Space Studio 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?
    Our uniform consists of a white shirt and branded blazer for Year 10 and 11, and business suit for our sixth form students. We expect students to dress appropriately for the activity they are involved in - smart for presentations with employers and universities or suitable for lab work or written project work.
     
  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?
    We are situated in a separate building on Aspirations Campus, Ruskin Road, Banbury, OX16 9HY
     
  7. Can I come and look around the Space Studio?
    We hold various open evenings where prospective parents and students can meet the principal and talk about the school and ask any questions. If you cannot attend one of our open events there are opportunities to visit the school and meet the principal and the head of Space Studio.
     
  8. Does the Space Studio have sports facilities?
    We have an Inspiration Training Venue which contains 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 available along with a great deal of high tech equipment including computers, tablets and other mobile technology. Secure spaces for students’ belongings will be available, as well as a library facility containing print and on-line materials.
     
  10. What is the relationship between the Space Studio and Banbury Academy?
    The two schools are separate entities sharing a Principal but with their own buildings, based on Aspirations Campus.

    They will have separate budgets, be inspected separately by Ofsted and employ their own staff but also share some staff. Students will enroll only at one school.

    We see some significant advantages in future working together between the two schools – 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 with the Aspirations Academies Trust nationally providing an overview.
     
  11. Who teaches at the Space Studio - are they qualified teachers?
    All of our teaching staff are qualified teachers. We employ the very best teachers nationally. We also invite the Lead Educators from the National Space Academy to teach our students and we are working with experts across the country to develop our curriculum.
     
  12. What do you teach at the Space Studio - it’s not just ICT, maths and science is it?
    A full and rounded curriculum will be taught. This includes English and a Modern Foreign Language. In the sixth form students will also have the chance to complete the Extended Project Qualification.
     
  13. What time do lessons start and end at the Space Studio?
    Each day will formally start at 8.45am with a 5 pm finish except for Fridays when students will finish at 3.15pm. The school is open from 8.00 am to 5.15 pm.
     
  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 meet each day to review progress and plan forward. The Principal and Head review the progress of students regularly with the Personal Coaches and the teaching staff. There is 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 space context.

    Small class sizes - students learn mainly in small groups of about eight, although they also work in other ways some of the time.  For example, sometimes they 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 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 are 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 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 space-related 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, Russian and 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 have an outstanding Principal and Head, and aim to employ inspirational staff from both the teaching profession and the space 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 space 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 space community and industry links which will enrich the lives and learning of the students.  By working with the space industry to design the curriculum, deliver the project-based learning and add meaningful experiences for the students throughout their time at the Space Studio Banbury, 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 loves science and maths, this is the only school 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.