A well established department giving pupils experience in project management and design skills across a wide range of materials.
The department comprises three workshop areas, one specialising in wood and another metal and a third large workshop for multimedia and project work. In addition, there is a separate design room equipped with 17 PCs linked to the school network for design and graphics use. The multimedia room also has 17 PCs, again linked to the school network. The main metal working room has recently been refitted with specialist heat treatment facilities and a CNC laser cutting machine to supplement the existing lathe and milling centres. CNC machinery runs off 2D Design V2 and all pupils are taught to use Solidworks. In 2018 the department invested heavily in 3D printing with the purchase of 3 Makerbot printers available for use across all age groups.
DT is compulsory for all pupils in Shells and Second Year and then optional from Third Year into GCSE and A level. Examination groups are usually taught in groups of a maximum of 15 but frequently less. The course followed is AQA Design and Technology specialising in resistant materials. Sixth Form students have the opportunity to take the AQA Design and Technology Product Design A level. Teaching is supplemented with a range of visits to industrial locations and overseas trips.
In the lower school there is a strong emphasis on encouraging pupils to produce quality work through a range of projects working in wood, metal, plastics and electronics. Students tackle several design and manufacture projects, each resulting in an artefact to be taken home. There is a considerable input through ICT skills in producing project reports and all pupils experience CNC manufacturing. At examination level pupils are encouraged to think for themselves and produce diverse ideas after experiencing industrial visits and wide-ranging research. Personal management skills are developed at all stages to try and foster an environment of promoting individual talents and potential.
Sixth Form pupils have had considerable success in applying for quality Product Design courses at a range of universities. Some choose to use the subject for Art based courses or Engineering.
The workshops are open most lunchtimes and several evenings to allow pupils access to specialist equipment for coursework projects. The department has also successfully coordinated the Engineering Education Scheme since 1994.
I have wanted to let you all know how I am getting on and to thank you for the wonderful foundations you gave me.