Delivering skills, often lacking, to the next generation of D&T teachers

Published 24th August 2022

Written by: Paul Woodward

D&TA providing specialist training for SCITT trainees at Pioneers Partnership SCITT

For 30 years I have taught in or led Design and Technology departments, and in the last few years, I have seen a real need for additional support and training for D&T teachers. Where possible, I have tried to provide support, resources, or training to help them, but this was often limited by my full-time teaching commitments. Earlier this year I decided it was time to leave the classroom and return to the UK where I could provide more dedicated support for the subject. I took up my current role with the Design and Technology Association as a curriculum developer and trainer which at first, I imagined would involve the creation of new teaching resources and the delivery of training to teachers and institutions.

The job has proven to be far more varied and challenging than that, which is fantastic, but one new training opportunity was of particular interest to me; to be involved with the design and delivery of D&T specific training to SCITT trainees through the Pioneers Partnership SCITT from this September.

These SCITT trainees will be completing their initial teacher training in a school-centred environment meaning they will be teaching in schools with specialist D&T facilities. At the end of their course of study, they will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status in secondary Design and Technology from Pioneers Partnership SCITT. So why was this so important to me?

For years we have heard from new teachers who had limited specialist D&T provision during their initial teacher training, or those who have retrained or changed subject and struggled to access specialist training. For me, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to create from scratch a training programme that could address the important aspects of the subject with further opportunities for specialist training in aspects where teachers might simply be expected to learn ‘on the job’.

Over the course of the year, these trainees will get over 40 dedicated sessions with almost half of these being face to face in a D&T classroom or workshop. These sessions will be supported by live digital online and bespoke E-Learning sessions with all teaching materials and resources created specifically for their needs and tailored to the subject fit for the 21st century. In the first term alone, we will discuss the context of D&T, safety and responsibility, the National Curriculum, key knowledge and skills, teaching effective lessons, Key stages two to five, long-term planning, progress in D&T, positive relationships, identifying leadership opportunities and managing a department.

There will be sessions dedicated to each key stage of learning and the skills and knowledge associated with them and, even though the focus is secondary education, these will also address Key Stage two and Post 16 education such as A levels. Sessions will also be dedicated to long-term planning, assessment, progress and curriculum creation which will enable trainees to design and develop their own curriculum and resources and to ensure that all the key skills and knowledge are delivered.

This training will provide a comprehensive range of designing and making skills as well as a full day’s Health and Safety training provided by the Association so the trainees are confident and qualified in the use of tools and machinery before taking up their first permanent post.

At a time when there is a dearth of D&T teachers, we are very proud to have the opportunity to deliver all the skills we often hear are lacking, to the next generation of D&T teachers. We hope that this provision will encourage more trainees to teach the subject.

Spaces are still available for trainees interested in a career in Design and Technology and we hope that we can expand this provision to other SCITT providers over time while developing and honing the training to give new D&T teachers the very best start to their careers.


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