Ormiston Park Academy link up with Royal Society of Arts

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Royal Society of Arts works with Ormiston Park Academy in Pupil Design Awards competition

THE Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been working with Ormiston Park Academy (OPA) in Aveley to provide professional design workshops ahead of the RSA’s nationwide Pupil Design Awards competition. This is part of the commitment of the academy’s sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), to providing enrichment opportunities for students through its Enrichment Charter, a policy which ensures OAT academies across the network provide a broad range of learning and cultural experiences for students outside of the classroom.

The RSA Pupil Design Awards involves students aged 12-17 coming up with innovative ideas to overcome real life problems through innovative design thinking. The design problems students will solve are divided into three categories: ‘Knowing me knowing you’ – finding ways to bolster community cohesion, ‘Learning independently’ – using Assistive Technology more effectively to make learning easier for students with a disability, and ‘Food is not rubbish’ – helping to reduce food waste.

The workshops are divided into two sessions – the first session is an introduction to design thinking and helps students learn to “think like a designer”, and the second session provides students tailored support for their various design projects, as well as an insight as to what it’s like to work in the design world. Both workshops are delivered by design professionals and experts.

Having had their first session in February, students at the academy are now preparing for their second session which will take place at the end of April where students will be ‘pitching’ their ideas to their RSA mentors.

The deadline for entries for the competition is in May and the winners will be announced in July.

Huw Derrick, Principal of Ormiston Park Academy, said: “I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to offer OPA students this opportunity to receive training and advice from professionals and experts in the design world. We really want to get our students excited about design and creative thinking, and I know our students will rise to meet this challenge.”

Nick Hudson, Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “We’re very excited about this collaboration between The RSA and OAT, and all of the opportunities it will provide for our students. Providing opportunities for enrichment is a big priority for OAT and hugely important to help raise aspirations and broaden the horizons of all the students within our Trust.

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