St Leonard's RC School : Background and Introduction
St Leonard's RC School is a large school within County Durham - 1400 pupils, (1200 from 11-16 years and a further 200 in an expanding sixth form). There is an 8-form entry mainly from our 10 Catholic primary schools but last year the school took children from a further 30 schools spread across the county.
The D&T department comprises 9 teachers (5 men and 4 women) and a half-time technician shared with the science department. The teaching staff are all specialists but they willingly undertake in-service training to expand their own expertise and knowledge so they can teach across most areas of our curriculum especially in KS3.
This case study illustrates work in the D&T department that has provided electronics as part of KS3 courses for some years and is now planning to introduce a KS4 electronics course in September 2001.
The work undertaken at St Leonard's is similar to that of many other schools whose work in electronics has been largely confined to KS3.
The reasons for not developing a KS4 electronics course will be easily recognised by other schools:
What has changed to move the school forward? The main thing has been the employment of a new member of staff with an electronics background. But also there has been a willingness of other members of staff to undertake some professional development. This will enable them to explore the potential of electronics education and to take the subject through to GCSE course.
Electronics education at St Leonard's