Abbey Gate College is a registered member of the national Young Engineers Club and typically run two Young Engineers Club sessions each week.
The first of these is exclusively for the Year 7 pupils. This allows them to develop skills and confidence in the workshop environment and to design and make products through an established sequence of tasks. The products gradually build in complexity and demand throughout the year. This is to enable the pupils to enjoy practical designing and making outside of the normal structure of a lesson and also to challenge themselves within the timetabled KS3 curriculum. The Year 7 sessions are usually supported by sixth form students as well as a subject teacher and Design and Technology technician.
Products encourage basic bench skills of marking out, cutting, drilling, finishing and assembly and go as far as some computer aided design, soldering and laser cutting. In recent years we have produced mobiles, wind chimes, clocks, lights and Christmas decorations. Birthday and Christmas presents are also frequently fitted in around these as required.
The second session is aimed at the pupils in Year 8 and above. By the end of Year 7, all pupils will have had some experience of designing and making and are encouraged to develop these further in these less structured sessions. Pupils can come to the sessions with their own ideas for projects or choose from the project ideas from previous years. In this session, the more experienced pupils are also sometimes asked to help with whole school projects such as props or sets for drama productions or for charity or fundraising initiatives for the house charity. They are able to help each other more easily and the introduction of older pupils to help out as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award has been a very welcome recent initiative.