The Oxford Academy
Inspiring staff and students at The Oxford Academy
The Oxford Academy (TOA) is a large secondary school in Oxford, serving a diverse community. The school is warm, friendly and vibrant with an ethos of high expectations for all and a belief that every child will be successful – academically, personally and as a lifelong contributor to the wider world. Its inclusive Christian values underpin everything they do and drive them forward in how they support both their students and the wider local community.
CMA were approached by TOA to help address the challenge of how to bring their updated mission and values to life within the fabric of the school itself. The school buildings are largely uninspiring concrete blocks. Over time, the noticeboards and wall spaces have become cluttered with an array of miscellaneous artwork, notices, and ‘inspirational messages’ that seemed out of touch with the student body.
Our task was to create original artwork based on the school’s values and ethos that would establish a strong visual identity that resonated with students, staff, parents and visitors to the school.
- Design original artwork that inspires and engages the TOA community
- Create a cohesive theme that connects different buildings and classrooms
- Bring to life the core values courage, compassion and curiosity
- Integrate the Christian ethos reflected in the passage: ‘Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for God is with you’ Chronicles 28:20.
Using the dark blue of TOA’s brand colours as the base layer for our creations, we drew inspiration from the art forms of Pop Art and Graffiti, incorporating and overlaying colourful shapes to create a fresh, dynamic look. This approach ensured that the artwork would retain its appeal over multiple viewings, generating a lasting impact.
To address the client’s requirements, CMA integrated specific phrases into the artwork. The first phrase, “commitment to others commitment to learning,” was emblazoned above the centrepiece graphic positioned on a large central stairwell. These visuals celebrated the importance of fostering a supportive learning environment with a fabulous tree of knowledge baring fruit from all the subject that inspire the school’s students.
The Bible passage, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work; do not be afraid or discouraged, for God is with you,” was visualised through a stunning Lion’s face, reflecting resilience and faith. By employing imagery that portrayed determination and embracing challenges, the artwork embraced and promoted empowerment and encouragement to whoever views it.
We dedicated special attention to visualising the core values: Courage, Compassion, and Curiosity. We gave each value a distinct visual icon that would resonate with the observer and serve as a constant reminder within the school environment.
Courage was embodied through a lion with a bold and dynamic, yet caring face, to depict students fearlessly taking on academic and personal challenges. Compassion found expression through a simple representation of two figures holding hands, showcasing kindness, empathy, and unity. Curiosity was brought to life with an eye – observing everything around it, taking in knowledge and wisdom and being inspired by what it sees.
Understanding the importance of spiritual growth in this church school, CMA integrated the keyword “flourish” into the artwork, particularly within a spiritual context. Our artwork showcased growth, vitality, and interconnectedness, fostering a sense of purpose and nurturing students’ personal and spiritual development.
Result and impact
The artwork transformed the Oxford Academy’s visual landscape. The previously disjointed and uninspiring environment is now unified by a cohesive theme, creating a vibrant and uplifting atmosphere. Students, staff, parents and the wider community are captivated by the visuals, finding inspiration and motivation in their daily interactions with the artwork. The icons are now used daily in school presentations and internal messages.
The carefully chosen phrases, along with the visual representation of core values, reinforced the academy’s commitment to excellence and character development. The artwork acts as a powerful reminder of the importance of collaboration, resilience, compassion, and curiosity in the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth.
Through their innovative approach and meticulous attention to detail, Cotswold Marketing Agency successfully revitalised The Oxford Academy’s visual identity. Creating original and unique artwork has brought unity, inspiration, and relevance to the school environment. By capturing the essence of TOA’s values and integrating them seamlessly into the artwork, CMA created a lasting impact on the students’ educational journey, empowering them to flourish academically, emotionally, and spiritually.
CMA were supported in the production and installation of the artwork by the fabulous team at Blueprint Imaging, Witney.