Slough Nostalgia – Secondary education then and now
In 1980 secondary education was fundamentally reformed in this country and the schools in Slough were at the center of this revolution.
This was the introduction of the revised National Curriculum, with two new topics dramatically increasing ties to industry and the real world.
It was about science and a new subject called Design and Technology.
Ron Lewin, educational consultant for the ICI Paints educational project
New ways of motivating have been developed to bring these topics into the classroom.
In this part of the country, the Fulmer Research Institute in Stoke Poges has started a project with primary and secondary schools to attract young people to science and technology.
It also involved BBC school programs such as the TV Egg Race to raise awareness of the links between school and object design and making.
To put these ideas into practice, scientists and engineers had to work more closely with staff and students.
Study of a central heating system for a house
Senior executives from large companies made staff available to learn about teaching, and senior executives from schools got involved in school-industry projects.
In the Slough area, large companies like ICI Paints invited secondary and primary schools to participate in a national science competition.
They also provided facilities and personnel, chose projects related to their products, hosted the event and one of the directors of the company presented the awards.
The icing on the cake was when the famous dog Dulux joined in the fun.
Design new paints
It has been a pleasure to work closely with ICI Paints to design and carry out a new project for local schools each year.
All schools were invited and during the year ICI Paints scientists worked in schools on projects chosen by young people.
Design a mathematical computer
The top six schools were invited to send a team of six students to participate in a big project on finals day at ICI Paints, when the dog Dulux participated in the awards ceremony.
Design of a material sorting machine
Each member of the winning team was given a Dulux puppy – not a live one of course.
The images below show young candidates pooling their skills with an advisor from each team.
Prize giving with DULUX dog and ‘puppies’
Many of these young people leaving school will have studied science and engineering and joined the best manufacturing companies in our region.
Industry-Education initiatives in Slough have greatly contributed to the prosperity of all of us.