Design and Technology
Design and Technology teaching and learning focuses on five subject areas; Resistant Materials, Electronic Products, Engineering, Textiles Technology and Food Technology. Year 7 & 8 students students follow a carousel type curriculum, moving from one subject area to another throughout the year. Each project follows a ‘design and make’ theme, first investigating the context of the design brief and the materials and processes involved, followed by a design phase where ideas are communicated and tested. The manufacture of a product or products is followed by an assessment stage where students evaluate their product and their own performance.
This broad experience of the fundamentals of each subject allows for one or more disciplines to be studied by year 9 / 10 / 11 students. All subjects follow a two year course following the AQA Design and Technology curriculum. Year one concentrates on expanding the knowledge and skills base of each learner and this culminates in year two with the production of a detailed portfolio of work together with the manufacture of a finished, quality item.
Students opting for Engineering follow the BTEC First program of study, provided by Edexcel with the award being a BTEC Level 2 in Engineering at the end of the second year.
Curriculum and assessment
Year 7 & 8 students complete 5 projects per year in the various subject areas. Each project follows a similar pattern in terms of the ‘Design Process’. A design brief leads to investigation into the available materials and processes involved followed by the presentation of design ideas and test models. Finally students make a product to take home and conduct a detailed assessment of the piece and their personal progression and learning.
Engineering – Divided into 3 main units; the Engineered World, Investigating an Engineered Product and Machining Techniques. This range of experiences prepares learners for the engineering workplace and arms them with the basic skills common in any machine shop such as turning, milling and welding. Unit 1 is externally assessed via an online, multiple choice exam. The remaining units are assessed via the production of test pieces and written evidence to support learning.
Resistant Materials – This 2 year course firstly introduces learners to the range of materials and manufacturing techniques commonly in use today. Each student will have the opportunity to make a range of products in wood, metal and plastics. Year 2 sees students produce a detailed portfolio of design work based around a given design brief and the manufacturing of a quality finished product.
Electronics – Similar to Resistant Materials, Year 1 introduces learners to the fundamentals of electronics through the production of several simple circuits and associated products. In Year 2 each student will choose a design challenge from a given list and investigate, design and manufacture a unique product.
Textiles – Focused on a number of units including Industrial practices, the use of trend forecasting, product lifecycles, fabric construction and fabric finishes, smart materials and Nano Technology, new and green fabrics and sustainability, ethical trading and environmental issues, electronic components, testing and evaluation techniques, fabric and product manufacturing specifications, labelling, risk assessment and health and safety issues. These are delivered through carefully written Schemes of work and projects that maximise the students learning.
Catering – Focused on industry standard dishes, practices and customer service. Students will prepare and cook dishes every week in preparation for their practical controlled assessments. The first assessment is in Y10 and is worth 20% of their GCSE with a final assessment in Y11 worth 40%. The course includes nutrition, hygiene, job roles, menu planning, costing packaging and environmental considerations as well as the food preparation and cooking. Students will gain an understanding of businesses in the hospitality industry and will promote work ready skills in this varied and popular industry.
Extra Curricula Activities within the Department
Young Engineers – a thriving club that meets on Thursdays after school. Currently members of Years 7, 8 and 9 are building rocket powered cars that will be entered into a national competition. These cars will reach actual speeds of over 200mph!! Members of the club are encouraged to identify and plan visits to off-site events. Last year we enjoyed a visit to a Science and Engineering Fair at Duxford Museum and a trip to the Formula 4 race day at Snetterton Circuit. Future visits will be to Lotus Cars and to a motorcycle racing event. All welcome!
Remote Control Club – On a Wednesday students enjoy making, fixing and operating a range of remote control vehicles ranging from helicopters and aeroplanes to off-road buggies and race cars.
Additionally, final year students are encouraged to attend on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to seek advice and assistance on a more one-to-one basis for their final year GCSE projects.