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Design and technology

The technology department is a strong, well established team that aims to deliver a curriculum that is creative and exciting. Technology, by definition, never stands still and our curriculum reflects this completely; we are constantly looking for new products to make, new techniques to explore and new ways to make our learning more interesting. Our aim is to try to offer a wide variety of opportunities for our students, both within the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities including competitions, visits to local businesses and working with visiting groups.

KS3 Curriculum plan/map

In years 7 and 8 our students are taught modules in Design Technology (DT) and Food Technology on a rotation along with Art and Information Communication Technology (ICT). They have 3 lessons per week in each subject and each rotation lasts between 4 and 6 weeks, as below.

In the DT modules students are based in the workshop, working and learning about working in wood and plastics in order to create a spatula and a clock.

In Food lesson students are introduced to the kitchen, focusing on basic cooking skills, safety and hygiene as well as learning about healthy eating.

How are students assessed at KS3?

In each of our KS3 projects our students are assessed on 3 key tasks. These are;

  • An end of module test – where students can demonstrate the knowledge that they have learned during the module
  • A practical mark – Reflecting the quality and complexity of their practical work
  • An extended writing task – testing their understanding of key subject content

KS4 Curriculum plan/map

At KS4 we currently offer 4 different courses. These are:

  • AQA GCSE Design and Technology. In this subject students work in a wide variety of materials and extend their learning from their KS3 DT lessons. They can then choose to focus on working within a particular area of expertise when they work on the coursework and exam units.
  • Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering. This course focuses more on the industrial aspects of technology. Students learn about aspects of mechanical and electronic engineering as well as working in metal and Computer Aided Design.
  • WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Constructing the Built Environment. Students on this course will develop knowledge of health and safety within the construction industry as well as developing skills in Joinery, Plumbing, Painting and Decorating and Electrical installation.
  • WJEC (Eduqas) GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition. This course focusses on developing the food preparation knowledge and skills that were introduced during the KS3 lessons. Students learn a wide range of practical skills and develop their understanding of the scientific principles that underlie the preparation and cooking of food.

The projects completed in each subject area are outlined below

How are students assessed at KS4?

All of our assessments for years 9, 10 and 11 focus on how our students are progressing in building the skills, knowledge and understanding required to undertake their exams and coursework tasks. As such, the breakdown of how marks are awarded at each assessment point will mirror how they will be awarded by the exam board itself.

So, for example, as the DT GCSE has a final exam that is worth 50% of the overall mark; our students will complete a mock exam before each assessment point that will contribute 50% towards their predicted grade. The other 50% of the final grade is earned by completing a coursework project where students have to research, design, develop, manufacture and evaluate a product. In order to predict how our students will achieve in this part of the course they will be assessed in each of these skills areas through a variety of projects throughout years 9 and 10.

Extension activities/Planned Trips

The department try to organise a range of trips and competitions including:

  • A Year 9 visit to Rolls Royce Engineering
  • The I Rail competition
  • Young Engineers and Scientists of Derbyshire
  • Go4Set

We also open up our workshops after school in order for our KS4 students to gain extra help and support with their coursework tasks

Careers information/Next Steps

Each of our KS4 courses is an ideal stepping stone onto level 3 qualifications in DT subjects including A level Product Design. Students could also choose to go into vocational practical apprenticeships in areas including engineering, catering or construction.

Possible careers for students working in Design Technology include all aspects of Engineering as well as vocational roles such as Electrician, Chef, Painter and Decorator, Carpenter or Plumber. Students could also work in design sectors like Interior Design, Architecture, Computer Aided Design or product Design.

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