Year 9 Design and Technology Careers Day 2022
On Friday 4th November 2022, the Design & Technology department held a special D&T Careers morning for all of Year 9.
6 designers/makers were invited in to run a series of workshops with our students. They all took part in the 6 workshops across the disciplines of Fashion & Textiles, Product Design, Interior Design and Lighting Design. The workshops were short (30 mins each) and got the girls thinking about their GCSE D&T choices.
In one of the Fashion & Textiles workshops, Kelly Scanlon, an ex Presdales student, talked about her work and the route to where she is now, and then got the girls to design a t-shirt with a theme. Sara Colton, (daughter in Year 10) Head of fabrics at River Island, talked about her route in, before getting the girls to design garments using fabrics as inspiration. Simon Thorp (daughter in Year 10) did a workshop on lighting design, where girls drew lighting onto black paper images with white pencils.
Alex Hellum has been running successful workshops at Presdales since 2018. He is a lecturer in Product Design at Kingston University. His daughter is in her final year at Presdales. His workshops involved the students modelling products in paper and card.
Alison and Matt Gray (daughter in Year 9), were the newest addition to our fantastic team of speakers. They ran a fabulous session about redesigning buildings which our students really enjoyed and participated in.
Zoe Hillyard is Course Leader of BA Hons textiles design at Birmingham University. Though she has delivered her workshops in person before, this year she did an online session, and then the students did a pattern creation workshop.
This day was a fantastic opportunity for the Year 9s to get an introduction into the life and work of a designer. Hopefully they will be able to make their choices more readily when it comes to choosing their options for their D&T GCSEs.
If, after reading this article, you feel you could offer something creative for our students, please get in touch with Therese Hayhurst, D&T teacher, on the following email: email@example.com
A review of the day from our Year 9 students
We really enjoyed the design and technology careers morning as it gave us a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different jobs and professions that taking design and technology can get you to. We had the chance to try out some designs ourselves when we had to design a bag or box and make a model out of paper. We also got to design an outfit, t-shirt and we made repeating patterns by cutting out squares of coloured paper. We found the careers morning very educational and useful as we learned about the variety of careers that are available in design technology and it has helped to influence our GCSE options that we are choosing this January. Our favourite activities were when we got to design an outfit using samples of patterned fabric and when we got to repurpose a disused building into a facility of our choice. We were very grateful for the opportunity that we had and really enjoyed it as it was very helpful.
Emily Man, Farah Forbes-Abdullah and Martha Gant
Sara Colton – Fabric Director at River Island
I started my journey doing Art GCSE and A Level
From there,, because I didn’t know all aspects of the creative industries my art teacher suggested a foundation year. It was amazing, the most creative year doing fine art, textiles, pottery, glass, film and photography, printing and textiles.
I went to Huddersfield University to do a BA in Textile Design. I did a masters there too.
I joined a garment maker working for Debenhams, BHS, George etc. I learnt a lot about how fabrics work in different garments. Then I moved to London to work for M&S suppliers. I started travelling the world – Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, India, Turkey. I eventually moved in to retail working for M&S , Tesco and now River Island.
Course Leader (BA Hons)Textiles Design, Birmingham City University
Zoe Hillyard is a textiles designer with a degree in Embroidery, She is now Course Leader in Textiles Design at Birmingham University, as well as being a freelance embroiderer and runs her own her company – ceramic textiles.
Ceramic Patchwork is Zoë Hillyard’s creative and distinctive solution to the challenge of mending broken ceramics, which sees her apply the tradition of hand-stitched patchwork in a completely new way. Since reconstructing her first bowl back in 2010, she has been refining and exhibiting her award-winning work ever since.
Simon Thorp – Lighting designer
Simon is a lighting designer and director at LAPD lighting design consultants. He is currently illuminating a wide range of architectural, master planning and landscape lighting projects throughout the world. He is also involved in theatre lighting design in his spare time.
Simon earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at UCL and went on the complete a two year MA in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art where he found his passion in lighting.
At the weekends he enjoys spending time with his family as well as cycling and swimming outdoors.
Alex Hellum – Product Designer and Lecturer at Kingston University and Nottingham Trent University
Alex Hellum is a furniture and product design company based in Hertford, UK. Our design ethos is based on observation, utility and honest use of materials.
Working closely with UK based producers, we design and manufacture furniture and products in small volumes, selling directly to the public and to interior designers. This own brand part of the company is where we retain creative freedom over design and produce to order.
As a designer Alex Hellum also works to brief for esteemed manufacturers, creating products and furniture for brands including Heal’s, Thorsten Van Elten and Ercol.
The Alex Hellum studio takes on commissions for both private and commercial clients, working on interiors projects and designing the products for them.
Attended Presdales between 1991 – 1998. I have A ’Levels in Performing Arts, History & Film studies and a degree in American History & Politics as I originally wanted to go into journalism.
During University, I developed a love for fashion and at the end of my final year I started to go for interviews for entry level buying jobs.
I started at River Island as a Buyers Admin in 2002, cleaning floors, hanging samples, filing paperwork … not at all the glamorous job I was expecting!
I worked my way up to Junior Buyer in 2004 and then moved to Topshop for 1 year as a Buyer. In 2007 I became the buying manager for F&F. I have bought product across different areas including Denim, Swimwear, Lingerie and Nightwear.
In 2018 I changed role to become Creative Director for a Nightwear & Beachwear company where I have full control of product development, designing nightwear and beachwear for some of the biggest retailers in the country including Next, M&S, Asos, Never Fully Dressed, Very…
Alison and Matt Grey – Industrial Designers
Directors, Grab Your Cape Ltd
Property Development and Experience Design
Comments about the day from staff
It was great and the girls loved it.
The ones I attended were really good. Thank you for organising.
I really enjoyed the presentations on the day which were exciting, interesting and engaging.
The leaders offered so much for the students to think about in terms of their future careers.
I do hope that the students enjoyed the day.
Well done for putting together a very worthwhile day for the students.
It was wonderful to see how much the students seemed to get from the day.
I found that there was a palpable sense of enthusiasm from the groups that I supervised; they seemed to enjoy all three of the tasks for different reasons. I have spoken to other supervising members of staff who confirmed that their groups felt the same way too, and there was a real sense of engagement. Some of the tasks really stretched the students’ creative imaginations and offered them new ways of looking at design in terms of career choices.
It was inspiring to see that!
WELL DONE THERESE FOR THE BRILLIANT TECH MORNING! A huge amount of work and students were really engaged and enjoyed themselves!