Bath News

A school which specialises in preparing students for the world of work has celebrated its first anniversary

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Written by: Liza-Jane Gillespie | Posted 29 September 2015 14:52

A school which specialises in preparing students for the world of work has celebrated its first anniversary

Over 80 pupils enrolled to study at the Bath Studio School when it first opened and this September executive principal Colin Cattanach welcomed up to 120 pupils.

The school, which opened after receiving £2.2 million worth of government funding, specialises in journalism, film and TV studies, IT, Graphic design, business and computing. Mr Cattanach says the school is doing some ground breaking work in education in the city and hopes to have 300 students registered there by its fourth year.

He is particularly proud of the school's work placements for year 13 students, who spend one day a week working in a range of professions – from marketing and HR to accounting and logistics.

This year, work experience placements will be extended to year 12 and year 11 students, who will spend six days in the work place over the school year with a year 13 student buddy.

Mr Cattanach said: "We are always looking at ways of engaging with the wider world within the school. What's been strong, particularly with the sixth form, is that engagement with employers.

"For the sixth formers, they are only in school four days a week, so we have to get A-levels taught in those days. The big difference is with the work placements – it's not your standard work experience.

"One of the things we ensure is they have a job description for the role and they are part of a team, so they are contributing to the success of that organisation.

"The second thing is, they are contributing to their studies, so they can get accreditation. I think we're doing some good breaking work in education in the city."

The school's annual report shows this approach is working – with a rapid improvement in the attendance of students eligible for pupil premium.

In the case of one year 10 student, their attendance has risen by 15.10 per cent at the Bath Studio School, when compared with their last school.

This summer, students collected the school's first AS-level and IGCSE examination results.

There were successes across the board, with 70 per cent of art and design students receiving A to C grades and 23 per cent receiving A to B grades.

The school has recently received its results for year 11 pupils studying level 2 BTEC IT and business – with all students receiving merits and distinctions.

Mr Cattanach says the school is also building on its business connections.

In March, students interviewed Carole Mundell, from the University of Bath for The BBC School Report and in April they spent a day at Fruity Towers – the headquarters of Innocent Smoothies.

If professionals are not able to visit the school, they can share their expertise with students over Skype during internet sessions.

Mr Cattanach said: "The biggest thing we're looking at for the future is making sure that when all of our students leave, we have no NEETS (not in education, employment or training).

"We have a significant number of youngsters applying to university; we will have our first set of university offers this year.

"The other thing is to continue to enhance the facilities here. We're looking at how we can get further sponsorship to enhance facilities.

"It's getting the message out to the wider community that the Bath Studio School can cater for the needs of talented and gifted students.

"Some people don't think we're a state school, they think we're private. We're a state academy and we always welcome visitors with open arms."

The Bath Studio School is holding open days on Wednesday October 7 and Thursday October 22. Call 01225 831 933.


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