The RSA Academy is a new school sponsored by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA). The Academy follows the 'Opening Minds' curriculum and has new buildings specifically designed to deliver this pioneering syllabus. The curriculum challenges pupils to think, to learn, to manage people, information and situations. The aim is to develop young people with good citizenship skills, capable of influencing and changing their future world. The school day is very different, with wach lesson two hours long, and only three lessons per day. The RSA Academy also follows a five-term year and a four-week summer holiday.
Studying at the RSA Academy is so unlike the state education system that its prospectus has a lot more explaining to do. Atelier met the new principal and talked through his plans for the parent and pupil induction process. Our design supported his approach; he wanted a page-by-page summary of his induction, something that reflected his presentation and his voice as principal. The RSA Academy was replacing a previously failing state school and so it was essential to convey a tone of strong leadership.
The resulting design has a tall, thin format that allowed a page per topic and side margin notes that clarified new ideas. Colour, typeface, columns, and schematics were used to punctuate and emphasise the principal's key points. The parents (and pupils) were left in no doubt as to who was running the Academy.
Atelier studied the new pupil timetable and created a clock schematic. This shows an 8.15am start, two teaching sessions per day, and the option to continue studies until 6.30pm.
As the new Academy buildings were still to be completed, we had to organise photoshoots that were non-specific but showed the new challenges that the pupils would encounter.
For most parents this was the first time they had heard of the 'Opening Minds' syllabus. The last spread presented some reassuring facts and figures about its successes.