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The Stephenson Studio School

The Stephenson Studio School – a great opportunity for young people As the sponsoring further and higher education college, we

As you read through this prospectus you will learn more

have a great deal of experience of providing high quality

about studio schools. We believe that they offer an

learning opportunities for young people.

excellent opportunity to meet both employers’

This, coupled with our excellent relationships with both local and national organisations, gives us an insight into some of the challenges that both employers and young people face.

expectations and young people’s aspirations. That is why we are sponsoring this new school. We know that choosing a school is a big decision. The best decisions are always taken when we have all the

Some things are very clear to us.

relevant information.

First, businesses want to employ young people who are

If this innovative idea interests you, we hope that this

both highly skilled and ready for work.

prospectus will inform any decision you may make.

Second, young people flourish where they are taught in small classes and where they have personal learning support. Nigel Leigh Third, where young people develop personal confidence

Principal and Chief Executive of Stephenson College,

and self esteem they are more likely to be successful in

sponsor of the Stephenson Studio School.

both life and work.

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

Introduction from The Director Choosing a school is one of the toughest decisions we’re


ever likely to

I am passionate about learning and about personal


development. It is why I am both a teacher and a learner.

But, before we choose, it’s important to be clear about

Part of being successful in both life and work is

what we want from a school.

recognising what we don’t know more than what we do.

Of course we want young people to have qualifications that will open the door to university or further study. Ultimately, we all want young people to be successful in work. Successful young people create wealth and enable us all to have a better society.

It is by being open to the possibility of finding better ways of working, of achieving, of producing, of living, that we become better people and contribute more to society. In Stephenson Studio School we intend to help young people develop a thirst for learning. In doing so, we will help them to become confident people who will succeed in adult life.

All too often employers lament that young people are not ready for work. It’s not just that they can lack basic skills. Often the problem is more fundamental: young people lack confidence and a passion for learning.

If you would like to apply for a place or find out more about the Stephenson Studio School, please phone 01530 519099, email or visit our website

A thirst for learning is vital. The mere acquisition of knowledge is never enough for anyone. Knowledge dates.

Sarah Unwin, Director, the Stephenson Studio School

Every one of us will have to learn new skills and become steeped in new fields of knowledge at some point of our

The Stephenson Studio School


We all want the best for our children Choosing a school for, and then with, our children can be very

Here in Leicestershire, we are opening a new school, designed


to help young people flourish both in their studies and in work.

It can be hard to find reliable information that will inform this choice.

Stephenson Studio School

For years newspapers have been filled with stories of school

Studio schools are state schools that have been developed over

failure, rarely success.

the past five years on the basis of extensive research. They are

Such coverage can colour our decisions.

designed to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and experiences they will need to succeed in both life and work.

There are, of course, thousands of very successful schools in the UK that prepare students brilliantly for further study and

The model has been developed in partnership with local and

successful lives.

national employers, the country’s leading education agencies and partners from up and down the country.

Even successful schools face challenges. Studio schools can help tackle two key challenges. Good schools tend to be well resourced, have low staff turnover, good discipline, strong relationships with employers

The first challenge is how to maximise the time that students

and a sound reputation. But not all schools are able to achieve

spend in school. Studio schools will help young people get the


most out of their school time by using innovative teaching and small class sizes. Studio schools are custom-built around the way

Knowing this is of little comfort to parents. While we may be concerned about the state of British education in general terms, we worry first and foremost about our own children’s schooling.


The Stephenson Studio School

that people learn. Not everyone is able to do their best in a traditional classroom setting.

The second challenge is how to prepare students for success beyond school and university. Studio schools will help young people prepare for successful working lives. Meaningful and challenging work experience will be a key part of the curriculum. Stephenson Studio School will ensure that students will: ●

Learn in small classes

Develop employability and enterprise skills

Acquire key qualifications

Have access to personalised learning

Experience project based learning

Experience real work

The Studio School is sponsored by Stephenson College, a bold, confident organisation that provides further and higher education courses, has excellent links with employers and is one of the most enterprising colleges in the UK.

