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Designing Futures: Inside the NIS Workshop

In our Design Centre’s Workshop, students take part in a unique educational experience that combines theory with tangible practice. It’s a purpose-built space filled with an array of machines for wood, metal, and electronics work, where ideas are taken from conception to creation.

The Workshop exemplifies the NIS commitment to "Student Voice and Student Choice" – part of our award-winning strategy that empowers students to guide their own learning. In Secondary Design, students are given opportunities and freedom to explore their interests as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework and its focus on student-led inquiry and choice-driven projects.

“Here students can go from full design to product build for their projects,” said Mr. Matt Burton, MYP Design Teacher. “This workshop is special because not many other schools have a custom-built space like this, with this range of machines and the potential that can be achieved in this classroom.”

Learning is hands-on in the Workshop, focused on practical skill-building rather than passive observation. This method promotes a deep understanding of Maths, Physics, and other material knowledge behind their projects, proving essential for successful product and industrial design. Design students are encouraged to make their mark and bring their diverse cultural backgrounds and personal styles to their work.

“From Grade 6, they learn to navigate design constraints,” explained Mr. Burton, “and by Grade 10, they're granted full autonomy to pursue projects that reflect their personal needs or desires, be it a bespoke piece of furniture or a thoughtful gift for a family member.”

The Design Workshop isn't just about fostering creativity; it's also about instilling the ability to interact with real-world clients. Students learn to communicate and iterate their designs based on actual needs, ensuring creations have practical applications beyond the classroom.

In terms of curriculum, Design at NIS is one of several specialisations within the IB Design umbrella, which also includes visual communication, robotics, programming, and product design. Our approach goes beyond creating for creation's sake; it’s about solving real problems, making decisions, and learning from the inevitable changes that occur during the design process.

“This is a learning space where students can grow, innovate, and prepare for the demands of the future, both in their careers and life skills,” said Mr. Burton.


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