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Welcome to the Technical Department of Islay High School Website. Within our Department there are various challenging subjects offered to students. All working to build the students enthusiasm and motivation to learning, desire to reach high standards, self-reliance and an openness to new thinking and ideas. 



The department has two members of staff; Russell Pollock (Acting Faculty Head) and Allan Campbell (Technician). These staff members are passionate about the subjects and are excited every year by the opportunity to inspire new pupils and help current ones develop even further. Our main aims are for each pupil to develop his full potential in our various subjects and gain a real sense of achievement and fun.


We have currently three main teaching areas;

The Workshop contains equipment for working with wood, metal and plastic. A sample of some of the equipment available is Wood Turning Lathe, Sanders, Band saw, Mortise Machine, Pillar Drills, Grinders, Sand Casting, Forge, Welding Equipment, Centre Lathes, Dip Coater, Plastic Oven, and Strip Heater.

The Design Studio (Rm19) is the main working area for all design theory and folio work. This room was renovated by staff and students to allow a more flexible space with furniture being designed and built by students.

Room 27 is an additional teaching space used for younger classes.

After School Extra Classes

Our teachers offer assistance to all students at any point during the school day. We also offer Drop-In Session during lunchtime and after school on a Tuesday and Thursday for any student who wishes extra time to work on their projects.


It is the policy of the Technical Department to encourage a love of learning from each pupil. Driving pupils to work to the best of their ability and take responsibility for their own learning and progress. As a result we expect pupils to work at home where appropriate and ensure the tasks that they are undertaking are worthwhile and not set simply to issue homework.

A work/life balance is important to all, this importance should not be underestimated for teenagers. As a result homework tasks are always considered and negotiated with pupils and become more formalized as pupils move up through the school.

General Guidelines

Homework is closely related to classwork currently underway e.g. finishing a folio page begun in class, re-drafting, and reading in preparation for a forthcoming project

Additional Help

Opportunity is given to pupils to access additional help through daily drop in centres at lunchtime and also after school classes where homework can be completed or additional conversations/study can be undertaken


Generally the amount of homework generated is related to not only the complexity of the course they are following but also the pupils’ interest in the topic.

We encourage parents to discuss product and technological issues at home, as studies have shown that a continuing conversation is the most effective way for a pupil to learn.

E.g. my kettle is rubbish because… Why are chairs the size they are? What’s the point of the Internet? How do they make that?

While acknowledging the difficulty in recommending a set amount of homework for each year group, the following should be taken as a general guide:-

S1 : occasional task

S2 : occasional task

N4 : one hour of study per week and finishing classwork

N5 two hours of study per week and finishing classwork

Higher : three hours of preoperational study per week