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Design and Technology Department Focus

May 2017

D&T-FocusMay2017Technology is now the most popular of all the optional subjects and about two-thirds of all Yavneh GCSE pupils have studied at least one of the subjects we offer. Technology and the related subjects are a very popular option for many in higher education too and our department offers a range of skills and understanding for so much in today’s work place and even more so for the future. Understanding two and three dimensional CAD/CAM applications, using industry standard tools like Photoshop and learning to convey important and complex messages visually and solving 3D problems will most certainly be invaluable assets to our pupils when they join the workforce.

 From September 2017, all of the GCSE Technology subjects are changing. Resistant Materials and Graphics are becoming vocational subjects with the title of a Technical Award Level 2. Technical Awards equip learners with the practical, transferable skills and core knowledge they need to progress to further general or vocational study, including level 3 qualifications, employment or apprenticeships and are the equivalent of a GCSE. Systems and Control and Food Technology are remaining as GCSE subjects. With Year 8 and Year 9 pupils having completed their option choices and looking forward to the new arrangements, it is clear that exciting times lie ahead for KS4.

Our enrichments have continued to be popular with a wide choice on offer. Car enrichment has continued with enthusiastic pupils working on the various projects from early morning, lunchtimes and during the enrichment sessions. Projects completed in the last year have included quite a number of Freelander’s, as well as continuing work on the MGB BGT and the MGB Roadster/Range Rover Hybrid. In fact, if there appears to be a shortage of second-hand Freelander’s on the market it is because most of them are in Yavneh College.  Several staff cars have also passed through the garages with various different problems being repaired by pupils under Mr Taylor’s supervision. We continue to run very popular enrichments in the big workshop, encompassing many of the skills that the pupils learn in the department, with a special focus on encouraging creative problem solving and making. Our technician, Mr Arnold has helped by developing a number of projects as a vehicle for this and the pupils make good use of his skills by seeking his assistance with their Tech Club projects.  As always, the cooking enrichments are extremely popular and it is always pleasurable to be in the department with all the wonderful aromas wafting around during enrichment time.

In Food Technology we have revamped the cooking room, with a rearrangement of part of the layout as well as additions and renewal of the displays.  This year we also took on a larger cohort from the previous year, increasing food tech to over 60 pupils, up from 40.

One of our main achievements for the year, was obviously to have been visited by HRH The Prince of Wales which was one of the highlights of the royal visit. He first visited our big workshop, where he was able to see a group of Year 9 pupils making toys for the local hospital. He was particularly impressed by the range of skills and materials on display and he was interested to see how the pupils interacted with the tools and how they expressed their creativity in the projects. A visit to the Food Technology room followed where he and his party observed a select group of our Year 10 and 11 pupils making bread, cakes and drinks for the local food bank.

Finally, please remember that we are always on the lookout for old unwanted tools and good solid wood. We particularly need to add to our rather depleted stock of hardwoods and if you have any suitable old furniture or timber we will happily arrange to pick it up.