From sewing to photography, St Joseph's Stratford pupils are learning technology skills both new and old, through a weekly tech programme.
At St Joseph's Stratford, a technology programme is giving pupils the opportunity to learn more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. A range of subjects including textiles, cooking, robotics and photography are being studied by pupils in Years 7 and 8 at the school.
The subjects have been chosen to give pupils the skills they will need in the workforce and at home later on, says acting principal Aaron Moore. He says while some of the subjects, such as cooking and woodwork, have been around for a long time, other new subjects are being introduced as the world changes. He says it is always interesting to see what pupils are doing in each of the classes.
"I like the things the cooking class produces."
The technology classes are taught once a week, and are taught by members of the school and wider community. The subjects for the year are chosen early in term one, when parents and other community members are asked if they can help, and what skills or subjects they can teach the pupils.
Originally, St Joseph's pupils were taken to Eltham once a week for technology classes in a classroom there. When the building was closed down for safety reasons, the lessons were moved back to the school itself, and the subjects changed to suit the new environment and the teachers and volunteers available.
This term, pupils in the textiles class have been learning to attach zips and carry out other basic tasks using a sewing machine. The lessons take place at Stratford Primary School and are taught by Mrs Pugh, who used to be the school secretary before she retired a few years ago.
STEAM classes take place at Stratford Library, where they are taught by librarians Kate Fairhurst and Jane Roguski, while school parent Bridget Scott teaches food tech.
Environmental tech, which is all about using recycled wood to build cool games and outdoor toys, is taught by teacher Abbie Edwards, while teacher Delwynn Goble teaches a robotics class in which pupils learn how to build mini robots. School parent and freelance photographer Vicki Zieltjes teaches photography.
Mr Moore says each of the subjects offer the opportunity to learn useful skills for both home and future work requirements.
"To me it is about giving the children as many real-life experiences for them to draw on as possible."
Pupil Liam Sanderson, 12, is taking environmental tech this term and says he is enjoying the lessons.
"It's really fun, tech is awesome I learnt more about building," he says.
Livvy Whittington (11) is in the textiles group this term and says she has gained some valuable skills.
"I really like sewing tech. Sewing and using sewing machines is fun and now I'm better at sewing."