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.
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 sessions 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, tie dying, fabric decoration with specialist felts and crayons and develop skills using the 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 and CAD/CAM.
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. In food they develop a range of practicals including seasonal soup, banana loaf, fair trade brownies and many others also looking at issues surrounding food and ingredients such as fairtrade, free range and seasonality. In Resistant Materials pupils produce a range of mini projects that develop their skills including a decorative wooden box made with finger joints then they develop their Graphics skills through hand drawing and Photoshop development by designing a comic character that promotes green issues to young people.
In year 9 pupils will now start their Key Stage 4. They will complete two projects across the year that help develop their key skills for the subject area they have chosen. We aim to work mainly at the practical elements to give them the best opportunity to achieve well in the coursework elements of the project. These are started in year 10 and submitted in year 11 before a final written exam completes the course.
In Key Stage 4 we currently offer the chance to study Technology GSCE courses in Food, Graphics, Resistant Materials and Textiles as well as BTec Level1/2 in Creative Media Production.
Homework / Assessment
At key stage 3 homework is normally given approximately once a fortnight, 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, a computer room that have access to Adobe Premiere for video editing and Photoshop for picture editing.
Extra-Curricular and Extended Learning
Key Stage 4: Regular after school sessions are held in Food Technology, Textiles, Media and Resistant Materials along with specific catch up days in the school holidays.
Key stage 3: After school sessions include Baking Club, Christmas Crafts, CAD/CAM club and Mural Painting depending on the time of the year.