“The need to know the capital of Florida died when my phone learned the answer. Rather, the students of tomorrow need to be able to think creatively: they will need to learn on their own, adapt to new challenges and innovate on-the-fly.”
— Anthony Chivetta
Technology has advanced at an exponential rate during the last ten years, quickly out of date within only months. As the world evolves dynamically it will become more intensely interconnected and future generations face considerable challenges that include rapid urbanization, climate change, resource scarcity and a growing talent gap. The last of these issues is especially pressing and is where the importance and necessity of design technology becomes transparently clear. The world needs the educated design technology student to respond quickly and creatively to problems as they arise. Those involved in technology and its application will need to be multidisciplinary – understanding the social, cultural, political, and economic forces which will impact on technological innovation. The future of design, engineering and construction therefore depends on a more diverse workforce that will need to foster innovation to achieve economic and personal growth and wellbeing for themselves and others, benefitting their local, national and international communities.
Our curriculum design not only reflects the demands of the National Curriculum for Design Technology, but has been informed by educational research. Subject experts keep up to date with the latest advances in technology and this is reflected in the ambitious content we deliver. Our bespoke programme has also been shaped by the specific needs, interests and aspirations of the students themselves. This is vocational education taught properly and powerfully. We embrace opportunities to work beyond a traditional classroom setting and pride ourselves on the strong links we have forged with local and national employers and companies. Through this collaboration our staff and students gain access to exciting resources, work spaces, training and mentoring, and this exposure to the world of work and real life scenarios results in increased motivation and self-belief.
Thus, through their exposure to a high quality design and technology education, our students leave us well-prepared for the changing world and eager to face the challenges it presents. Their creativity and imagination flourishes as they become increasingly resourceful, innovative, enterprising and skilled. By creating an environment of mutual respect and trust, they feel empowered to take risks and push the boundaries of design and they embrace the opportunities we provide for them to work practically, and under pressure, as adults would. They are tasked with finding ethical solutions to relevant, real life problems within a variety of contexts, and in doing so learn to consider, not just their own, but others’ needs, wants and values. Fuelled by a sense of real purpose that design technology creates, they approach challenges and potential barriers with a positive mindset, understanding and appreciating that trial and error is very much part of the design, and learning, process. They are reflective, tenacious and aspirational. They respond positively to critique, and provide this constructive feedback for others
For our students this is just the beginning of their journey. Our curriculum aims to inspire the future designers of the modern era. Our curriculum is therefore designed to:
- Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
- Equip students with powerful core knowledge and understanding that not only develops crucial life skills but will enable them to later specialise in the areas of design technology that inspire them most.
- Explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of design technology, through the delivery of a series of carefully sequenced, intellectual challenging projects.
- Engage and enthuse students through expert modelling and coaching, delivered by highly skilled teaching staff and external colleagues and sponsors.
- Immerse our students fully in the iterative design process, providing first-hand experience of prototyping, testing, modifying and evaluating practices.
- Address the specific social and economic context of Newark and support the future social mobility of our students, through exposure to a range of training and employment opportunities and experiences.
- Expose students to the world of work within their school environment through the careful planning and use of additional funding.
- Promote high levels of oracy and literacy by encouraging students to think, speak and write like a design technology experts.
- Build connections and make practical use of knowledge gained in other subjects (e.g.) maths, science, geography, business and computer science, thereby bringing other areas of the curriculum to life.
- Temper student’s aspirations by developing their moral conscience and raising their awareness of the impact of manufacturing on climate and environmental change, carbon footprint and product life-cycle.
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”
— Elbert Hubbard
Links to useful resources