What next for the senior school?
"We really like what we've come up with and the changes we've been able to bring in. The year 9 course is really working well for us and our students are definitely enjoying it. We were able to stay fully involved in the development process through the regular department meetings. The development work was presented and discussed by the whole department. Our feedback was then incorporated in to the material being produced."Shelley Smith and Sandie Anderson, technology teachers
Scaffolding key technology competencies
The group is working on getting more students at senior level; there are five level 1 classes, three level 2 classes and three level 3 classes. Although technology is a core subject at years 9-10 it is still timetabled as an option. This possibly adds to the barrier technology teachers are trying to break through.
Teachers detailed the scaffolding of the key technology competencies for year 11, year 12, and year 13.
Developing programmes of learning
Specific senior programmes of learning were next to be developed: Kate McLennan will be working with food technologists; Jeff Arnold with an inventor with expertise in plastics; John Foster is integrating electronics into his senior courses; Andrew Hughes continues to develop key design ideas in his classes and Doug Sutherland is exploring the benefits of functional modelling.
Success has meant that the whole department is constantly seeking to improve the delivery of their programmes, and with the revised learning area there are further challenges ahead.
Support for technology changes and whole school initiatives
The increased collegiality in the group is leading to more effective responses to whole school initiatives, such as literacy.
"Our technology department was doing very well under the existing system, but Carol and Doug recognised that the new technology learning area brought with it an opportunity to move the department from what many on the outside thought was a pre-industrial training ground to deliver a subject which would have real academic integrity. And that's what they've done."
"Other staff in other departments doubted whether the adjustments required could be made. The proof is there to see – clever kids are now taking the subject, and they do well. They find that technology extends them and is as demanding in its own way as any of the other academic subjects they can do."
"Our students appreciate the challenges the technology staff put in front of them, their insistence on excellence, and the support they are prepared to give them."Principal Bill Adam