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Design & Technology

"Design is not just about how something looks but how it works"  James Dyson

The Design & Technology department aims to empower students to "make a difference" with real world open-ended problems here at school and beyond, whether as engineers, designers, architects or as critical consumers.  We develop students’ awareness of the social and environmental impacts of design and technological activities from a Benedictine perspective.  Students build up an understanding of modern materials, manufacturing and control systems through practical experience, lessons and visits. 

The department is located in the purpose built Sunley Centre which provides excellent facilities including a design studio, a technology classroom for electronics and robotics and two computer suites with the latest computer aided design software.   The extensive workshop is equipped with modern rapid prototyping machines and hot metal working facilities as well as a broad range of tools and machines for woods, metals and plastics.

The language of design is visual. We develop the graphicacy of students, teaching drawing and computer aided design techniques as well as an appreciation of aesthetics of man-made objects.  We also coach other highly sought after design skills of analysis, creativity, project management, planning and problem-solving.

We relate all projects to the real world and organise a number of trips to study the work of iconic and contemporary designers, engineering firms and university design departments.  The Smallpiece Trust provides a range of courses for all ages to investigate technical careers.  Year 11 students are invited to apply for an Arkwright Scholarship if considering a technical design route, including Maths and Physics at A level.  Year 13 students who are intending to study engineering at university are eligible to apply for the annual JCB Engineering Prize.

The department provides a range of extracurricular activities to extend and stretch those studying the subject.  Current activities include Lego robotics, playground construction, sketching skills, Land Rover restoration and Craft Club. These activities also provide designing and making experiences for those who do not opt for GCSE or A level Design and Technology – we want everyone to be able to make a difference.

Aims of the Department:

We aim to develop and nurture in our students:

  • Critical awareness of the social and environmental impacts of design and technological activities
  • Individual creativity in the context of real world problem solving
  • Analytical skills and confidence in managing projects
  • Understanding of modern materials, manufacturing processes and technologies
  • Enjoyment and appreciation of skilled and safe practical work

A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18