Design Technology

People say you can have something fast, good or cheap but you can only choose two. In the Design and Technology Department, we enable our students to prove this theory wrong. As well as being a creative subject, DT is academic and addresses real-world problems. The subject has transformed in the last 15 years and now allows for true Product Design. It allows students to work with a wealth of different materials and teaches invaluable life-skills. DT encourages girls to apply academic knowledge and push the boundaries of their imaginations in tandem whilst equipping them with the multi-disciplinary approach required for the 21st century.

Years 7-9

Year 7 – Year 7 study the characteristics of different materials, their sustainability and uses. Pupils do a range of focussed practical tasks and some design and make tasks, which enables them to familiarise themselves with the working properties of wood, metal, plastic and textiles.

Year 8 – Year 8 builds on the previous year to include the use of structures and computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM). Pupils design and make towers, bridges and clocks using both compliant and resistant materials.

Year 9 – Year 9 builds on the previous two years to include mechanisms. The course extends the pupils’ knowledge and experience gained in Year 7 and Year 8. A mechanism module allows pupils’ to apply new knowledge to a concept design for reducing the volume of waste which is to be recycled and so make easier the transport and storage of the waste. The project also focuses on sustainability, creativity and modelling. Extending work done using CAD/CAM in Year 8, pupils’ now progress to designing a three-dimensional product. It is designed by the pupils on the computer and then machined by a computer-controlled machine. This calls for absolute accuracy to ensure that the artefact will assemble and function correctly. Finally, they revisit a topic first introduced to them in Year 7, Jewellery. Using all the skills and knowledge about materials and techniques gained over the three years, pupils design and manufacture an original item of jewellery.

GCSE

In years 10 and 11 the subject follows the WJEC Design and Technology:  Product Design specification. This provides an opportunity for the pupil to experience the production of their own design prototypes from conception through to testing and evaluation of the finished product.  The first year of the course consists of a number of short focussed ‘design and make’ tasks that will give the pupils the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle the Controlled Assessment Task (CAT) in the second year.  These skills include graphic communication, presentation drawing, Desk Top Publishing, workshop production skills such as machining skills, moulding, CAD/CAM, etc  The specification content also looks at the deeper and broader issues affecting design such as sustainability, legislative issues and commercial manufacturing.  Students leave year 10 having covered the majority of the theory and skills required for Year 11 and have a sound grasp of what is expected in the CAT.  WJEC Specification

AS and A Level

A Level – Years 12 and 13 follow the WJEC Product Design specification.  The course gives students the breadth of knowledge, experience and flexibility that will enable them to respond to an ever-changing technological world.  It develops their interdisciplinary skills with specific application of all six Key Skills, (communication, application of number, I.T., working with others, improving their own learning and performance and problem-solving) and promotes imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.  The WJEC Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A) level specifications provide a framework for students to gain an awareness and understanding of aesthetic, economic, business, social and cultural factors associated with design decisions, as well as making their own products in response to self-set or given design briefs.  The breadth of the subject enables students to follow their own career inclinations, to find out more about a particular area of study or increase their general design experience.

Whilst being of obvious interest to those wishing to pursue a career in Design or Technology, the course offers many transferable skills desirable in other fields of study and is widely accepted for entry to university.  www.wjec.co.uk