the light-filled three-storey glass building, which boasts spacious open plan study spaces and is decorated in red and black, is a thriving hub of activity.
The school, which specialises in vocational education for film, television and the creative arts, has very close links with Elstree Studios, which is owned by Hertsmere Borough Council.
Today Mayor of Hertsmere Paul Morris and Councillor Caroline Clapper toured the school to see the students in action.
The councillors visited classrooms and studios where students were shooting their own TV show and mixing their own songs, programming computers to create animated creatures, taking part in drama lessons, making electric circuits and creating “beautiful” works of art.
During morning break, students excitedly discussed the morning’s work while one sat down and played classical pieces on the piano in front of his classmates.
Cllr Morris said he was impressed by the buildings and the dedication of the pupils.
He said: “It really is a fantastic school and a credit to Borehamwood. The facilities are very impressive indeed, it’s a far cry from my own dilapidated school. It really is a college for the 21st century.
“There is little sign of the traditional classroom atmosphere here, with students sitting being lectured at. The students seem to be working hard and independently with only minimal supervision. It’s very hands on.”
Principal Moira Green said it was hard to believe just 11 weeks ago the school did not exist as a community.
She said: “It really is an incredible place. Despite a few teething problems with the building, we’re up and running and the place is thriving. Everyone feels at home here, every day special things happen.
“We have really high attendance here. The children are voting with their feet and coming in every day because they want to be here and are very much enjoying the work they are doing.
"It’s very hard to make them leave at the end of the day.”
Elstree UTC, which Ms Green describes as, “new, the first of its kind”, is equipped with cutting edge technology and exceptional teaching necessary to equip students for the world of work.
She said: “The students are creating professional standard work, all the artwork on the walls is created by students and we have people wanting to buy it.”
The school, which has 230 pupils, is set to more than double in size next September and is already well on the way to filling those places.
It is putting on its first production, a winter concert, on December 19, and rehearsals are well underway for its pantomime, The Little Shop of Horrors, in January.
Ms Green said: “This is the first chance we’ve had to showcase what our students are capable of. It’ll be great.”
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