Talk

Advanced search

Girl Power!? What is the importance of D&T in a girls' school curriculum?

(48 Posts)
TomorrowOnce Thu 18-Feb-21 17:41:25

This is just to initiate some (hopefully meaningful) discussion ...

Girl Power!? But why is it that some of the London girls’ schools do not offer D&T?

I remember when my family visited the HIGHGATE SCHOOL, we were super super wowed by their D&T ‘laboratory’ - yet, there were mostly boys showing us the fab lab.

This got me started wondering (not so lightbulb moment!) ….

Having visited many of the London girls’ schools for our DD, I realised that some of them do not offer D&T. Some D&T labs of girls’ schools were so cool (no need to name them now) ... I feel that not having D&T as an option is against the purpose of these institutions as places where young girls learn without boundaries in this current and fast-evolving world of ours - or maybe they offer alternatives?

Is D&T needed to empower and enable young girls to be tomorrow’s innovators, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs?

Is it important for these young girls to experience getting ‘dirty’ - cutting wood, moulding plastic, bending metal, thinking about their properties, appearance and quality? (In the not so old curriculum, where food tech is considered D&T -- be able to get to understand food and nutrition, and again, getting ‘dirty’ in the kitchen.) Some D&T covers acrylics, electronics, vehicle design, etc.

D&T is offered from Year 7 to Year 9 in most schools. D&T then becomes an option for GCSE.

Boarding school Wycombe Abbey offers D&T!
Love love that they also do Cookery!

Compiled some data below. Mostly from Greater London schools. Well Sought Comps. Independent. Grammar. What are your thoughts?

-Disclaimer: Not a D&T person here. Not good in design! I do not work for any of the exam boards or for any of the schools listed below. I am just an interested MNetter, who likes to discuss education-related issues.-

Copied from AQA, Edexcel and OCR: The D&T GCSE places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Focus normally is on Product Design. Used to incorporate Food Technology. The different endorsed routes previously available in Design and Technology (Resistant Materials, Textiles Technology, Systems and Control, and Graphic Products) have now been removed, combining all material areas into a single Design and Technology qualification. Very confusing ...

D&T is NOT the same as Computer Science (CS). CS data is included because some consider this as ‘Technology’. CS is mostly understanding Computing and some programming, no? (Another point for discussion)

D&T is also NOT the same as Art&Design. Most schools have Art&Design Fine Art - Fine art practice is defined here as the need to explore an idea, convey an experience or respond to a theme or issue of personal significance.

PLEASE CORRECT ERRORS YOU MAY FIND.

Schools that DO NOT offer D&T*: (number of students/ total doing GCSEs that year)
*Data is based on available GCSE results and/or curriculum in their website.

Channing – NO D&T (Art&Design 39/109, CS 16/109) = GCSE 2019 Data

FHRP – NO D&T (Art and CS are offered). 2021 Website

FHSS – NO D&T (Art and CS are offered). 2021 Website

NLCS – NO D&T (Art&Design 29/112, CS 12/112) – 2019 GCSE Data
[A new Engineering & Technology department opened in 2020]

Northwood College GDST – NO D&T (but Art&Design Textiles 12/64 is offered, Art 12/64, CS 21/64) = 2020 GCSE Data

SPGS – NO D&T (own Visual Art option not reported, CS 24/100) – 2020 GCSE Data
[own Creative/Computer Technology option not reported is available]

St James Senior Kensington Olympia – NO D&T (Art, CS are offered). 2021 Website

QCL – NO D&T (Art 21/52, CS 18/52)

SAP – NO D&T (but Art, Craft & Design 14/51 is offered, CS 10/51)

Schools that offer D&T:
(FoodTechnology or Preparation&Nutrition have been integrated in the D&T data following the not so old curriculum.)

