We were very pleased to grant Presdales School their second award in a bid closely linked to their EL project. * Their STEM bid again focussed on textiles, this time, the purchase of 2 basic and 2 more advanced electronic sewing machines. Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) began by explaining the difficulties of running thriving D+T subjects:
“Due to the expense of equipment and increased teaching expense for small class sizes Design & Technology is no longer available in many schools. Presdales School however, prides itself in its provision of a diverse range of subjects under the D&T umbrella including Product Design, Graphics, Food & Nutrition and Fashion & Textiles (run in two class-rooms).”
She added to previous arguments about the benefits of practical subjects to struggling pupils by adding:
“However, these subjects also hold significant importance and appeal to Presdales’ more gifted students, providing them with the ability to develop projects using cross-curricular skills that engage design, construction and engineering theories learned within Maths, Computing and The Sciences. The D&T subjects are the stepping-stones to Engineering within Higher Education and the workplace. Whilst not a Presdales student there is first-hand knowledge of a student who studied Textiles Tech along with other STEM subjects to enter an Engineering Degree and is moving into a Space Defence career this year.”
Nikki then took time to explain the specific benefits of her project e.g.:
"… offer an extensive range of stitches and features, such as buttonholes and decorative stitching, thereby giving our students the ability to improve the quality of their final products and access higher exam grades. This is a 100% capital investment and will provide a significant asset to the school for many years.
At KS4 & 5 the importance of access to current machines, which provide a wide range of functions is increased, enabling students to produce work to a level that provides access to higher grades at AO2 of both the GCSE and A-level Design Textiles specifications.”
* We are more than happy to consider linked bids, where one project enhances the effectiveness of another, either in the same subject area or cross curricular. “Joined up thinking” is never a bad idea.