St Thomas More RC Academy is a Catholic High School nestled in the North of Tyneside. The school has a highly sought after Technology Department on site, dedicated to providing education in Design Technology to all students at KS3 level. As well as offering students opportunities to further develop their skills in both GCSEs and A-Levels, the department is a hub of activity for all ages. Providing young people with the opportunity to get hands on with Resistant Materials, Graphics and Electronics. St Thomas More has continually turned to Axminster to supply them with machinery to create a workshop fit for budding makers and designers alike.
St Thomas More RC Academy and Axminster
Curriculum Leader of Design Technology, Phillip Dickinson talks us through the importance of the school’s relationship with Axminster Tools and Machinery. Find out how they have worked together to take a devastating situation and turn it into something truly remarkable to ensure an education for students over many years to come.
Phillip purchased the first three bandsaws for the department from Axminster around 20 years ago. As a result of this, a disc sander and linisher shortly followed over the next two years. These products were the starting point of a long standing relationship between Axminster and St Thomas More with many more items of machinery being brought over the subsequent years.
I initially chose Axminster because of its reputation and quality of the equipment provided.
In 2018 a devastating accidental fire struck the school leaving the design department in need of a whole new workshop installation. Steven Taylor, Axminster’s Technical Consultant for the area, worked closely with St Thomas More to provide insights into the best choices for the workshop. This gave the school a direct point of contact throughout the entire process of the re-build.
Decisions were made to meet the constraints of the insurance cover, yet still provide a place of inspiration and education for both students and teachers for years to come. It wasn’t long before the department was back up and running and ready to inspire generations of makers. An array of newly installed machinery and a brand new extraction system lined the walls throughout the whole workshop.
“The workshops now are amazing. They look modern, the new layouts that have been created are more considered and work better for all concerned”.
The new installation has provided the students with the ability to continue their passions and ensure that they are working in a safe, fully equipped workshop to aid their growth and develop their education.
Here’s what some of the students have to say
The new workshops health and safety is a lot more apparent. It has everything a student needs from KS3 to KS5 to do well in Design Technology.
I think the new workshop is very appealing to all students from year 7 to year 13. It has everything D&T students need to succeed and achieve their goals when pursuing any form of career in the D&T industry.
I think the new workshop is a great place to work, the new equipment makes things a lot more enjoyable and easier for everyone.
I prefer working in this new workshop as it is brighter and it feels more spacious. The wide variety equipment that we have access to means that this one of the best design and technology facilities for education in the area.
Why choose Axminster?
“Convenience and reliability. There is now the additional benefit of a local store so we can actually see the products prior to purchase. All machines are reliable, durable and allow us to prepare timber easily and quickly for classes. Students also use some of the machines and it’s good knowing that we can trust the machines to work as they should.”
Phillip specifically mentions how helpful the UJK Technology Router Elevator has proven. The useful height adjustment feature can be changed by the simple turn of a handle. As well as the router table, the newly installed Axminster Trade AT2260BS Belt Sander is proving to be a very popular addition with both students and staff alike. “The durability, sturdiness and oscillating feature prolongs the life of the belts saving both time and money.”
St Thomas More turned to Axminster to get their workshop back to a safe and knowledgeable environment. Therefore, as a result they are actively providing an education to students in Design Technology and can continue to inspire for years to come.
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