Starpack Awards 2018

We entered eleven Y12 students in to the Starpack Awards this year for the first time.

We had some fantastic submissions and feedback and were lucky enough to have six highly commended designs which were subsequently published in the end of year awards book as seen in the photographs.

The D&T department is having a real focus on creating industry based projects and projects which are authentic and wider than just school purposes to give our students the broadest design experience before they leave us to be architects, engineers, interior designers and much more.

Rotary Design Competition 2018

I took four students from Y9  to the County Rotary design competition yesterday.

On arrival they were asked to make something with only the materials provided by the competition. No competitors had been given any information regarding the task in advance.  They had to produce a portfolio of design work and a final product.

Ella W, Katy S, Amy S and Scarlett S were asked to design a rocket launcher and their design propelled a small ball 3 feet into the air. They performed excellently and were a credit to the school.

Iterative Design And Testing

As part of the reformed A level in Product Design, our students undertake new projects.  They have taken inspiration from flowers, nature and Tom Raffield – a prominent young designer who believes in sustainability and organic design.

The images show great use of iterative design and testing to reach a final outcome which is expected at GCSE and A-Level more prominently now than ever before.

Design Ventura 2018

Our Y10 boys placed a magnificent 8th in the Design Ventura final from over 320 schools and 14,000 students nationwide. It was a fantastic day, a fantastic achievement and I couldn’t be prouder of what they accomplished throughout the process.

As a school we look forward to participating again next year as the Design & Technology department is very committed to external competitions and challenges which provide our students with real world contexts and problems.

Thank you to parents and staff who supported us and continue to do so – it is very much appreciated!

Y2 Toy Making Extravaganza

Prior to Christmas the Design & Technology department hosted our Y2 pupils in a ‘Toy Making Extravaganza’!

The children produced a fully functional roll-along tractor using tools and jigs set up by our master toy maker ( Mr Pinner). They also produced design sheets to go with their toy which were superb.

The fun and festivities were enjoyed by all and we look forward to working with our younger students in the future.

Design Ventura Finalists

We have been extremely busy in Design & Technology this year and no group has epitomised this more than our Design Ventura finalists Andrew, Matt, Alex and Ant. They were selected from 327 schools and over 14000 students to present their concept ‘Drop Charge’ – a humorous bungee jumper cable wrap – at London’s Design Museum.

The group pitched extremely professionally which was well received.  They were given fantastic feedback on the product’s commercial viability and it’s ability to be customised to different artists, patterns and seasons – making a fresh product with each iteration.

We now go to the museum on Wednesday 7th February for the final announcement and awards ceremony where the boys’ work will be part of an exhibition within the museum. Parents, staff and pupils are all invited to attend – the event starts at 7pm.

Well done boys! Fingers crossed now……

Rotary Technology Tournament

Congratulations to our Y7 pupils for a successful and enjoyable day at the Rotary Technology Tournament. They constructed a motorised vehicle that could move debris from a tunnel then reverse showing excellent design engineering and construction skills. They also designed and produced a logo which merged their chosen charity (Hospice UK) with the Simon Balle emblem. The group showed great maturity and team work and have been a pleasure to work with throughout the year.

We’re already looking forward to next year and challenging in all categories.

Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim

Y9 bird boxesY9 students have been putting some of the left-over wood from the current building work to good use ….and practicing their workwood skills by building nestboxes under the watchful eye of Mr Woodcock.

Following plans available from the RSPB –  the boxes will be used around the school grounds during the next academic year.

STEM Festival

Last Thursday five Y7 students were invited to participate in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Festival at St Edmunds School in Ware.

It was an excellent opportunity for our students.  They completed six different activities with students from other schools. The activities including making and programming an electric fan, basic coding, investigating a crime scene, constructing a bridge and program exploration.

The students showed excellent reliance as they tackled some complex tasks. It also gave them an insight into how STEM subjects are used in industry and the endless possibilities for students of these subjects.

Y7 STEM Festival1  Y7 STEM Festival2

That’s A Bit Fishy…!

Last week we were delighted to be joined by 4 chefs from Hertfordshire Catering Ltd. They worked with Y7 students who assisted them in the production of 4 oily fish dishes suitable to serve for school lunches.

Using a range of new recipes – Lentil and mackerel lunch box, Salmon fish cakes, Mackerel pâté, Jerk roast fish and Salmon sticks served with sweet potato chips – students were able to develop their knife skills in the preparation of a range of ingredients, including handling and preparing raw fish.

The students completed a sensory analysis of all the dishes before voting on their favourite – ‘Salmon fish cakes’. The mackerel pâté and freshly baked toasted bread rolls was a definite favourite too.

All students were brilliant and tasted all the prepared dishes. Well done Y7!  Please take some time to look through some of the photos that were taken during the session.

Fishy Food