Blackheath HS GDST - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

Camden School for Girls - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

CLSG – D&T (42/92) + Art (27/92), CS (6/92) = 2018 GCSE Data

G&L School – D&T (17/118; incl FoodP&N) + Art&Design (49/118) and CS (18/118) = 2020 GCSE Data

Grey Coat - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

Habs Girls - D&T (21/133) + Art (23/133), CS (12/133) = 2020 GCSE Data

Henrietta Barnet – D&T (42/99) + Art (14/99), CS (18/99) = 2020 GCSE Data.

JAGS – D&T (25/353) + Art (110/353), CS (34/353) = 2017-2019 GCSE Data

LEHS – D&T (21/103; incl FoodTech) + Art&Design (29/103), CS (20/103) = 2020 GCSE Data

Nonsuch – D&T Product Design (90/208), Textiles Technology (19/208), Food (18/208), Art (22/208), Photography (29/208), CS (42/208) = 2020 GCSE Data.

NHEHS GDST – D&T (10/90) + Art (25/90), CS (21/90) = 2019 GCSE Data

Palmers Green HS - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website (Love the pink-ness of this school!)

PHS GDST – D&T (42/106) + Art (25/106), CS (13/106) = 2020 GCSE Data

Queens Gate – D&T (11/48) + Art (16/48), CS (13/48) = 2019 GCSE Data

Sacred Heart’s Hammersmith - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

SHHS (South Hampstead) GDST – D&T (16/95) + Art&Design (26/95), CS (6/95) = 2020 GCSE Data

St Helen’s - D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

SCHS GDST – D&T (15/83) + Art (27/83), CS (14/83) = 2020 GCSE Data

St Marylebone - D&T (incl Food), Art&Design (Fine Art and Textiles), and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

St Michaels Catholic Grammar - D&T, Food&Nut, Art (but not CS) are all offered. 2021 Website

Tiffin Girls – D&T Graphics, D&T Resistant Materials + Art&Design, CS are offered. 2021 Website

Wallington Girls – D&T (56/208 Graphics, RM), Food (19/208), Art&Design (25/208), Photography (6/208), CS (52/208) = 2019 GCSE Data

WHS – D&T (6/86) + Art (23/86), CS (8/86) = 2019 GCSE Data

Surbiton HS – D&T (35/177) + Art (53/177), CS (14/177); Art Photography is offered. = 2019 GCSE Data

Sydenham HS GDST – D&T, Art&Design, and CS are all offered. 2021 Website

OP’s posts: |
Neim Thu 18-Feb-21 18:25:37

I don’t have a lot to offer on this as I don’t know the schools but I just want to say I’m shocked DT isn’t offered.
I never realised schools didn’t offer DT. I’m an engineer and DT played a large part of my school life and then work life. Me and many other girls (must add I went to a mixed comprehensive in the very north of the country so very very different).
I loved the practical side of the subject and it was nice to be out of a classroom and making things out of wood, metal and electronics. It was inspiring and made you feel good you had made something. You could see the end product of your efforts. Its a worthwhile subject which encourages application of maths and science, and business studies and economics, and group work and working on your own. It allowed you to make mistakes and find ways to fix them. To tweek something and see the impact of your decision. It’s a really worthwhile subject everyone should be taught.
Many girls in my school went onto do the subject at 6th form and I know of four who went onto university to study engineering and a fair few others who went into what would have been traditionally considered “Boys apprenticeships”. DT was never considered either a boys or a girls subject, it was just a subject and everyone was encouraged to have a go.
I am really really shocked girls schools aren’t offering the subject, especially with the whole woman in engineering happening and the push to allow girls to do what they want and increase equality.

Hersetta427 Thu 18-Feb-21 18:51:58

My daughter's girls school school offers dt and in years 7 and 8 they do a term each of textiles, product design and food tech. In year 9 you choose one of those 3 to study in that year and then can take that one forward for gcse in years 10 and 11. In addition there is computing studied in years 7-9 and a full gcse option.

Very surprised so few schools for girls offer the same.

