Design & Technology

Felsted pupils are fortunate to have the most wonderful facilities for Design & Technology, with a dedicated workroom in the Prep School and a specialist centre in the Senior School. This impressive area comprises of two dedicated metal and wood working rooms and two teaching rooms.

Design and Technology is a subject which embraces thinking and communication whilst supporting the realisation of pupil’s ideas through use of materials such as wood, metal and plastics. ICT is used extensively to help students understand an industrial approach to production, and as students move their way through a range of projects including electronics, their experiences begin to allow them to design and manufacture products in a much more independent fashion.

DT Awards and Scholarships are offered at ages 11, 13 and 16, with these students expected to demonstrate high standards of graphical communication and practical ability.

Stewart House Ages 4-6

Design and make opportunities are identified by our early years teachers as part of the existing schemes of work and are completed within the topic being studied. Children begin to construct, stacking blocks vertically, horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces. They join construction pieces together to build and balance. Soft materials are marked, cut and assembled and children learn that tools can be used for a purpose.

Our more able children are able to develop their ideas and investigate the possibilities of a range of materials and process. They can use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.

Ffrome Court Ages 7-8

Dedicated time is allocated within purpose built design and make rooms. A strong emphasis on creativity continues with a more structured ‘Design and Technology’ approach to studies. Designing, assembling and constructing using a range of materials forms the basis for most projects.

Projects are quite short for this age group, lasting only a few weeks before moving onto a new project. These might include making a 3D castle as part of their work in History or creating a 3D clay piece of a mythical creature as part of their study into Ancient Greece.

Cloisters Ages 9-10

Design and make opportunities encompass a far widened range and choice of material at this stage, with a strong emphasis on learning new skills demanded by these materials and using new tools and equipment to complete tasks. Group work and pair work is introduced for some tasks. Testing and evaluating final projects becomes a more important part of the design process.

Projects might include making a Jacob’s Ladder, face masks, mirrors with frames and bridge structures.

Courtauld House Ages 11-12

Design and Make opportunities become open ended to maximise problem solving and creativity. Further new materials are introduced and processes ensure that our most able students are fully challenged.

Group challenge projects ensure pupils learn to work in a team and evaluate their own work and the work of others. Projects might include making puppets, siege guns, trophies and a pewter casting.

Additional activities are provided for those that wish to follow them, with scholarships available for the most gifted pupils.

Senior School Ages 13-15

The Senior School workshops are extensive and offer a wide range of processes for the pupils to experience.

In Year 9, all students are given the maximum exposure to wood, metal and plastic in Year 9 prior to being given the option to study the subject at GCSE Level. Projects in Year 9 might include a traditional wooden box, a sound amplifier and an enamelling project, designed to incorporate metal work.

Graphics skills are developed to help students better communicate their ideas and CAD/CAM is an integral part of students’ design work.

Students follow a Resistant Materials GCSE course which focuses upon the use of wood, metal and plastics skills, as well as designing skills. The GCSE includes several minor practical projects in Year 10 with a major project in Year 11 worth 60% of the overall GCSE.

Workshops are open during Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to support students in the efforts to achieve high grades, with two technicians always on hand to support pupils.

Top students are entered for a nationally recognised Arkwright scholarship.

Sixth Form Ages 16-18

Design and Technology is offered as a option at A Level or as part of the IB Diploma. Coursework projects are identified by students themselves to give freedom of design choice, ensuring motivations are kept high and a requirement for students to develop independence in the workshops. Students are supported by two dedicated technicians for their coursework practicals.

Learning of processes is achieved through small projects where possible, such as a screwdriver manufacture and a flat pack chair project to support graphics learning and CAD/CAM.

Strong links with local industry are maintained such that the curriculum can be supported by industrial visits.

Advice on careers is offered, highlighting suitable university courses that might suit individual interests and skill sets.

Felsted has a knack for finding one’s strengths. I always loved DT whilst at Felsted and I am now a Lighting Designer.

Bruce Munro
Felsted 1968-77