Technology Education at Featherston Technology Centre

The function of the Featherston Technology Centre is to provide Technology Education to around 150 year 7/ 8 students from 10 contributing schools from the South Wairarapa.

Technology Education differs from the technicraft/ manual lessons we experienced as children when skill development was the main aim.  Technology Education focuses on identifying a need or opportunity and following the design process through to a solution to the problem, learning essential skills along the way.  Students usually take home an outcome which is unique to them.

At our centre, we typically use soft materials, food, hard materials, electronics, mixed media or any combination of these to assist with the teaching of technology.

From 2012, Featherston School is teaching Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), where students learn exactly what is expected of them.  An improvement in general attitude and behaviour should reflect in improved learning.

The Technology Centre will be teaching and observing outcomes for the following expectations:

  • I am responsible eg.  I look after property and people, I am in the right place at the right time.
  • I am respectful eg.  I accept individual differences, I use polite language, I listen.
  • I am resourceful eg.  I am ready for learning, I set goals and challenge myself, I make good use of my time.

Technology and the National Standards

National Standards and Technology

With the introduction of National Standards, parents and contributing schools may be wondering how National Standards are affecting us at the technology centre.

While we currently do not report on Literacy and Numeracy achievements in our Technology centre reports, we certainly include both in our planning and teaching as with any other curriculum area.  Examples  as follows:

There is a component of each unit focusing on learning the specific vocabulary associated with each specific area of technology (eg.  sewing, cooking, hard materials, electronics).  Students may create a glossary for such terms as:  baste, seam allowance, saute, bake etc.  These will be reinforced with regular reference in instructions and on worksheets.
Students will need to be able to read instruction sheets and recipes.  If any find this difficult, they will have support from either a peer or the teacher.  Anecdotal notes will be made to assist with making an overall assessment of each student’s reading ability within each area of technology.
The writing component of most units is limited to brief sentences on worksheets and sometimes writing action plans.  Emphasis will be placed on legibility and understanding but not to a publishing standard.  Correct spelling is not usually insisted upon.   However, a note will be made of each student’s writing (including spelling) ability as part of their overall literacy accomplishment.

Classwide numeracy tuition will be limited to using rulers and tape measures, sewing machine guides and being able to create a 90° angle when drawing rectangles, using scales etc.
Otherwise, numeracy is taught on a needs basis to individuals or groups.
Anecdotal notes will be made on each student’s overall ability in numeracy in this area of technology.

Inquiry Learning
The technology design process is a complete inquiry learning project if followed in full detail.  With only 4 days with each class, it is impossible to follow this process exactly for individual students.
At Featherston Technology centre, elements of the design process are chosen according to the context, what has been covered before (using a tracking sheet to maximise coverage over the 2 years each student attends) and what is practicable with the physical and time constraints.
Areas which are not covered completely may be shortcut by, for example:  some information being given to students, whole class activities or discussions, giving students a range of materials etc to choose from rather than them going out into the world to find their own, preprinted templates/ worksheets.

By the end of a unit when sewing, for example, it is expected that most students will be able to:

  • State who they are making a design for and what it will be used for (identify a need/ opportunity)
  • Explain how they know they have done a good job (identify key attributes)
  • Identify key resources for their projects
  • Develop conceptual ideas for their design
  • Understand the use of models as a starting point for their designs
  • Develop personalized designs
  • Evaluate their finished designs
  • Select suitable fabrics for their design and explain their choice
  • Understand and use specific sewing vocabulary
  • Complete all tasks to the best of their ability
  • Follow instructions
  • Cooperate with others

The technology design process is much more difficult to follow with food technology so the focus changes to finding information/ research. Much of the actual research needs to be completed at home due to ICT constraints within our centre, however, guidelines on finding information will be taught in class.


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