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What is Wetherby Arts School?

Wetherby Arts School is a new independent co-educational senior school for 11-18 year olds in Olympia. It will open in 2025.

Will it be a performing arts school?

Wetherby Arts School will be a traditional senior school with a visual, creative and performing arts focus. This means it will teach the core subjects (Maths, English and Science), alongside the Humanities, Technology and Languages at GCSE and A level, but also offer EPQ, an extensive range of arts-based GCSEs and A Levels, and vocational arts qualifications, to complement the curriculum. The school will maintain the high academic standards that form part of the Wetherby ethos and admission will be by competitive examination. Students will be expected to take a minimum of 9 GCSEs and will have specialist entrepreneurship lessons, preparing them for a career in the rapidly expanding Creative Industries, or in any other industry.

The school will offer a hybrid model, allowing pupils to access some aspects of learning remotely.

How does the Arts focus work in practice?

At Wetherby Arts, all pupils will undertake arts-based learning on a daily basis, and at least a quarter of pupils’ time (increasing to 1/3rd in KS4/5) will be allocated to the Arts, with other co-curricular options running at lunchtime, across a split lunch. After-school activities will be solely arts-focused and will heighten community engagement, through arts-based projects which will develop pupils’ awareness of the arts in society.

Specialist teaching in the Arts will be innovative and industry-focused, offering a broad range of options within the visual and performing arts.

Pathways will evolve with the needs of pupils during the first years of the school, initially focusing on two routes, Visual Arts (Art, Photography, Design, Film, Media) and Performing Arts (Drama, Dance, Music, Musical Theatre) Arts-based learning will also include vocational aspects, with suitable qualifications offered, recognised by DFE Performance tables/UCAS.

An extended day timetable will enable full participation in the arts without compromising academic standards.

What facilities will the school have?

In addition to standard classrooms and labs, the school will have Drama Studios, Dance Studios, Music Technology Suite, Digital Design Studio, Recording Studio/Podcast Suite, TV Studio, and Specialist Music, Art and Technology Classrooms. There will also be a Robotics Lab, several Science Labs, and a Gym. The school will have a 200-seat Theatre on site.

Will there be a uniform?

Wetherby Arts School will have a contemporary and innovative approach to all aspects of education, so the uniform will be bold and forward-thinking.

Pupils will spend at least 25% of their day in practical subjects, therefore the uniform will be practical, offering the ability to move freely, and robust, for physical use.

There will be a ‘dress’ uniform for high-profile events and formal activities, but students will dress for the day ahead of them, for example with a dance uniform, branded leggings and polo shirts on a day-to-day basis.

How will admissions work, how many places are available?

Wetherby Arts will open in 2025 for the Years 7, 9, 10 and 12. Students will be accepted on the basis of a competitive examination and audition. Students interested in pursuing visual art pathways, a portfolio of work will be required. 60 places will be available in each year group.

Registrations will open in June 2023.

Will bursary places be available?

Yes, several bursary places will be made available to deserving students, regardless of means. The deadline for bursary applications will be in December 2023. Bursary applicants will not need to pay a Registration fee.

I am interested in working at Wetherby Arts. How do I apply?

Every job with Alpha Plus Group is advertised on our website, under “Vacancies”. Please look there from February 2024 onwards to see if there is a role at Wetherby Arts that interests you. Details of how to apply for each role will be given on the website.