In the Design & Technology department, pupils will gain hands-on experience of designing and making using a variety of materials and methods. 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 designing and making skills through research, analysis and safe working practices.
Key aims of the department are:
- To make pupils feel safe and confident in the workshop through hands-on experience.
- To develop traditional and computer aided design and manufacturing skills.
- To be creative and independent in the design and manufacture of prototypes and functional products.
- To encourage pupils to consider the design of the products around them in greater depth.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 pupils are taught Design and Technology throughout the academic year. In Year 8 pupils are taught Design and Technology in a ‘carousel’ arrangement with Textiles, Digital Photography and ICT skills. Pupils are asked to choose a practical subject during Year 8 and they study their preferred option for the whole of Year 9. This allows the opportunity to provide a foundation for Year 10 GCSE studies should they wish to continue into GCSE Design and Technology studies in Year 10.
Pupils begin by developing safe working skills while designing and making a simple mechanical toy as their first project. They cover materials and design based theory and risk-assess some of the tasks they carry out and use traditional hand and machine tools. The second project aims to build on these skills and introduce them to the concept of computer aided design and manufacture in the workshop.
The concept of industrial manufacture is introduced in Year 8 as pupils develop their skills in the use of computer aided facilities and consider the role of ICT and the effect of scale in industry. Pupils also continue to build their hand crafting skills to design and make small items using thermoplastic materials alongside use of the computer aided equipment.
The more complex issues of branding, sustainability and user-centred design 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. In Year 9 pupils complete further design and make projects to support the introduction of GCSE topics as part of the theory input.
Key Stage 4: GCSE Design and Technology
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 completion of longer and more independent 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. Preparation for the final written exam is carried out through a variety of methods including project work, dedicated theory lessons and ‘flipped learning’ tasks.
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, Tetrapak, 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.