North East businesses endorse new 'studio school'
Some of the region’s top employers have thrown their weight behind a new ‘studio school’ that is under construction on Tyneside.
Video games developer Eutechnyx; offshore fabrication specialists, OGN; and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts have all endorsed the new school for 300 14-to-19 year olds.
‘Studio West’ aims to immerse students in the world of work, and business will have a direct input into the school’s culture and curriculum, with real companies operating from an onsite enterprise centre and helping to create live projects for students to tackle.
Studio schools are government-funded institutions that aim to replicate workplace with a 9-5 working day and year-round opening.
Val Wigham, Principal Designate of Studio West, said: “The early and strong support of powerful business leaders has convinced the Government to back the new Studio School. Parents will be encouraged that important employers are behind the idea of a new type of learning in the North East.
“These business are showing faith in the concept we are pioneering, some are also backing us by offering paid job training place to our older students.”
Craig Melville, CCO and Deputy CEO from OGN, said: “We want to actively help educators provide a school that will ensure students are ready for employment once they leave. We strongly support the ideas and philosophy behind this new school and would encourage parents to find out more and actively consider the options it presents to local young people.”
Leading the way with project based learning in the North East, Studio West will use this successfully tried and tested technique which was pioneered by High Tech High, in San Diego, California. The revolutionary technique uses real life enterprise projects to teach students practical skills as well as academic subjects.
The school, which will be sponsored by Kenton Schools Academy Trust, will have the motto of “Learning that Connects”, its own governing body and its uniquely structured curriculum, which will encourage independence, enterprise, personal responsibility, social integration and team work by treating students as apprentice adults.
Val Wigham added: “By teaching students through real-life projects and immersing them in business culture, Studio West will be a school for the 21st century that is able to guarantee each and every student a place at university, a job or an apprenticeship when they complete their studies.
“We have a very limited number of places, so parents with children who will be 13, 14 or 16 in September 2014 and who are interested in sending them to Studio West should get in touch with us via our website www.studiowestnewcastle.com. We are taking applications now.”