Design & Technology

In Design Technology students cover a range of materials, techniques and processes. Students are soon made aware that good design is about finding suitable and innovative solutions to problems, whether those problems are how to make a meal suitable for a specific dietary requirement, a garment that is suitable for a certain situation, or a

  • develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components, systems and control and structures
  • develop their capability, through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding to design and make products
  • nurture creativity and innovation
  • explore values about and attitudes to the manufactured world and how we live, work and interact within it
  • develop a critical understanding of technological processes, products and their manufacture, and how they contribute to our society
  • relate and apply knowledge and understanding from across the curriculum

Lower School

As students start the school, we introduce students to some new and some familiar materials, techniques and equipment. Across the whole of Year 7 we visit the different stages of the design process, exposing students to situations which will develop their understanding of the stages and developing creativity and resilience. Students rotate through a carousel of Food Preparation and Nutrition, Textiles and Product Design in both Year 7 and Year 8 The core of every material area is the design process which develops skills in:

  • Generation, development and communication of ideas
  • Creative response and problem solving of briefs and tasks
  • Applying knowledge and understanding of materials and processes
  • Reflection and evaluation of own designing

Students in Year 8 revisit the three areas of Design Technology. Within the schemes of work students have the opportunity to revisit parts of the design process in order to reflect on prior learning and develop independence and resilience to make progression. Students use their learning of materials, techniques and equipment to make design decisions that are enriched by a wide range of research techniques that support the students to work creatively. By the end of Year 8 students will have a portfolio of design solutions that will evidence their analytical, theoretical and practical capabilities within the context of design, as well as prepare them for their studies across all subjects.

Upper School

Year 9

Year 9 is an exciting time for students as they take part in a live design project in collaboration with the Design Museum; The Design Ventura project exposes students to how design is an important part of society and how good design can solve problems. It also enables them to see how viable and rewarding a career in the many facets of the design world can be. Students then visit each area of Design Technology (Food Preparation and Nutrition, Textiles and Design Technology) Student sample the GCSE in each of those areas so that they can make informed option choices.

Years 10 and 11

The department offers courses in:

Design and Technology - Using iterative design to create systems, products and services that fulfill user needs whilst considering sustainability, ergonomics and manufacture. The students complete design briefs that respond to real world issues through research, analysis and product development.

3D Design – Students research the techniques and processes used with materials such as plastics, woods and metals to create a product. Students develop a range of practical skills that will help them to understand the properties of materials so that they can respond to a design brief creatively and coherently.

Textiles Design – Students use inspiration to design a portfolio demonstrating a range of complex skills that they then use to inform the design and manufacture of a textiles based product. Students create a sketch book that enables them to present their design journey developing their reflective and analytical skills. Students learn how to develop an idea through using research and testing.

Food Preparation and Nutrition – Students learn a range of skills and techniques to create food products. Students learn about food safety, nutrition and complex techniques. Students carry out a large number of practical activities that enable them to refine their skills as well as their understanding of the science behind the ingredients.

All of these courses are underpinned by the same generic process of designing but the material areas create different challenges that give the opportunity to be creative, innovative and develop design solutions. There is a huge emphasis on problem solving and recognising the moral, social, cultural and environmental issues within design, as a product can, in reality, have both a positive and negative effect on our society.

In carrying out projects students will develop planning and presentation skills. Using a variety of media, including ICT, students will produce a portfolio of work that will demonstrate their ability to communicate in a variety of ways.

Assessment for all of these courses is listed below:

    Textiles/ 3D Design- Unit 1-Portfolio of work- 60%, Unit 2- Externally set task- 40%

    Design and Technology - 50% coursework portfolio, 50% written examination

    Food preparation and Nutrition- NEA 1 and 2- 50% and a written examination- 50%

Success in any of the design courses will provide an opportunity for further study at AS and A Level.

Sixth Form

The Department offers courses in A Level Textiles Design, A Level 3D Design and A Level Product Design.

A Level – Textiles and 3D Design

Both these courses encourage students to better understand the visual world and provide opportunities to develop a visual language and explore design outcomes.

Students become more aware and confident when making aesthetic judgements and develop their skills to become independent, autonomous artists and designers.

The course is split into 2 components:

  • The portfolio unit; personal investigation
  • The externally set assignment.

Each unit encourages creativity through project work, which is defined by a collection of work in response to an idea and use of a theme.

Many of our students go on to study Art and Design in further and higher education institutions.

A Level – Design and Technology: Product Design

This course provides students with an opportunity to work creatively to solve problems. It is a balance of theoretical knowledge and practical skills and enables students to work with confidence when faced with challenges.

Students investigate social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology and can put their skills to practice whilst undertaking a range of practical projects.

The course is split into 3 components:
Examination paper 1 – assesses technical principles
Examination paper 2 – assesses design and making principles

NEA (Non-exam assessment) – assesses practical application of technical, designing and making principles

There are strong links with Maths and Science based subjects and a good understanding of these subjects will be essential for studying this subject at A Level.

This course links to several different careers and many students who study this course go on to undertake degrees in subjects like, among many others; Architecture, Product Design, Engineering etc.