Design Technology

Design Technology Department

Design Technology Rationale and Aims:

The Faculty of Art and Design Technology aims to get the best from all students in our care. We are committed to providing exciting opportunities for young designers and artists to develop their creativity and skills.

  • We want to develop confident students who can work independently through a number of specialist areas such as Food, Textiles and Product Design meeting the challenges that these subjects present and developing skills for life.
  • To develop a love and appreciation of design – past, present and future and the opportunities for new ideas that face designers today. Experiencing art and design beyond the classroom is something that we consider to be essential.
  • We pride ourselves in having high standards of Health and safety and believe that all children should feel safe and secure when working in our department.

Focus for Year 7-9 students in Design Technology:

Throughout Key Stage 3 (Y7, 8 and 9) we operate a carousel rotation that enables students to experience a short block of a specialist area in Design Technology. This enables students to fully appreciate working in a range of materials and using different skills, these modules have been developed to meet the new KS3 DT curriculum.

These short courses build up in content and rigour over KS3 and we aim to provide a secure grounding in the core designing, reflecting, evaluating and developing skills needed to create new products. Alongside this is the provision of skills to facilitate independent making of food dishes, textiles items and 3D items in Product Design.

There are opportunities for group and collaborative work and learning outside the classroom. There are opportunities for students to display their work in a ‘real’ situation in the Kensa gallery at college. As a technology team we are always striving to reflect trends in ICT and the use of new technologies to enhance our teaching and to embed this area in the design process.

Assessment is thorough and regular and often involves peer assessment and evaluation of products and ideas. At the end of each module in KS3 a formal assessment for both designing and making takes place enabling us to closely track student progress.

Typically in Y7 and 8 Design Technology, the blocks on the carousel include Food Technology where students are taught a range of skills to enable them to make healthy and inspirational dishes. During Textiles students will learn the skills needed to operate electric sewing machines and embroidery machines. They will experience design for print – the dye sublimation process and learn about fibres and fabrics. In Creative Design students are equipped with ICT Photoshop skills and learn how to apply them to a range of graphical products. Utilising CAD and our Laser Cutter is at the core of the Product Design courses and the exciting range of products that can be made from a range of materials gives our students a taste of commercial manufacturing.

During Year 9 students begin to consider their GCSE option choices and need to start the transition from KS3 to GCSE. Essential and higher level skills for GCSE courses need to be secured. This involves students choosing which area of Design Technology they would like to stay in for the summer term of Y9. They then have the opportunity for themed projects and really developing their ideas which then leads to a Y9 Exhibition.

Focus for Y10 and 11:

In Year 10 students begin their GCSE courses and would take Food Preparation and Nutrition, Textiles or Product Design at this level. These two year courses follow the WJEC exam board syllabi.

Historically our students attain good results with many exceeding their FFTD targets. Students that choose to take a Design Technology GCSE course will enjoy the creative freedom and the range of designing and making opportunities that are part of this route. In Year 11 the GCSE Controlled Assessment takes place which is a culmination of all the knowledge and Understanding that has taken place so far. This project enables students to both work independently and to take real ownership of their ideas and is realised through a folder and 3D outcome.

During this time students develop their own style and identity in their work. They are encouraged to look at designer’s work in the commercial world – chefs, fashion designers and product/graphic artists.

The GCSE in DT also tests students’ knowledge and understanding of the theoretical side of the subject through the terminal exam paper in Y11.  There is a detailed revision programme in place to support this.

We are very proud of our students’ success in Design and frequently show their work in our Kensa Gallery space in College. We also run trips to galleries/museums and to ‘The Clothes Show Live’ at the NEC Birmingham every year. We liaise with Plymouth College of Art and have run combined workshops with them on numerous occasions. We have also taken a residential design trip to London which enriched student appreciation of artists and designers work. In Food Preparation and Nutrition there are also numerous initiatives such as national and local competitions, master classes from visiting chefs and linking with local businesses.

Focus For A- Level:

For September 2016 we will be offering the new Unendorsed OCR A Level in Art and Design. Through this structure students can present modules in a range of mediums including painting, textiles, graphic design. For full details please refer to the  Art and Design Post 16 description.