Stevenage studio school makes principal designate appointment

A “TOP class candidate” has been appointed to head up a new specialist school, it was announced today (Tuesday).

Donna Lodge will become principal designate for the Da Vinci Studio School of science and engineering in Stevenage, which opens its doors for the first time in September.

Donna, who has more than 20 years teaching experience, has spent the past three years as deputy head at Hitchin Girls’ School, a specialist science college, where she has overseen the work of the science department.

“I’m delighted to have this opportunity,” said Donna.

“I believe that education changes lives and wish to lead a school which values each individual for their unique talents and which works hard to build self-esteem, cultivate confidence and life skills and which delivers examination results to improve the life chances for each student.”

The Da Vinci Studio School, sponsored by North Hertfordshire College, was one of 12 new studio schools announced by secretary of state for education Michael Gove in December.

The new model allows students to learn through an enquiry-based curriculum with a greater emphasis on workplace learning and linking school work to the world of work.

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Donna added: “The ability to link school work to the world of work will be a key driver in encouraging greater commitment; students will be able to appreciate the relevance of both the academic content of their courses in addition to the skills developed through team work, problem solving and creative thinking.”

Regarding the appointment, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, who was part of the team who secured the school for the town, said: “I look forward to working closely with Donna Lodge to deliver outstanding opportunities at the Da Vinci Studio School for local young people. North Hertfordshire College are to be congratulated for attracting such a top class candidate to help us take this project forward.”

The Da Vinci Studio School is holding an open evening this Thursday and on March 14. For more information visit

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