The Stephenson Studio School


What do parents and young people want from a school? Schools provide one of the main building blocks we need to have

Self-awareness tempered with humility can help confidence

successful lives. While qualifications are important – no good

flourish on sound foundations.

university can be accessed without them – we want more from our schools than qualifications alone. School experiences, shaped by inspirational teachers, can help students learn more about themselves and develop self-

Schools help us to learn to take direction and to be able to follow reasonable instructions, a key skill for aspiring young people. In the end, we want our children to be happy and secure.

awareness. They often provide powerful role models that help students aspire to greater things.

Most teachers are clear about the factors that can lead to student happiness in the classroom. Strong discipline, effective

Schools can define lives. They are certainly places where lifelong friendships are forged,

emerging behaviour problems early can all contribute towards

where we learn to get the most out of personal and working life.

students’ sense of well-being.

They are also places where we acquire the skills needed to help us negotiate disagreement without having to result to conflict.

At Stephenson Studio School, we believe small classes, personal coaches and a curriculum that focuses on effective

Successful friendship networks shape both where and how we

personal engagement and empathy will make it easier to

live in adult life.

achieve student well-being.

Perhaps more than anything school can be the place we develop self-confidence. No quality is more captivating than personal confidence.


classroom management, and a willingness to address any

The Stephenson Studio School

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

What we offer young people at Stephenson Studio School ●

A safe, secure and happy place to study and learn

Academic excellence

A new way to learn - CREATE

Getting ready for work


Using technology effectively

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

A safe, secure and happy place We believe that all learners have a right to feel safe, secure and happy at school. Where they do, they are more likely to be successful. At the Stephenson Studio School we will make sure our students don’t have to worry about classroom discipline. We will do this in a number of ways. First, we’re recruiting a strong teaching and non-teaching staff, people who know how to manage classes. Well-qualified experienced teachers make good discipline a way of life. We will focus on achieving and retaining stable staffing levels. We do not expect our students to tolerate a seemingly endless stream of supply teachers. Second, we’ll make sure that everyone who works here understands how important order and discipline are. We will have a single set of rules that apply equally to all.

The Stephenson Studio School


Third, we will expect people to behave at school as they would behave at work. That will mean a zero tolerance approach to indiscipline – as it does in the workplace. Finally, we will make sure that students are involved in decisions that affect them. Where students and staff work together we will be better able to tackle any emerging issues at the earliest opportunity.


The Stephenson Studio School

Being the best we can be Our drive for academic excellence is non-negotiable. Schools that make academic excellence a cornerstone of their approach will flourish. We will not compromise on the drive for academic achievement. We believe that students’ performance can be enhanced in a number of ways. Year 10 students will work towards a maximum of 9 GCSEs incorporating the English Baccalaureate in addition to acquiring CREATE skills. Year 12 students will either study up to four ‘A’ levels or the Stephenson Studio School Apprenticeship Framework.

The Stephenson Studio School


These are the ways we will ensure that our students can be helped to thrive. A personal coach Every one of our students will have a personal coach. He or she will work closely with students helping each to reflect on his or her work and supporting them so each can make the most of workbased and school opportunities. Each will operate alongside our teaching staff to maximise students’ progress and achievement. Meetings with personal coaches will take place every two weeks, during which time students will review progress and plan work that supports their learning sessions. An excellent staff to student ratio We will ensure an excellent staff-pupil ratio. This will ensure that students do not get lost as more outward students clamour for attention. But ensuring that students feel personally engaged and supported is not simply a matter of numbers. The way that classes are taught can also enable students to work at their best. A combination of collaboration – working in teams and groups – and competition will bring out potential in most of us.


