Real Projects with our Employer Partners
Employer projects are a cornerstone of The Studio School curriculum. Our students have the unique opportunity to take the theory they learn and apply it to ‘real’ projects designed and delivered by our employer partners.
Why do PBL?
We use project-based learning so that our students learn to solve real world tasks. We start with real problems set by our partners, giving students the opportunity to work in groups to investigate and respond to these challenges and consider new solutions. We believe that using this approach helps students build the skills necessary to be leaders in the creative and digital world of work. They learn to work collaboratively and apply methodologies used by some of the most innovative companies in the world to solve complex challenges. It encourages students to work independently from teachers; to make mistakes and use these as learning opportunities on the way to solutions. It gives our students a ‘safe’ environment to take risks and experiment, as they’ll need to at work. And, most importantly, project-based learning allows students to take ownership of challenges; to think independently and make their own decisions, which helps build resilience.
Key Stage 4
For the last two years, year 10 and 11 students have been working on projects aimed at tackling one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This has been our most successful approach to Project Based Learning at KS4, leading to greater student engagement as tackling big real-world problems means students see the importance of their project work and having a choice of projects makes it more relevant to their own interests and career aspirations. Studio students are incredibly aware of the current political, economic, social and technological challenges at a local, national and global level. The opportunity to tackle these development goals has resulted in outcomes shared with our parents and partners at our annual showcase event. On the last day of term students hold an exhibition to showcase their finished work to parents, partners and their peers.
Each term, sixth form students are given the opportunity to apply for a wide range of industry-linked projects that cover the range of specialist pathways offered by The Studio. These projects range from highly technical skills-based projects that develop specific “hard-skills” through to projects focussing on the development of more transferrable “soft-skills”.
Year 12 students are given the opportunity to start a Level Three Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which involves them either conducting a piece of original research, developing an artefact or writing a research based written essay. The topic of this research project is chosen by the student, who then works with a Supervisor to develop their project idea. The EPQ is highly valued by Universities and some will accept it as UCAS points, some use it to lower an offer and others like students to talk about their original research during applications and interviews.
Our creative pathway incorporates Art, Graphic design, photography and film studies and allows our students to immerse themselves in all things creative. The students develop their technical skills in the various disciplines and the course and linked to local and national industry professionals so students can understand the career paths available to them when they complete their course. Students will learn about the history of their subject, analyse famous and some infamous people from the world of art and graphics, look at the evolution of photography and study both film techniques and also analyse classic movies.
In our technical pathway the students focus on the underlying technical skills required to deliver a project. This could be in the shape of website, app, videogame or other platform. The students work to industry standard briefs and regularly hear from industry about the latest trends, techniques and issues affecting the industry. In computer science they look more at the theory of computing whereas our scripting and programming is more practical allowing students to explore and hone their coding skills. Creative media is a great starting point for students to understand how to answer a specific brief and the building blocks to developing applications around elements like prototyping, storyboarding, user journeys, etc. Our games, animation and VFX course is an industry led course specifically set up for the games and wider industries where students develop their skills with a view to going on to work in the interactive entertainment industry.