I started teaching woodwork at Sands 18 years ago. I had been asked by the school if I would do so and it was suggested that I join the school camp at the end of that summer to get to know everyone. In those days the school was smaller and I began working one day a week, the rest of the time being spent in my own workshop on the edge of Dartmoor making private commissions. As the school has grown I now work 2 days a week at Sands. My education was done solely at Dartington Hall School after which I went on to the London College of Furniture. My approach at Sands is to let the students choose what they want to make, I then help them develop their ideas through sketches and in some cases through to a working drawing. Students can work towards doing a GCSE or a Certificate of Achievement. However many students choose to use the woodwork shop to make individual projects such as a canoe or use the space to back up projects in other subjects such as art. Given the way Sands works, students can choose to spend more time in the workshop during the days that I am there, sometimes spending all day if necessary to work on their projects. In the workshop there are 2 lathes, a bandsaw, and other equipment as well as many hand tools. Students are also encouraged to help with building projects around the school such as the new tractor shed, the covers over the skate ramp, etc. This helps them learn real skills in real situations.
‘Peach is a dude’ – Tom C