Design Technology

Aims and Philosophy

Through the provision of a well-resourced and well-maintained facility with a friendly, happy and very safe working environment, it is the department's aim to provide a worthwhile technology experience where every boy can reach his full potential. Technology is a subject that has the capacity to provide a wide range of skills that are invaluable in our increasingly technological society and through the depth and breath of its work it has an unrivaled capacity to bridge other curriculum subjects in addition to providing a real life context in which most skills can be taught.

Regardless of whether our students intend to pursue technology as a subject beyond either Form Three or GCSE level it is hoped that the communication, manufacturing, lateral thinking and planning skills that they have developed will have a significant and positive impact on all subsequent work. Demonstrating the value of a designers approach to solving real problems is a fundamental aim.

The Design and Technology Department in this School offers the subject to all students at Key Stage 3, is optional at GCSE, whereby they can study resistant materials (wood, metal, plastics), control systems (electrical, mechanical, pneumatic), graphic products and engineering. All subjects then lead to a potential A level in Product Design which can combine all separate GCSE areas depending on which direction/career path the student wishes to take.

●  First - Third Form - 1 hour per week (4% curriculum time)
●  Fourth - Fifth Form – 2 1/2 hours per week (10% curriculum time) [Double award Engineering has twice this allocation, 5 hours per week (20% curriculum time)]
●  Sixth Form - 5 hours per week (20% curriculum time)

List of courses offered:

●  Double GCSE in Engineering - Edexcel examining board
●  GCSE: Design and Technology (Graphic Products)- AQA Examining Board
●  GCSE: Design and Technology (Resistant Materials)- AQA Examining Board 

Design and Technology GCSE Courses

We offer the AQA (Full Course) specification for our Design and Technology based courses. The 2 strands offered are Graphic Products (Specification Code 4550) and Resistant Materials (specification Code 4560). The GCSE is made up of two mandatory units which comprise:

Unit 1: Written Paper

2 hours –120 marks – 40% 

Candidates answer all questions in two sections

Pre-Release material is issued

Unit 2: Design and Making Practice

Approximately 45 hours – 90 marks – 60%

Consists of a single design and make activity selected from a range of board set tasks

This specification has been designed to encourage candidates to be able to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques.

Changes have been made to the controlled assessment criteria; they now reflect the style of the GCE D&T courses where mark ranges are defined for each component of the controlled assessment. The changes continue to allow full credit to be given to candidates who undertake innovative work, including projects with a very high CAD/CAM content.

This specification in Design and Technology: Resistant Materials Technology encourages candidates to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and gain an insight into related sectors, such as manufacturing and engineering. It prepares candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

GCSE specifications in design and technology enable candidates to:

●  actively engage in the processes of design and technology to develop as effective and independent learners
●  make decisions, consider sustainability and combine skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make quality products
●  explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, economic, environmental, ethical and social dimensions interact to shape designing and making
●  analyse existing products and produce practical solutions to needs, wants and opportunities, recognising their impact on quality of life
●  develop decision-making skills through individual and collaborative working
●  understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies, and that products have an impact on lifestyle
●  develop skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge.

Grade descriptions are provided to give a general indication of the standards of achievement likely to have been shown by candidates awarded particular grades.

The grade awarded will depend in practice upon the extent to which the candidate has met the assessment objectives overall. Shortcomings in some aspects of the candidates’ performance may be balanced by better performances in others.

Edexcel GCSE Engineering

What do you need to know before taking this course? 

You will have developed some related knowledge, skills and understanding during your Design and Technology lessons at Key Stage 3. These will be very useful during this course, but you do not need to have studied engineering before starting the GCSE. Engineering is about bringing good ideas into reality by engaging in a range of engineering processes, and through problem solving and creative skills. So it is important that you have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in engineering, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

Key subject aims 

The Edexcel GCSE in Engineering (Double Award) enables students to:

●  Engage in a range of engineering processes and develop as effective and independent students develop a range of transferable engineering skills that will form a foundation for future learning and progression
●  Understand engineering and related sectors and the contribution they make to society and the economy
●  Develop an awareness of emerging technologies and sustainable development in the context of engineering.

What can you do after you've completed the course? 

Students gaining a Double Award GCSE in Engineering will have access to a range of career and further education opportunities. You learn and use a variety of skills – that are in great demand– throughout the course. These skills are recognised and highly valued by employers. If you wish to continue studying, you could move on to, for example:

●  Diploma in Engineering or Manufacturing and Product Design at either Level 2 or Level 3
●  BTEC First or National course, such as Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering, Art and Design or Hospitality and Catering an A Level or AS in Engineering or Design and Technology.

The Apprenticeship scheme allows you to continue training towards higher-level qualifications during the first years of your career. Your employment opportunities aren’t limited to engineering. The skills you develop will be valuable in architecture, business management, design, construction, manufacturing, hospitality, ICT, marketing, project management and teaching roles.

AQA A-Level Product Design Overview

The course we will follow is the AQA Board's Design and Technology: Product Design AS 1551 (PROD 1 and PROD 2) and the A leve1 2551 (PROD 3 and PROD 4). This course will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding in materials, manufacturing, electronics, CAD/CAM and graphics. It will be a suitable qualification should you wish to study Architecture, Engineering, Design or Graphics at University. During the course you will be expected to produce a range of designs, products and solutions to a range of problems, some given by your teachers and some decided upon by yourselves.

At AS level candidates should develop an understanding of a broad range of materials, with emphasis on the life cycle of products, manufacture and final disposal. This specification also considers the broader issues for the designer including the environmental sustainability of products and consumer safety.

At A2 level, the specification offers candidates the opportunity to further develop the knowledge and practical skills from AS. Candidates will continue to develop a body of coursework alongside an understanding of the processes and procedures of commercial production and manufacture.

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