The James Dyson Foundation Primary Workshop

Published 10th June 2024

The James Dyson Foundation hosted a full-day, primary Design and Technology workshop at their impressive, glass-fronted headquarters in Wiltshire. This free event was delivered in collaboration with the Design & Technology Association and offered to primary teachers. The event was designed to link Dyson’s high-tech, inspirational work with the D&T curriculum delivered in primary classrooms and included how to contextualise D&T.

Primary Workshop

The day was packed with engaging activities and talks. Participants had the chance to hear from Mark Johnson who is a Senior Principal Engineer at Dyson. Mark talked about the importance of supporting neurodiversity in D&T and Engineering. The course was led by D&T Association Curriculum Consultant, Lol Conway who outlined how to bring D&T lessons to life.

We caught up with Clare Stickney from Powell’s C of E Primary School who attended the free training day. She shared her enthusiasm, highlighting how the course was well-organised and filled with insights that she could take back to her classroom. She went on to express that the talk on neurodiversity was especially impactful, offering relatable and relevant information for educators.

Clare explained, “I felt very lucky to visit Dyson and gain insights directly from their employees about the industry. It was amazing to learn about their initiatives with local primary schools and about their resources that they have available for schools. The talks offered fresh perspectives and practical advice. The neurodiversity discussion was particularly relevant and helpful. Networking with teachers from different areas was also incredibly valuable.”

Clare rounded things off by stating, “It was the best course I’ve ever been on!”

Carolynne Evans from Heatherlands Primary Academy also expressed similarly positive feedback, “I loved seeing the remarkable Dyson site and enjoyed finding out about the journey of the Vacuum cleaner. I was also interested to hear about neurodiversity in this setting and how it is embraced.”

Industry Links and Career Advice

The value of industry links and career advice for students was another important element of this event. Attendees noted the benefits of exposing students to industry practices and career paths early on, helping them understand the real-world applications of their studies.

Course Objectives and Experience

The course aimed to help teachers, engage in hands-on CPD with Dyson ‘Challenge Cards’ and other resources, and understand how professional designers and engineers work. During the lunch break, attendees enjoyed a guided tour of the Dyson facilities and lunch cooked by Sir James Dyson’s own chef!

By attending, teachers learned how to use an iterative design cycle in D&T, gained insights into Dyson’s work and processes, and discovered how the James Dyson Foundation resources can support their D&T teaching.

The whole day was a great success, creating a space for learning, collaboration, and inspiration. Attendees left with new insights, practical tools, and a renewed enthusiasm for integrating D&T education with industry practices.

Back to News