The Castle School has an enthusiastic and creative Design and Technology Department with specialist teachers capable of working in different material areas. They are supported by a Design and Technology Technician. The staff work closely as a team to make sure that our students receive a balanced experience and to share new skills and ideas.
The Department has two multimedia rooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and computers to aid research, design and presentation of work. Each room has the capability to work with wood, metal, plastic, electronic and graphic materials. Students work and enjoy the subject designing and making various product outcomes to various set design and make tasks.
The Department makes extensive use of ICT at all levels and in all material areas. The use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Manufacture (CAM) is developing rapidly with the benefit of having a LASER cutter, 3D printer, various graphical design software packages and new Smart/Modern materials and manufacturing equipment. The subject is offered throughout Key Stage 3 (KS3) Years 7 - 9 with students being taught in mixed ability groups and at Key Stage 4 (KS4) Years 10 and 11 where there are two paths offered:
In Design and Technology, students learn to think creatively and become more effective problem solvers. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social, moral and environmental issues associated with their work. They will reflect and evaluate past and present Design and Technology, its designers, uses and effects. Through Design and Technology, all students can become discriminating and informed users of products and become innovators and designers. There are many interesting and exciting career opportunities associated with D&T which students could pursue after School, examples being Product Design, Architectural Design, Engineering, Construction, Computer Aided Design and Manufacture, Electronics, Car, Boat and Aircraft Design.
Design and Technology has been working closely with other school curriculum areas, specifically Science and Mathematics, to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) within the School. By developing subject links, students can see the relevance and similarity between these areas on various topics being taught, emphasising that the skills and knowledge learnt in one subject can be transferable to other subject areas.
STEM provides students with expertise and a better awareness of what happens in the real world of work and careers that utilise STEM based subjects.
Success of this new innovation to the School curriculum can already be measured by one of our Year 9 student teams who were involved in a London STEM Challenge. They were set the design brief of designing an invention to light the Paralympic flame along with other schools across the country and voted by STEM Ambassador judges to take part as one of only eight teams from across the country in the STEM Challenge national finals at the NEC Birmingham.
Year 8 and 9 STEM Club students were also successful in competing in the Wessex Regional Robotics Challenge at Hewlett Packard, Bristol, where they presented their project ideas, were questioned by a panel of judges about their idea and finally had to program a lego robot to complete various set design challenges within a certain time limit.