Crown Hills Community College (Leicester): Featured School

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Designing for user needs 

Preeti Sagoo the Lead Teacher of Fashion & Textiles and Faculty Careers Lead at Crown Hills Community College in Leicester took fourteen Year 11 textiles students to visit the special needs school Ash field Academy just across the road from the school. 

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Preeti write below about the experience of the students:

Crown Hills students interacted with Ash Field students to understand their disabilities and needs at a much more close and personal level. They asked questions and interviewed each other as they built and formed new relationships.

The students at Ash Field have touched the hearts of our fourteen students in a way that will never be measurable.  No longer will our students complain about wearing smart shoes, when they think of the student who wears a padded helmet and specially weighted shoes to support his balance, just in case he falls. 

No longer will our students complain about not having a lunch break because of intervention, they will think of the student who carry’s his liquid food in his rucksack which feeds him directly through his throat.

No longer will they complain about having their mobile phone confiscated, when they think of the student who talked to them through a communication device.

No longer will they complain about sitting on a hard assembly floor, when they think of all the students who are in a wheelchair twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No longer will our students complain about a late detention, when they recall walking through the residential bedrooms and realise that Ash field students sleep here too. 

Not only were these students special and different but they all had one thing in common, they were all happy with smiles from ear to ear because we were there.

This was a fundamental, yet humbling trip and our students will now use their research to help inform their design decisions when developing and making their prototypes.

As for myself I will no longer complain about completing a few MIN sheets as I take my hat off to the devoted staff at Ash Field Academy.

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 Read an article on the visit in the D&T Association’s D&T Practice magazine


Footwear design project working with De Montfort University 

Preeti Sagoo also worked with De Montfort University (DMU) on the #IWANTOBE A footwear designer project run in conjunction with 3 Leicestershire secondary schools, of which Crown Hills was one. 

The university provided schools with lots of resources and materials, as well as providing support from degree students in lessons. As the university run a world renowned footwear design degree they were able to provide some great resources and support. 

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The 36 students in Preeti’s two year 9 classes worked on the project, researching, designing and developing a shoe prototype. Preeti then selected the top 10 projects which were submitted to DMU for display at their Footwear Degree Show, along with designs from the other 3 schools,  (see the designs on display below).  

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At the show the designs were judged by industry professionals including those from Next, George, Sainsbury’s and New Balance. The best design award was awarded to Ruchita from Crown Hills. 

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The collaboration with DMU was very successful, showing students how design professionals work, as well as raising the profile of creative careers and the opportunities the university offers. 

The College have 3 core values of aspiration, commitment and success and the project played a vital role in developing these values, as well as impacting on teaching and learning and providing an enjoyable project brief. 

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Classroom displays 

Take a look at some of Preeti Sagoo’s classroom displays designed to support her students. 

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This display was prompted by a news article about the importance of surgeons having sewing skills and the display also shows the use of technical textiles within medicine. more information on the article about surgeons.

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A standard components board designed to support D&T GCSE. 


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Product analysis of a school cardigan design. 


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