The studio curriculum at Walsall Studio School provides students with unrivalled opportunities to study subjects in greater depth. The schools teaches range of core academic subjects as well as professional technical vocational courses that provide a clear progression pathway from KS4 (Y10 and Y11) into KS5 (Sixth Form) and onto university or directly into work.
In many ways the curriculum in the studio school is innovative, particularly in its use of project-based learning and live, real-life projects with industry professionals.
GCSE, A Level and Vocational examinations (and other assessments) are exactly the same as in other schools – but within the studio school students benefit from the input of teachers, coaches, industry professionals and employers.
The projects students complete gives them live, real-world experiences of the industries they are thinking of working in. It encourages them to work collaboratively and think of their work not just as portfolios for assessment but a a professional piece of work that is commissioned to be made.
Students study both traditional GCSEs and technical vocational courses in Y10 and Y11. All sixth form students have a professional technical vocational core aim in the sixth form. Sixth form students follow all the requirements of the 16-19 study programmes.
Students benefit from a broad variety of social, moral spiritual and cultural experiences that promote equality. The school’s curriculum recognises the importance of developing young people’s attitudes and behaviours as well as their academic and technical vocational knowledge, understanding and skill. Students work with staff and other significant adults in response to projects that address the fundamental British values, community cohesion and social mobility.
All students participate in extracurricular events and activities that are blended and extended within the school curriculum. These activities include five professional performances each year, a programme of industry professional master classes and tours/presentation of project work to employers, the wider community and in other local schools.
Effective careers education, information advice and guidance (CEIAG) is embedded well within the school and is closely linked to students; career aspirations. In December 2018 Walsall Studio School became the first school in the Black Country to complete all of the Gatsby Benchmarks.
As a result of the studio school curriculum students gain a competitive advantage when applying to university or interviewing for their first job with an employer.
Students complete the 4-year studio school curriculum aged 18/19. More than 50% of students progress onto university. Last year 35% of students progressed directly into employment in the creative, performance, digital industries or business enterprise and no post-16 students were NEET.