ACG Strathallan’s design and technology department has enjoyed huge success, with not just one, but two students achieving Top in World for IGCSE design and technology.
Classmates Mia Willis and Aiko Trapski both took top honours in the 2020 Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards, and teacher Michelle Le Vesconte couldn’t be prouder.
“Aiko and Mia are such lovely students – clever, unique, full of humour and always determined to do their best,” says Michelle.
“They have outstanding time management skills and, despite very busy personal schedules, stayed up to date with all of their coursework and made sure that everything was completed before each deadline. Following a period in lockdown, they were part of the student group that made use of lunchtimes and afterschool sessions to use the school equipment such as the laser cutter so they could get their model completed on time.”
Tasked with creating model restaurants for their final Cambridge IGCSE projects, the practically-minded pair relished the chance to get back into the classroom and bring their designs to life.
Says Mia, “One of the reasons I chose to attend ACG Strathallan was because of its amazing design and technology department. I thoroughly enjoyed the practical component of my course – the technology ACG Strathallan has, like the laser cutter, were amazing to learn and use. It was really cool to have the ability to design in a style I chose and bring my restaurant to life.”
And Mia was overjoyed with the results.
“I was surprised and thrilled to get global recognition – I wasn’t expecting it! I was also delighted I got to share it with Mrs Le Vesconte because she played such a big part in our success.”
For classmate and good friend Aiko, it was the best possible recognition that her dedication and hard work had paid off.
“I was shocked when I heard the news. I never expected it, but I was certainly thrilled to know that my efforts last year were effective,” says Aiko.
While the 16-year-old never imagined she’d take design and technology as a College subject, once she started at ACG Strathallan, Aiko gained a whole new perspective on the opportunities it could open up.
“I’ve loved everything to do with design since I was young – I enjoy the creative freedom it provides while still having the technical and hands-on experience. I didn’t initially plan on taking the class at school but being at ACG Strathallan through Years 9 and 10 opened my eyes to design as a subject. I realised how useful it would be in the future.”
Just like Mia, Aiko has loved the chance to develop new skills and master new technologies.
“I love the resources we have available and the opportunities we are given. We’re taught how to use computer programmes like Sketchup and Illustrator, how to produce scaled products on the laser cutter and 3D printer, and how to use different mediums to bring our ideas to life. We’re taught the theory behind these mechanisms and are given the artistic freedom to create what we’ve designed.
“I think everyone in my class would agree that Mrs Le Vesconte made every lesson enjoyable – even over lockdowns – with her true passion for design. Without her, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve the results we did.”