Cheltenham Prep staff and pupils were delighted to officially open the new Design and Technology Centre last week, at an event showcasing many of the new pieces of machinery. A crowd gathered to hear a speech by the CEO of The Design and Technology Association (DATA), Mr Andy Mitchell, before cheering as the co-founder of international clothing brand SuperDry, Mr Julian Dunkerton, launched a rocket to mark the opening of the facility!
The dedicated D&T suite will be for the use of pupils in Years 5-8, and this stunning facility boasts brand new state-of-the-art equipment, including a laser cutter, 3D printer, sewing machines, CAD software and more. Headmaster, Mr Whybrow, said: “This fantastic new facility brings our pupils in touch with state-of-the-art designing and making techniques which are being used in industry. The fabric of our everyday lives is becoming increasingly dependent on simple, reliable and innovative design, so it is a pleasure to see Cheltenham Prep pupils getting hands-on, and honing the design skills of the future. I offer my thanks to the myriad of staff and contractors who worked to bring this creative space to life.”
The opening event, where guests took a good look around and chatted to children working on the equipment, took place on Thursday evening, following an ‘Open House’ for parents of current Prep pupils. Evening guests included staff from St Edward’s and Kitebrook Schools, representatives from the Chair of the Cheltenham Design Trust, the Suffolk Traders Association and Cheltenham Festivals, as well as staff from the senior school, Cheltenham College council member, Kate Hickey, plus contractors from Spencer Mayes Ltd and Envirotech Ltd.
Our thanks go to Andy Mitchell (DATA) who gave a speech extolling the value of Design and Technology in education today, the careers it leads to and its future implications with an ever-changing national landscape, in which Britain must once again prove itself to be a power of industry and manufacture. Addressing the pupils, he said, “Embarking on a career in engineering, or one of the many design disciplines, will provide you with a wide range of opportunities to travel, design and build wonderful things and work with people all over the world to make it a better place in which to live. How exciting is that!” He referred to the excellent and model facilities that exist in the brand new department at Cheltenham Prep, saying, “This school can provide you with your first stepping stone along that journey to success. Cheltenham Prep clearly values the subject and the department’s facilities, coupled with the experience, expertise and commitment possessed by its staff are second to none. You will, I am sure, take full advantage of what is on offer.”
The whole evening was a huge success and we look forward to seeing the creations of young Prep designers and engineers with first class facilities at their fingertips!