The Stephenson Studio School

The right attitude Achievement also depends upon a positive attitude. We believe that “good enough� is never good enough. High expectations live in every moment of the school day. Our approach is to expect the best in everything that students do. This is about fostering an attitude, a life outlook, that will help students realise the value of focus and determination. Those who fail to strive to be the best are more likely to flounder in the workplace where colleagues and customers alike are intolerant of mediocrity. Confidence We will ensure that our students become confident, mature individuals who are highly employable. Confidence is a powerful quality, one that opens doors and enables people to make the best of all opportunities. We will foster this by ensuring that our students acquire the key skills needed to serve them well in adult life. The CREATE framework is based upon research carried out by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and leading education experts. You will find more on this framework on the following pages.

The Stephenson Studio School

The Stephenson Studio School

CREATE: preparing young people for success in study and life A number of years ago, the CBI carried out research to identify

The six core skills form CREATE. This forms the basis of the

the skills set most likely to enable people to succeed at work.

studio school curriculum. These are set out below.

This research has been supported by detailed academic research. None of these skills will surprise adults – they are a key part of our daily working life.


Relating to people


Applying knowledge


Emotional intelligence

The Stephenson Studio School


Communication People with excellent communication skills are more likely to

We will ensure our students learn how to get on with other people,

succeed. We can achieve little unless we can communicate our

understand their perspectives, empathise and build productive

thoughts and ideas to other people. Effective communicators


are excellent listeners. They are able to shape what they have to say so that it is interesting to people. They are succinct. They


have a strong command of language. And they are as

Over recent years enterprise has played a bigger role in public

comfortable putting their message across in print as they are

life. Television programmes such as The Dragons’ Den and The

presenting face to face.

Apprentice have allowed us to see up close people who have

Our students will become excellent communicators. Relating to people

made vast fortunes through their own enterprise skills. Entrepreneurs learn to see the world differently. They do not always crave the certainty that characterises life in organisations. Frequently, they are more comfortable in uncertain climates

We all see things differently. It’s very easy to make the mistake

where opportunities can be both seen and exploited.

in life of assuming that other people view the world as we do. That assumption can make life frustrating and lead to

Enterprise for adults can be challenging. It often involves taking


risks, something that can be difficult where our financial commitments can require us to opt for regular work. However,

Little of what we do every day is done alone. Teams are at the core of successful organisations – people who work with other people to get things done. We are all largely interdependent. So

students can be given opportunities to look at the world from an entrepreneur’s point of view. In the safe space of a school environment, they can start to ask one key question: what if?

whilst students have to learn to manage their own endeavours,


they quickly realise that understanding others’ points of view is

We will help our students to develop an entrepreneurial outlook and


a positive attitude towards succeeding at work.

The Stephenson Studio School

Applying knowledge Sometimes education is artificially divided into two areas - the academic and the practical. People think in the academic world; people do in the practical world. As adults, we know that this division is false. It is the application of what we have learned that makes us successful. Those who only understand a subject area in theory can easily fail to understand the practical implications. Our students will see the acquisition of knowledge from both perspectives. We will expect them to acquire knowledge, to test it, to challenge it, and to remember it. But we will also expect them to apply what they have learned. The application of knowledge both helps us to remember it, something that is particularly useful in preparing for examinations, and to grasp it at a deeper level. We will ensure that our students are able to acquire and apply knowledge so they can maximise their learning.

The Stephenson Studio School



Emotional intelligence

To be successful in school, university and working life, the ability

So much human interaction is unsaid. Some people have strong

to think in a variety of ways is fundamental. In any given situation

intuition skills. They are good at reading others’ moods. In

there are many ways to think about the challenges we might

personal and working life, emotional intelligence – knowing the

face. We may approach a problem from a logical point of view.

best way to engage with different people – will mark out those

That will often yield results. Equally, we may “brainstorm” ideas

who are likely to have successful personal relationships from

with others to find ways into a problem. Creative approaches,

those who will struggle.

often relying upon “lateral” thinking can create new solutions to old problems. Success sometimes depends upon merging together different sets of ideas or systems. The greater facility we have with ways of thinking through a problem, often drawing on others’ ideas and bodies of knowledge, the more likely we are going to be able to solve it. Our students will be taught to think in a variety of ways: logically, rationally, creatively, laterally, and critically.


