Design and Technical Studies for Girls - A Headteacher's View

Marjorie Fenner
1982, Vol. 15, No. 1,

Abstract


The Junior High School of which I have been Head for over fourteen years was, for many years, a girls' grammar school and as such had no facilities for the practical skills of woodwork and metalwork. When the school began to develop into a mixed 6 fe comprehensive school in 1971, we had no facilities at all for six months, then very basic provision for woodwork in one of the boys' new changing rooms. The following year we were able to offer both metalwork and woodwork in an adapted Music Room, but it was not until 1973 that the open-plan Design and Technical Studies block was ready for occupation.

From that time the work began to develop as Design and Technical Studies, but still for boys only, but before long the Head of Department was beginning to press for girls to be given the opportunity to study the subject too. If he had not, the Equal Opportunities Legislation of 1975 would have forced such considerations upon us! Consultation with Heads of all departments concerned with the teaching of practical subjects resulted in our rejecting the 'circus' arrangement followed by many schools, partly because of the unequal teaching facilities between the various departments and partly because none of us felt that the short period normally allocated to each subject under such a scheme allowed the pupils to have a meaningful experience of the subjects. We, for the time being, have settled upon a scheme which allows all pupils a very free choice of subject in the third year. It can be stated here that at the age of 14+ all our pupils proceed to the Senior High School with no interruption of syllabus.


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