Head of Design and Technology
Kaeran has been teaching since 2005, and joined Hurst as Head of Department in 2015. He has a BA honours degree in Industrial Design and Technology from Brunel University London and a PGCE from the University of Brighton. Kaeran found his love for DT aged thirteen, whilst at school, and has been making things ever since!
Design and Technology (DT) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares students to live and work in the designed and made world.
At Hurst, students are encouraged to problem-solve and stretch their creative thinking. Subject-specific knowledge and understanding is taught, but the curriculum crosses over into with other areas such as Maths, Science, Business Studies, IT/Computing and PSHCE. DT is underpinned by the design process and students have to solve a wide selection of problems, not only for themselves, but also give consideration to the wants and needs of other people. It also provides excellent opportunities for teamwork and for students to apply value judgments of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature to their own designs and to existing products.
Many students begin to foster their enthusiasm for Product Design, Architecture or Engineering through DT and choose it to complement other subjects, others choose it purely out of interest, as it is a subject that teaches many life skills.
A-level Design and Technology allows students to further their studies through Product Design, where they design and model a new pavilion stadium for the college, learn traditional silversmithing skills in the production of a bespoke piece of silver jewellery in the Lower Sixth, before embarking on their major project for a real client in the Upper Sixth. We follow the AQA specification, where students gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers, especially those in the creative industries. The course is closely linked to the real world of product/system manufacture, allowing students to develop an awareness of the potential to change and shape lives.
The new Design Centre, completed in 2016, is a well-resourced department with four well-equipped workshops, including a large metal workshop with a casting crucible, foundry, MIG and TIG welding; a large wood workshop; two multi-material workshops; three large laser cutters; two 3D printers and a plotter cutter printer.
Design and Technology is a subject that teaches practical skills and theoretical knowledge alongside the confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries. Students leaving the college with an A-level in DT often go on to read Industrial, Product or Sports Design; Engineering; Graphic and Visual Design or Architecture at universities such as Brunel, Loughborough, Exeter and Southampton.
Design and Technology is about making things that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting: it is an inventive fun activity.
Sir James Dyson, Industrial Designer/Inventor and founder of Dyson