"Making things better" - A dynamic and useful course learning skills for life especially problem solving and GCSE qualification for those who are enthusiastic enough to take it on after year 9. Dedicated and highly skilled teachers will help them reach their aspirations.
To engage in the design process, pupils need to know the different factors that contribute to complex design decisions. Securing knowledge of the relevant materials, equipment, tools and manufacturing methods is therefore important before pupils are expected to design their own products.
We aim to ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge about the world around us with understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
Through a range of mini projects, we look to develop understanding of higher-level making skills using various materials. Throughout the design process students are encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills. Practical skills are developed using traditional hand and machine tools. Students are encouraged to investigate the manufacturing process. We also look to consider social, cultural, and environmental issues related to product design and manufacture.
We expect students to gain a wide range of subject knowledge and practical skills. They will evaluate their designs and end products to be able to identify modifications which could be implemented throughout the process.
The skills developed during this course will allow you to access careers in all aspects of the design and manufacturing process. Careers ranging from product design, applied arts, architecture, all forms of engineering, theatre design, furniture design, fashion design, and jewellery design. The skills acquired here will be a useful launching pad if progressing to a college course in any of these career areas.
As the enthusiasm of students seems to know no bounds extra curriculum supervised time is made available every day after school for individual students who wish to pursue their own individual creative projects.
Throughout Key Stage Three, pupils use a range of materials to design and make products. They work out their ideas with precision, taking into account how products, tools and materials will be used. They develop their understanding of designing and making by investigation, structured lesson content and teacher facilitation. Students draw upon their own knowledge and also their understanding from other areas of the curriculum.
A Design and Technology workshop is new to most students in Year 7, so they begin with an introductory module which includes learning how to use a wide range of tools, equipment and machinery safely and accurately. Safety is our highest priority, so the safe use of tools, equipment and machinery is covered again at the beginning of each school year.
Students are given a mixture of short, focused practical tasks and longer design and make tasks where they have more freedom to develop their own individual design ideas. These include working with wood, plastics and electronics incorporating:
- Planning skills
- Sketching skills
- Computer aided design
- Computer aided manufacture
- Practical skills: Forming, shaping, joining and finishing wood and plastics
- Electronic circuits
During Year 8, pupils are given the opportunity to further their understanding of materials and the design and make process. Students work out their ideas with precision using a developing set of skills, taking into account how products, tools, materials and processes will be used to create a complete product.
Students will work on a range of design and make tasks. In addition to building on those skills learned in Year 7, these tasks will also incorporate:
- Understanding electronic components
- Electronic circuit production
- Pattern making
- Vacuum forming
- Complex woodwork joints
Homework will be set regularly in the form of lesson worksheets with a range of subject knowledge questions and activities linked to the units of work being covered.
Design and Technology at GCSE follows the AQA course. The final grade is made up of 50% non-examined Assessment (coursework) task and 50% final exam.
Design and Technology is all about being creative, solving real life problems and applying knowledge learned from other subjects. Above all, it’s a practical subject where students can be creative and innovative.
Students will work through a wide range of interesting projects building on the knowledge, concepts and practical skills developed during years 7 and 8. The projects will be a mixture of short, focused practical tasks and longer design and make tasks where they have more freedom to develop their own individual design ideas. This is in preparation for the NEA design and make task which begins at the end of Year 10, finishing in the Spring term of Year 11.
The emphasis is on developing designing and making skills, but there is also a theory content assessed by the exam. This is covered during regular lessons and via homework.
Students will work with a wide variety of materials and processes. They will use a multitude of tools, equipment and machinery and learn how to use it safely and with increasing precision. The department is very well equipped with facilities for working with wood, metal and plastics including laser cutters, 3d printer and welding equipment as well as traditional hand tools.