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Design Technology & Trade Skills


The primary focus of Construction at Oak Bank is through the development of Carpentry and Woodcraft skills. The programme aims to help pupils to develop life long skills in using a range of hand and power tools for completing DIY Projects in the home and having the skills to design and make wood-crafted items.

All pupils are taught to safely use a wide range of hand tools and a selection of power tools while designing and assembling wood products.

All Project-Based Learning is designed to provide opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy, social interaction, mastery of skills, and achieving a sense of pride in constructing items to a high standard of finish. A spirit of Enterprise is also encouraged as pupils are able to sell crafted items at the Leighton Buzzard Market.

Students are also encouraged to use their skills in a variety of maintenance projects around the school site and also within the local community.

Key Stage 2 (Years 5/6)

In KS 2 all pupils have two double lessons of Vocational Learning on a carousel basis where they will experience at least one double lesson of Construction per term.

In 2019/20 the theme of ‘Wildlife and the Environment’ were used to enlighten pupils in the importance of Conservation and Protection of animal habitats. All pupils begin by making a bird nesting box with support, followed by making a Bug House independently and then a Hedgehog House. Pupils are then able to learn hand carving skills and given the opportunity to progress onto more challenging woodcraft designs.

Accreditation: All KS2 pupils will achieve AQA Unit Awards for their skills in identifying and using hand and power tools and for completing Woodcraft Projects.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

In KS3 students build on previous learning by selecting projects from Beginners/Intermediate or Advanced Designs according to their skills and experience. In 2019/20 a wide range of projects were undertaken to include making: Go-Karts, home and garden furniture (picnic tables, garden benches, coffee tables), book-shelves, kitchen trays, wine racks, tool and toy boxes, dog kennels and baskets, bedside organisers to name but a few.

Accreditation: All KS3 pupils build on their prior learning and achieve a wider range of AQA Unit Awards for achieving more complex skills in their designs and construction.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

KS4 pupils also build on prior learning experience depending on their starting point in school, and previously learned skills in using hand and power tools. All pupils are encouraged to engage in Enterprise Activities by taking a lead role in managing Oak Banks half-termly Market Stall. Pupils receive gift vouchers from the profits achieved through sales.

In 2019/20 KS4 pupils made high quality bird tables, hedgehog houses, garden benches and a variety of planters for sale.

Pupils in KS4 also have timetabled opportunities to use their skills through a range of Community Projects around the school and in the local community. For example, painting and decorating the Pool Hut, ground maintenance through gardening and grass cutting, fence repair and reconstruction in the Animal Care Centre, pressure washing drives and any other activities identified by the construction team. This programme enables pupils to take a pride in and respect for their school environment and to contribute to the local community.

On completion of KS4 pupils who have enjoyed practical learning through construction skills are guided into appropriate Learning Pathways in KS5 and beyond by the Careers and Post 16 team. For example, pupils have moved on to Further Education Courses in Carpentry and Joinery or other related courses in the Construction Industry.

Accreditation: Asdan Enterprise Award Units for developing enterprise skills at the Leighton Buzzard market and AQA Unit Awards for demonstrating a wider range of competencies in using hand and power tools.

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