In the 21st Century, DT is one of the only subject that equips learners with a wide variety of life skills, ranging from an understanding of different manufacturing techniques through to developing creative and abstract artistry. Pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that are tailored to meet specific design needs. They develop practical skills in current technologies. They learn to think creatively and solve problems as individuals and as team members. The department places emphasis on “quality” products as there is great benefit in students experiencing success and seeing and handling products that are well made. In addition we see the preparation of young people for citizenship in a technological society as a central activity within the subject.
Key Stage 3
Pupils learn and undertake activities that contribute to the achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people: to become successful learners who enjoy learning, making progress and achieve; confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society. Promoting excellence through challenge and initiative.
In Years 7 and 8 pupils experience all areas of the Design and Technology Department through a carousel system. Students study all areas of Design and Technology, these being Food, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Product Design.
Textiles – Pugly
In year 7 students make a Pugly. This is a soft ‘ugly’ toy based on the theme of that term. Students will begin by researching existing products and collecting images that relate to the term’s theme whilst being encouraged to use ICT and evaluate their work. Students will then develop the shape and size of their Pugly toy by ‘morphing’ a basic shape, learning about recycling and the impact this had on the environment as well as analysing an existing product.
Once all research is completed students will begin developing their design ideas creatively, building upon their enhancement skills learnt in other areas of Design and Technology. Templates are used to create their Pugly toy out of different coloured felt. Students will learn a variety of techniques to attach shapes and materials onto their Pugly toy with a selecting and demonstrating a variety of hand embroidery stitches.
This project is highly creative, resulting in a very original and fun outcome.
Resistant Materials – Spatula & Desk Tidy
In Year 7 students will experience a workshop environment for the first time and there is a big focus on Health and Safety. Students’ first project is the Spatula project which includes the use of a range of tools and machines in the workshop. This will give students their first experience of using this equipment and they are shown how to use each piece of kit safely and effectively. The Spatula is made from Beech and students will design their own shapes based on their research of effective spatulas available on the market.
The second project begins with market research into the current products available on the market. Students then select a suitable target audience and create a design based upon the project brief given. The students then create a template and the transfer the template onto the wood. The students further expand their knowledge of wood working tools and techniques to produce a desk tidy that is suitable for holding a variety of pens and pencils.
Product Design – Clock Project
The task of developing outstanding new products is difficult, time-consuming, and costly. People who have never been involved in a development effort are astounded by the amount of time and money that goes into a new product. Great products are not simply designed, but instead they evolve over time through countless hours of research, analysis, design studies, engineering and prototyping efforts, and finally, testing, modifying, and re-testing until the design has been perfected.
Product Design and Development is a project-based course that covers modern tools and methods for product design and development. The cornerstone is a project in which students conceive, design and prototype a physical product. Class sessions are conducted in workshop mode and employ cases and hands-on exercises to reinforce the key ideas. Topics include identifying customer needs, concept generation, product architecture, industrial design, and design-for-manufacturing.
Food – Eat well plate
The Food Technology Department is a busy, vibrant and popular department. The focus is to promote a love of cooking whilst acquiring the knowledge and skills through practical work to become a competent cook and to gain success at GCSE level and beyond. The aim is to embrace and celebrate success for all in a creative “can do” environment where a positive attitude is seen as the only option. Teamwork and peer group support is valued and pupils are individually supported and guided at all levels in order to achieve their potential grade.
The aims and objectives of the year 7 Food Technology course is to equip students with the skills and knowledge to create a range of foods in a safe, healthy and clean environment. Students develop an awareness of food safety and hygiene through different practical cooking projects. These projects allow students to explore a range of cooking, preparation and presentation techniques of different foods. We research healthy eating issues and actively promote the “Eat Well Plate”. I.C.T. is used to investigate nutritional content of foods. Students work through a design brief and specification to develop healthy recipes. Evaluation of outcomes against specifications is promoted.
In Food, the work is themed on developing an understanding of nutrition and healthy eating whilst considering ‘Multi Cultural’ cuisines. Resistant Materials learn and utilise basic skills to make a spatula and desk tidy from wood. In Product Design students produce a mini light and key fob. Whilst in Textiles all pupils design and make a ‘Pugly’. Emphasis is put on Health and Safety, together with learning skills in all areas.
Year 8 Students work in Food is based on The Garden Centre Coffee Shop project. In Product Design the pupils complete a project entitled ‘Chunky Chocolate’. Resistant Materials design and make a table light, using the laser cutter to maximise effect. Design and construction skills are developed in Textiles as pupils design and make a tote bag.
In Year 9, all areas are covered twice in Year 9 to enable pupils to experience each one before they decide their options for Year 10. Textiles has a practical unit, where a hat is made, followed by a design project, which widens the pupils’ experience of Textiles in general. In Food focus is firstly on cakes, followed by Cook Chill products. An Innovation Challenge is undertaken by pupils in Product Design, widening their design skills, followed by a ‘Pot’ project, where clay is used to manufacture the product. Resistant Materials focuses on mechanical Toys in the first rotation, followed by a pewter casting unit.
Structure at KS4:
Design and Technology is an optional subject at GCSE, where the four areas studies at Key Stage 3 are offered, namely Resistant Materials, Product Design, Textiles and Food. All areas use WJEC, which allows skills to be learnt and developed in Year 10, followed by controlled assessment and examination in Year 11. There are 60% of the final grade obtained from the controlled assessment and 40% from the examination. All the subject areas are delivered in well-equipped rooms, which allow pupils to use a range of practical skills in their work.
This is an optional subject offered in Key Stage 4, which is a GCSE subject, using the OCR examination board. Pupils cover a range of information, producing 3 set short tasks and one in-depth Child Study. The pupils also sit an examination at the end of Year 11. It is important to note that all pupils taking the subject must have access to a young child, to use as their subject for the Child Study.
Health and Social Care
This is an optional subject offered at Key Stage 4, which in Year 11 is a BTEC using the Edexcel examination board and in Year 10 is a GCSE following the Welsh board (WJEC). In both years pupils study both health provision and social care services. They also look at the development of a person throughout their life, considering what makes the individual healthy or unhealthy. In Year 11 the pupils must complete 4 units of work, at either pass, merit or distinction levels. The GCSE requires the completion of one piece of work as a controlled assessment, with an examination at the end of Year 11.Although the emphasis of the course is on practical work, the underpinning theory is also examined.
All three areas offer lunchtime and afterschool sessions whenever required. The department works closely with our feeder primary schools, offering primary students the opportunity to visit the Design and Technology department, working alongside our pupils. We are one of six schools in the country to be part of the Boeing Build-a-Plane challenge, with pupils building a two seater light aircraft, which will fly when completed. The department is continually revising and developing to provide the students with an enriching experience in Design and Technology.