Royal Wootton Bassett pupils to receive engineering insight thanks to Rotary donation

By Anita Jaynes on 24 May, 2021

Year 7 pupils at the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy will be immersed in world-leading engineering technology by Bloodhound Education, who will be bringing the excitement of the Bloodhound Land Speed Record Car (LSR) to the school, thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District.

Across two days in June, around 230 pupils in Year 7 will take part in hands-on engineering challenges, putting learning into practice and developing skills confidence whilst having fun. With interactive workshops and presentations, the pupils will be working as engineers to design and race their own prototype cars.

Bloodhound Education is a charity which brings STEM subjects to life and makes the link between the classroom and careers. It runs engineering activities in schools and from its Education Centre at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, showcasing emerging technologies through partnerships with real projects like Bloodhound.

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is a pinnacle of British engineering and innovation.  It is helping to push boundaries and demonstrate pioneering new technologies, requiring engineers to think in new ways – and it is these new ways of thinking that inspires young people in these innovative sessions that develop their skills in design and technology, as well as other STEM subjects too.

Sarah Day, Design and Technology Teacher and Key Stage 4 Co-Ordinator at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said, “These interactive workshops are going to be a great opportunity for our pupils to see design and technology in action and how engineers are making it possible to break land speed world records.  It will be really exciting for them to put design and technology in a real-world scenario and see where they can go in the future.

“As a result of Covid restrictions, our key stage three year groups have not been able to experience workshops, or design and manufacture sessions as much as we would like.  Year seven in particular have had to miss out on their induction days to the school, as well as their camps and visits that they would have done in their final year of primary school.  So, as well as providing a great learning opportunity, they will also benefit from developing problem solving and team-working skills. 

“We wouldn’t have been able to provide this workshop without the support of the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District, and we hope that with the insight of the Bloodhound project we can kickstart their enthusiasm for design and technology, as well as really ignite their fire for learning.”

Kirsty Allpress, CEO of Bloodhound Education, added, “The donation from The Rotary to fund these activities will help us support teachers in the educational recovery from Covid-19 and continue to deliver on our mission to inspire students to explore and pursue science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Richard Everitt, President of the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District said, “It is the Club’s privilege to have the opportunity of working in partnership with the Academy in providing support to the school. We are delighted to give a donation to Royal Wootton Bassett Academy for Bloodhound Education to visit the school on the 17th June to give them hands-on experience of an engineering project and inspire students to follow an interest and career in the sciences. Chris Fairhead presents the history of the Land Speed Record and successful exploits of Richard Noble who broke the Land Speed Record in 1983. They want to inspire children with science, technology, engineering and mathematics to put learning into practice, using links to projects like the Bloodhound Land Speed Record. We hope the pupils have a thoroughly enjoyable, rewarding experience and give them ’food for thought’.”

The funding for the workshops has been raised through the club’s fundraising activities held in the area. Locally, the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District has supported many crucial education and charitable causes, having purchased the Life Education Caravan, (LEC) which is a mobile classroom that visits local schools educating children on skills, knowledge on health, wellbeing and relationships. Also, confronting them with difficult issues such as being exposed to drugs, alcohol and online bullying.  The club has also been part of the combined local fundraising to support Brighter Futures, which contributed £333,000 to their fund.

To find out more about Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, visit

Pictured above: Sarah Day, Design and Technology Teacher and Key Stage 4 Co-Ordinator at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy