FORMER round-the-world sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur will be dropping anchor at a York secondary school next month to speak to pupils.

Archbishop Holgate’s CE School in Hull Road will be hosting the York-based workshop of a design and technology event called Rethinking D&T.

The event is run by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the Design & Technology Association, and pupils at the school have been working with the foundation on their D&T A-levels.

Head teacher Andrew Daly said: “This is an enormously exciting time for us. The staff and pupils were delighted to be invited to be one of only six pathfinder schools in the country and we are grasping the opportunities it offers with both hands.”

Dame Ellen will be hosting the workshop on December 5 and the event promises to bring together D&T teachers, practising designers, architects and engineers.

They will be taking apart different pieces of equipment, including mobile phones and cameras, as part of a TearDown Lab to see how their designs can be improved.

Dame Ellen said: “You learn so much when you strip a piece of equipment down to its constituent parts.

“Your mind fills with questions, creativity and the realisation that products can be designed and built in an entirely different way from their conception.

“TearDown labs show just how much is possible.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an independent charity with the aim of inspiring a generation to rethink, redesign and build a positive future through the vision of a “circular economy”.

The circular economy offers the opportunity to move away from our “take – make – dispose” model through careful design and innovative business models.

On the day Dame Ellen will be working alongside Archbishop Holgate’s award-winning D&T teacher Steve Parkinson.

He said: “It is today’s pupils who will make the circular economy a reality. It is they who will devise the design solutions and technological breakthroughs necessary. By teaching our students about the endless possibilities in front of us we can inspire and excite them to build a better tomorrow.”

Dame Ellen, 36, is best known as a solo long-distance yachtswoman. In 2005 she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which gained her international renown.