Design & Technology
Design and Technology is changing. From September 2016 students opting for Design and Technology will be taught a course combining elements from all the previous specialities: resistant materials, systems and control, graphics, textiles, electronics and product design. The philosophy of the DT department is that students learn by doing and, although there is a lot of factual knowledge to be learned, much of this will be taught through the medium of practical tasks.
The DT department is particularly well equipped with a comprehensive range of tools equipment and resources including lathes, milling machines, planer, computer controlled laser cutter and 3D printer. There is also a fully equipped electronics laboratory and a dedicated computer suite. The electronics lab is equipped with the latest technology for building, simulating and testing electronic circuits. A particular strength is the range of equipment and staff expertise in programming microcontrollers, the very latest cutting edge technology. The ready access to a dedicated computer suite allows students to use the very latest CAD and simulation software in the development of their products. These resources allow the students to acquire traditional craft skills as well as enabling them to design and make products using high tech manufacturing and production methods.
With practical work and projects at all levels to challenge our students and high academic results, we are very successful at recruiting students at GCSE and A-level who later go on to some of the most prestigious universities in the UK.
Key Stage 3
All students study Design and Technology in both year 7 and 8 in 6 week modules. D&T projects are used to introduce and develop practical skills in working with resistant materials (wood, metal, plastics, etc.). Projects include a wooden pencil box, a wood and acrylic spice rack and an acrylic clock. Design skills, based on the design process, include sketching, annotating and developing ideas, computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) using a laser cutter, making and testing/evaluation. In this way students learn traditional woodworking and engineering skills as well as modern CAD/CAM technologies.
Key Stage 4
Exam Board: AQA
Specification: Design and Technology Draft 8552
Pupils can opt to study Design and Technology as an option choice in Year 8 and, with a 3 year period in which to complete their GCSE, we use year 9 as a foundation year to introduce new topics and concepts and to develop the skills learnt in years 7 and 8.
Year 9: Practical exercises will include the design and production of an electronic game mounted in a laser cut case and a powered speaker mounted in a wooden case. Throughout the course students have regular theory lessons as well as design practice and history of design.
Year 10: After a period of consolidation of Year 9 work and the development of further learning and skills, the students will begin their major project. This is worth 50% of the final mark for the course and consists of a product and a design folder. The product can be a typical woodwork project like a mechanical game, jewellery box, or bird table or an electronic product like a simple clock, scoreboard, or game. It could also be a combination of the two. In addition to the product, a high quality, concise design folder will be required.
Year 11: The GCSE coursework project is to be finished in this year. The project is worth 50% of the final mark for the course. The product must be skilfully constructed and with a good finish while the design folder will consist of 20 pages detailing the design and evaluation process in a concise and accurate manner. The exam board issues a broad range of contexts from which the project can be chosen