The Norton Knatchbull School, Kent UK
I live in Kent and I have been teaching Design and Technology for over 10 years. I have a primary school aged daughter who is already showing many signs of being an excellent creator and designer herself.
I entered the world of teaching after a number of years spent working in a range of creative industries, including advertising, marketing and qualitative research with some big brand names. After pitching and presenting to boardrooms of clients, I realised that I was brave enough to stand in front of a class of students and embarked upon my PGCE at Brighton University in 2008 and never looked back.
I have taught in several secondary schools, currently I am a Design and Technology teacher at The Norton Knatchbull School in Ashford, Kent where I have been for over 9 years. I was introduced to Design and Technology when I was in Year 9 and I was delighted to finally find a subject I could connect with. It was the subject that I looked forward to every week and met my desire to be creative and learn skills I had never had the chance to explore before, from drawing in 3D to making prototypes in wood and plastic.
I love teaching a subject that relates directly to the real world and seeing the enthusiasm and excitement students have when introduced to the workshop, tools and equipment for the first time. It is always a buzz when you overhear a student say, “Tuesday is my best day, I’ve got double DT!”
We are a selective school for boys, with girls admitted in our sixth form and we teach Design and Technology to Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. We are very lucky to have an excellent, supportive department with a range of workshop and CAD/CAM facilities; we are a very popular and frequently over-subscribed subject.
Students frequently do extremely well in our subject, with a significant number achieving grades 6 and above at GCSE. We also have several Sixth Form students who have subsequently gone on to pursue a Degree in the field of Product Design.
One of our most popular projects in Year 8 is the USB colour changing light. This project incorporates CAD/CAM, building on 2D Design skills learnt in Year 7. We also look at card prototyping, an introduction to soldering and some workshop skills learning how to use the strip heater to bend the acrylic stand.
The finished item is personalised and of a high quality, the type of project students are excited to take home and are proud show to their families.