Summer School Success 2016

Published 11th July 2016

After a busy few months of planning, our exciting D&T Summer School ran on the 7th & 8th July 2016 at WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry, on the Warwick University Campus.

Nearly 400 delegates attended from across the country, but we also welcomed attendees from as far afield as Hong Kong and Cambodia. The event was very well received by all delegates and exhibitors but also by the very helpful and generous staff at WMG Academy.

The initial feedback has been excellent. The workshop sessions provided some inspirational, practical and valuable D&T resources and developed delegates’ skills. Some of these resources and workshops piloted new CPD sessions which we will be offering over the course of the coming year. These have been developed to address the challenges facing D&T teachers in light of the forthcoming new D&T GCSE, which will be first taught in school in September 2017.

Thursday 7th began at Warwick Manufacturing Group lecture theatre where each Awarding Organisations presented their specifications. They were able to outline the differences and similarities between boards. The aim of the morning session was to offer teachers an insight into the different exam specifications and content and give delegates the opportunity to learn more, ask questions and dispel any concerns.

This was followed by a range of workshops covering areas such as the iterative design process for KS3 & 4, working with contextual challenges, working with the new engineering specifications, planning schemes of work, programmable components and sessions offering engaging activities in product design. The day concluded nicely with delegates networking with exhibitors, sponsors and presenters over prosecco and canapés.

Friday 8th got off to an excellent start with a challenging keynote provided by Diana Choulerton, Lead HMI for D&T for Ofsted. Her presentation looked at the 'Progression to the New D&T GCSE from Primary onwards' and challenged delegates with 'Have we got it right?'

This was again followed by a range of inspiring workshops: product design for KS3 and GCSE, working with contexts, KS3 electronics, BBC micro:bit, textiles, food preparation and nutrition. The afternoon delivered further practical workshops on exciting topics such as teaching STEM aspects of D&T, CAD and 3D printing: making maths and science interesting, working with the new A level specification, having fun with fabric and fibres, interesting things to engage your KS3 & 4 students and how to maximise success in food and nutrition. There were many sessions offering a varied choice and definitely something for everyone.

As I visited different workshops, what struck me was the level of engagement between presenters and delegates. Teachers walked into some of the sessions with some apprehension about what they were about to engage with and learn. The smiling faces that walked out of each workshop were fantastic to see. Brian Russell's product design projects sessions enabled hands on experience with pewter casting, using a band-saw and vacuum-forming. Julie messenger's textiles sessions really highlighted what a vital component textiles is to the new D&T GCSE and how fully integrated it is in D&T GCSE. James Bleach and Dave Bauser performed an entertaining double act providing delegates with a breadth of ideas and interesting things that any teacher could use to engage KS3 & 4 students. Fun was had and a lot expertise shared.

The Primary Summer School ran on 8th of July and the day was delivered by Gareth Pimley, our Lead Primary consultant. The full day was spent working through the challenges of being a primary subject leader. The delegates trialled a range of practical strategies to be used in school to improve children’s’ attainment and progress.

One of the aims of the event was to provide an opportunity for interaction between delegates. This, we believe, we achieved through the interactive workshops being led by highly experienced consultants and teachers possessing many years of experience working within D&T.

We would like to thank all our kind sponsors: OCR, AQA, WJEC, Pearson, VEX and Rapid and all the exhibitors who were able to network and build contacts with teachers from all over the country.

We would also like to thank WMG Academy for Young Engineers for opening their doors as this year’s fabulous venue for an amazing D&T event. This year was definitely the busiest D&T Summer School we have ever run. It really was highly successful and we hope to repeat this again in 2017. Look out for next year’s dates to be released. Also a really big thank-you to our presenters and delegates for being part of the 2016 D&T Summer School. This event would not have been possible without you.

We look forward to seeing you all next year. 

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