Courtesy of the Dorset Echo
1:00pm Monday 14th December 2015
By Harry Hogger
WEST Dorset MP Oliver Letwin spoke in glowing terms of the work being done at the Dorset Studio School as it pioneers a new approach to education.
The school at Kingston Maurward just outside only opened last September and moved into its new purpose built premises this year.
It offers core academic subjects as well as a more agricultural and land based curriculum and other specialist subjects in a longer school day to try and prepare pupils for the world of work.
There are currently around 100 Year Nine and Ten pupils but there is capacity for up to around 375 at the school and it will be opening a sixth form next September.
During his visit Mr Letwin saw the work students have been doing, particularly some of their efforts to keep traditions like hurdling and dry stone walling alive.
The school’s principal Dr Annetta Minard said the new approach to education and the excellent facilities available both with the new purpose built building and on the Kingston Maurward campus, meant pupils were reaping the rewards of what was on offer.
She said: “They have got access to really exceptional facilities and equipment.
“These are really the farmers of the future, the environmentalists of the future and the vets of the future.”
After being shown round the school and speaking to the students, Mr Letwin was full of praise for what he had seen during his visit.
The MP said: “I was really impressed. The youngsters to whom I spoke were clearly enthusiastic about the practical land-based curriculum.
“It’s great to see the fantastic facilities of Kingston Maurward being used to provide school-age pupils with a path to satisfying careers and enriched lives.”
The Dorset Studio School specialises in environment and land based sciences, but offers the same academic qualifications as traditional schools.
For more information about the Dorset Studio School visit dorsetstudioschool.co.uk.