Design Technology

The Design and Technology department’s aim is to encourage pupils to develop a range of skills and expertise. They acquire a knowledge and understanding of materials, components, systems and control, and of structures. They learn how to design and make products and develop a critical understanding of technological processes, discovering how products are manufactured, and how these contribute to our society. We also endeavour to nurture students’ individual creativity and to stimulate innovation. Pupils explore values and attitudes to the made world, and can relate and apply their knowledge.

Key Stage 3

The first projects covered at Key Stage 3 will be based on structures and their effect on the environment. For many pupils this will be the first time they have been taught by specialist staff in a dedicated workshop environment. The delivery of the course is designed with the assumption that the majority of students will have little prior knowledge of this area of study. The subject is taught in mixed-ability groups on a carousel system with Art and Textiles. The small class sizes this provides allow the individual support required in a workshop environment.

 During the key stage there will be opportunities for pupils to:

  • Analyse products to see how they function
  • Undertake focused tasks in different and progressively more complex contexts that develop knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to design-and-make assignments
  • Work individually and in teams, taking on different roles and responsibilities
  • Where appropriate, work with designers and makers to develop an understanding of the product design process
  • Use ICT as appropriate for: image capture and generation; data acquisition, capture and handling; controlling; and product realisation.

Key processes

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate ideas in a range of ways including the use of ICT
  • Use appropriate strategies for researching, planning and testing
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of a range of materials
  • Plan and organise activities
  • Reflect critically when evaluating and modifying ideas and proposals.

Pupils will experiment with materials, and construct a bridge for structures-testing. This will be followed by soft-soldering and the design and construction of a Tower for Bristol.

 The unit of work will provide the basic foundation for future Technology work covered in Year 8 whereby students will progress on to more challenging project work. Each pupil will complete a booklet with a series of outcomes from Focused Practical Tasks Design and designing activities.

The Year 8 learning programme is equally challenging and is designed to broaden students’ knowledge of designing for construction with the focus on the client and the essential skills of communicating design ideas quickly and in three dimensions.
The Cam project deals with the concepts of Mechanisms, forms of motion and the use of CAD/CAM.  The use of the 2d Designer software and of the laser-cutter are part of this unit.
Year 9 students develop their understanding of electronic subassembly to make an electronic game system. They also learn the fundamentals of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) work and soldering with precision, as well as learning about electronic components. The course integrates the electronics into a personal design so the pupils understand the basics of electronic products.

Key Stage 4

For details of Art and Design at Key Stage 4, please click on the link below (PDF document):