Corblimbea Thu 18-Feb-21 19:08:49

Really shocked by this! I had no idea! DT is so important and one of the main things we looked for in a school. Totally agree it is empowering for girls. Vital! Art is not the same, but equally valid. I’d hope schools would offer both and have proper facilities to support it.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Feb-21 09:36:04

I looked at the 4 local girls schools (South London) I could think of and all 4 offered DT of some description according to their websites. DD is doing 3D Design GCSE at hers.

Krankenhaus Fri 19-Feb-21 10:14:22

I know of at least one mixed grammar in Bucks that doesn't offer any DT at all - so both girls and boys are missing out.

Zodlebud Fri 19-Feb-21 10:35:13

My first thought was maybe they had switched to GCSE engineering instead which is what our local girls grammar have done and had a far greater uptake than they ever did when it fell under D&T.

A quick Google says they haven’t.

Fucket Fri 19-Feb-21 10:43:14

I think this comes down to specialist schools though? So if your child is interested in D&T you find a school that offers that.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Feb-21 10:47:07

If they don't get to try it they won't know though.

itinerant42 Fri 19-Feb-21 10:52:36

As your figures attest, D&T treated as a serious subject at CLSG (more so that at the boys' school). Can also continue to A-level.

idontlikealdi Fri 19-Feb-21 11:59:36

It was a compulsory GCSE at my school when I did them back in 1995 and my school was an all girls specialist music school.

Lanzo Fri 19-Feb-21 12:00:25

It is traditionally seen as a less academic subject as it was taught in secondary moderns and less so in grammar schools. It is also very expensive because of the space, workshops, equipment and materials needed. Tony Blair was very keen on DT and there was lots of money put into state school DT. It is often better in state schools. It gets absorbed into other subjects in private schools e.g. systems and control into science and computing, food tech into extra curricular, textiles into art. It is a brilliant subject and excellent for applying maths, science, design etc. Unfortunately there isn’t the demand from parents in private schools.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Feb-21 13:10:17

It gets absorbed into other subjects in private schools

Only in some.

Malbecfan Fri 19-Feb-21 13:10:39

It isn't taught at my school any more - I'm nowhere near London. My DDs who went there loathed it anyway. Both are decent cooks and can sew on buttons etc. They can solder or wire things up because we see those skills as things that parents should develop. For most engineering courses, Maths & Physics are preferred to DT. For food & nutrition, D&T is not essential either.

HebeJeeby Fri 19-Feb-21 13:38:29

My daughter's single sex Grammar School offers D&T in Yrs 7-9, with the option to take these subjects at GCSE and above. I think it is really important that girls have the option to study these subjects, as a PP says these contributed to her becoming an engineer. My own very academic school ,back in the 80s, offered needlework and cookery for the girls and woodwork and metalwork for the boys. I hated this as I quite fancied having a go at woodwork. Plus, imo, it reinforces the notion that cooking is for girls. How many threads do we see on here where the male partners does next to nothing in the house causing issues in the relationship.

Additionally, we are limiting girls choosing STEM careers (which are often better paying than non-STEM careers) at an early age. This then has a knock on effect with the Gender Pay Gap etc...and contributes to the thinking in some areas that there are blue jobs and pink jobs.

lpsandmore Sun 21-Feb-21 00:19:44

Funnily enough I noticed this the other day too. We are looking at 13+ places for my DD who is currently in a state secondary. Her current school has so many options for GCSE including engineering, creative imedia, all 3 DT subjects and a horticulture. I quickly realised they are a minority.
I did notice that on your list of schools that offer it, there's a quite a few state schools in the girls category and it may be to do with the fact that they have to follow the national curriculum unlike the privates.
I was completely shocked though when I noticed this the other day. On the NLCS website they had the engineering news and at the bottom it said we are hoping to open a D&T dept. I was completely shocked.

