Art, Design and Technology
The Faculty of Art, Design & Technology
The ADT Faculty within The Fernwood School was established to provide a flexible and streamlined curriculum, which responds to the needs of the students it serves and the society it supports. The faculty aims to emphasise a process/project-based approach to learning where possible. The subject matter and student’s activities should allow the student to acquire, develop and then master a range of skills, and gain a broad knowledge base through active involvement in the learning process. ADT aims is to enable children with transferrable skills for life beyond school with both personal and industrial skills alongside the subject skills needed.
The three main areas of study are: Design & Technology, Art & Design, and Computer Systems. The overall educational purpose of these is as follows:
- To promote and develop in our students a confidence in their creative powers and technological capabilities.
- To promote the acquisition of skills: problem-solving, presentational, organisational, social and technological.
- To improve our student’s visual awareness and critical faculties by developing their drawing skills, investigative and presentational—both manually and with technical assistance.
- To develop in our students an awareness of our cultural heritage and an understanding of the importance of design and technology in today's society.
- To develop our student’s dexterity through structured experimentation utilising a variety of tools, materials and processes with a due regard to health and safety.
- To advise on subject choice and career prospects.
A Quality Curriculum
At the heart of a creative curriculum is the engagement of children with practical tasks. These tasks should specifically serve identified needs, solve problems – and for the most part work. It is considered essential that these learning activities reflect the nature of the subject within a range of contexts. These include the world of work, the development of communities and society, the environment and the ways in which technologies or technological solutions address or affect these. Students are encouraged to make, share, justify and discuss value judgements with respect to their own design decisions and those of others.
Students’ progress their experiences within the four elements becoming more technologically capable for example by ‘sharpening’ perspective; ‘strengthening’ confidence; ‘deepening’ sensitivity and by ‘heightening’ creativity. Capability may only be achieved through the successful integration of the four outcomes. The methodologies and approaches to successful integration of these outcomes vary between the primary and secondary sectors. Increasingly though, liaison partnerships are smoothing the transition hiatus between primary and secondary.
Capability is assessed through knowledge and understanding, designing, and making and the development of informed attitudes. The wide-ranging content naturally lends itself to a variety of assessment strategies which can be used to focus teaching and support on student needs and in recognising achievement. Use of such assessment strategies ensures that students have experienced a successful and balanced learning in all four outcomes.
The curriculum and the learning and teaching methodologies used in the department are designed to give students opportunities to develop these capacities. Courses articulate to offer progression and appropriate challenge. The subject naturally cultivates several important aspects, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, evaluating and decision-making. Experiential learning is a key approach and students are given ample scope for choice and personalisation, which helps engender enthusiasm and motivation.