In a year where the proportion of students receiving top grades was the lowest seen since 2007, Canford pupils have once again bucked the trend with excellent results at both A Level and Pre-U.
Design Technology is a well established and successful subject at Canford. Initially pupils progress through a series of set projects to build and reinforce a skill base (eg. Design and make a motorised toy aimed at filling an existing gap in the toy market) before they start designing and making solutions to problems that they have researched and identified themselves. Teachers become consultants as students 'manage' their own projects and the level of presentation and finish they incorporate into their work is always impressive.
A suite of well-equipped workshops and classrooms provide for creative and practical projects, based on resistant materials. The drawing offices form the focal point for design work. Indeed the ability to interpret ideas through drawing is central to all projects, as all finished work must be fully documented and illustrated.
A pupil's portfolio forms the central part of coursework assessment. In this context the use of computer aided design software allows pupils the exciting possibility of realising their ideas in a virtual form before starting to build them.
We have a comprehensive range of machinery and equipment - from saws and drills, through lathes and welding equipment, right up to state of the art laser cutting and 3D print technology. Design Technology continues to progress at Canford.
The GCSE and AS/A2 both follow the Edexcel exam board specifications.
The department runs some exciting co-curricular projects aimed at combining development of skills in DT with some fun challenges. Currently pupils are involved with the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge, a STEM enhancement and enrichment initiative that gives young people an insight into what it takes to become an engineer. The team works towards producing a 4WD drift car with all the major components made by the 3D printer. This is a challenge and requires them to master use of not only the printer but also improve their skill in CAD so parts can be designed and modified before use.
NASA Next Stop! is a project running with the Shells. Budding astronauts design and use 3D print in a project the Design Technology department runs for our new Shells to get them working as a team and to understand the basic principles behind flight. Pupils build a rocket from scratch and then test it out on the school lawns.