Design, Technology and Engineering
We are lucky enough to have a fully-equipped, purpose-built centre, with two mixed material workshops, an Engineering / Metal workshop, a CAD suite and a dedicated cooking space. All this allows students to experience Design Technology from a young age and enables intermingling of staff, students and different subjects, creating a continuous, collaborative effort.
The department is made up of six teaching staff, all of whom are specialists in their subject area, and are ably supported by our technician. These are Charles – Head of Department and teacher of DEC, Tim - teacher of the Junior school, Rob – teacher of Engineering and Kris – teacher of GCSE and A Level Design Technology. We also have Anne and Julia who teach Home Cooking Skills, Phil our full-time technician and, not forgetting our mascot, Elmo the Collie dog.
All the staff bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the department which allows us to offer a wide variety of courses. These include: A level Product Design, GCSE Design & Technology, TQUK Design…Engineer…Construct!, BTEC Level 2 Engineering and BTEC Home Cooking Skills.
So, how do we get our students to succeed at GCSE and A level? Ultimately, we believe that a student's enjoyment towards the subject is as important and very much linked to the results they will eventually achieve.
It all starts in year 4 when they get their first taste of the technology department and of the design technology field. Each junior lesson starts with basic skills and core knowledge that covers all the basics of our subject at GCSE level. We utilise booklets with a writing frame which works well for many of our students and are easy to store, organise and mark. This learning is built upon with practical projects which encourage the students to research, draw, develop, make, and evaluate their own designs. We have a strong drive to get the younger boys to understand the environment and they can learn so much from both the natural and manmade world around them. Within recent years, we have also introduced 2D and 3D computer-aided design at an early age. We find some of our boys in particular excel in this area. We are keen that in the junior years, all students have a practical outcome to take home, to show off. This is important for their self-esteem and serves as a reminder of their success in Technology for years to come.
In year 9, the students opt to choose a specific subject area to study for a year before choosing whether to study it at exam level during years 10 and 11.
Level 1/2 BTEC First Award in Engineering
The Level 1/2 BTEC First Award in Engineering is a vocational and academic qualification that gives our students the opportunity to gain specific knowledge and understanding in practical engineering skills and the engineering world around us. The course gives learners an opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the engineering sector whilst developing academic, communication and practical skills - welding, milling, using the lathes and hand techniques. For example: in year 7 they make tea-light holders; year 8 - Pewter jewellery. It also helps develop skills in English and Mathematics that relate to workplace scenarios.
GCSE Design Technology and A Level Product Design
We present senior Design Technology as a creative and collaborative process and aim to encourage an individual's tastes, talents and interests to come through in their work. Due to the diverse needs of the students, our learning approaches are constantly evolving to encourage more physical experimentation, problem solving, active and visual learning which run alongside the exam board requirements but also look ahead to further education and industry.