For Design & Technology students to become independent problem solvers, being able to apply the iterative process and take pride in their work. For all stakeholders to recognise the importance and relevance of the subject in our fast-evolving modern society. Responsible designing will be instilled into all students so that sustainability is prioritised not only in their design projects but also becomes an integral factor in their life decisions. Skills given to students will provide them with the potential to make a direct difference in the event of future local, national or international crises.
Design and Technology allows students to gain a better understanding of the world we live in, and how products are designed to enhance life. They will explore a wide range of material areas that will allow them to better understand other subjects e.g. Maths and Science by applying skills within given contexts. Designers need to consider social, moral and environmental issues when designing and manufacturing products and these issues will be highlighted throughout the curriculum in Design and Technology. A particular focus is made on the responsibility and integrity of the designer and the decisions they make. They will also study new and ever developing technologies such as smart materials and programmable components. Design and Technology aims to develop independence in students, as they go on their own personal journey with their projects, guided by the teacher. This means that students need to positively self regulate by managing their time and considering design activities. They also need to be intrinsically motivated so that they don’t give up should they face an issue in their projects. Every child will have the opportunity to solve problems in a practical way. They will have the chance to design and make a product in the workshop using traditional making skills and on the computer using CAD. They will also have the chance to look at existing products in great detail and analyse them so that they can take inspiration from them for their own work. Students will encounter real life problems that will link directly to their course of study in Maths and Science. Design and Technology encourages students to think about things in a wide range of different concepts. They first need to analyse a problem, they will then go on a journey designing and developing a product in an iterative way, which will mean that great resilience is needed as things often don’t go right the first time. Design and Technology needs students to think in a very lateral way to reach an end goal as there is often not one right answer to a problem; students will be encouraged to show great creativity in this subject.
Overview of Year 7
Mechanical Toy: Focus on H&S, Levers and Linkages
Students will learn about mechanisms and movement, especially through levers and linkages. In using card prototypes, they will develop their design ideas iteratively until a functional item is proven to work. Students will use traditional workshop tools and then learn about finishing the materials appropriately.
Joining Wood: Focus on wood
Students will be given a brief and have to complete a focused practical task. They will cover basic drawing skills (2D and isometric) and then go on to use some hand tools plus the pillar drill in the workshop. Students will gain confidence in the workshop and demonstrate the health and safety rules.
Overview of Year 8
Door Hanger: Focus on electronics and alternative CAM
This project contains various making tasks and requires deeper thought from individual students in regulating their time within lessons. Students are introduced to the vinyl cutter and will create complex silhouette shapes to be transferred onto their laser cut door hangers. They will also use the vacuum former and soldering equipment.
Mobile Phone Holder: Focus on plastics and CAD/ CAM
Students will develop their prior CAD skills and utilise the iterative design process to research and develop a functional phone holder. Essential processes (eg the design specification) will be discussed in more detail, highlighting the importance of various methods of communication within projects. Students will develop their understanding of different plastics’ properties.
Overview of Year 9
Wire Wrap: Focus on plastics processes
Using an iterative process, students will design and manufacture the mould for a small injection moulded product, which they will then mould. They will also produce the graphics for the packaging and vacuum form a blister pack to finish the project.
Laminated Plywood Lamp: Focus on woods
Students will look at different methods of bending woods then use formers to laminate sections of plywood. They will independently use the iterative process- researching, designing, developing, prototyping and using CAD to produce a working lamp and a final presentation will be assessed.
Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews which are displayed at the front of students’ projects for y7-9.
Overview of Years 10 & 11
Flat Pack Furniture
Students will be taught about the importance of developing and presenting technical details of their design for flat pack furniture. They will be taught about scaling, types of detailed drawings as well as laser cutting a scale model of their furniture.
Theory: Design & Technology and our society
Pupils will begin their NEA based on one of the three contextual briefs set by the exam board.
All theory topics that have been taught over the course of the GCSE will be revisited in preparation for the exam.
Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews which are displayed at the front of students’ projects for year 10, and topics are listed at the front of students’ theory folders in year 11.
50% of the qualification is based on the NEA work that runs from June of year 10 to the Spring term of year 11. The mark scheme is broken down into the following headings:
- Identifying and investigating design possibilities
- Developing a design brief and specification
- Generating and developing design ideas
- Manufacturing a prototype
- Analysing and evaluating design decisions and prototypes
50% of the qualification is based on one 2 hour exam which covers the following topics:
- Design and technology and our world
- Smart materials
- Electronic systems and programmable components
- Mechanical components and devices
Where government and academy guidance permits, key stage 4 students are taken to the Solihull JLR site for a tour and to experience the activities run by their Education Centre.
The department offers support to key stage 4 and 5 students outside of lesson time and also runs three clubs, covering a number of different year groups:
- Jewellery Design
- Clock Design
- Ventura Design competition, set by the Design Museum