Look Out For The New Skills Gap Resources

Published Monday 22 September 2014

Originally published Tuesday, August 05, 2014

During September we will be making available the first resources generated by the initial Skills Gap Programme pilots between Alucast & ACE Academy and Renishaw & Marling School. These resources have been developed by teachers resulting from training and support facilitated by the Skills Gap Programme.  The projects bring the KS3 D&T curriculum to life with a link to industry.  Future projects are also going to be focusing upon  KS4 and include both GCSE and BTEC.  The focus of the first two programmes are programmable components and manufacturing in quantity.   The Skills Gap programme enables the partner school to gain new skills and insights into education and career pathways whilst developing a resource they can use time and time again.  The results and learning gained from the first two pilot programmes can be accessed by clicking on the below report.

The first two projects will be followed by further resources after Christmas generated from programmes currently underway with ADI Group & Handsworth Wood Girls Academy and Ysgol Clywedog & Airbus.  Towards Easter, further resources will be available focusing upon companies such as Mulberry, Brandauer and Thomas Dudley.     The materials will consist of both learning tutorials to support teachers to develop and refine new skills and teaching resources to use with students, each set of materials will be different according to how the lead teacher chose to pull the ‘scheme of work’ together.  The final resources have been made adaptable so that teachers can alter them to fit their own individual teaching setting.

Richard Green, Chief Executive D&T Association comments that:

We are very pleased to be making the resources available and we hope teachers will look out for them and download them once the new Skills Gap Programme pages of the D&T Associations website ‘go live’ during September.  I’ll be keen to know what teachers liked and disliked about them as we grow and refine the Skills Gap Programme model. We would like to thank teachers at Fair Oake Academy in Staffordshire for testing the materials with their students without external support.  The testing has been a critical stage in ensuring that the materials are accessible even when the company and Mary Southall, Skills Gap Coach is not on-hand to provide support.   We would also like to thank Alsop High School in Liverpool, whose input was facilitated by Matt Mclain from Liverpool John Moores University, for reviewing the teaching materials and providing helpful feedback".

Kevin Jones, Deputy Head Teacher and Director of Design Faculty commented:

These materials were very thorough and easy to follow.  The level of technical detail was just right.  I didn’t have any previous experience of programming but having worked through the introductory training and followed the lesson plans, I was delighted that the students achieved a great outcome with lots of learning which all tied into the new KS3 curriculum”

The Skills Gap Programme continues the second part of its pilot phase, taking the learning forward from the first two projects.  Ysgol Clywedog, supported by Airbus in Wales is developing a project based upon faultfinding in electronic systems which aligns with the KS4 BTEC in Engineering.  In the case of Handsworth Wood Girls Academy and ADI in Birmingham, D&T teachers have been developing CAD & design skills to design a café to meet a client brief.   The school projects, which will be launched to students in September, will enable staff and students to enhance their skills in using ‘Sketch-up’ software and apply it to a real business situation. Adrian Siviter, Head of Creative Design Faculty at Handsworth Wood Girls Academy, commented:

We have been working with an engineer from ADI Group to see how CAD is used in industry and develop our own CAD skills.  The one day training session we had from ADI Group and subsequent follow up session have been well paced, supportive and helpful.  ADI Group have committed to supporting us to implement these new skills and share them with our students over the next few months.  This real life context and the engineering role models will be invaluable to our student group."

To register your interest in the scheme, please contact the Design and Technology Association using the contact form or by calling 01789 470 007.

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