Studio Schools are a new concept in education, pioneering a bold new approach to learning which includes teaching through enterprise projects and real work. This approach ensures students’ learning is rooted in the real world and helps them to develop the skills they need to flourish in life.
Studio Schools are designed for 14-19 year olds. They are small schools for approximately 300 students; they feel more like a workplace than a school with year-round opening and a 8.30am – 5pm working day.
Studio Schools offer a range of academic and BTEC qualifications, as well as work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area. Students will gain a broad range of employability skills, and will have the option to progress on to university, an apprenticeship or into employment.
At the heart of the Studio Schools’ model are seven key features which have been developed through extensive research and consultation with employers, education experts and young people:
- Academic excellence – Studio Schools teach the national curriculum including core GCSEs in English, mathematics and science, alongside their individual specialisms.
- Employability and enterprise skills – using the CREATE skills framework (communication, relating to people, enterprise, applied skills, thinking skills and emotional intelligence), employability and life skills underpin all activities at a Studio School.
- Personalised curriculum – all students are assigned a personal coach who meets with them and help develop their own personalised learning plan. This will allow students to tailor the curriculum to their individual needs and aspirations, and track their progress towards their CREATE skills and qualifications.
- Practical learning – enquiry-based learning is at the heart of Studio Schools’ curriculum model. Students will learn the national curriculum principally through enterprise projects involving industry partners.
- Real work – students in Year 10 and 11 will participate in a day of work experience each week and students in Year 12 and 13 will spend two days per week in work.
- Small schools – with approximately 300 students, Studio Schools offer a supportive, personalised learning environment in which strong pastoral care runs throughout the school’s activities. This helps to ensure that no young person gets lost within the institution and that young people are able to build strong relationships with their peers and coaches.
- Students of all abilities – Studio Schools are fully inclusive and comply with the national school admissions code.
This is what inspectors said at some recent Ofsted inspections of Studio Schools:
- “Innovative strategies such as Project-Based Learning have been adopted with the aim of helping students develop the ability to solve problems and work well in teams. Such approaches have been effective in improving students’ employability and social skills.”
- “Students realise the importance of their learning, not simply in terms of examination grades but also in terms of the attitudes and skills they need for successful careers and lives.”
- “Students engage well in their learning. In lessons, they listen attentively, work hard and take pride in what they are doing. They particularly enjoy the practical parts of their studies involving specialist equipment and working with engineering experts. Students treat the high-quality facilities and resources with respect.”
- “Teachers effectively plan vocational work-based projects that provide students with a range of opportunities. For example, Year 9 students are involved in the design and construction of an outdoor facility for the local community, evaluating the needs of the community and the impact of their work. These projects and the opportunity to work alongside employers make a significant contribution to the development of students’ self-confidence and communication skills.”
For further details on the Studio Schools Trust, please visit www.studioschoolstrust.org