“The details are not the details. They make the design.” — Charles Eames
Design Technology (DT) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject that prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made the world. It enables young people to learn the Design Process from the initial problem through to research, development, making and evaluating. These skills are not only relevant to the student’s future employment potential, but they can also be utilized in lots of other subjects throughout their education. Design Technology also gives students the opportunity to consider moral, social, cultural and sustainable issues that add to the positive values shown in our students.
KEY STAGE THREE CURRICULUM
Students study a range of topics at Key Stage Three. In Year 7, students will learn about CAD/CAM using industry-standard computer-based design programs and industry-standard computer-aided manufacturing techniques such as the school’s laser cutter.
In Year 8, students are introduced to Textiles, using the sewing machines and the concept of electronics within Textiles, using conductive thread to add LED to bespoke pencil cases. They will also research into the Memphis design movement and create a clock from acrylic that would be seen as ‘in the style of’.
In Year 9, the students learn about casting and metals through design and make surf pendant project. The students also have the opportunity to further develop their CAD/CAM skills during a headphone tidy project.
KEY STAGE FOUR CURRICULUM
AQA Product Design (4555)
Unit 1: Materials and Components
This is a written exam that is worth 40% of the final grade. The questions in the exam will be based on the content of the specification.
Unit 2: Design and Make Controlled Assessment
An exam set problem which the students will solve through researching, developing, making and evaluating. This is worth 60% of the final grade.
A level Curriculum
AQA Design and Technology 3D (2550), 1551 (AS) and 2551 (A2).
At AS students study materials, components and processes leading to an exam based on this. It is a 2-hour exam and worth 50% of an AS or 25% of an A2. Students also undertake an extensively detailed design make a project which is again worth 50% at AS and 25% at A2 based around plastics and wooden products.
At A2, the format is the same as AS but the level of complexity has increased. The students will work on a portfolio based project which is worth 25% of the A2 and a one 2 hour exam which is worth the final 25%.
The Design Technology Department uses digital learning in a variety of ways. Some of the main uses in DT are product analysis as students will be able to solve problems better by looking at what is already available and improving it, designing using programs such as Google Sketch Up and Techsoft 2D Design. Students frequently use iPads for mind mapping and creating mood boards to allow for better designs to be created.
The department frequently runs several co-curricular clubs including Make It Club which focuses on making the props for the School production. Mr. Connorton is also developing a ‘Formula 1 in Schools’ and ‘Robotics’ club which will be up and running from September 2015.
WHERE DOES DT LEAD YOU?
Apart from the valuable life-long skills such as making and cooking skills that come with studying Design Technology, students have the chance to learn skills that are desirable and suitable in many professions including architecture, engineering, marketing, and catering. Students learn how to solve difficult problems through the use of research, analysis, development and evaluating. All these skills are useful in many future careers.
Mrs. Heather Boult, Head of DT
Mrs. Elizabeth Machan, Teacher of DT