Ms Katie Holland introduces design, engineering and construction vision for young learners.
The recruitment of a specialist D&T innovation leader puts City Campus in a strong position in this subject field, making it the first school in Thailand to embark upon the UK-born ‘Design, Engineer, Construct’ (DEC) programme. The school’s specialist D&T teacher, Ms Katie Holland introduces herself and explains more about this unique opportunity for City Campus students:
What is your nationality and background?
I was born in the Lake District in the North West of England. I am a very creative person and I have always loved designing and making things. I also trained as a gymnast for many years and I am a qualified gymnastics coach. I have a First Class Honours Degree in Design and Technology with Qualified Teacher Status from Edge Hill University, UK. I have taught Design and Technology in UK secondary schools, and was Head of Department in my previous teaching post on the UK island of Jersey.
What inspired you to become a teacher? What do love about teaching?
I myself have a love for learning and believe that there is nothing more valuable than being educated. To be able to teach and share a passion for my subject, Design and Technology, to enthusiastic, young, creative minds every day is just fantastic! The pride on my pupils’ faces when they learn a new skill or finishing making a product or a piece of work is invaluable. I love hearing from pupils who have been inspired to go on to study D&T at university or those who are aiming for a job in the construction industry because of what they have studied in my classroom.
What do you consider to be your greatest successes in your teaching career so far?
I have had many fantastic experiences in my teaching career, including winning a ‘Girls into STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) robotics scholarship with a group of students and then seeing the girls be shortlisted for a Young Engineers of the Year award.
I’ve been involved in both primary and secondary engineers programmes working with fluid power systems, which saw one of my students win an Engineering Leaders award. I introduced the fantastic ‘Design, Engineer, Construct’ (DEC) programme into the curriculum at my previous school and I continue that legacy here at City Campus. I’ve seen my wonderful GCSE students in every cohort over my teaching career achieve 100% A*-C/9-4 grades. I’ve taught countless enjoyable lessons, including architecture and engineering challenges and design-based school trips. I am also proud to have seen some of my work published in D&T magazines and presented at international conferences.
How and when did you find yourself in Bangkok?
My husband and I moved to Bangkok in 2019.. As well as moving here because I wanted to teach at City Campus, we chose Bangkok for its beautiful culture, vibrant city life, wonderful food and travel opportunities. We are really happy to be living here.
What most excites you about your new role at City Campus? Can you explain more about the benefits of the DEC (Design, Engineering and Construct) programme?
I am currently building and shaping our specialist D&T department at City Campus. I am excited to develop innovative and varied projects for our primary-aged students including electronics, woodwork, plastic forming, textiles, graphics and CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture), 3D printing and laser cutting. We are already seeing our youngest and most creative of minds respond to tasks and come up with innovative solutions.
I am also very excited to be introducing ‘Design, Engineer, Construct’ (DEC) to City Campus. The campus will be the first school in Thailand and the first primary school in the world to pioneer the programme. DEC exposes our pupils to a richer D&T experience, focusing on the built environment and not solely on product-based design. City Campus students are studying architectural design, project management and will be working with a top engineering company in Bangkok’s industry.
DEC is the brainchild of Alison Watson MBE, a former land surveyor who now leads the DEC programme in collaboration with governments, contractors and schools, both internationally and in the UK.
Why do you think design & technology skills are such an important part of the curriculum at City Campus?
Design and Technology covers many important life skills - from the practical application of Science and Mathematics, to encourage both creative and logical thinking. Problem-solving, teamwork, risk-taking and resilience are all key skills that our children need both now and for their future. Pioneering a strong D&T programme at City Campus for primary-aged children will allow children to develop in these areas much sooner.
Design and Technology is a huge part of our day-to-day lives. Everything that we use has been designed and manufactured to make our lives easier, accessible, more comfortable and fun. From the chairs we sit on to our mobile phones and our toothbrushes, every product that we use every day has been invented by someone. It is fantastic that the pupils here at City Campus will get to experience the working principles of Design and Technology as part of the curriculum.
And finally, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love walking, cycling, travelling, spending time with my husband, family and friends, crafting, exploring, keeping fit, trying new things and reading books.
City Campus will offically launch it's DEC programme on Friday 18 October 2019. Follow @SHBCityCampus on our social channels to see more. To find out more about DEC, follow @DECinSchools on Twitter.