There are few opportunities for school students to develop and demonstrate hand skills, despite there being a broad range of career opportunities which rely on visual acuity, excellent hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to translate two-dimensional information into three-dimensional outcomes. Examples of such careers include those which have conventionally been thought of as academic/professional (medicine, dentistry, architecture and engineering) as well as those within the creative industries (conservation, model-making and prop-making).
The aim of The Creative Dimension Trust is to fill this void in available experience by offering students the opportunity:
- to explore a range of manual, creative crafts
- to develop and to demonstrate key transferable skills
- to produce a tangible outcome as evidence of these skills
- to earn an independently assessed credential
all with the intention of supporting each student’s career progression.
The Creative Dimension Trust’s programme of workshops is aimed at young people who show potential in forging a career pathway where precise hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to think and work in three dimensions is essential.
At the end of the workshop, each student is assessed by experienced tutors and practitioners. The Trust’s credential is awarded with a grade reflecting the student’s level of attainment in the relevant transferable skills.
The transferable skills evaluated include:
- Manual skills: including accuracy, appropriate use of equipment, technical problem solving and dexterity
- Visual sensitivity: including observational skills, sensitivity to different materials and understanding of their use
- Organisation and planning: including following a brief in an allocated time and related quality of final work
- Focus and concentration: including attention to detail
- Teamwork: including ability to work alongside, and at times, together with other students and attendance
Industry professionals recognise there is a particular gap in the school curriculum for two of the core skills taught on TCDT workshops – hand skills and visual sensitivity. Other skills such as organisation and planning, focus and concentration, and teamwork apply to professional practice in general.
The techniques evaluated are specific to the subject of each workshop i.e. wood turning, stone carving and gilding.
Four grades are awarded based on the extent to which the student has demonstrated an aptitude in the relevant transferable skills:
Working Towards the student’s potential is not yet realised
[CD1] Pass the student has demonstrated a clear aptitude [in these transferable skills]
[CD2] Merit the student has demonstrated a strong aptitude [in these transferable skills]
[CD3] Distinction the student has demonstrated an exceptional aptitude [in these transferable skills]