In the 21st Century, DT is one of the only subjects that equip 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
Promoting excellence through challenge and initiative is embodied in our subject curriculum. Our students become successful, independent learners who enjoy learning and making progress. We aim to produce confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society. In Years 7, 8 and 9 students study all areas of Design and Technology, these being Food, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Product Design.
Students will learn a range of skills from understanding the need of thorough research, to being able to gather ideas to assist with their design work and then be able to make informed choices for their final design. They will learn basic pattern cutting and assembly, as well as lots of decorative skills, using a variety of equipment and machinery – sewing machines, over lockers, CAD and CAM etc., to make a product. They will also then learn how to test and improve their product through peer and self-evaluation.
Year 7 - Introduction to Textiles and Making a Puggly -(10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – ‘To design and make a Puggly using a range of different Textiles techniques in a safe manner’. The Puggly is a textile product that is designed to help year 7 develop their own textile skills or learn from the beginning if they have no skills (developed at KS2). It is a well differentiated task that will allow all students to take part and learn all about the basics of Textiles Technology. The skills that are learnt in this module will set the foundations for their KS3 learning experience. This scheme includes modular tasks – such as weaving, fabric decoration and embroidery.
Year 8 - Tote Bags -(10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – ‘To design and make a Tote Bag which has a front panel of appliqué work included’. In this unit students will be introduced to the principles of accurately designing and decorating a tote bag with handles together with aspects classroom and equipment safety. Students will construct a bag using several decoration techniques including: fabric paints, pens, embroidery by hand, use of a sewing machine (decoration and construction) onto a simple Polycotton (or a fabric of similar quality).
Year 9 – Fabric Decoration and Cushion Making – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – ‘To design and make a cushion using a range of different decorative techniques’. In this unit of work students will be introduced to the principles of accurately designing and decorating a cushion cover with four feature panels, together with aspects classroom and equipment safety. Students will construct the cushion cover using several decoration techniques including: fabric paints, pens, tie dye, batik, and embroidery by hand or use of a sewing machine onto a range of suitable fabrics.
Resistant Materials helps students develop the ability to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. This curriculum allows students to develop their knowledge of woods, metals, plastics and composite materials. Other materials may also be used and the use of new technologies is also encouraged.
Year 7 - Wood focus – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – Ercall Wood Technology College have a poly tunnel and the student eco-council are developing the area constantly. They are working towards the area being biodiverse and want to encourage many species of organisms to grow there. Your task is to design and make a butterfly / bird / bug house suitable for little creatures to live in. In Year 7 students will experience a workshop environment for the first time and there is a big focus on Health and Safety.
Year 8 -Plastics and recycling focus – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – The manufacturer and distributor of the infamous ‘Mr. Potato head’ toys, have asked you to design your own children’s seed garden based on Mr. Potato head. It must have an element of recycling and use up to 4 different methods of plastic manipulation to decorate it. If your design is successful, the manufacturer will make 1000 in batch production and a suitable retailer will sell them online.
Year 9 - Metal focus -(10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – You have been asked to produce two metal gift items to be sold in a gift shop in town. The metals and products must be totally different. If the products are of high quality and marketable, you will be commissioned to continue to produce similar items per week over the next year securing yourself your next annual income.
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.
Year 7 – Product Design – Clock – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – A well-known Swiss clock manufactures have contacted the school and would like pupils to design and make a clock that is attractive to a specific target markets. Students will carry out design work both hand drawn and computer generated using Techsoft 2D design. Students will produce a drawing for the laser cutter to cut out their plywood clock base. Students will consider how to tell the time and position of the clock face. Students will select other materials to add to their chosen clock base.
Year 8 – Product Design Table Top Light – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – A large Swedish furniture store are developing their range of table top lights suitable for a teenager. Design and Make a Table top light which must be of high quality; be battery operated and have a fun feature. Students will carry out design work both hand drawn and computer generated using Techsoft 2D design and also 3D designing using Isometric drawing. Students will produce a drawing for the laser cutter to cut out their plywood light. Students will use the skill of soldering to join components in order to make their light work.
Year 9 – Product Design – Recycled Jewellery – (10 lessons x 100 minutes approximately) Design Brief – Design and make an ornamental prototype piece of jewellery using recycled materials as inspiration. Students will carry out design work both hand drawn and computer generated using Techsoft 2D design and also 3D designing using Isometric drawing. Students will experiment with using recycled materials to make new products. Teacher is to demonstrate different processes used in GCSE projects to the students and then they are to choose which one best suits their design and chosen materials.
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.
In Year 7, the students will be introduced to the principles of designing food products which are based around the Eatwell Plate and in particular fruit and vegetables. The aim is to widen the students understanding of preparing different food products in a safe and hygienic manner. Students will be developing a range of different practical skills through the production of pizzas, Dutch Apple Cake, apple crumble, plus lots more. All students will also be involved in the taste testing of a range of different food products both sweet and savoury from a variety of different countries, especially fruit and vegetables.
Year 8 Students will be introduced to the principles of designing food products which are based around carbohydrates. The aim is to widen the students understanding of preparing different food products in a safe and hygienic manner. Students will be developing a range of different practical skills through the production of rock cakes, breads, pastry products, cakes and scones. Students will also be involved in taste testing of a range of different products to enable them to develop and adapt existing food products.
In Year 9, the students will be introduced to the principles of designing food products which are based around family meals (main course and desserts). The aim is to widen the students understanding of preparing different food products in a safe and hygienic manner. Students will be developing a range of different practical skills through the production of Bread Based Pizza, Vegetable Pasta Bake, Curry, Cheese cake and Lemon Meringue Pie.
In addition, across all the years, the students will be considering safety and hygiene in a Food Technology room, safe food storage and healthy eating with particular reference to fruit and vegetables and the importance of them in our diet, as well as nutrition and food packaging and labeling.
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. We currently use the 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. We are currently migrating from WJEC to AQA in a phased transition with Resistant Materials and Product Design being the first subjects to change.
This course 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 course 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 were 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 has been certified by the CAA and took its maiden flight in September 2015. The department is continually revising and developing to provide the students with an enriching experience in Design and Technology.