Craft, Design & Technology is an important subject that covers a wide range of creative skills, practical disciplines and technological knowhow. Craft, Design & Technology plays a very important part in our lives: it controls and affects much of what we do in our everyday lives and we are all capable of designing and making. There is little left of the environment that we live in today and even more so in the future that hasn’t or won’t have been shaped by the human hand or felt its influence. Designers have the ability to shape and control the world that we live in and the products we use by drawing upon a wide range of experiences, knowledge and skills creatively to find the best solution to a problem. Few people would like to do without the products designed in the last twenty years. For some people a world without these products would be difficult to imagine!
In Years 7 to 9 the emphasis is on the learning of skills and knowledge in a range of disciplines as far as possible through hands-on practical experience. Pupils’ design input into their projects increases gradually from a largely prescribed first project to, in some instances, complete creative control in later projects. This is complemented by the teaching of the appropriate subject matter and knowledge through a variety of activities in order to prepare pupils for the GCSE course, should this be the route that they choose to follow. Initially, freehand and measured graphic skills are taught to enable pupils to express their design ideas for an electronic toy motor car on paper. This enables them to design the car, which they then make from a variety of materials, using both hand and machine tools in the school workshop before manufacturing and fitting the electronic circuit that powers the car. Pupils then embark upon further projects: clocks, mirrors, storage, etc., enabling them to improve and extend their abilities, skills and knowledge before commencing the final design-and-make project in Year 9 – a format which loosely mirrors the GCSE coursework structure.
GCSE and A level pupils have a tradition of producing a wide variety of accomplished projects with accompanying design folders to a very high standard. Electric guitars and basses, compound bows and crossbows, mountain boards, cricket cradles and all manner of furniture items have been designed and made. Past pupils have set the benchmark which current pupils strive to match in terms of the quality and creativity of their work as well as the high grades achieved in public examination results.