Sketchbooks for D&T


The use of sketchbook is well established in art & design courses at every level – primary school, secondary school, FE and HE. Here the sketchbook is a personal account of explorations that encourage reflection and provide stimulus that ultimately lead to art & design outcomes. I and Malcolm Welch were convinced that such an approach would be pay dividends in design & technology education in the secondary school. Hence we produced a first draft of “Developing your creativity using as sketchbook” available here. It is very much a work in progress and would benefit from revision and updating both in terms of content and graphic design. So if you’re interested in using sketchbooks with your pupils and think this draft would be helpful then do please use it and develop improvements. And of course I’d be delighted to hear about the ways you use the document and any changes you made.

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4 thoughts on “Sketchbooks for D&T

  1. So how about a joint sketchbook; one way up it’s the pupil’s A&D sketchbook flip to the other way up and it’s the pupil’s D&T sketchbook. Both sketchbooks are available in the pupil’s A&D and D&T lessons for cross-fertilization. Sounds good to me.

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  2. Yes to sketchbooks!
    I’ve been promoting them since first joining the STEP team in Staffordshire in the mid eighties and beside me, as I type this, is the latest in a long line of black and red notebooks. How do Art colleagues assess the wonderful sketchbooks I often see?

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  3. I have always advocated a sketchbook as a means to creating a design folder! It is difficult to assess and the minute you lay down criteria teachers work to it rather than letting be a creative individual work. If we can make a sketchbook a critical part of a GCSE and ALevel exams with presentation sheets like working drawings as extra, then it will be quickly adopted at KS3!

    I currently have some year 2 teachers very excited about creating a ‘portfolio’ of learning whilst developing designs for headdresses! Martin Chandler

    Sent from my iPad

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    • Yes, keeping a ‘sketchbook’, ideas boxes, pin-boards (maybe virtual) in whatever ways an individual finds useful is very important – including pasted-in stuff, photos, notes, poems, refs to music, films etc. etc. – whatever seems exciting at the time. It instills a habit and concretises (!) what’s going on in the mind. Its not a ‘weekly homework’ thing – has to be constant.

      In Art & Design, at KS3 for example, “Pupils should be taught: – to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas”. So, as its the individual who learns, then no call to repeat a parallel process in A&D and D&T? Good opportunity for collaboration with A&D at KS1-3 – contributes to both subjects?

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