More details emerge of new Norwich Studio School
More details have been revealed about a new school planned for Norwich that aims to produce Norfolk's next generation of entrepreneurs.
The Norwich Studio School would aim to bridge the gap between business and education and would cater for pupils aged between 14 and 19.
It would be based at a tower block on the south site of the Hewett School, off Hall Road in Lakenham, which is currently underused and needs to be converted.
The next step for backers of the school is to submit a full application and apply for a grant of �400,000 from the Department for Education to convert the building.
This must be submitted by September 24, with the result announced in October. There are about 30 schools bidding for funding, but no others in East Anglia, and most are expected to be successful.
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The new school hopes to open in September 2012 with an initial 25 pupils, building up to a total of 300 pupils in the future.
The 14 to 16-year-olds at the new school would still study for GCSEs in maths, English, English literature and double science and an ICT qualification, but they would also study a new BTEC qualification in enterprise and entrepreneurship, while the older pupils will study A-levels and the BTEC. Pupils would be able to transfer into the studio school at ages 14 or 16.
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As part of the curriculum, students aged 16 and over would work for two days a week and those under 16 for four hours a week.
At a public meeting last night, Rob Anthony, Associate Headteacher at The Hewett School, outlined how the school would work.
He said the school had been working with pupils in the past few years on business projects, and this was the next step.
He said: 'The school would focus on enterprise and entrepreneurship, as we feel there is a need for those skills in the local economy. Students at the Hewett who have taken part in business projects have really engaged with it, and enjoyed it.'
At present, there are two studio schools in the UK, but several more are opening in September, he said.
Last night's meeting was poorly attended, but Mr Anthony said he still believed that demand was out there. 'Whenever I have talked to local businesses and children they are keen for us to do it. We think it's certainly worth exploring. Planned growth for south Norwich suggests that there will be additional places needed at high schools, and we aim to add to that provision and offer different choices to pupils. We believe it's a creative, innovative new project.'
Sue Inglesfield, from nearby Cecil Road, attended the meeting. Her daughter Sarah, 16, attends Hewett School and her other daughter Katie, 19, left last year. She said: 'A huge number of young people are unemployed and this would give young people the chance to find out what work is all about.
'The current curriculum is very academic, and this would help teach pupils how to use English in preparing a business plan, etc.'
There will be an open evening for people interested in the studio school at the Hewett later in the year, and details will also be available at the Hewett's annual exhibition at the Forum in Norwich in September.
What do you think of the idea? Write to Evening News Letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.