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Why Design and Technology should be at the heart of the curriculum.

20 April 2017

I am told that I am rare. A Design and Technology teacher who has become a headmaster. I am also frequently congratulated on the facilities and outcomes from the D&T department at Kew House. So why do I believe that D&T is so vital as a subject to be taught in schools? Firstly, it is exciting, fun and inventive. It teaches problem solving and it applies the concepts taught in maths and the sciences to to provides solutions. It is in essence about making things that work, look good and make a difference to people’s lives. It requires research, analysis, team work, planning and evaluative skills. It invites students to ask “what if…?” and “Why not?” It inspires future entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and creative adults. We need that next generation to optimise resources and to develop sustainable and circular economies. I can think of no other subject that will equip our students with these skills.

 

Design Technology at Kew House School

 

The UK holds a significant amount of the worlds intellectual property in the design and creativity fields. We are the envy of many countries. China is working with the UK subject association to introduce D&T into its schools system. It is easy to see why and yet it is a subject that is undervalued, especially by government, here in the UK. This is evident in the failure to include any creative subjects in the Ebac portfolio upon which state schools are judged. This has triggered a significant decline in the number of state schools offering creative subjects and GCSE and ‘A’ level entries. The independent sector remains able to hold on to these subjects, develop them and enrich the education of students in our care. We are able to prepare our students to play an active role in the technological society they have been born into, to become discerning customers, critical consumers. Our economic future needs to be driven by young, talented creative people able to design and manufacture exciting, innovative products.

 

Design Technology at Kew House School

 

I am always pleased at the reaction I get when I show parents and prospective students the facilities here at Kew House. The CAD suite, the 3D printers, the laser cutter, all modern tools in the designer’s armoury. Combined with the more traditional facilities we can make almost anything in the D&T department. This area of the curriculum grabs the attention of children and parents alike, they see the potential for creativity, for fun, for innovation and the facilities to enable it to happen. The future of D&T at Kew House is safe. It is my sincere hope, as a devotee of the subject, that the D&T students and future citizens educated here at Kew House don’t become as rare as D&T Headmasters.

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