Woolworths Schools Programme
When the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) decided to introduce FET Design for Grades 10-12 in 2005, Woolworths, as recognised leaders in innovation, were approached to contribute. Seeing this as an opportunity to nurture the learning and understanding of design, in a tangible and sustainable manner, Woolworths jumped to action.
The 'Making the Difference Through Design' programme was launched in August 2005 with a road show to all the WCED schools to introduce Design as a subject choice to Grade 9. Learners were informed of the career opportunities that exist within the field of design and were provided with insight into the Grade 10 FET Curriculum content. They were provided with relevant information and encouraged to discuss with their parents to assist them in making their final subject choices for Grade 10. January 2006 saw the launch of the programme to teachers in the Western Cape. An innovative design education resource pack, comprising case studies and practical learning experiences supplied by 86 of SA's top designers, formed the backbone of the programme.
In the same year, Woolworths together with Sappi initiated the first ‘Making the Difference through Design’ competition. Grade 10-12 Design learners across the Western Cape were invited to participate and were challenged to use waste material to create a product in the categories of Visual Communication, Surface and Environmental or Product Design. 101 entries were received. The following year the competition was taken national and 747 entries from across the country were received. Due to the achievements of this programme, Woolworths has been recognised for their contribution to the upliftment of education in SA and entrenched as leaders in design education. A recent key highlight was that, in 2011, the Design Manual was accepted as the official FET design textbook by the Department of Education.