At KS3 we are teaching within the National Curriculum, through project work and focussed tasks. DT is taught on a carousel with food and textiles, pupils spending a third of each year in each department.
In Y7 pupils explore issues of sustainability, designing and making a clock. In this project they further their understanding of mass production techniques, use a variety of materials and processes, such as thermoforming plastics, burnishing of timber, and enamelling copper.using a blow torch. They are also introduced to using computer aided design and manufacture, as well as using more powerful machinery to make their clock.
In Y8 pupils explore robotics, creating a cyberpet. This involves creating and housing an electronic circuit that contains a programmable integrated circuit (PIC) chip. Pupils explore vacuum forming and the use of computer controlled laser cutting to create a case and programme their cyberpet to respond to human interaction and changes in light level. They also experiment with mechanisms.
In Y9 pupils explore product styling, mirroring closer the strategies undertaken within professional practice. They design and model mobile phones, exploring both their form and future functions. They use a range of design strategies, such as user centred design to avoid fixation. A range of communication methods are used, from marker pens to 3D computer aided design. They study mass production methods, including injection moulding, and thus the need for prototypes, and work practically focussing on quality of finish. Students go on market their ideas for crowd funding. The nature of plastics and their sustainability is also a large component of the Y9 course.
At GCSE and A-Level pupils study Edexcel product design.
In Y10 pupils undertake a series of small projects, from packaging and use of photoshop through focussed manufacturing using hand and computer controlled tools, to concept designing and prototyping using processes such as 3D printing.
Y11 is dedicated to the coursework, titles for which are dictated by the exam board. Pupils are offered a range such as designing wildlife feeders, mp3 docking stations and fashion jewellery. Theories such as ergonomic design and mass production systems and techniques are studied.
In Y12 pupils produce an electronic computer based portfolio of skills evidenced through taking on a range of design and make tasks, from designing 3d printed scalextric cars to using the wood and centre lathes to make a candlestick to having freedom in choosing tasks for further exploration of the principals studied. Theory aspects are wide ranging, studying materials from the molecular make up of polymers to the use of composites such as carbon fibre, and studying theories such as inclusive design.
In Y13 pupils work more autonomously, taking on individual design tasks following their own interests. They tend to be much more complex in the problems that need to be solved. Theories studied include how design impacts society and major advances in technology.
For more information on GCSE here to link to the Edexcel website or contact Mr Jason Martindale (Head of DT) Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org