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Design technology students learn from master craftsmen

A group of year 10 students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have recently had opportunity to visit a manufacturing company who have a warrant to craft furniture for Her Majesty the Queen.

During a visit to NEJ Stevenson’s headquarters in Church Lawford, a group of Year 10 design technology students got to see the results of the intricate work completed by the company’s master craftsmen, whose workmanship can be seen in Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The students also got to meet staff who fulfil a variety of roles and tour the company’s manufacturing facilities seeing the machines and employees in action.

The prestigious company, who see beauty and possibilities in every piece of wood, were founded 35 years ago by managing director Neil Stevenson. Since then the company has flourished, and is able to deliver many diverse commissions, from elaborate mantelpieces, breath-taking libraries, grand wine cellars and soaring staircases, to presentation boxes and cabinets of major historical importance for great houses and palaces.

During the visit the students saw first-hand how wood can be prepared, treated, and crafted using a range of skills and machines; at the end of their visit the students were presented with a crafted piece depicting the school’s shield.

Careers Leader, Lisa Owen, said “Visiting NEJ Stevenson has been a brilliant opportunity for our students to see where their qualification in design technology might take them. Being able to see the craftsmanship involved in making pieces of furniture worth tens of thousands of pounds has really inspired our students and a number of them now want to pursue this type of career.”

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said “As a school we commit a significant amount of time and energy into our careers education programme and we are very grateful to NEJ Stevenson for allowing our students to visit their facilities and see the world of work for themselves. We are delighted with the shield presented to us by the company and this will soon be displayed within the school.”

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