- To provide pupils with opportunities and encouragement to use their intellectual and practical skills to solve problems, initially by research and analysis and then by developing a viable solution which they manufacture.
- By the end of Third Year (Year 9), to instill an understanding of design and problem solving. Pupils should also have practical experience, knowledge of graphics and an awareness of the working properties of basic materials (e.g. wood, metal and plastics).
In Fourth and Fifth Year (Years 10-11) interest is further developed by increasing the depth of study and by broadening the tasks undertaken. From September 2010, pupils will follow the AQA D&T – Product Design syllabus for their GCSE studies.
In the Sixth Form, students follow the AQA D&T Product Design course at both AS and A2 Level. This is proving popular amongst pupils wishing to add to their GCSE results in this area of the curriculum.
This varies in response to the nature of the topics being taught and to the needs of the pupils. There are several approaches which have proved successful and provide a teaching environment which is friendly, organised and productive, but which also remains disciplined. Workshops are made available at lunchtimes and after school every Thursday for either extended work or individual projects.
The members of staff in the department are committed to the success of all pupils. They are available at all times to assist pupil progress and additional sessions in the workshop are provided when necessary. Examination pupils are given the freedom to express themselves within the context of the syllabus. Enthusiasm shown by pupils will be matched or surpassed by any member of the departmental staff.
Facilities and resources
There are two workshops, comprehensively equipped with both hand and machine tools. We cater for a full range of resistant materials. (Benches are of the multi-media type, each having two vices, two drawing boards for design activities and a set of woodworking tools that are self-contained, independent work stations.)
The machine room with two circular saws, a dimension saw, an under & over planing machine, a band saw and a morticer is used to prepare materials for pupil projects.
There is also drawing office, able to accommodate 12 pupils. It has drafting units and a range of graphics materials. In this room there are 12 computers linked to the school network which are used to help provide research for coursework projects and also have computer aided design (CAD) packages for designing. We currently use ‘Techsoft 2D Design’ and ‘CorelDraw X5’ as principal packages for designing.
Next to the drawing office is a CAM laser cutting machine this is used to realise design ideas for certain products. It is a relatively new addition to the department and is extremely popular with pupils.
A Departmental Library is also available, with wide range of books to help pupils further their research.
- First Year pupils undertake a graphics course, a project in acrylic and a project in metal with wood that incorporates a CAD/CAM element.
- Second Year pupils undertake a packaging project, a unit on technical drawing using parallel drawing boards, a woodwork project and a pewter casting project that includes the use of the laser cutter once ideas have been finalised with our CAD package.
- Third Years tackle a multi material storage-based project that will take them through the initial investigation of a problem to the full realisation of their own idea. Pupils are encouraged to be creative and imaginative throughout the whole project. They have the freedom to use a wide variety of materials and processes to further education through independent learning, as well as manufacturing high quality products.
- Fourth and Fifth Year pupils follow the AQA Product Design course.
- In the Sixth Form, the AS and A2 Level courses are the AQA Product Design course which comprises Design Technology theory, CAD, and extensive practical coursework projects.