Why are Dyson vacuum cleaners made in different colours? How are tennis racquets and hockey sticks manufactured? Is it important to recycle materials? Three questions that could be answered by studying Design and Technology.
The Design and Technology department is moving through a period of exciting development, with examination course which place an iterative approach to design as its core. The subject is studied by all B Block pupils within a creative activities programme. Currently projects can range from laser cut USB memory sticks through to "Balancing Men" desk toys. The experience gained during timetabled lessons provides a foundation from which the subject can be studied at GCSE and then at AS/A2 level. A "Product Design" approach is taken, which allows for the full breadth of projects to be produced, from hand crafted items to machine-based production, including CNC, 3D Printing and Laser Cutting.
Design and Technology activity is based creative thought, reaction to problems and expression, which is developed through practical and graphical presentation. Project work and independent study is an important element of life in the department. The department utilises ICT extensively and trips and visits are used to develop understanding of design and industrial processes. Trips include the annual London Design Museum outing and industrial visits to local manufacturing companies to inspire and reinforce understanding. The design studio and workshop areas allow pupils to work in a wide range of materials, with the department available for coursework or personal projects outside of the academic timetable, with weekend availability being particularly popular.
In each of the past ten years, the department has been successful in the Arkwright Scholarship scheme with usually three Scholars each year. Other schemes such as Headstart and Smallpiece Trust courses are encouraged.
Sir Jonathan Ive said of his Apple design team that being ‘inquisitive’ and ‘questioning’ is a key element of being a designer, these are characteristics which the department develops through its approach.