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Mark of success for Oakham's DT

Published by Oakham School on Thursday 25th of September 2014

Oakham School is delighted to have been awarded the Design Mark a well-known accolade for schools that demonstrate excellence in their teaching of design.

"This is yet further recognition of the superb work for which our Design and Technology department is justifiably renowned," says Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook. "I'm extremely pleased that along with the excellent GCSE, A Level and IB results our students achieve, and the high number of national design awards and scholarships that our pupils win, the department has now been formally recognised for its successes."

"My congratulations go to the department so ably led by Tim Weston," continues the Headmaster. "In applying for the Award, the School had to demonstrate how it is considered to be a leader in its field. Given that Tim holds the position of both IB DT Worldwide Principal Moderator and Regional Workshop Trainer for Europe and the Middle East, and given there is a diverse range of talented staff in his team, it is clear to see how the department has such a strong reputation.

In order to receive the award, the Design and Technology department also had to demonstrate that the School consistently achieves high standards in the quality of its design education. The School was more than able to provide the evidence required, especially given that the department has a long history of producing talented designers, both during their time at Oakham and after they have left school. "Many pupils go on to develop outstanding careers in a wide range of design areas, including Formula One racing, Aeronautical development, automotive and industrial design," says Head of Design, Tim Weston. "Pupils are inspired to really enjoy Design Technology and to see how design permeates their lives, and potentially their future careers," he adds.

This is due, in part, to an engaging curriculum, as well as special design days that allow pupils to pursue specialist projects allowing them to go beyond the scope of the normal curriculum. For example, last year all Year 9 pupils had the chance to design and create their own themed museum - including layout, signage, souvenirs, costume and leaflets. The pupils then used CAD software to design virtual electronic handheld devices, mobile phone apps, brochures and uniform designs.

The range and scope of design opportunities available at the School also helped to provide a compelling case for winning the Design Award. These include the outstanding facilities (with all the latest design machinery such as 3D printers), outside lecturers inspiring students, and trips including visits to factories (Jaguar and Morgan), museums (V&A and the Design and Science Museum) and overseas tours (most recently visits to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati and Pagani in Italy.)

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