Design & Technology

Key Stage 3

Year 7
The year starts with an introduction of the design process, learning core knowledge and design skills of any Design & Technology area.

Food – The food project of year 7 focuses on healthy eating and nutrition with the introduction of the Eatwell Guide. Health and safety and cooking skills are taught in the Food Technology room, with students using those skills to create dishes such as stir fries, vegetable couscous, granola bars and carrot cakes.  The Nutrition Programme is used to work out the nutritional content of the food they have made. 

Textiles – From the start students are taught to use a sewing machine, the department is lucky to have one sewing machine between two students. The students use CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Manufacture) to create the design for a pencil case, using sublimation printing to apply the image. They learn to insert a zip, and the finished pencil case is finished off with a zip pull, again using CAD/CAM, but made of acrylic and cut on the laser cutter.

Timbers and Polymers – The focus of the project is teaching key skills for working with wood and plastic. The theory of the materials is taught, alongside health and safety in the workshop. A jewellery box is made, using two different wood joints, with a vacuum formed insert tray. The box is decorated with imagery from the pupils chosen design movement.

Levers and Mechanisms – Two areas of focus are covered in this topic; mechanical systems and computer systems. In mechanical systems the theory behind levers, motion and linkages is taught, with students constructing a linkage toy. In computer control the students use Crumble microprocessors to design and program a mood lamp.

Year 8
At the start of the year students choose a restaurant to be the focus of every project for the year, therefore making products that link together. Skills from year 7 are built upon, encouraging independent thinking and iterative designing.

Multi Materials – Students work through an iterative design process to create menu holders for their restaurant. They are encouraged to play and experiment with forming and deforming timbers, metals and polymers before prototyping and finalising a unique product for their chosen restaurant.

Textiles – Smart materials are taught in this project, where students make a placemat with a thermochromic print. The print changes colour when a hot plate is placed upon it, thus warning the customer. Textiles techniques such as patchwork, appliqué and quilting are chosen by the students to assemble the placemat in the theme of their restaurant.

Graphics – Students are taught higher level designing skills such as isometric and orthographic drawing whilst designing takeaway packaging for their restaurant. They then learn about perspective drawing to design the interior for their restaurant.

Food – With every student having chosen a different restaurant, the food project ties them all together by the making of bread and a pasta/noodle dish. Students research traditional foods for the culture of their restaurant, then adapt a basic recipe to make dishes for their restaurant. Students also develop their food science investigation skills by conducting experiments with Yeast and Gluten. 

Year 9
In year 9 students are encouraged to design for a target market other than themselves, building on skills learnt in year 7 and 8.

Textiles – In year 9 the focus moves to manufacturing a 3D garment. Students have the opportunity to research one of the most iconic garments in history, The Hoodie. Students learn key manufacturing techniques such as economical lay plans, group work to product a quality batch of products and finishing skills, to help them successfully make a hoodie that they can keep long after the project ends. This project prepares all potential DT GCSE students not only how to create a 3D product out of fabric but also how to evidence the production process for the future non-exam assessment. 

Food – In year 9 students have an opportunity to work within the contextual theme of Street Food. Through this topic students are taught core knowledge about food provenance, food miles and food mileage and key cooking skills through several exciting street food recipes. Students also undertake a food science investigation into pastry making which helps them to understand the functional and chemical properties within food. 

Enterprise – Year 9 students participate in an Enterprise project, whereby in teams they design and make products to be sold at the Summer Garden Party. They learn about profit and loss, costing, and how to write a business plan. They have to pitch their ideas Dragon’s Den style to a local businessman to ensure their ideas are sound. They can work in any material area for their products, apart from food.

Product Design – All students in year 9 participate in the national Design Ventura competition run by the Design Museum. This is a fantastic opportunity to work in teams to respond to a live design brief. Students have to research, develop and design a successful product and prototype to pitch to a group of judges within school, where the winning team is then entered into the live competition. The winning group gets to have a batch of their products made and sold in the Design Museum shop. All students receive a certificate from the Design Museum for participating. 

 


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