Design & Technology
We focus on Designing and Making skills primarily in wood. Pupils manufacture using traditional hand tools a Small Planter, we then incorporate an animal design to make the product more appealing to the target audience using Computer Aided Design and the laser cutter. In a second unit of work, students design and manufacture injection-moulded jewellery inspired by design movements of the past.
We focus on Scales of Production, looking at how products are manufactured in quantity. Pupils develop practical skills through a group-manufacturing task to manufacture a decorative lantern. Using a variety of knew manufacturing techniques. In a second unit pupils look at the effects of climate change on people across the world and how different communities have develop solutions to help deal with these challenges, pupil design, manufacture and test a solution.
In year 9 the structure of Design & Technology has changed, as a result there are a number of material based knowledge and skill units. We start the year looking at Polymers, where they originate from and how products are design and manufactured in them. We then focus on metals, using simple metal manufacturing techniques to develop an understanding of their working properties and processes used when manufacturing in metal. Crumble programmable technologies are used to develop an understanding of how we can include programmable components into products that we design and make within school. Towards the end of the year, pupils are set an open-ended design and make challenge. The focus of this challenge is independence.
Induction to Materials – pupils further develop their understand of two main materials types, Timber and Metals. Pupils explore material properties and possibilities through a series of practical activities, design task and investigations. The term end with a user centre design challenge. Pupils image themselves in a given situation then identify what the user may need and develop their own criteria for a successful solution.
The term begins will a series of challenges for pupils to use a simple programmable controller. Through research and skill development pupils will develop a knowledge of how these controllers can be imbedded into everyday products to help users. We then spend some time designing through ‘non-drawing’ developing model making skills and looking at using everyday objects to use as starting points for creativity. Towards the end of the term we focus more on mechanisms within products and further develop pupils numeracy skills to aid designing.
In the final term we look at practising and developing those skills which will aid pupils through their NEA projects. Pupils will be given a contextual challenge and they explore design possibilities and research opportunities the context offers before undertaking research and design development activities. Pupils actual NEA begins mid-June and continues into year 11.
Pupils are making progress through their NEA. This follows the ‘iterative design model’. The iterative design process is a simple concept. Once, through user research, you have identified a user need and have generated ideas to meet that need, you develop a prototype. Then you test the prototype to see whether it meets the need in the best possible way. Then you take what you learned from testing and amend the design. Following that, you create a new prototype and begin the process all over again until you are satisfied that you’ve reached the best possible product for release to the market.
This NEA contributes 50% to the overall GCSE and is a substantial project which pupils progress independently through. As we progress through the NEA we also create opportunities for pupils to refreshing and develop their numeracy skills as 30% of the final GCSE examination is numeracy based thinking.
NEA now complete and we can focus on further expanding subject knowledge and developing examination techniques in preparation for the final exam.