The Department offers a dynamic, creative environment that focuses on the delivery of contemporary skills and technology. This results in enthusiastic, inventive students capable of producing nationally-recognised products of the highest quality. Please click here to to take a virtual tour of the Design Technology Engineering corridor and classrooms (two dark blue dots to the right-hand side of the red building).
Our aim is to offer students outstanding opportunities to pursue this subject. We are a rapidly developing and expanding department, which continuously embraces technological change. This enables new and exciting skills, materials and techniques to be incorporated into our curriculum on a regular basis. In order to support these developments, we continually seek to expand our network of business and industrial contacts, in order to foster closer working relationships. We boast a high profile nationally, and through our long-standing links with Brunel University, we offer a yearly placement to a young designer, which enables them to extend and hone their skills in our spacious, well-equipped facility.
The curriculum is designed to clearly define the practical and academic nature of the subject. This is achieved through a varied course structure, which is both flexible and rewarding. Our foundation course (KS3) is rigorous and challenging, and enables students to experience a range of different materials and techniques, including CAD/CAM. All students undertake a combination of individual and group projects. Moreover, the Department empathises with the philosophies of the National Curriculum, and structures itself accordingly. The Department currently offers the AQA GCSE Design Technology, and AQA A Level in Product Design.
The Department is structured to encourage a team-teaching philosophy. This is achieved by both teaching in multimedia areas, and encouraging the students to think of themselves as becoming designers, technologists or engineers, rather than single-material specialists. Courses are arranged to encourage this flexibility, and involve all members of staff having an input in each course. We also have staff that team-lead the three Key Stages (3, 4 & 5). Students regard the Department’s staff as a resource team, and consult with those who have specialist abilities associated with their projects, rather than consulting solely with their allocated class teacher.
The Arkwright Scholarship Scheme is a national scheme whose central aim is to support students of high ability who wish to follow a career in engineering. Scholarships are awarded to students at the end of their GCSE year. They are sponsored by a particular industrial company or trust, who support the scholar, both financially, and by offering materials and facilities to enable the successful completion of A Level or IB work. The scheme is universally-recognized by universities and industry, and, because of the small numbers involved, many scholars have benefited from further support through university. Potential scholars undergo a rigorous selection process; a strenuous written/design examination, followed by an interview at a university of the students choice. Since 1996, the Department has produced over 55 scholars. To find out more about the Arkwright Scholarship Scheme, please visit www.arkwright.org.uk.
The Department has taken students to Warner Bros Studios, Alstom Engineering, the Design Museum, the Olympic Park, and for architectural walks in London to study design and engineering. Nearer to home, we have taken students to Thorpe Park, London Zoo, and even two prisons (HMP Holloway and HMP Send), where we identified problems, derived solutions, and presented ideas to the directors of these institutions.
Students have access to the Department after school Monday to Thursday, until 5pm, to complete work. The Department also runs several clubs aimed at inspiring and developing young designers and engineers. Junior DT Club is run by our graduate Brunel student who develops a range of short, fun challenges and projects. Selected Upper Third Form students participate in an 8-week STEM project based around a DT theme, ranging from structures to aerodynamics, to 3D printing. In the Sixth Form, students are involved in the Green Power Car competition to design, build and race an electric vehicle. To find out more about the competition please visit www.greenpower.co.uk.
'Create' - Inspired Innovation at Whitgift