Whitley Academy is an innovative and inclusive 11-18 years school, committed to delivering high quality education for the community it serves in Coventry.
As the first Academy in the RSA (Royal Society for Arts) family, it is proud to influence the Family of Academies, sharing their ethos of equality for all and social justice. The aim of RSA Academies is to develop a mutually supportive family of schools which use innovative practice to raise standards and improve outcomes for all children.
Whitley Academy’s track record of success in the last few years is impressive, excellent examination success and progress for our students with an Ofsted judgement for overall effectiveness as ‘Outstanding’ in September 2010. We are recognised as a centre of excellence in our local community and have a growing reputation regionally and nationally for excellent outcomes.
Whitley Academy is especially passionate about student artwork and creative thinking. Milliner to the stars, Stephen Jones, dropped in at the school for a day in early November last year to advise pupils doing A-level Art and BTEC Art on how to design a hat. They handed in their finished designs as course work to count towards their final marks. Mr Jones designs hats for celebrities as diverse as Marilyn Manson, Gwen Stefani and Beyonce Knowles at his studio in London’s Convent Garden. Read more about our hats off to Whitley Academy story.
The project idea of Whitley Arts was commissioned by the Principal, Lorraine Allen, after initial discussions with Centre Stage Digital, the Art Department, and the Business Manager.
Mrs. Allen had been considering her students exceptional artwork, and felt that students work should not be kept behind Whitley Academy’s four walls.
The brief was to develop an eCommerce website to sell unique student artwork, whilst at the same time showcasing the excellence and artistic flair of Whitley Academy students to a local and national audience.
The site, ‘Whitley Arts’, was launched in March, 2013, and Whitley students will benefit in a number of ways.
Students’ eyes are opened to the possibility of creating work that is admired and coveted by the public in the future. Glossy prints and canvases of student artwork have been made available to buy to the local community, and Whitley plans to expand the project by showcasing other student work in the future. The Academy has noticeably underpinned learning and created interest in the creative arts by using student artwork as a focal point.
Students have begun to post links online to their work amongst their peers, and regularly talk about how their work was achieved, sharing new ideas and techniques. Visitors to the website can also post comments directly on student work.
The Website is the first of its nature in Warwickshire, and one of only 2 such sites nationally, and has raised £800 for students and the Whitley Art Faculty since March. In light of this success, a similar project has been launched at Arrow Vale Academy, Redditch (arrowvalearts.co.uk).
“Staff, students, and parents, are really proud of the original and inspiring student work. It is great to be able to share it!” Lorraine Allen, Principal.
Monies raised from Whitley Arts and purchase of student art will help support the arts, the students, and their learning.