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Doing School Differently

[Q]EStudio School is a school with a difference! Opened in 2017 by QES in Kirkby Lonsdale, it caters for pupils from 14-19 who have ability and passion for specialisms like Engineering, Sports, the Arts, Food, Conservation & Environment or Health.

Students learn from Professional Partners like Mardix Engineering, Hipping Hall or the English Lakes Hotel Group and develop high levels of technical expertise alongside those all-important professional skills like communication and enterprise. Our particular blend of academic, technical and professional excellence makes for engaged learners who are making outstanding progress and have high aspirations.

QEStudio School has been working in partnership with Wildsmith Hotels, and specifically ‘Hipping Hall’, Cowan Bridge over the last academic year. The QEStudio initiative is forming professional partnerships with external business as part of the curriculum offer.

Students following the ‘BTEC Conservation and Environment’ Pathway have been provided with the opportunity to design and build a six acre woodland in conjunction with the ‘Woodland Trust’ at Hipping Hall.

The Woodland Trust, have assisted in developing a five year planting scheme with a diverse range of native trees. The Year 10 and 11 students have participated in this development and have successfully planted 500 trees. This scheme was developed and co-ordinated by the Pathway Lead Ms Kate Wright, tutor and specialist woodsman Mr James Mitchell, Greg Stephenson and Tom Lewis from Hipping Hall.

As part of the scheme, Mr James Mitchell, has kindly donated a beautiful English Oak tree, which he has grown from seed. This was planted today by Mr Eric and Mrs Claire Wildsmith, to celebrate the first year of planting the ‘Legacy Woodland’, which they have initiated in support of the QEStudio School. Tom Barnes, Lewis Garnett and Amy McHardy (Year 10 students) prepared the ground and assisted in the planting of the tree on Thursday 14 June 2018.

This was a lovely occasion for the students to have been a part of and has made a fitting conclusion to the academic year. All the students have reflected on the fact that these trees will form part of a beautiful native woodland in the years to come. Many of the students hope to revisit the site in the future.

Eric and Claire Wildsmith said: “We initially decided to embark on this project after asking ourselves what kind of legacy we wanted to leave for future generations. We are fortunate enough to have a small parcel of land at Hipping Hall, situated in the rich and diverse landscape of the Lune Valley, which we felt would provide an opportunity of carrying out something worthwhile.

“After several conversations with the QEStudio School regarding their BTEC Conservation and Environment course we decided to offer this land to the course leaders and their students. We felt that the creation of a natural woodland, populated with native species, would provide the students with the opportunity of gaining practical hands-on experience of working in the landscape, while at the same time creating an additional point of interest for guests to explore and enjoy during their stay at Hipping Hall.

“Trees and woods are a cherished part of our historical and cultural identity, providing essential habitat for wildlife. We are confident that this long-term project with the QEStudio School will in the fullness of time create something that we can all be proud of and will work for wildlife, our business and for future generations.”

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