Design and Technology

Design and Technology is an exciting, challenging, rewarding and, I believe, fun educational challenge.  

David Eachus, Head of Design Technology

Subject Overview

Design and Technology allows pupils to develop a range of communication, analytical and practical skills. These include developing basic drawing skills through to using 3D CAD modelling and producing written work that will demonstrate higher level critical analysis, with objective evaluation throughout the design process NEA component.

Pupils will also learn the practical skills necessary to help facilitate the manufacture of a range of practical outcomes that support the design and development work. 

Key Stage 3 (year 9)

The department starts teaching the theory content for the GCSE course in the Lower Grammar year (year 9), allowing the course to run for three years. It is essential that pupils who wish to take Design and Technology at GCSE, opt for the subject in year 9.

This subject encourages pupils to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. Materials studied include paper and card, plastic, metal, wood, smart and modern materials. 

These are then manipulated through a range of practical processes, including Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM), into solutions that are functional, aesthetic, satisfy a need and are reflective of the need to develop products that are ever more sustainable and morally justifiable. 

In Lower Grammar, pupils start to develop an appreciation for some of the core and specialist technical principles that they will need, along with the designing and making principles, to complete the terminal examination and also the Non-Exam Assessment.

GCSE (Years 10 & 11)

Design & Technology Product Design will allow you to develop a range of communication, analytical and practical skills. These include drawing skills through to using CAD [Computer Aided Design]. The depth and quality, necessary to access the higher mark bands, are attained through the development of higher level analysis, through objective evaluation, through the design process NEA component.

The manufacture of practical outcomes, in a range of different material, support the design and development work.

Course content
This GCSE encourages pupils to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. Materials studied include paper and card, plastic, metal, wood, smart and new materials. These are then manipulated through a range of processes, including computer based manufacturing, into design solutions that are functional, aesthetic, satisfy a need and are reflective of the need to develop products that are ever more sustainable and morally justifiable.

Assessment
NEA [Non Examined Assessment] [50% of the GCSE 35 hours] – Controlled Assessment
The pupils’ coursework involves the design and manufacture of a single product set by the Examination Board. This is called the NEA. Each pupil will submit a unique piece of work consisting of an Electronic Design Portfolio that supports the practical manufacture. Practical work includes the development and planning of outcomes such as scale models, working models, a prototype or a final quality manufactured product. Consideration then of packaging, labelling and instructions are encouraged as part of the complete design proposal and advertising, points of sale displays and the like can be used to supplement the making experience and help create products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability.

End of Course Examination [50% of the GCSE - 2 hours]
The examination consists of three sections:
Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks) A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding. S
Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks) Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.
Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks) A mixture of short answer and extended response questions including a 12 mark design question.

Higher Line and Higher Education Options
GCSE Product Design is highly recommended/essential if considering Product Design at A Level and beyond. The College offers A Level Product Design. This is very useful if considering Engineering [plus Maths, Physics and another], Architecture [plus Art & Design] or similar type courses at post 18 education. Of particular benefit will be the CAD/CAM that is forming an ever more central role in Engineering based Higher Education study at university.

 

A Level (sixth form)

The specification followed at A-Level is AQA Design and Technology: Product Design.

The pupils will develop in-depth knowledge and understanding about the core technical principles that are central to all modern design and make activities. These will then be applied to a coursework component [NEA] and tested in two examination papers sat at the end of the two years.

The course allows the pupils to gain an in-depth understanding and appreciation of industrial production and this in then applied, where appropriate, in the NEA.   

The Product Design course is very useful if considering Engineering [plus Maths, Physics], Architecture [plus Art & Design] or similar type courses at post 18 education.  

CAD/CAM is an important element in the A Level course. This is forming an ever more central role in Engineering based Higher Education study at university.

Pupils, if studying Maths and Physics alongside D&T, are encouraged to take part in the excellent HeadStart program that gives potential engineering students an insight into the subject and its delivery at university level.  

In addition to the learning of the core principles and the examinable content [50% of the A Level], the A Level is very much about being creative and applying this in a design and manufacturing context [NEA 50%]. This requires each Design and Technology pupil to develop a coherent and in-depth body of work that will reflect the diverse elements of such a project and develop/evidence/promote the skill set required to successfully complete this.

This will require the pupils to:

  • Research, collate, present and then analyse, in an objective and relevant manner a range of primary and secondary data with the view to helping develop a considered and justified Product Specification;
  • Generate creative design ideas [sketch, render, model, CAD simulate] and be creative and relevant, showing an awareness and appreciation of design styles and all essential design criteria [function, aesthetics, safety, ergonomics, materials etc];
  •  Develop objects that are centred on environmental, moral design principles and show an awareness, understanding and appreciation of the need to consider all aspects of a product’s life cycle;  
  •  Develop the capacity to gain and use third party input and then present this in a suitable way before drawing meaningful and relevant conclusions from it;
  • Develop the practical skills necessary to successfully realise ideas in an appropriate 3D form so that sensible, realistic and relevant testing can take place to the point that relevant and pertinent observations can be made;
  • Have the skill or develop the capacity to work in a structured and systematic manner, mindful of longer term deadlines.

Course Overview: the three component parts of the course

Paper 1
(Written paper: 30% of A Level)   2 ½ hours
Core technical principles are tested.
Mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2          
(Written paper: 20% of A Level)   1 ½ hours
Core designing and making principles are tested.
Mixture of short answer and extended response questions. 15% of the paper is Maths based questions.
Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks
Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks

Non Exam Assessment - coursework - 50% of A Level
This is the practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles.

Pupils will be required to undertake a substantial design and make task and produce a final outcome. The context of the task will be determined by the pupils.  

The pupils will produce an electronic design portfolio and a manufactured outcome/s.