At TechSoft we are often asked for advice by both
HOD’s and architects about the sort of provision required to deliver
CAD/CAM across a D&T department. Of course individual school’s
requirements will always vary according to numbers, existing
provision, etc. However we felt that it would be useful to put
together some recommendations as to what a sensible provision would
be for a “standard” school. Our team of experienced ex-D&T teachers
and Heads of Departments have come up with a range of
recommendations based on their personal teaching experience, and the
experience of visiting hundreds of schools up and down the country.
They came up with three categories of provision based not just on
cost, but on the school’s circumstances, eg., an 11-18 Technology
College may well expect to deliver CAD/CAM at a higher level than a
11-16 general comprehensive school.
Having generated these equipment lists, we felt that it would be a
good idea to offer them to schools as complete packages:
This is the minimum provision we would advise to
deliver CAD/CAM in an 11-16 school. It will ensure that all
materials areas within the KS3 D&T curriculum have shared access to
appropriate CAD/CAM resources, and it will provide a basic level of
resource for students at KS4.
This level of provision will enable an 11-16 school
to build a D&T curriculum that includes CAD/CAM as a key component
of student’s work throughout KS3 and KS4. It is particularly
appropriate for schools with Technology or Engineering specialist
status, and should be considered the minimum provision to resource
AS, A-level or IB courses.
This is an appropriate level of
provision for schools placing a strong emphasis on
modern manufacturing in their D&T curriculum, and should
be the level to which all schools and colleges aspire.
It should be regarded as the standard for schools
undergoing new build or refurbishment programs.
Textiles is an important aspect of
Design and Technology and one that particularly lends
itself to CAD/CAM, both to enhance the range and quality
of products that can be made, and to reflect industrial
practise. The general D&T packages above will provide
some resources for textiles teachers, but we felt it
would be helpful to list extra packages as “add-ons” for
schools with, or wishing to develop, particular strength
in this area. The advantage of adding textile resources
alongside the main D&T package, is that schools can be
assured of compatibility and common learning platforms
in all areas of D&T.
Training is a vital ingredient when equipping a department with new CAD/CAM
machinery. Many TechSoft machines are supplied with
Inset training packs, and some come with on-site training included.
However it is advisable, especially when purchasing a large number of machines, to consider
additional ‘add-on’ training days.
Of course, TechSoft are always happy to talk to
schools about their individual requirements if the packages shown
are not suitable. We can also supply standard material bundles to
help relieve teachers of the burden of having to make dozens of
purchasing decisions at an already stressful time.
Design & Technology CAD/CAM Packages for Schools
N.B. Additional training days can be taken at any time. It may be beneficial to schedule refresher training at a later date, once the department has had a
chance to start teaching with the new equipment.