WHAT IS DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
…and why choose to study it at the next level?
“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.”
Sir James Dyson
Among all the changes to GCSE over the past three years, those to D&T have undoubtedly been the most significant. The exciting new Design and Technology specifications and Technical Awards are based on the design processes of ‘explore/create/evaluate’ and encourage creative thinking, design innovation and prepare learners to become critical and creative designers, engineers and consumers of the future.
The Design and Technology department have explored a number of options for students wishing to continue studying the subject beyond Key Stage 3, all of which focus on ensuring learners have a strong broad foundation in the principles of the subject, through understanding multi-material products, and can begin to fully understand products within authentic real-world contexts.
Pursuing Design and Technology subjects in Key Stage 4 helps students to understand and appreciate the design and manufacture of existing products, making them more discriminating purchasers. It helps them to be creative in their approach to work, develop an ability to solve problems, both practically and cognitively. It also encourages them to develop their sketching skills and know how to use digital technologies in designing and creating products. They learn about design practices and strategies used by the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries.
Students look at important issues that affect design in the wider world, such as sustainability, global issues and user-centred design. They learn about a range of materials, processes and components that can be used imaginatively to create high quality products, prototypes and samples that are fit for purpose.
Whichever material area students choose for the focus of their qualification, they will be:
- Understanding users Who your product is for and their needs; how the product will be used.
- Designing (including Computer Aided design – CAD) Taking risks to create more imaginative ideas Clearly communicating ideas to others
- Making Working safely with tools and equipment – including understanding of 3D printers Making high quality working prototypes
- Learning about materials Including traditional, smart and modern materials Selecting the best materials for making your designs
- Analysing products Understanding how everyday products have been designed and made Learning about the work of past and present designers, makers and engineers
- Learning how things work Using mechanisms, electronics and computers to control things: including robots Designing and making products that don’t fail in use
- Evaluating your own work and others Expressing your opinions about products and services, to inform… …the development of better solutions to real-life problems.
Design and Technology is purposeful, as well as being fun and exciting! Studying the subject at the next level will build on what students learnt about designing and making in Key Stage 3. They will use their knowledge and skills to design and make new and better solutions to real problems – independently and with others – working with materials they choose and focussing on either D&T Graphics/Visual Communication* or D&T Resistant Materials/Materials Technology* (qualification depending).
It is also one of the few remaining subjects still to benefit from a modular course, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and practical skills through focussed, internally assessed coursework and an externally assessed written exam.
To find out more about the exciting new opportunities available for our Year 8/9 students, come along to our Options Evening on Tuesday 28th February.
Alternatively, speak to Mrs C K Davie (Graphics), or Mrs V L Elwell (Resistant Materials).
*Whilst the decision has been made to offer our students a more hands on approach to furthering learning in their chosen of Design and Technology through the AQA Technical Awards in Visual Communication and Materials Technology, these qualifications are currently awaiting accreditation by the Department for Education (DfE) for first teaching in September 2017. Should accreditation not be granted in time, students will follow the Edexcel GCSE Design and Technology course.