Design & Technology

Key Stage 3

Year 7
The year starts with an introduction of the design process, learning the core 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 Plate. Health and safety and cooking skills are taught in the food technology room, with pupils using those skills to create dishes such as stir fries, vegetable couscous, cereal bars and cakes. Graphic Design is taught when pupils design the packaging for their dishes, and Food Technology software is used to work out the nutritional content of their product.

Textiles – From the start pupils are taught to use a sewing machine, the department is lucky to have one sewing machine between two pupils. The pupils 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.

Resistant Materials – 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 four different wood joints, with a vacuum formed insert tray. The box is decorated with imagery from the pupils chosen design movement.

Systems and Control – 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 pupils constructing a linkage toy. In computer control the pupils use Crumble microprocessors to design and program a mood lamp.

Year 8
At the start of the year pupils 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.

Resistant Materials – There are two projects within this material area. Firstly pupils build on their CAD/CAM skills designing an intricate coaster to be cut on the laser cutter. Then pupils work through an iterative design process to create menu holders for their restaurant. They are encouraged to use a variety of materials to create a unique product.

Textiles – Smart materials are taught in this project, where pupils 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 pupils to assemble the placemat in the theme of their restaurant.

Graphics – Pupils 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 pupil having chosen a different restaurant, the food project ties them all together by the making of bread and a pasta/noodle dish. Pupils research traditional foods for the culture of their restaurant, then adapt a basic recipe to make dishes for their restaurant.

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 designing for a particular target market. Lady Margaret School is proud to be part of the ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ charity project, where dresses are made for little girls who don’t have a dress to call their own. Social, Moral, Environmental and Cultural issues are covered in this project, and the finished dresses are sent to orphanages in Africa and Asia.

Food – The focus once again is healthy eating, year 9’s are taught how to make healthy version of two not so healthy foods they love – pizza and muffins. Having an awareness of how to cook healthier options and adapt recipes is a key life skill.

Enterprise – Year 9 pupils 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 – Pupils analyse products from the past, comparing them to those of today. Having analysed what caused the change in design, they then design the same product for the future.

In Key Stage 3 students are set homework once a week. Throughout the key stage students are assessed on their work four times within each project; for Research, Designing, Making and Evaluating.  

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