The Stephenson Studio School

All too often in adult life we expect people to simply have emotional intelligence. However, while some of us will have a natural affinity with others, such skills can be learned, practiced and honed. Our students will be supported in acquiring emotional intelligence.

Innovation in the classroom We all learn in different ways. Some of us listen to others speak. Some prefer to read first. Some of us won’t really assimilate new knowledge until we’ve put it into practice. Effective learning depends upon a flexible response to students’ needs. Fundamentally, it means making the acquisition of knowledge interesting, memorable and applicable. We will combine traditional teaching methods with innovative ways of enabling students to learn. Part of what we will be doing is preparing students for self-directed study, an approach commonplace in both work and university. We will use seminarbased approaches, group projects, and individual student project work to help students. We will also make use of technology, video, and video conferencing supported by the involvement of external practitioners to bring subject matter to life. Students will be encouraged to explore subjects and to bring their findings into the classroom so that others can benefit directly. Our approach will be underpinned by a clear understanding of the nature of knowledge, the value of external research, the use of historical sources and an appreciation of original research in subject development.

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

Working towards success Young people are faced with a perpetual dilemma – how to get work when experience is both essential and very difficult to get without experience. This challenge affects school leavers and graduates alike. Many take up part time posts, working in bars, restaurants and other low paid employment. Such jobs can help build working habits but casual labour does not always prepare young people for what are increasingly tough business environments.

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

Getting ready for work It is easy to talk to students about work in the classroom. But

Year 10 students will have a meaningful internship of four hours

there is no substitute for learning about it first hand.

per week with a reputable employer. This will take place

Being successful at work is hard. To help prepare students for

throughout year 10 and 11.

working life, schools make work experience part of the

All of our post-16 learners will have a paid internship of 2 days


per week with a local employer. This will take place alongside

But invariably, students have too little exposure to work to enable them to develop a strong understanding of work culture and appropriate work behaviours. What’s more, short bursts of work experience mean that few students develop the stamina they will need to thrive in a working environment.

their studies. This will be available in a variety of employment sectors ranging from Accountancy to Engineering, depending upon the direction in which they want to take their career or further studies. Each student will work closely with their Personal Coach and the prospective employer to plan their internship. They will be

Success at work is more important now than ever before. The

expected to garner particular kinds of experience. Students will

UK faces massive competition now from abroad in virtually

develop an understanding of teamwork, interpersonal

every market. The more effective our workforce is, the more

communication, project working, idea development, and seeing

competitive the UK will be.

ideas through from inception to execution. They will also be

Employers increasingly want people who are work ready, people who are able to hit the ground running from day one and create profitability or public value.

expected to take responsibility for a focused piece of work that can be used as part of their curriculum vitae. Students will be able to bring working examples back into the classroom so that alongside other classmates they can reflect on successes and learning points.

The Stephenson Studio School


By the end of their stay at Stephenson Studio School, we expect every student to be able to operate effectively in an adult working environment and to have the understanding, skills and stamina to do it effectively. That means not only being clear about how adults behave at work but also demonstrating those behaviours as a matter of course. Our students will be mentally ready for the rigours of work and experienced in getting the most out of a working environment.


The Stephenson Studio School

Progression A successful school career will ultimately prepare students for a

We will send parents regular reports on their children’s progress

successful working life. This may happen in several ways. Either

and convene regular discussions so that we may look at ways of

school will help students find the best university, college or

helping students achieve their full potential. Each of our students

further training to enable them to acquire all the skills they need

will develop a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP). This will form

for work. School could enable students to prepare themselves

the basis of their relationship with their Personal Coach. Parents

for immediate entry into working life. Or students may decide

will have individual access to the confidential Parent Portal

to set up their own business.

through the Studio School website.

