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New work-based 'studio school' opens in Darwen
A NEW work-based ‘studio school’ opened its doors to the first intake of students yesterday.
The new Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, for students aged 14 to 19, opened in a temporary base at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.
Students, who will wear their own professional-style clothing instead of a uniform, were shown around the base as the term began. In their first year, the school will use three classrooms at DACA’s entrepreneurship centre.
Facilities include an Apple Mac and Microsoft Suite and a media room equipped with professional video cameras and a ‘green screen’ for producing special effects.
But by next September, the school plans to relocate to a £4.1m new home at the former Model Lodging House in Police Street.
The school has now started with Year 10 and Year 12 students from across Blackburn with Darwen, offering GCSEs and A-levels with a focus on creative digital and business-related subjects.
In addition to their traditional learning, all students will also get a weekly professional work placement related to their studies or career aspirations at local firms such as Capita, Crown Paints, Forbes Solicitors and Lucite.
Every student will also have their own personal coach who will meet with them weekly and support them with all aspects of their progress.
Principal Ruth Bradbury said: “There’s been real excitement in the air as we begin the term.
“Everyone looks so smart in their own choice of office wear instead of a uniform.
“We have started everyone off with some induction activities and the students have been making videos about where they see themselves in 10 years which has been fantastic.” The school, which is separate from DACA but has the support of benefactor the Aldridge Foundation, will offer mainstream qualifications, delivered through commercial business-based projects, and linked to the world of work.
When at capacity, the school will cater for 300 students, and employ around 30 staff.
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