MonochromeMinnie Sun 21-Feb-21 00:34:33

Both of my daughters did DT at A level (at independent school), and both have gone on to take degrees and have careers that require it. Quite a few of their school friends went down the Fine Art route and are working in low paid, unskilled jobs, heavily subsidised by wealthy parents.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 21-Feb-21 00:51:42

HebeJeeby

My daughter's single sex Grammar School offers D&T in Yrs 7-9, with the option to take these subjects at GCSE and above. I think it is really important that girls have the option to study these subjects, as a PP says these contributed to her becoming an engineer. My own very academic school ,back in the 80s, offered needlework and cookery for the girls and woodwork and metalwork for the boys. I hated this as I quite fancied having a go at woodwork. Plus, imo, it reinforces the notion that cooking is for girls. How many threads do we see on here where the male partners does next to nothing in the house causing issues in the relationship.

Additionally, we are limiting girls choosing STEM careers (which are often better paying than non-STEM careers) at an early age. This then has a knock on effect with the Gender Pay Gap etc...and contributes to the thinking in some areas that there are blue jobs and pink jobs.


Very similar - I'm not sure if it's exactly the same since gcse reforms and funding cutbacks, but DDs girls' GS (northern, not London)did a variety of tech through ks3, and were strongly encouraged (though not forced) to do a tech gcse. She did Electronic Products, which helped her get an Arkwright scholarship. That funded a practical EPQ in the 6th form (designing and building a robot). They did a lot of crest and go4set awards, visit to Big Bang fairs etc. All of which contributed to her now being a 4th year Cambridge MEng student with a job in electronics design lined up.

(They also had 2 full sets for gcse comp sci in her year too, and she did it to AS)

ErrolTheDragon Sun 21-Feb-21 00:54:46

* For most engineering courses, Maths & Physics are preferred to DT.*

For a level, absolutely. But for sparking the initial interest and gaining skills - dd could solder at home but not do laser cutting or circuit etching - gcse and school facilities are valuable.

bsc Sun 21-Feb-21 01:11:30

My DD is taking both DT and CS GCSE at her co-ed grammar school. It was one of the things that drew her to this school, rather than the single sex grammars which don't offer DT where we are (the two girls' independent schools do not offer DT or CS either!). DT has been her favourite subject since age 7; I'd say she's not a natural computer scientist, but she has excellent problem solving skills (mainly because of DT interest!) and decent maths to go with them.
The non-selective girls' academy I work in does offer both DT and CS to A Level (and food at GCSE too).

DD is the only girl doing DT (out of 60), and one of three girls doing CS (out of 90).

ErrolTheDragon Sun 21-Feb-21 01:17:00

* DD is the only girl doing DT (out of 60), and one of three girls doing CS (out of 90).*

That's the great thing about girls schools which do offer these subjects - a whole set or two of each. And the robotics clubs etc are run by and for girls.
I'm shocked by those ratios in a coed. I'm sure your DD will do well but so many other girls are missing out.

bsc Sun 21-Feb-21 01:24:25

It's a grammar though, and there were quite a number of her friends that were 'not allowed' to take DT (or art or drama!) and were made to take academic subjects only by their parents. It's co-ed, but ratio in her year b:g is almost 3:1.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Sun 21-Feb-21 01:37:19

Dd's state co-ed secondary offers DT GCSE.

Wigmic Sun 21-Feb-21 01:37:45

You’ve missed off Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School in north London. When I went there they offered D&T as a compulsory subject Y7-Y9 then as an elective for GCSE or A-Levels.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 21-Feb-21 08:11:10

bsc

It's a grammar though, and there were quite a number of her friends that were 'not allowed' to take DT (or art or drama!) and were made to take academic subjects only by their parents. It's co-ed, but ratio in her year b:g is almost 3:1.


It's harder now they're generally doing fewer subjects than pre-reform, of course. But so short sighted - and from the numbers sexist - of those parents.
(My DD also did drama, and FM as an extra.)

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in