The Design and Technology Department is dynamic, receptive to change and an incredibly exciting place to be.
Having seen considerable investment over the past year, it now has its own computer design suite with the latest industry standard software, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D printers, and electronics room.
The A2 laser cutter has successfully been embedded into the programme of studies and is really supporting the pupils in Product Design for rapid prototyping and creating final pieces. The pupils are now able to design and deliver professional outcomes suitable for the shelves.
The training programme delivers AutoCad Professional from 3rd Form to U6th, enabling pupils to really see the power of their design ideas and realise their ability to adapt, modify and rapidly construct, with a client directly at the centre, (iterative design). Setting daily success criteria has enhanced the quality of the pupils’ work, which is exponentially growing.
The 3rd Form curriculum builds on work from lower schools and starts with the construction of electronic circuits, including programmable chips and programming with software that allows pupils to work in class, at home and in the boarding houses. The pupils are also introduced to Computer Aided Design and learn to use Industry Standard Software, to enable them to design and create imaginative, fully working products.
The Department has also introduced Lego Mindstorms, run as an afternoon activity, and recently invested in a petrol Go-Cart kit, which the pupils are building from component parts and are really looking forward to testing.
The Department is fully focussed on looking at future career pathways and is forging links with different companies to demonstrate to the pupils how their learning is directly transferable to the world of work. The A-Level pupils were exceptionally fortunate to visit McLaren and discuss with designers and engineers, how the latest 570S was built from initial conception to the final working product.
Below is a montage of some of the latest work produced by pupils.
From the light bulb, radio and television to mobile phones, laptops and iPods, products have defined each generation. They change the way we live our lives. Product Design is the perfect subject for those that love to create and innovate. With rapidly changing global challenges ahead, Product Designers will be at the forefront of solving the problems that we will all face. If you enjoy being creative, get satisfaction from problem solving and can spot what people want, you could be a great Product Designer; maybe even the next Sir Jonathan Ive.
D&T Product Design builds on key skills taught in 3rd Form and further extends learning through the introduction of new concepts. Ergonomics, manufacturing techniques, client centric design and, of course, 3D printing. The Control Assessment areas include; Research, Design and Development, Making, Evaluating and Communication skills. Traditional skills such as sketching will be an area heavily worked on and new communication skills such as CAD will be introduced. New technologies have been brought into the department over the past year to support the outcomes of the students.
The GCSE Product Design course is split into two sections:
Unit 1 (455551)
Written Paper - 2 hours - 120 marks - 40%. Candidates answer all questions in two sections. Pre-release material issued in March. Exam is generally in June.
Unit 2 (45552)
Approximately 45 hours - 90 marks - 60%. Consists a single design and make activity selected from a range of board set tasks. Completion date is the end of the Easter Term.
A-Level work develops the skills learnt during the two years of the GCSE course and broadens pupils’ knowledge considerably to allow a more effective approach to researching, analysing, presenting design ideas and manufacturing the solution to a problem. Project work is guided but we do allow for some freedom of choice in selecting an area of study and development. New skills are taught and students are required to work independently on coursework during lessons and in non-contact time. Students need to recognise this when opting for this subject.
Pupils are given the opportunity to work with and study a variety of materials, so they understand the working characteristics, physical properties, cost, availability and environmental consequences, which influence the choice of materials in design situations. Pupils will develop a broad perspective of the designed world. They are encouraged to apply personal judgements and appropriate criteria in the appraisal of manufactured objects and systems. These conclusions influence the candidates in their approach to designing and manufacturing products that meet the specific needs of clients and potential users.
Pupils will develop a broad knowledge of the manufacturing systems used to make and finish materials used in the production of commercial products. They will be encouraged to explore practical applications of processing methods as appropriate to the products they design. They also develop a high level theoretical knowledge that is examined during final examinations. Pupils are given the opportunity to design and manufacture a major piece of work. They follow the procedures they have learned during the course to design a substantial folio piece. This design work is adapted and transformed through the process of structured problem solving to develop a plan to manufacture a high quality product. All this work is presented as a folio and a practical outcome for marking.