GCSE Design & Technology
Approaching the end of Key Stage 3 pupils and parents meet with teachers to choose subjects for GCSE. As Design and Technology is an optional subject at GCSE a decision is made on whether a pupil has the aptitude and interest to pursue the subject at this level.
Once the decision is made the pupil then embarks on a two-year course (CCEA) Product Design, which builds upon Key Stage 3 foundation skills and knowledge towards greater individual Design and Technology capability and of course good final results.
The current GCSE syllabus is CCEA T&D PRODUCT DESIGN.
In the first year (S1) two Units are undertaken:
Unit 1 Study of product design theory, materials, skills, tools / machines and processes. This theory is examined in late May by a 1hr examination.
Unit 4. Design Assignment. In addition to the theory lessons S1 students follow a graphics course which prepares them to undertake the Design Assignment.
The theme for the assignment is set by CCEA each year. Students produce formal Design Assignment sheets under guidance and submit in May for moderation.
In the second year (S2):
Unit 3. Further study of Design and Technology theory with formal 1hr examination in June.
Unit 5. Design and make Resistant materials product.
Themes for the assignment are set by CCEA each year.
Timetabled periods are divided between theory classes and coursework. However it is generally necessary for pupils to work after school to produce work of a high standard. In S2 pupils are largely focused on their individual project work. They closely follow the class 'Coursework Guidance and Record chart' ensuring that all aspects of the design process are properly addressed and that work is of the expected high standard.
The final term is primarily set aside for revision of theory both general and specialist and department facilities are open to all senior pupils and AS / A2 level students both during and after school hours. Examples of GCSE coursework and projects is on display in the department foyer and on the College Virtual Learning environment.
The Product Design GCSE serves as a good foundation for those students wishing to study Design and technology at Advanced level (also a Product Design course).
Arkwright Engineering Scholarships
In 2013 St. Colman's College were one of four schools in Northern Ireland to affiliate to the Arkwright Scholarships Trust.
The renowned Arkwright Engineering Scholarships provide students with a £600 financial award to enhance their A level studies and a range of activities to enhance their understanding and experience of engineering. St. Colman's College will also receive £400 for each Scholarship awarded to one of its students. The Scholarships are respected by leading universities and companies and are supported by top engineering employers and organisations such as Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, National Grid, Balfour Beatty, Microsoft Research, Thales, The Royal Air Force, The Royal Navy and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. The Scholarships are also funded by charitable donors including, principal donors The Reece Foundation, The Lloyd's Register Foundation, the Gannochy Trust, the Dulverton Trust, the Emmott Foundation and S.F.I.A Educational Trust.
The college students and staff were delighted to learn that Colum Mc Nally (Newry) and Declan Loy (Anaclone) were awarded a much sought-after Arkwright Engineering Scholarship that identifies them as some of the country's future leaders in engineering and technical design.
Colum and Declan had to successfully complete a rigorous ion process consisting of a detailed application form, a two-hour aptitude exam and an interview hosted at a top engineering university.
The aptitude exam tested candidates' flair and originality in solving engineering design problems. At the in-depth interview, candidates were asked about their career aspirations and had to discuss an engineering project they had conducted. During the interview day the candidates took part in a team exercise to solve a hands-on engineering problem working with students they had never met before.
Candidates and their parents also toured the engineering facilities at the host university and explored the diversity of engineering and related design careers and their importance to the UK economy.
Colum and Declan were formally presented with their Scholarships at a prestigious ceremony in Glasgow and London supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
In 2014 St. Colman's pupils and staff were again delighted to learn that Morgan Cumiskey (Ravensdale Dundalk) and Jamie Mc Ateer (Bessbrook) have also now been awarded this prestigious scholarship.
Dr. Martin Thomas, Chief Executive of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust said:
"I am delighted to see two further students from St. Colman's College secure this prestigious accolade. Clearly, there is considerable technical talent in the Newry and South Down area. With the competition for rewarding jobs becoming ever-more fierce, the receipt of an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship can help dynamic young people at the start of their journey to be the country's future leaders in engineering and technical design."