Students can choose areas of specialism to enable them to access high levels of attainment. They do continue to study a number of key concepts to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the subject these include: design elements, cultural understanding, environmental implications of design, materials knowledge, creativity and innovation, critical evaluation and complex manufacturing using a range of materials.
Units studied and a brief description of their content
Area one: Food.
With such a large range of food on the market today, consumers have difficult decisions to make. Learners will explore the range of information available to the consumer to enable them to make an informed choice. Ingredients are studied to discover their physical, nutritional and sensory properties; allowing pupils to understand the chemistry behind food manufacture.
Practical skills will be challenged and developed significantly and pupils will learn to use a range of practical skills, techniques and equipment to prepare single and multiple products safely and hygienically. Learners will be given the opportunity to develop and manufacture their own design ideas at intervals and evaluate their success.
Area two: Textiles.
The main focus of the projects is to introduce learners to the properties of the wide range of fabrics and construction techniques (seams, hems and fastenings) employed in textile products. Machine skills will improve significantly and pupils will experiment with pattern design in the development of their product. Learners will think about sustainability issues related to textiles and may use some recycled materials when creating their designs.
An additional art textiles project allows learners to experience a range of artistic decorative techniques which are often used in the production of soft furnishings.
Area three: Resistant materials.
Students will design and make products using wood, metal and plastic together with development of key skills within design including research techniques, generation of ideas, development of ideas, planning and critical evaluation. Learners will develop their expertise in cutting, joining, shaping and forming materials. During the development phase of the project pupils will develop their ability to present ideas using both 2 & 3D techniques and learn new rendering techniques.
Their work will replicate the standards used in industry so both CAD & CAD play an important role in the development and manufacture of the products. Outcomes vary depending on the interests and skills of the group but may include, storage containers, decorative objects or individually designed projects.
Students complete a number of units of work over the year. Within each unit a number of assessment strategies will be implemented, these are:
- A knowledge test with the result recorded as a percentage
- A making level using the subject attainment target criteria developed from the program of study.
- A design element will be included in each project (research, generation of ideas, planning or evaluation). Each design element will be re-visited at least once to allow progression of skills.
- An end of year Design Technology examination will take place which will test key concepts, key processes and material content.
- Self and peer assessment strategies may be used at intervals throughout the course.
Other useful information
The majority of each year group are taught in mixed ability groups of approximately 23 students per group.
Students have the opportunity to use the department facilities at lunch time and after school to complete out of hours learning tasks or enrichment projects. Throughout the year at intervals, there are extra-curricular STEM activities offered to enrich the diet offered in the subject; these sessions are open to any interested individuals.