This is an exciting, progressive and practical course in which pupils explore the modern and evolving world of technology through research, design, manufacture and testing. Students are challenged to apply iterative design techniques to real world problems, and are encouraged at every stage of the curriculum to be creative, innovative, enterprising and resourceful.
The subject is taught through a diverse range of learning experiences including wider world design contexts, focused manufacturing tasks, and a rich diet of material and process exploration.
Opportunities will provide students the chance develop expertise in design and user needs; apply critical analysis tools; learn to take creative risks; consider the wider aspects of design within society; and use cutting edge technology to prototype and explore their own ideas. Industry standard approaches we be delivered at every stage of this journey.
Pupils complete a variety of projects each year. These will range from material exploration projects in common materials including polymers, timbers and metals, to focused manufacturing tasks where high tolerance and quality assurance will be the focus. Fun personal projects will encourage individual expression, whilst wider world challenges will look for students to explore the needs of others in our society.
A vast and growing array of skills and techniques are covered through these projects, from market leading software application for Computer Aided Design & Manufacture, to exploratory combinations of alternative materials including concrete or cork. The department is privileged to host a cutting edge suite of computer facility supported by a laser cutter and 3D printer. In all projects pupils will be learn to make informed and justified decisions about tool, process and material application, leading to complete autonomy as they progress up the year groups.
Homework and classwork is continually assessed throughout the year and supported with exemplar work from industry. Assessment is guided by both the National Curriculum and the new GCSE 2017 specification. Projects are marked with a specific focus on areas of the design process, so that new and developing skills and abilities are weighted to encourage improved application of skills and knowledge. There is no end of year examination at Years 7, 8 or 9 to support this holistic and supportive approach.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety in the workshop is of prime importance and all year groups are regularly reminded of general workshop safety and rules. A subject passport will provide access to all tools and equipment in a staged process, so that students can continually master new skills each year and open up the possibilities for more challenging manufacturing.
All workshop practice will be in accordance with departmental risk assessments.
Wider school programme
Students will be encouraged to study design and technology in the context of STEM wherever possible within the wider curriculum. This will include clubs and trips which bring to life the world of both design and of technology in the Maths and Science curriculum.
The study of the subject will link directly to Mathematics and the Sciences in contexts such as robotics, engineering, and new technologies and materials as they are developed and discovered. Students with a keen interest in bringing smart devices into their learning will find a programme of study that will encourage this option.