Design Technology (DT) at Pangbourne is predominantly taught through practical project work. The Department aims to develop students' creative design skills when developing a concept and manufacturing an end product. The work tests problem-solving skills and the ability to handle materials with an emphasis on accuracy and quality.
Pupils are able to make full use of a DT workshop with full woodworking, metalworking and plastics manufacturing facilities, an ICT suite with 20 computers which run useful programmes such as Photoshop, Google SketchUp and 2D Design, a large laser cutter, a CNC milling machine and a vinyl cutter.
All Form 3 pupils study DT, after which they can choose whether to take the subject at GCSE and A Level. At GCSE level, students can either take Graphic Products (following the Edexcel board) or Resistant Materials (following the AQA board). Both courses involve drawing, modelling and prototyping using wood, metal, plastics and Computer Aided Design.
At A Level, the Department offers the Product Design course (following the AQA board) which sees students developing a product using a real client throughout the design, manufacturing and testing stages.
The DT Department makes itself available outside of lesson times to support pupils undertaking challenging projects. It also further enables students to progress by running a DT activity once a week, where pupils can receive guidance and take advantage of the workshop to get ahead with their work. The work produced by students is of enormous variety and coursework is supported by visits to the Jaguar and Morgan car factories every year.
The Department also runs STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities and participates in the Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge where teams of four to six have to create a radio-controlled four-wheel vehicle.
Recent successes have included a team making it through to the national finals of the Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge, earning the students a visit to the car manufacturer's closely-guarded Research and Development Facility, and the entire Form 3 pitching in with ideas for an urban playground which is to be built in Brixton for deprived youngsters.
Arkwright Scholarships are offered at GCSE level for those looking to go into engineering and manufacturing careers, and students can go on to take courses in Creative Design, Architecture, Engineering and Business Studies following their time at Pangbourne.