FAQs

1.      What age can my child start at the Space Studio?
We take students in year 10 (14 year olds) and in Year 12 (16 year olds).

2.      Are both boys and girls welcome at the Space Studio?
Yes. One of our aims is to get more girls involved in science.

3.      How many places are there at the Space Studio?
There are only 75 places in each year group.

4.      Does the Space Studio have a uniform?
Yes. For Year 10 and 11 the school provides a uniform which will be arranged upon acceptance to the school. For post 16, students wear business dress including a tie

5.      Can my child leave the Space Studio at 16?
Yes. We are keen to support students into the next phase of their education so that they can progress and be successful, wherever that may be.

6.      Where is the Space Studio?
It will be a separate building on Aspirations Campus, Tachbrook Road, Feltham

7.      Can I come and look around the Space Studio?
The permanent building is being constructed, but you may arrange to visit our temporary building by contacting the Principal.

8.      Does the Space Studio have sports facilities?
The permanent building will have the Inspiration Training Venue which will contain fitness equipment, such as exercise machines and weights. There is a discrete outside space for the use of the Space Studio students only, as well as access to the extensive green sports’ fields and PE facilities on Aspirations Campus.

9.      Does the Space Studio have facilities such as a library, computers for my child to use, and lockers for personal belongings?
All of these aspects are in our building development programme ready for September 2015. We will be using a great deal of high tech equipment including computers, tablets and other mobile technology. Secure spaces for students’ belongings will be available, as will a library facility containing print and on-line materials.

10.   What is the relationship between the Space Studio and Rivers Academy West London?
The two schools are separate entities each with their own Principal and buildings, based on Aspirations Campus. They will have separate budgets, be inspected separately by Ofsted and employ their own staff. Students will enroll only at one school.

We see some significant advantages in future working together between the academies – for example, joint trips and visits, sharing of staff expertise across schools and sharing of resources and facilities for the benefit of students in both schools.

They are both Aspirations Academies, and there is an Executive Principal responsible for all Aspirations Academies in the area, with the Aspirations Academies Trust nationally providing an overview.

11.   Who teaches at the Space Studio - are they qualified teachers?
 Lead Educators from the National Space Academy will teach our students and we are already working with experts across the country to develop our curriculum for 2015.

12.   What do you teach at the Space Studio - it’s not just maths and science is it?
A full and rounded curriculum will be taught. This includes English and a language, as well as business, psychology, computer science and geography as options. In the sixth form students will also follow the Global Perspectives course and complete the Extended Project.

13.   What time do lessons start and end at the Space Studio?
Each day will formally start at 8.30 a.m. with a 5 p.m. finish. The school will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow students to study, exercise and use the other facilities as they choose.

14.   Are Space Studio students taught in classes, groups or individually?
Each year group of 75 is split into three clusters, and students are taught in usually 2 to 3 groups within a cluster. Each student also has their own individual tutor – their Personal Coach, who is the key link between home, school and employers.

15.   What qualifications can my child take at the Space Studio?
In years 10 and 11, GCSE is the expected exam package and in the sixth form we expect students to take mainly A levels.

16.   What will my child be able to do next when they leave the Space Studio?
The strong and unique focus on employability means that many of our students could go straight into high level apprenticeships from the Space Studio. Many others will go on to university and then into employment.

17.   What pastoral systems are in place to look after my child at the Space Studio?
The Personal Tutor has a detailed understanding of their group of students. They will meet each day to review progress and plan forward. The Principal and Vice Principal will review the progress of students regularly with the teaching staff. There will be a great deal of coordination between the pastoral and the academic sides to ensure that each student gets exactly the right programme to make excellent progress and be successful. The MAAP (My Aspirations Action Plan) provides a means of combining pastoral and academic development and involves the students, personal coach and parent.

18.   What makes the Space Studio different to any other secondary school?
Small class sizes, project-based learning, focus on employability, excellent teachers and the contexts of space, aerospace and gastronomic science.

Small class sizes - students will learn mainly in small groups of about eight, although they will work in other ways some of the time. For example, sometimes they will work in pairs with a visiting employer, or attend lectures with their whole year group (75). We feel this variety reflects better the world of work and the way we behave in the workplace, as well as allowing tutors to focus on small groups for much of the time, and really get to know the students well. Of course, it will allow students to get to know their tutors and each other well also!

Project-based learning - students will spend approximately six weeks on each project, in learning blocks of two hours per day, investigating real problems set for us by industry. The projects will all be space-related, but could range from the physical challenges of humans living in space for extended periods of time to keeping satellites safe in orbit to designing innovative telecommunications methods to aid global security. All students will have to investigate the problem, come up with feasible solutions, write up their findings and present them to a panel of tutors and peers, and often an industry representative as well. We believe this helps students really get under the skin of the industry and understand what it means to work in the space technology field.

Focus on employability - all students, as well as carrying out a series of projects, undertake Maths, English and other courses, to give them a well-rounded overall education. We recognise that good literacy and numeracy skills underpin performance at work, as well as in life more generally. Other subjects studied include French, Spanish, History, Geography and electives in Robotics, Electronics and Psychology. But equally importantly, by working in teams in a workplace-like environment, over a slightly longer school day, students will be learning every day how to behave in the workplace, how to interact with others appropriately, and the importance of delivering results.

Excellent teachers - We employ inspirational staff from both the teaching profession and industry, for a variety of tutoring, mentoring and lecturing roles. We will always aim to have the very best teaching staff we can, ensuring that their skills and knowledge is first-class and up-to-date.

The aerospace/space/gastronomic science context - this adds not only an exciting new dimension to everyday learning for the students, but offers some very real opportunities for careers, weekly work placements and longer internships, visits to and from the school from high-profile members of the international aerospace and space community and industry links which will enrich the lives and learning of the students. By working with the industry to design the curriculum, deliver the project-based learning and add meaningful experiences for the students throughout their time at the Space Studio West London, we believe we will provide a world-class education for all our students, equipping them to progress successfully to the workplace or university and to continue to excel.

19.   Where did the idea for the Space Studio come from?
A discussion about the sort of school that we would have loved to go to when we were teenagers!

20.   Why should my child come to the Space Studio? If your child is stimulated and excited by space and technology, and loves science and maths, this is one of only two schools of this type in the UK. Just imagine what every day would be like and how enjoyable and successful school could be. Your child’s education would really be out of this world.