Creative classes available at new SQA approved Lasswade studio

A newborn specialist photographer from Bonnyrigg is now offering SQA approved creative industries classes from her studio in Lasswade.
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Mother of four Claire Rose decided to set-up Riverside Studio’s School for Creative Industries, after her son suffered the same problems at school she had - enjoying the creative classes like art, rather than the more mundane academic subjects - later discovering she was dyslexic.

Working with the SQA, she was also able to establish her own executive diploma approved course ‘Newborn & Baby Portrait’, the equivalent of an HND.

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She said: “My goal was to open a ‘school’ that would teach short courses in anything creative for all ages, without the worry of exams, stress or judgement.

Claire Rose (right) teaching one of her classes at her Lasswade studio.Claire Rose (right) teaching one of her classes at her Lasswade studio.
Claire Rose (right) teaching one of her classes at her Lasswade studio.

“I have been a photographer for 11 years, I moved in to newborn photography around eight years ago, learning and teaching myself, as there wasn’t a lot of options around to be taught.

"Newborn photography can also be extremely dangerous if not done correctly by trained professionals. There were no regulations, governing bodies or qualifications.

"I decided to find out how qualifications are made and contacted the SQA for guidance. Over lockdown I worked with the SQA, and with the advice of doctors, midwives and seasoned newborn photographers wrote the first ever qualification in Newborn photography. Last May our course was approved by the SQA.”

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Claire is keen to now get started, offering Level 5 and 6 photography and SFX make-up classes as well as her own new SQA approved class.

One of Claire's baby photos.One of Claire's baby photos.
One of Claire's baby photos.

She said: “Since our course was approved and in order to deliver the course we also had to become an approved SQA centre.

"We were granted this approval last year and have been working hard to prepare the course ahead of launching.

“This is just the start we will be looking to add more SQA courses to our list over the years Including film and prosthetic work.

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“Our ethos at our school is extremely important all our courses will be based around portfolio work and assessments, no exams, no pressure. We want to encourage and support students of all ages to achieve what is inside them, to allow them to express their creative side from a young age.”

Riverside Studios in Lasswade.Riverside Studios in Lasswade.
Riverside Studios in Lasswade.

Claire is now looking to take her classes into Midlothian schools, after already agreeing to do so in East Lothian after the summer holidays.

She added: "As well as running private courses we have also been approached by East Lothian schools and will be working with them to bring our course to students from S3 onwards in 22/23.

"We are going to approach Midlothian also, about getting into their schools next year.

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“There needs to be some sort of change, there are children out there who are not academic but they are very creative. Times have changed.

Claire RoseClaire Rose
Claire Rose

"These kids need support and the right education to get into the creative industries.

"We can help. All our staff are industry professionals at the top of their specialty.

"I’m not saying I’m going to change lives, I just want to show them that they can achieve what they want to achieve.

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"There are these big film studios coming to Scotland and we have nobody to staff them. They will bring people up from London, but it should be Scottish people.”

To book a place go to

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