In Design and Technology students explore design ideas and develop their creative potential across a range of material areas; including Food, Materials, Levers and Mechanisms, Designing and Making skills. We encourage independent thinking, communication and problem solving – key skills which will be of benefit for the rest of their lives. This is a very “hands on” subject with lots of practical work, where students can gain satisfaction from realising designs they have created. Students regularly comment on the enjoyment they had in a lesson. Students build a large skill and knowledge base from working with a wide range of materials, tools and equipment. We emphasise the links to potential careers and include business and manufacturing throughout.
The Design & Technology department is also key in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at Lady Margaret School.
Key Stage 3
The year starts with an introduction of the design process, learning core knowledge and design skills of any Design & Technology area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In year 9 students are encouraged to design for a target market other than themselves, building on skills learnt in year 7 and 8.
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 produce 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.
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.
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.
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.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 – Design and Technology (Textiles focus)
Year 10 focuses on core practical and theory skills. In class students undertake mini practice NEA (Non-Examined Assessment) projects, including:
- Polymers- Fashion bags
- Textiles – 1960’s dresses
- System Control / Paper and Boards – Mood lights
- Wood and Metal – Charm bracelets
- Mixed Materials focussing on a client – Fiddle blankets for patients with dementia.
These projects include using CAD/CAM with our state of the art embroidery machines, laser cutter, 3D printer and sublimation printer. For homework they undertake several research projects, covering the theory content of the course. The Non-Examined assessment is started in the Summer term.
The Design and Technology GCSE is based on 50% exam (2 hours) and 50% NEA.
Assessment Syllabus: AQA – Design & Technology 8552
Year 11 – Textiles
Students continue working on their controlled assessment until February half term. This involves the preparation of an A3 design folder together with a Textiles product or products. From February half term the focus is on examination preparation.
Throughout the course students continue to develop a working knowledge fabrics and components, modern and smart materials, new technologies and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills using software such as Adobe Illustrator and 2D Design. Independent learning and creativity is encouraged at all times.
The Textiles GCSE is based on 60% controlled assessment and 40% on a two hour written examination.
Assessment Syllabus: AQA – Exam 45701, Controlled Assessment 45702
From September 2017 we will be offering the new GCSE Design & Technology specification with a Textiles focus.
Food Preparation and Nutrition
Food Preparation and Nutrition is based upon teaching key life skills through ensuring students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, healthy eating, food provenance and the working characteristics of ingredients.
Exam Board: EDUQAS
The course is divided into 6 key learning areas:
- Food commodities
- Principles of nutrition
- Diet and good health
- The science of food
- Where food comes from
- Cooking and food preparation
Assessments (to be undertaken in Year 11)
Exam: Paper 1: Food preparation and nutrition (50%) Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
This exam will test students knowledge of the core topics:
Section A: Questions based on stimulus material
Section B: Structured, short and extended response questions.
Non-Exam Assessment (NEA): Task 1: Food investigation (15%) Written Report
Students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Students will submit a written report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.
Non-Exam Assessment (NEA): Task 2: Food preparation assessment (35%) Written Portfolio
Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.
Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.
Students will submit a written portfolio including photographic evidence.
Which careers can this course lead to?
This course could lead you into roles such as a Chef, Food Buyer, Food Technologist, Food Developer, Food Photographer, Food Stylist, Nutritionist, Teacher, Food Scientist and many more!
Key Stage 5
Students can study Fashion and Textiles for an A-Level at Lady Margaret School. Students study the traditional and latest developments in fibres, yarns and fabrics as well as gaining a working knowledge of the properties of fibres and fabrics and their uses, history of fashion and the work of professionals within the industry.
Students are also taught how to build on existing design skills to help them respond to contextual themes and how to respond to these creatively so they can ultimately develop and create their own design, make and evaluate the project in the non-exam assessment.
A key aspect of year 12 is developing students manufacturing skills, from pattern drafting, construction and modelling skills so that students feel confident responding to design briefs with creative and complex ideas.
We follow the AQA specification for Fashion and Textiles at Lady Margaret School and therefore the qualification is broken down into two written exams testing student technical knowledge and design making principles and a practical design, make and evaluate project that is assessed through the non-exam assessment.