LeAF Studio is one of the best

TOP PERFORMERS: Executive Principal Paul Holman and Principal Nadine Lapskas celebrate the academic success of LeAF Studio with students.

TOP PERFORMERS: Executive Principal Paul Holman and Principal Nadine Lapskas celebrate the academic success of LeAF Studio with students.

Bournemouth’s only secondary school for talented sports and stage stars is officially one of the best academic performing Studio schools in the country.

LeAF Studio, which provides state education and free specialist coaching, recorded the joint second best GCSE results of all Studio schools in England.

Studio schools are secondary schools that provide a broad curriculum in academic subjects alongside specialist training for 14 to 19 year-olds.

Principal Nadine Lapskas, said: “We are very proud to provide such a unique offering to so many young, talented people on the south coast.

“But first and foremost we are a secondary school and our objective is to provide students with academic excellence, alongside honing their individual specialisms.

“We are delighted that the official recording of last year’s GCSE results places us as one of the top performing Studio schools in England – our next aim is to be the best.”

LeAF Studio opened its doors in 2012 for promising young athletes and performing arts students, the first state school of its kind in the region.

Open for longer than normal secondary schools, the LeAF Studio day is 8.30am to 5pm and combines the teaching of the core curriculum subjects alongside coaching from industry experts and strength and conditioning sessions.

Experts include former international Volleyball star Kirk Pitman who is on the shortlist to be the GB coach for the Commonwealth Games, former footballer Shaun Brooks, who played for Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, musical theatre-trained Billy Aplin and breakfast radio presenter Karl Davis.

Last year the school saw 57% of its students achieve A* to C grades in English and Maths – 21% higher than the average score for Studio schools (36%).

In addition it achieved the joint second highest result in English, with 81% of its students securing A* to C grades.

Among last year’s high achievers were Hattie Williamson and Jordan Pegg who not only secured six As and 12 Bs between them but both beat hundreds of other hopefuls to land places at the prestigious Tring Park School for Performance Arts and the famous Brit Stage School (former pupils include Adele and Amy Winehouse).

Among this year’s Year 11 students is Gold medal winner Ben Jarvis.

Ben recently won Gold at Badminton in Essex and is on track for eight GCSEs A*-C including English and Maths. When he joined LeAF he was at bronze level standard.

Executive Principal of LeAF, Paul Holman, said: “What’s so exciting about LeAF Studio is that the day is so varied, combining everyday studies whilst engaging students in their passion.

“From ex professional footballers to top choreographers, we provide the best coaches and a bespoke timetable to meet the needs of our students.

“This is all done within a state-funded system and I am proud to lead this specialist school that although based in Bournemouth attracts students from as far as Basingstoke, the New Forest and the Purbecks.”

Students with a talent in sport or the performance arts and would like to find out more about LeAF Studio, can attend an open evening on March 30.

People can also find out more about LeAF Studio and its success stories through its Facebook page @leafstudioschool


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