Design Technology is a subject that aims to develop the problem solving skills of students. The work of the department aims to develop the tool and material knowledge of students as they move through the school. In addition, the students complete a design folio for each of the practical pieces they produce. The subject also aims to introduce students to CAD/CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacture).
In year 7, pupils design and make 3 products. The first, a simple plywood desk tidy, introduces students to man-made boards and shows why it is important to carry out simple research like measuring to ensure that each product is fit for purpose. The second project, a steady hand cam, introduces plastics and plastic forming methods, and basic electricity and circuits.
The final project, a badge designed and produced using CAD-CAM production techniques, introduces students to modern-day manufacturing systems.
In year 8 pupils design and make a moisture sensor. This introduces the students to input, process, output and how PCB (printed circuit boards) are used in electronic products. The second project involves designing and making a clock using acrylic. In the final project, extensive use is made of CAD-CAM in the design and production of a board game and its components.
The three projects in year 9 are a mechanical toy that uses a simple cam mechanism; a zip tag, cast using pewter and an electrical timer.
In year 10, pupils will complete a number of practical tasks that will prepare them for the production of their main GCSE project which is completed in year 11. The coursework makes up 60% of the final GCSE grade.
Students may continue with their studies of the subject in the 6th form by following an AS GCE course in 3D Product Design. This year the students have designed and manufactured an FM radio and a lamp. The focus of the course is upon materials, production, processes and market influences
If students are successful at AS level, they can progress to the A2 Advanced level.