YOUNGSTERS looking to pursue a career in science, engineering or technology flooded into a new school.
UTC Portsmouth focuses on teaching STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The school, in London Road, Hilsea, works directly with companies in those industries, with the end goal of getting students into full-time employment.
Entry points for students are Year 10 and Year 12 – with the first intake from both years entering the school for the first time.
Reece Bell, 16, will travel from Gosport each day to get to the school.
He said: ‘This school has got exactly what I want.
‘I wanted to do engineering and UTC fit the bill perfectly.
‘I don’t quite know where in engineering I would like to go, but the route I’ve taken lets me do a bit of everything.’
Declan O’Mahony, 16, says that he would like to go into the Royal Navy in the future.
He said: ‘My aspiration is to become a naval engineer, and with this school having the backing of the First Sea Lord this seemed like the natural option.
‘There are six people from my school here so I have a few familiar faces lying around.
‘I hope to do something with weapons in the future, and hopefully I can get some work experience in that field while I’m here.’
Director of curriculum James Doherty said: ‘It feels great to finally be open.
‘The whole senior team has sacrificed their summer holidays to get the school ready, but it is absolutely worth it.
‘It is even better now that the students are in – there is a real buzz in the building.
‘The life choices that have been presented to the students are second to none. They can go into these careers much faster, whether they are doing their GCSEs or A-levels.’
Mr Doherty says that because the school focuses on a small number of subjects, the facilities available to the students are above what most schools could offer them.
He said: ‘Our facilities are as close to industry standard as possible.
‘The idea is that when these students go on into employment or university, the equipment they are using is familiar to them.
‘You hear that some students aren’t ready for life outside of school, whereas our students will have a much more natural transition.
‘Everything is really well kitted out, which we are really proud of.’