DEC! students take part in hands-on activities

Community Centre 3 resized for web

Heathcote's Design...Engineer...Construct! students have enjoyed a number of fascinating events over the first half of the Autumn Term. Mr Dolan, Head of Design & Technology, tells us what's been happening...


Year 9

Year 9 Design…Engineer…Construct! students in the Design and Technology Department visited a local community centre that they are using as the site for Community Centretheir Class of Your Own project where they are designing a space that meets the needs of the local community. Students have been researching and analysing the project brief to provide a place where local people of all ages can enjoy the benefits that their design would bring.

In an effort to better understand the complexities of the site, students identified aspects that could be problematic to their project such as site accessibility, infrastructure and local construction vernacular to ensure that their design solutions are feasible and cost-effective.


Year 10

Balfour BeattyThe Design and Technology department hosted an event (with support from Balfour Beatty) where year 10 Design…Engineer…Construct! were challenged to produce a structure that could span a specific area using a limited number of compliant materials. Students worked in groups to consider the procurement of the materials they required for their structure and they had to come up with their design solution quickly as the cost of materials rose once the initial deadline was missed.

Students were considering how they could be resourceful with the materials available and they were encouraged to consider how sustainable their outcomes might be. It was really interesting to see the different outcomes that each group came up with for the same basic task with the winning group consisting of Thomas O’Dwyer, Billy Hale, John Fowler and Ali Mamoon.


Year 11

London UndergroundYear 11 Design…Engineer…Construct! students learn from London Underground’s Adam Holland who is a mechanical engineer and has vast experience of how mechanical building systems work and therefore could advise the students on their own building designs for their DEC! course. The students learned more about possible pathways they could pursue as a career in the built environment and construction industry as well as which systems they would need to consider for their own designs.

The students were focused on their designs and will now use this input from a professional within the industry to provide solutions to the need for leisure and social inclusion that their project brief is centred on. The technical requirements for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), water supply and mechanical building systems will feature within the students’ portfolios with a higher level of understanding due to this input.


Mr A Dolan

Head of Design & Technology