Design & Technology
Design and Technology is a practical and valuable subject which involves the study of polymers, metals, timbers, electronics, food and textiles as well as the development of drawing and designing skills. Students actively contribute to their own creativity, cultural wealth and well-being as well as that of their community. It teaches them how to take risks and so become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. At its core is creativity and imagination. Students learn to design and make products and systems that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts. These are all skills that are directly transferable to other subject areas but cannot be as effectively developed in those areas. Additionally, it provides excellent opportunities for students to develop and apply value judgements of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature both in their own designing and when evaluating the work of others.
In reality, knowledge and skills are closely interconnected, and we consider one of the great strengths of our subject is that it utilises knowledge gained from both within the subject and from elsewhere on the curriculum, contextualises this and puts this knowledge into an active setting. No other subject can replicate this in such a realistic way for students.
The new Ofsted framework, based on a ‘holistic approach to considering the quality of education’, also presents a requirement to ensure that pupils are experiencing a broader curriculum which includes critical skills for future employment, as well as the underpinning fundamental knowledge that they will need. We believe that these roots come from our work with students in Key Stage 3 and is then developed further within Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.
"Design and Technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in maths and science… Policy-makers must recognise Design and Technology’s significance for the UK economy and strive not just to preserve it - but to ensure it appeals to the brightest of young minds." James Dyson.
Our subject aids the development and progress of students with their numeracy skills by giving them the opportunity to practice them in physical terms. We are also ideally placed to develop and enhance their metacognition skills and strategies.
Food Education has been compulsory since September 2014. We teach Food as part of D&T which includes the new ‘cooking and nutrition’ programme of study. Food teaching leads the way in addressing young people’s understanding of nutrition and is centrally placed to support behaviour changes and offer practical ways to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The Design Process is central to the development of key soft skills which are then transferable to enable progress in other subjects and to help students deal with personal and life challenges which they face. These key ‘soft’ skills are detailed below.
- Ability to work in a team structure. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
- Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organisation
- Ability to plan, organise and prioritise work
- Ability to obtain and process information
Our specialisms are key areas where these skills can be experimented with and developed in concrete, very realistic ways.
We consistently find that even highly academic students can find time management, organisation, practical work and the development of ‘common sense’ very difficult and challenging. D&T/Food are key areas where these essential and transferable skills are taught. Many high ability students find it very difficult to work in a team in an organised and practical environment. Our subject helps them to develop the skills needed for this. Those children who require additional literacy and numeracy support can access our subject to develop the whole range of skills detailed as well as being able to put their literacy and numeracy into practice.
Design & Technology (GCSE)
Teacher Contact: Mrs C Stewart
In GCSE Design and Technology (D&T), you will have opportunities to develop your designing and making skills, along with your knowledge and understanding, in order to create solutions to challenging design problems.
Key activities will include:
- Prototype development
- Focused practical tasks
- Product analysis
- Materials and components analysis
- Sustainability in design
- Investigation of current design issues
You will be able to develop your communication skills, thinking skills and ability to solve design problems.
D&T prepares you for tomorrow's rapidly changing technologies. You will learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for you to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team.
You must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. You will combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As you do so, you will reflect on and evaluate present and past designs, their uses and effects, through which you can become discriminating and informed users and innovators of products.
The D&T GCSE course has a non-examined assessment (NEA 50%) and a written examination worth 50%. The NEA consists of a single design and make activity after investigating a contextual challenge set by the exam board. Students will then investigate, design, manufacture and test a solution to the contextual challenge.
The GCSE will enable you to design and manufacture using the materials, processes and skills you have worked with in all areas of D&T from Years 7 to 9. These include woods, metals, plastics, textiles, electronic components, composites, papers and boards. You will not be limited to a particular material group when designing but you will not have to use them all. To enable you to be successful in your design work, you will learn about all materials groups through both written and practical lessons.
Please note: Students of GCSE Design and Technology must be aware that they will be expected to provide some of the materials needed for their final NEA.
AQA Food Preparation & Nutrition (GCSE)
Teacher Contact: Mrs Kelly
This is a relatively new and exciting course which has the emphasis on food preparation skills and understanding the properties of food. The course is delivered through a variety of different styles of learning. It allows the opportunity for food investigations, experiments, research and practicals. You will be asked to provide some ingredients for dishes which you will take home but school provides ingredients for experiments and taste panels.
What will you learn?
The whole course is based around food preparation skills in relation to the areas below:
- Food, nutrition and health
- Food science
- Food safety
- Food choice
- Food provenance (where food comes from)
How will the course be assessed?
EXAM: Food Preparation and Nutrition 50% of GCSE
Theory for the exam will be taught in Year 10, applied in Year 11 and examined at the end of Year 11. You will have one written exam (1hr 45 mins) to test your knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from the sections above. There will be multiple choice questions (20 marks) and then five questions each based on the five areas listed above (80 marks).
COURSEWORK Task 1: Food Investigation 15% of GCSE
You will complete a practical investigation into the working characteristics and functional and chemical properties of a given ingredient or food product. You will complete a written or electronic report (1,500 - 2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation. School provides ingredients for most food investigations and experiments. This investigation will be completed in the autumn term of Year 11.
COURSEWORK Task 2: Food Preparation Assessment 35% of GCSE
Over a few weeks you will plan, prepare, cook and present food related to a special diet, a lifestyle or a culture. You will then prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes of your choice within a three hour session and you will have planned in advance how this will be achieved. You will complete a written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Students on this course will be expected to provide ingredients for approximately one practical per week. This assessment will be completed in the spring term of Year 11.
Why study this course?
This course not only develops knowledge and understanding of food and food preparation. You will develop highly desirable skills in time management, organisation and analysis which are transferable skills to all areas of work. You will also enjoy cooking a wide variety of foods and becoming a confident young chef.
Key Stage 5
Please view our Sixth Form Courses Booklet for more information about this subject in Sixth Form.
|GCSE Design & Technology Curriculum Map||Download|
|GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition Curriculum Map||Download|
|Where can studying Food and Nutrition take you?||Download|
|A Level Design & Technology Curriculum Map||Download|
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