Whichever route students take, it is vital that all of their time at

Where students show signs of having difficulties or unexpected

school is focused on helping them achieve their full potential.

underachievement, we will support them in addressing the

Successful progression is not something that is done in the year

reasons for any deviation from their Plan.

running up to university or work. Careers are built on the sound

We will ensure that our students have clear progression routes

foundations of good planning, regular reviews and involving

through to higher education or employment. We will build on

students and parents in decisions.

our excellent links with university admissions officers and

We believe that achievement is a product of setting stretching but realistic targets. The best students aspire to be better in everything they do. Schools support excellence by setting and

employers to ensure our students receive the best higher education opportunities and meaningful work experience as an integral part of their programme.

maintaining high standards. Our tutors will regularly assess students’ work and their capabilities.

The Stephenson Studio School


Technology While we are singling out technology as a key feature of our approach, this ignores the fact that it is so much part of the day-to-day experience of young people that they no longer notice it. Most young people now have mobile phones. Most have access to the internet. They communicate with each other via Facebook more often than they do face-to-face. Our approach to learning will use technology to enable students to maximise their learning and development time. Each student will be given an electronic notepad. This will allow them to access the internet and school intranet where they will be able to download lessons, podcasts and other learning resources. Each student will have a personal email account. We will host a virtual library of useful learning resources that will be available to students. We will ensure that all resources are of high quality and add value. We are in discussion with our university partners to enable

The Stephenson Studio School

Our ambition for our students students to access first year introductory lectures as a

It is our ambition that by the time they graduate from

way of preparing themselves for higher education.

Stephenson Studio School each of our students will:

Alongside BBC and other news feeds, students will be able to access market intelligence and analysis that will

Be confident, self-aware and emotionally intelligent

Be well qualified

Be able both to get on with people and be able to help others do their best

Be able to take direction

Have a lifelong thirst for knowledge and an ability to learn

supplement the learning materials. Students will also be able to access content from our industrial and commercial partners.

The Stephenson Studio School


The Stephenson Studio School

Working with parents Schools alone cannot ensure students’ success. Parents can be

Parents need to have a robust relationship with the school.

highly effective partners in their children’s learning. Parents’

Parents who feel awkward in dealing with tutors or reticent

views and wise counsel are fundamental to a young person’s

about approaching senior staff are not always able to work


alongside the school in enabling their children to do their best.

Parents can guide young people’s decisions, assist them in putting learning in context and, as school, university and work careers develop, they can advise and support them.

Parents need to be able to talk to teachers about young people’s progress, where they might offer support, where they think his or her teachers’ approaches may need to change. Where young people face challenges, as almost all will at some point in their

But to be effective, parents need a number of things.

school life, parents’ comments can put matters in context for

First, parents need to understand what the school is trying to


achieve. All too often we draw upon our own experiences when

Finally, parents need to be able to access the school when it

advising our children. This can be problematic; the curriculum

matters. There is little point in arranging a meeting several

changes and we can be in danger of offering advice on the basis

weeks after it is needed. Decisions have to be made when it

of out-moded or out-dated thinking.


Parents need information. All of us are always more effective when we are kept abreast of developments: what our children are doing, when and how well. Up to date information allows us to offer support in the right way at the right time.

The Stephenson Studio School


Our curriculum Seven essential elements lie at heart of the Stephenson Studio School model, elements that have been developed through extensive research and consultation with employers, education experts and young people. These are: ●

Employability and enterprise skills

Real work

Key qualifications

Small Schools

Personalised curriculum

Practical learning

Students of all abilities

How these work in the Key Stage 4 curriculum

CWO - Communicating with others Curriculum links: English, Citizenship, Geography, French TMC - Transforming my community Curriculum links: Business Studies, History, English and French DTT - Discovering through technology Curriculum links: Maths, ICT, English and French ECB - Enterprising and creative behaviour Curriculum links: Business Studies, English, Citizenship and French UTW - Understanding the world Curriculum links: Geography, Science, Economics and French LHL - Leading healthy life styles Curriculum links: English, Economics, History and Geography

Students will follow the National Curriculum and gain key qualifications principally through enterprise projects, which have

