Pupils in T1 to S2 experience a broad general design and technology curriculum, covering a variety of areas including electronics, programing and coding, Graphic Communication, ICT and computer skills, and mechanisms and engineering. These experiences build on those that pupils have had in the Junior School, and there are effective cross-curricular links with Science and Maths, helping to build a solid foundation in STEM learning. Pupils learn problem-solving skills by designing, making and testing mechanical models, electronic circuits and computer programs, as well as building skills in communicating ideas and information visually.
At certificate level, the Design and Technology department offers Graphic Communication at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. Graphic Communication is useful to those pupils who are interested in careers in a variety of fields from engineering to publishing, including architecture, surveying, design, manufacture, and marketing. Graphic Communication encourages pupils to develop their ability to communicate ideas and information visually by:
- creating and using technical graphics, using both traditional manual skills and Computer-Aided Design
- reading and interpreting a variety of types of drawings
- producing 3D models and computer rendered illustrations
- organising and representing information graphically
- producing desired effects through the considered use of colour
- developing knowledge of desktop publishing techniques and practices, for both design and production
Students in the department have access to a variety of computer equipment and software for the creation of graphics, including Autodesk Inventor, a 3D modelling program designed for engineering, allowing the production of high-quality and accurate digital models and realistic digital illustrations; the Adobe software suite, including the ubiquitous Photoshop, the industry standard image and photo manipulation program; and PagePlus from Serif, which is an easy-to-understand, yet surprisingly powerful desktop publishing program for a British company who, with their latest software, are making inroads into the high-end publishing market previously dominated by Adobe.