"When I return to Bolton School to talk to pupils about entrepreneurship, my message is to 'go for it'. This is an attitude that I had instilled in me during my time at the school where my curiosity was fuelled and I became interested in ideas."

Caroline Plumb - CEO of Fresh Minds and youngest woman on Management Today's '35 under 35' list

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Technology

The Technology Department aims to expose all pupils to a variety of Design and Technology experiences throughout their time in school.

In Year 7 pupils tackle a number of practical projects, working individually and in groups to design creative solutions to particular problems. Pupils become proficient in the use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in 2D and 3D - the Department has two fully-equipped CAD suites featuring a Rapid Prototyping 3D Printer, a Laser Cutter and CNC machines. The designs are manufactured in one of four superbly-equipped workshops and pupils learn how to safely and skilfully use a range of workshop machines and hand tools. Electronic components are used to bring a project to life and pupils learn how to solder. In Year 8 pupils examine how mechanisms can create motion in products. 3D CAD is used to model a moving mechanism which is then manufactured using a range of parts. Pupils also design and make a modern plastic product using the technique of vacuum forming. In Year 9, pupils learn how to write computer programs to perform advanced control tasks. Smart Materials, which are already revolutionising the way designers work, are studied. Then, in complete contrast, the traditional metalworking skills of forging, hardening and tempering are put into use to make a real screwdriver. Finally, pupils are challenged to design their own contemporary, stimulating and desirable product from scratch. This is a very rewarding exercise which brings together all the designing and modelling skills acquired up to this point.

Pupils may opt to study the subject to GCSE, following the OCR Product Design course. This exciting course helps pupils become knowledgeable and critical users of products and to think creatively to produce designs showing imagination and innovation. There is an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills to a high level in areas such as electronics, mechanisms, materials and ICT. Pupils are required to design and make their own brand new product - a tremendous opportunity to let their creativity and ingenuity run wild.

The subject can be followed through to A Level, allowing entrance to university in a full range of Engineering and Industrial Design disciplines. Two routes are offered through the A-level OCR Product Design course; a 'Systems and Control' route allows those students who also study Mathematics and Physics at A Level to move confidently on to the many Engineering courses at university, whilst a 'Resistant Materials' approach is available for students looking for university courses in Design.

The Department has long been known for its success in national competitions such as Young Engineer, Young Electronic Designer, Techno-games and Micromouse. Boys frequently win prestigious Arkwright Scholarships to support their A Level studies. A full programme of lunchtime clubs allows boys to participate in Model Engineering, Creative Designing, Electronics and Engine Rebuilding. The department holds a strong belief in pupils applying their technological skills for the benefit of others.

Head of Department
C J Walker, BSc

Members of the Department

G J Butchart, BEd
C M J Coffey, BA
Miss A Halliwell, BA

Boys Division student soldering Boys Division student drilling