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Design Technology and Construction

Design and Technology

Our aim: To develop resilient and creative problem solvers who will develop their designing and practical skills. We want our students to understand how and why products have been developed to fulfil a need and to meet the ever-changing environmental and technological demands of the world around them.

Curriculum Overview

Design and Technology is vital to the world in which we live. Products are designed to be both functional and beautiful and that is the job of a designer. Without designers and manufacturing you wouldn’t have the chair you sit on, the computer on which you play games and the pen with which you write. Design and Technology provides students with practical skills, knowledge, and understanding of the design process, materials, and technology. Lessons typically focus on fostering creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills. They learn about the design process, which involves identifying a problem, researching, generating ideas, developing concepts, and evaluating and refining designs. They are encouraged to think critically and consider factors such as function, aesthetics, sustainability, and user needs. In the process students are taught how to communicate their design ideas effectively through sketching and technical drawing techniques and are introduced to computer-aided design tools that enable them to create digital 2D and 3D models of their designs. Practical skills play a significant role in DT lessons. Students learn how to safely and effectively use tools and equipment commonly found in workshops, such as hand tools, power tools, and machinery to make a range of products they have designed.

Year 7 Topics

In year 7 students take part in 2 terms rotating within design and technology.

Rotation 1 - 'What is Design and Technology?' During this rotation students will be exploring different materials and their properties by creating a series of mini products using a variety of manufacturing techniques and hand tools. The materials we will focus on are manufactured boards, acrylic and aluminium whilst investigating permanent and temporary joining methods.

Rotation 2 - 'What is a designer's most useful tool?' During this rotation students will learn the key skills that designers need to effectively communicate a design idea through technical working drawings, rendering and prototypes. The skills and knowledge learnt will then be put into practice by designing and manufacturing a functional prototype based on inclusive design.

Year 8 Topics

In year 8 students continue to take part in 2 terms rotating within design and technology.

Rotation 1: Clock Project In this topic we question How can a materials shape and properties be changed to improve design? We focus on analysing products, batch production and how materials and components are combined to manufacture an individually designed clock based on a chosen theme. Students will shape and embellish their product according to their design work. Our focus for assessment for this topic is subject Knowledge, designing and safety

Rotation 2: Desk Tidy plus phone stand

In this topic we question what is more important form or function? During this topic students practice researching into a design movement, writing specifications and designing skills, Students learn to present ideas using technical drawing skills and computer aided design along with prototyping their ideas from cardboard before using it to make their ideal desk tidy product out of manufactured boards and acrylic. Our focus for assessment for this topic is subject Investigation, creativity and Written Skills

Year 9 Core Topics

In Year 9 students complete a term rotation in design and technology as part of the core subject provision

Core rotation in design and technology: Pizza cutter project

In this topic we ask 'why do products need to fit the human form?'

During this topic students will investigate products using primary and secondary research. They will learn about how anthropometrics and ergonomics influence a design and they will practice designing their product with this in mind. They will learn to work with different joining methods on timber and metal and a range of manufacturing methods to make a product with a high-quality finish. Our focus for assessment in this topic is Development: Creativity, Manufacture: Skills, Evaluation skills.

In textiles students explore the Arts and Crafts Movement and William Morris’ work. We build our knowledge of repeat patterns using Computer Aided Design and screen printing creating our own designs inspired by British wildlife. Our knowledge of use of colour extends to understanding dyes and dyeing natural and synthetic fabrics. We investigate indigo dyeing and using Japanese Shibori methods of resist patterns as well as learning to use the sewing machine. Our focus for assessment in this topic is analysis of artist and designer's work, application of materials and creativity.

Year 9 3D Art and Design option topics

In Year 9 students can choose to develop their knowledge and practice further in the subject by choosing the 3D Art and Design course. This course takes elements from both art and design and technology that overlap. Students study architecture before creating they own building designs. They explore materials to create art pieces and the structure of textiles along with pattern and creating pieces that explore the use of different materials. Some of the questions we ask are: Which is the better construction material; cardboard or wood? Who is more influential, architects or artists? Our focus for assessment for this year course include Practical skills, Construction skills, Technical knowledge, subject knowledge and written skills.

Year 10 topics

In Year 10 we run a series of projects to embed more technical skills and knowledge for making in preparation for the demands of the design and technology GGSE. We do this through a series of projects throughout the year.

Subject content for the course and the theory we cover can be found here

Term 1-2: Speaker box project – students design and make a speaker box using a variety of computer aided design skills, connecting the an electronic components and forming the box with manufactured boards.

Term 3-4: Students will learn to use computer designing software to create products that will be 3D printed.

Frame project – students practice manufacturing processes using hand and power tools to make a high-quality product

Term 5-6: Product in a shoebox project – This is a mini mon-examined assessment project to practise elements of the NEA 'design and make task' that is started later in the year.

Some of the questions we ask are: Is timber an outdated material? Is 3D printing over or under rated? Which is more beneficial, primary or secondary research? Who is more influential; past designers or innovative designers? Our focus for assessment during the course of the year includes Knowledge Application – exam practice, Development – Creativity, Manufacture (material use) Written Skills – exam practice.

Year 11 topics

During the course of the year students will prepare for the written exam which is 2 hours long, 100 marks and worth 50% of the final grade. We will teach the core technical principles, specialist technical principles and designing and making principle.

Students will also have a substantial 'design and make task' as a non exam assessment (NEA) to complete which is also worth 50% of the GCSE. Students will be given a choice of contexts to choose from and then show evidence in the task of identifying and investing design possibilities, producing a design brief and specification, generating design ideas, developing design ideas, realising design ideas and analysing and evaluating.

Link to GCSE course information: