Design, Technology and Engineering

The Department is committed to giving our pupils the opportunity to experience a wide range of stimulating and relevant experiences within the department. Our hope is to develop pupil interest within the important fields of Design, Technology and Engineering, and inspire the next generation of Designers and Engineers.

We are a hands-on department that looks to develop pupils through problem solving, communication skills,  practical tasks, self-confidence, versatility and the ability to think laterally in coming up with new ideas. In the department pupils are engaged in a variety of ways of working, and can be working as part of a team, in a pair or individually, as they complete work in the department. Learning occurs through research, discussion, designing, development work, presentation, and evaluation.

The Department also offer pupils a huge variety of activities outside the curriculum to work on exciting project work and work with the department. We have had a lot of success over the years in National Technology and Engineering competitions. A high number of our former pupils have gone through the department and onto successful careers in Design and Engineering. We are also very proud of the record of Watson’s Technology pupils successfully gaining prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarships.


Design and Technology Course

We deliver a broad based Design and Technology curriculum to all pupils in S1. This course covers a number of different projects and requires pupils to develop a wide variety of new skills during this course. The units covered include: Design and Make project, Graphic Design Task, Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Project, Mechanisms Project, Structures Task and an Electronic Construction Project.

The Curriculum

From S3 onwards, pupils have the option to study three subjects within the Department: 

Graphic Communication 
Pupils can study Graphic Communication from National 4/5 through to Advanced Higher level. The Graphic Communication courses allow our pupils to develop a high level of Graphic skills, allowing them to gain drawing, sketching, rendering and Computer Aided Graphics skills. Students enjoy the opportunity to produce their own “style” of work, and the visual nature of the subject. Some of our students use this subject as a stepping stone onto Graphic Design courses, and others find it a very useful subject in aiding their applications onto Architectural and Engineering courses.

Engineering Science
Pupils can study Engineering Science from National 4/5 through to Higher level. Engineering Science develops pupils' knowledge and understanding of electronics, mechanisms, pneumatics, control systems, and the work of engineers. The subject is very much “hands on” in it’s approach to pupil’s learning the materials in the courses. Students enjoy the practical problem solving nature of the subject, and the opportunity to see the practical applications of the Technology taught.

Design and Manufacture
Pupils can study Design and Manufacture from National 4/5 through to Higher level. Design and Manufacture pupils opportunities to explore designing in the classroom and then manufacturing of ideas in the workshop. Students will also evaluate products, find out more about materials and mass production, and gain a better understanding of design issues. This is a subject that gives students the opportunity to design and then manufacture their ideas.

S6 Enrichment Classes

We also offer pupils other opportunities in the timetable to work with us in the department. These include:

S6 Greenpower
On this course a group of S6 pupils are working to build and race an electric powered car. Through this process they are learning more about all of the Engineering involved in making a “racing”car.

S6 Practical Craft Skills
On this course a group of S6 pupils work on a number of practical projects, to learn practical skills and benefit from getting the opportunity to work in a workshop.


Technology Building

The Design, Technology and Engineering Department is housed in a bright, spacious, and modern building, which accommodates five classrooms, two open plan areas containing class sets of computers.

The department also has two Practical workshop areas, and a Laser cutter and a 3D printer within the building. There are five members of teaching staff and one technician.




P6 Design and Technology Club

We work with very enthusiastic groups of P6 pupils from the Junior school every Wednesday lunchtime. They attend the department and get the opportunity to get “hands on” practical experience in the workshop and are making kitchen utensils with us this year.

S2 Lego Mindstorm

This enthusiastic group have been building and programming their “clever” designs to successfully complete the lego mindstorms tasks, in this challenging competition.

S2-S6 - The Arduino Club

This club who work at lunchtimes are learning how to use these highly adaptable devices. These “boards” allow our students to build programs to then control a number of devices. These pupils are enjoying using the Arduino controllers, and there a number of exciting ideas now being developed by this group in how they are then going to use them. This club is helping to develop some of our budding young Engineers of the future, and is being lead by one of very talented and enthusiastic S5 pupils.

S4 - Scalextric Competition

Our Scalextric teams are working on the whole design of a Scalextric car, and are required to develop their own chassis design, investigate the best drive mechanism and design and make their body shell. This is a great competition for having a number of different Design and Engineering tasks within the competition. Our teams in the past have used the department Laser Cutter for the chassis, and used the 3D printer to help create the body shell. 

S5/S6 - Young Engineers Projects

Our older pupils work on a variety of projects within the department and they enjoy the opportunity to complete challenging and stimulating projects in the Technology building. This has included working on Rampaging Chariots, Rewiring and fixing a Sinclair C5 and this year we have a team working on developing a marine renewable energy generating device as part of the national Junior Saltire competition.

Wood Turning Club (S2-S4)

This club meets at lunchtimes and after school in the department, and all pupils who attend have very quickly graduated from beginners into proficient wood turners. They have really enjoyed turning a number of items, and they are now turning gavels for the school MUN conference.

Pupil Work

These photographs show some examples of the work and competitions that pupils have completed with the Design, Technology and Engineering department over the last session.

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Subject Information - Design and Manufacture Subject Information - Engineering Science Subject Information - Graphic Communication