‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.’

An overview of Design and Technology at KS3 and KS4

Design and Technology is compulsory in Year 7 where the National Curriculum syllabus is used as the basis for our schemes of work. In Year 8 and 9 pupils may opt to continue with the subject. In Key Stage 4 AQA Design and Technology GCSE is offered.

Design Technology is taught in a multimedia workshop by one member of staff, and supported by a technician. A diverse range of specialist skills are covered in the course of study.

The aims of the department are to:

  • Develop the pupils’ capability, through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding to design and make products;
  • Encourage technological awareness and confidence so that pupils will be able to play an effective part in the technological world of the twenty-first century;
  • Stimulate the development of a range of designing and making skills;
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components, systems and control and structures;
  • Encourage the development of problem solving skills.

Key stage 3
Over the three years spent in Key Stage 3, pupils study the subject areas of Product Design, Graphic Products and Electronics within Design Technology, to help prepare them should they decide to opt for GCSE.

Through individual and group work, focussed practical tasks, skills based exercises and individual design and make based projects, they cover a variety of skills including:

  • Use of hand tools and machines
  • Designing and making using iterative design methods, including developing a design brief and specification, research skills, developing and modelling designs, planning and making their designs, and testing and evaluating their product, both during and at the end of the making process.
  • Risk assessment and Health and Safety in the work shop.
  • CAD/CAM - using 2D Design and associated machinery, and other graphic software packages.
  • Printed Circuit Board soldering and Electronic Systems and Control programming.

AQA GCSE Design and Technology (Years 10 and 11)
Pupils can opt to study this subject. GCSE Design and Technology places emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes, and will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.