The Design Technology Department consists of 3 full time teachers plus 1 part-time and 2 technicians. There are 3 well equipped workshops with two of these geared towards more demanding A Level examination work. The third workshop caters mainly to the Key Stage 3 students as well as Key Stage 4. Equipment caters for many traditional techniques such as engineering lathe-work, wood-turning, alloy casting, thermoforming, welding, brazing, bench-work in a range of resistant and compliant materials through hand-tools and bench-top equipment such as scroll saws, disc sanders and column drills. Additionally, students carry out a wide range of CAD / CAM work with a laser cutter and 3D printer in each workshop and a Boxford 3D router, all of which are used extensively as rapid-prototyping tools during product development and final manufacture. There is a strong emphasis on combining traditional designing and manufacturing methods with the more modern CAD / CAM techniques.
Each of the 3 classrooms are linked to a CAD suite or kitted out with desktop PC’s with various CAD software packages in addition to the usual graphics and presentation tools. This is to enable thorough and varied types of research, creative concept generation and the all-important detailed developments modelled on computer. There is an ‘in-house’ facility for the complete manufacture of our F1 cars, where Dubai College has had much global success in the ‘F1 in Schools’ competition. After school workshop and CAD activities run on most days throughout the year to support students in the design and manufacture of their F1 cars and also to support examination students in their practical tasks.
The department helps students to appreciate that Design Technology continues to evolve as a ‘thinking’ subject. It is frequently taken for granted that products we use in our daily lives, from furniture to toothbrushes, from sunglasses to cutlery, are just there and can be selected when we purchase them. We try to make students aware that we can control and create such products in ways that we want to use them and in ways that we would like them to exist. Growing environmental concerns are changing the type and range of everyday products that we use and it is our budding young product designers who need to be given the responsibility, knowledge and opportunities for innovation to help maintain an interactive, enjoyable and healthy lifestyle for us all.
What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?
One needs to display: inspiration, organisation, cooperation, health and fitness, energy, empathy, determination, willingness, innovation, creativity, honesty, integrity, endurance, resilience and above all, a sense of humour.
What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?
Exactly the same as what it takes to be a good teacher at Dubai College (see above).
In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?
A long-standing tradition of success built upon people: characters, personalities, team-players, team-leaders, a sense of belonging and identity where for many students and teachers, past and present, it has been a galvanising part of their up-bringing, home life, citizenship and professional development. Dubai College has been for many, a community and a way of life; the Dubai College way.
Who or what inspires you?
Being in an environment where there is a true opportunity to be brilliant.
Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.
Even though a true Welsh speaking (1st language) Welshman I have never played a game of rugby in my life.
Graham Roberts, Head of Design Technology