In the Design & Technology department, pupils will gain hands on experience of designing and making. Starting from basics, they will learn about a wide range of topics from consumer protection and product development to branding and sustainability. They will develop their observational skills through research and safe working practices.
Key aims of the department are:
- To make the pupils feel safe and confident in the workshop through practical experience.
- To develop skills in using traditional and computer aided manufacturing equipment.
- To be creative and independent in the production of functional objects.
- To encourage pupils to consider the objects around them in more detail.
In Years 7 and 8 pupils are taught Design and Technology (2 lessons per week) in a carousel arrangement with Textiles (2 lessons per week), Digital Photography and ICT skills (1 lesson per week for each). The length of time in each subject is greater in Year 8; rising to 12 weeks in each of the 3 areas within the carousel. Pupils are asked to opt for a practical subject in Year 9 and they study in their preferred option for the whole year to provide a foundation for Year 10 GCSE studies.
Pupils begin by developing basic safe working skills while designing and making a simple spring toy. They also cover basic materials and design based theory and risk-assess some of the tasks they carry out. They use traditional hand and machine tools.
The concept of industrial manufacture is introduced in Year 8 as pupils use the computer aided facilities and consider the role of ICT in industrial manufacture. Pupils also continue to build their hand crafting skills to design and make small items using thermoplastic materials alongside use of the CAM equipment.
The more complex issues of branding and sustainability are considered in Year 9 as students design their own logo and use it to brand products to promote their own company. New making and finishing skills continue to be introduced as well as the use of more complex computer aided processes. The extra time available in Year 9 allows more complex projects to be undertaken and the introduction of GCSE topics as part of the theory input.
The current GCSE course being studied is AQA Design and Technology (9-1). The two year course continues to develop the pupils’ skills and awareness of designing and making through longer design and make projects. These are devised specifically to support preparation for Non Examined Assessment (NEA) project work and a written exam, both of which contribute towards the GCSE award equally.
Educational visits and extra curricular activity
Outside speakers and industrial visits are used to support the teaching of GCSE and A level courses. Sites visited include, Bentley Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Calypso drinks, Graham Engineering and Tags Ltd. The school has a registered Young Engineers Club which meets weekly and is an Arkwright Scholarship affiliated School, entering Year 11 students interested in Engineering annually for this prestigious award.
Rooms and resources
The purpose built Design and Technology workshop is very well equipped with traditional and computer aided equipment. The room is also equipped with PC stations and an interactive white board to aid teaching.