Design Technology helps to develop pupil’s skills in following a design brief, developing their own ideas, working as part of a group and individual work that promotes self-motivation to complete the tasks in hand. Pupils are encouraged to develop their work creatively and to use current designers as inspiration for their projects.
Improvement of literacy skills are encouraged through starter and plenary activities and the pupils work is assessed in a way that helps them understand how they can add to their work to improve their levels.
This year the department hopes to give pupils chance to get involved in designing and painting murals around the department. As always we try to give key stage 3 pupils a positive experience of designing and making and we strive to improve our GCSE grades through catch up session at lunch and after school. We also encourage KS4 pupils to come in for a day during each of the school holidays so that they can work on their projects for a solid block of time under supervision from experienced staff.
In year 7 and 8 pupils experience Technology in two different formats – ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ spending approximately half a year in each. The ‘soft’ area includes projects in both Food and Textiles and the ‘hard’ area combine Graphics and Resistant Materials.
In year 7 the theme is Celebrations. Pupils are expected to produce a range of appropriate food practicals related to the theme eg fruit salad, pasta salad, cookies and muffins. In textiles they produce a cushion cover displaying a range of technical skills such as applique, transfer printing, tie dying and electric sewing machine. For resistant materials pupils develop their practical skills in a number of mini projects such as keyrings, pencil holders and pop ups. They then produce a final project that incorporates graphics, woodwork and CAD/CAM skills all together.
In year 8 the theme followed is ‘Making the World a Better Place’. Pupils look at the work of relevant designers and also research and develop knowledge in recycling and other environmentally friendly processes. In textiles pupils produce a phone case inspired by Pop Art and in food they develop a range of practicals including seasonal soup, banana loaf, fair trade brownies and many others. In Resistant Materials pupils produce a range of mini projects that develop their skills including a night light holder and decorative box and then take part in a Dragons Den style project where they design and make a product that makes our world a better place. The pupils then work in groups to pitch their chosen idea to the rest of the class. The winners of the pitches receive Vivos and prizes.
In year 9 pupils are given the chance to choose ‘mini options’ which gives them a flavour of a specific area of technology that they may consider choosing at GCSE level. This year we were able to offer Food Technology, Textiles, Graphics, Resistant Materials, Media and Health and Social Care to the majority of the year group. The projects tend to focus on developing practical skills in order to give them the best chance with their work should they choose to study the subject further on into key stage 4.
Currently we offer the chance to study Technology GSCE courses in Food, Graphics, Resistant Materials and Textiles as well as BTec Level1/2 Media.
Homework / Assessment
At key stage 3 homework is normally given approximately once a week, these are made up of research or design tasks and at times include evaluations of work they have completed in school. For Food Technology part of the homework is to buy and bring in the relevant ingredients for the food practicals. Official assessments are carried out half way through the project and again at the end with other assessment for learning targets completed at key stages of the work. In key stage 4 pupils work is assessed regularly and a tracking sheet allows both pupils and staff to see what level they are achieving throughout the project – this is most helpful towards the end of year 11 as pupils know what they must do in the exam to achieve their target grades.
Resources and Facilities
We are lucky in St Matthews to have a range of custom built rooms for technology and an array of equipment that allow the pupils to experience technology to professional standards. These include Food practical rooms with fully working hobs and ovens, Resistant Materials rooms with woodworking benches, Hegner saws and other wood working tools, a laser cutter to develop Computer aided design and manufacture, a suite of electronic sewing machines with the capacity for CAD/CAM, an up to date television recording studio and radio recording studio with a computer room full of Apple Mac computers that have Adobe Premiere for video editing and Photoshop for picture editing.
Extra-Curricular and Extended Learning
Key Stage 4: Regular lunchtime and after school sessions are held in Food Technology, Textiles, Media, Graphics and Resistant Materials along with days in the school holidays.
Key stage 3: After school sessions include Food Club, Radio, Christmas Crafts, CAD/CAM club and Mural Painting.