Students will have subject specific learning sessions to support

been developed through discussion with educational experts, local

preparation for exam success. Wherever possible these are

partners, a range of employers and the Studio Schools Trust.

linked to the context of the enterprise projects to root learning

The school subject curriculum covers 9 GCSEs. These are English, Maths, Double Science, French, ICT and Geography or History so


in the real world. Personal and small group coaching sessions will help students with any areas of study that they find challenging.

enabling students to achieve the English Baccalaureate. Much of

Every Key Stage 4 student will undertake four hours of

their studies will be through six ‘enterprise projects’, each lasting

employment each week. This will be carefully planned and

for 17 weeks. Every enterprise project incorporates six learning

facilitated through their personal coach. During their time with

areas. These are mapped to the National Curriculum:

each employer, which will usually be for a minimum of six months

The Stephenson Studio School

per internship, students will make a measurable contribution and will acquire the CREATE skills as they work. Year 12 and 13 Year 12 and 13 students will undertake two days per week paid employment which is carefully planned and facilitated through the student’s personal coach. During this time with each

Subjects available at A level: Biology


Business Studies



English Literature

Product Design






Mathematics and further mathematics


Plus compulsory General Studies or Critical Thinking

employer, which will usually be for a minimum of six months per internship, students will be expected to make a measurable contribution to their business and will further develop their CREATE skills. Students will have a choice of two qualification routes - ‘A’ levels or the Stephenson Studio School Apprenticeship Scheme. Those opting for ‘A’ levels will have the choice of three ‘A’ levels plus one of either General Studies or Critical Thinking ‘A’ level.

Stephenson Studio School Apprenticeship Students will work towards an apprenticeship framework set out by the Sector Skills Council in an agreed area of work. This includes a Technical Certificate, an NVQ and Functional Skills. Usually students would be placed with one employer for the two years of study, during which time they will be assessed against professional competencies in the work place to attain the NVQ

All subject specific studies will involve projects that are

qualification. Students will complete the Technical Certificate

commissioned by real “clients” who will use the outputs of the

and Functional Skills whilst in the Sixth Form Centre.

project to support their business or the local community.

To participate, students will need to show evidence of a passion and commitment to the relevant area of work. The application form provides guidance.

The Stephenson Studio School


Getting the right balance Young people need to be physically as well as mentally active. All of our students will have opportunities to take part in a range of sport and leisure activities. We have a multi-use games area, a fully equipped health and fitness suite as well as access to a nearby leisure centre. Students will also be able to take part in outdoor activities such as walking, climbing, orienteering and a range of other sports. Personal and social education will be fully integrated into the curriculum.

The Stephenson Studio School will open for 51 weeks of the year and both students and staff will book holidays throughout the year to suit personal, educational and business needs. Students will have a total of 13 weeks holiday.

The Stephenson Studio School

Protecting young people Student safety and well-being is paramount. We are required to take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of our students. If teaching or non-teaching staff are concerned that one of our students may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or any form of abuse, then we will inform the designated Safeguarding Officer at the Stephenson Studio School. Our policy is consistent with national standards for Safeguarding procedures.

The Stephenson Studio School


Applying for a place at Stephenson Studio School 14-16 (Year 10) Applications to join the Stephenson Studio School in Year 10 are via your Local Authority. Parents will be notified by the Local Authority of the decision on National Offers Day, 1st March. If you do not live in Leicestershire you will need to call your own Local Authority for an application form. 16-18 (Sixth Form) Applications are made directly to the Stephenson Studio School and must be submitted by 31st May. Forms are available via All students will be interviewed for places the following September.

Everyone is equal At Stephenson Studio School, we will provide appropriate opportunities for everyone to maximise their potential regardless of background, circumstances, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. We will promote a supportive environment free from discrimination.


Stephenson Studio School

Stephenson Studio School Thornborough Road Coalville Leicestershire LE67 3TN Tel: 01530 519099 Fax: 01530 814253

Studio School Prospectus  

Studio School Prospectus

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