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Design & Technology

What will students study in Design and Technology this year?

In Year 7 and 8, students design and manufacture their own working products in response to open ended creative projects in four design disciplines:

Year 7

  • In Resistant Materials students are introduced to woods and plastics in the manufacture of a Box Game, using hand tools to create the wood joints and computer aided design and manufacture for the injection moulded pieces and graphics packaging. The Moisture Tester Project introduces students to the forming process and the use workshop machinery to shape an original mould and vacuum form their product casing for a soldered printed circuit board with different outputs
  • In Graphics students use the Harry Potter trip as inspiration to write and illustrate their own interactive book; they are introduced to levers, linkages and mechanisms to animate their story and can use electronics to further develop their ideas.
  • In Food students are introduced to Government dietary requirements and develop their practical skills to produce healthier adaptations of recipes including apple crumble, stir fry, and a cultural breakfast.

Year 8

  • In Systems and Control students produce a Safety Light for a client using computer aided design and manufacture via the laser cutter. They program a circuit board with a series of outputs according to their design using Circuit Wizard.
  • Students complete two Resistant Materials projects; a Tea Light Holder using engineering joining processes; brazing, riveting, cutting a thread and sublimation printing onto aluminium, all inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. In the Mechanical Toy students explore mechanisms such as swash plate cams, gears and complex linkages to create types of movement in the production of a fully interactive toy.
  • In Textiles students are introduced to the sewing machine to manufacture an Autograph Book inspired by their culture; they use batik colouration techniques, quilting, and embroidery to embellish their book and build in additional functions such as page dividers or pen holders. 

In Year 9 students will have opted for two major projects to focus their learning. These projects are of KS4 standard and challenge students to apply their STEM knowledge in response to highly creative opportunities. Students work in teams for the Ironbridge Enterprise project at the end of the year, where they produce a business plan for their chosen product and its coordinated packaging which they present in a Dragon’s Den Final.

Options for projects are:

  • An original Bird Box or Feeder in Resistant Materials. Students develop their sustainable design knowledge, use orthographic drawing and computer aided design to plan the making of highly marketable products.
  • In Textiles students design and manufacture an interactive Wrap Skirt which uses the Chemical Elements for design inspiration and features soft circuits and sublimation printing. Students also draft their own paper patterns.
  • In Graphics students identify a special occasion or event and produce a prototype for a Chocolate Box using 2D Design and Photoshop, manufacturing via the laser cutter. They also create internal packaging using the vacuum former.
  • In Food students produce street food dishes from different cultures to create a fusion of flavours that meet the needs of a target group. They investigate through product analysis, production methods and government led dietary requirements.
  • In Engineering students investigate Inclusive Design and apply a range of mechanical systems to create their own actuators for a mechanical grabber.

What are the major assessments this year?

After each project students set their own targets based on peer and teacher feedback, improving on these in the next project. The main target areas are research, designing, planning, construction, and evaluation. In the Year 7 summer exam students are assessed on the projects completed, responding to subject knowledge and design based questions.

What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?

The current performance grades are based on the design folder and each final product in line with a series of level descriptors. All students are given an assessment document at the start of the year.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher who will help to identify specific areas for improvement in the subject with targeted support.

How can I support my daughter in Year 7?

The best way to provide general support is by discussing their work in the subject and how things are going. If you can, access the CAD programs Techsoft 2D Design and Google Sketch UP, and encourage your daughter to work through the free trials. Autodesk Inventor; and the Systems and Control program Circuit Wizard also have free trial software they can use. Visit exhibitions and galleries such as the Design Museum, the V&A, and Science museum for research. For any clarification of key knowledge and revision use the websites and It would be helpful if students can get involved in any DIY projects around the home and join lunchtime clubs in school.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students are given regular homework to complete and this should be recorded in your daughter's planner. To do well in Design and Technology she should use her assessment for learning pack which details all the outcomes that need to be completed and she should keep up to date with the research, design and evaluation homework she is set. 

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the Head of Design and Technology, Mrs Cameron, on with as much detailed information as possible.

Key Documents

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