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Design & Technology

What will students study in Design and Technology this year?

In Yr 10, students select one of the D&T GCSE areas: Food, Graphics, Product Design or Textiles and to encourage innovation and establish relevant skills, students take part in a series of preparatory skills based projects, before beginning their first Controlled Assessment in the Spring Term. These preparatory projects feature a range of visits and competitions and are designed to increase awareness of the exciting opportunities in the Creative and Manufacturing Industries. They culminate in an enterprise activity where students apply their learning for the DT Integrated Fashion Show by designing and producing: a collection of garments to be worn on the catwalk; all the publicity, invitations and tickets; the model’s jewellery using the3D printer, laser cutter and metal processes and the Food students plan, cook and serve the refreshments in the interval.

In the Autumn Term of Year 11 students manage their Controlled Assessment, working with a high degree of independence to product a quality product, building on the success of their preparatory skills projects and Year 10 Controlled Assessment. In the Spring Term they begin an intensive period of revision and examination practice to prepare them for the exam in their chosen materials area which amounts to 40% of their final GCSE grade. A wide variety of learning styles are encouraged during this eight week period including modelling, testing, student presentations, with discussion and practice papers to ensure the best outcomes in the June examination.

Food- The Food preparatory project is ‘Filling the Energy Gap’ and subjects covered include the design, classification, properties of food, product development, commercial production, health and safety, the use of equipment and utensils and the modelling and importance of packaging. Students visit Borough Market, to sample first-hand the sustainable provenance of food and discuss product development with the stall holders. This prepares them for their Yr10 Controlled Assessment A521- Introduction to Designing and Making, where students research, design and model innovative, food prototypes in line with the OCR set theme Celebrations and produce an A4 portfolio showing design development with photographs of testing and trialling and evidence of the final product. [20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

For their Yr 11 Controlled Assessment Unit A523 Making Quality Products, students design and manufacture a complete food product from the OCR set themes: Foods Around the World, Luxury Products or Nutritional Needs. They produce design ideas which show high levels of creativity in the design development of highly original dishes. When designing, modelling and trialling recipes, students annotate the ingredients, equipment and working practices used and objectively evaluate throughout in an A4 portfolio. This includes the use of ICT and the analytical software Food in Focus to support the development process. [20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

Graphics- Students enter the Print IT competition for their preparatory project, working on a live brief to design 3D promotional items for Fairtrade using sustainable print processes. They develop their illustration skills, formal drawing techniques, Computer Aided Design using 2D Design, and Photoshop, manufacturing their products via the laser cutter. This project often results in Newstead Wood students being selected for the Print IT final at the industry’s annual Print Fair. In the Spring Term students begin their Yr10 OCR Controlled Assessment A531- Introduction to Designing and Making where they research, design and model an innovative, functioning prototype from the OCR set themes ‘Promotional Items’. They produce an A3 portfolio showing photographs of the design development, testing and trialling and final product. [20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

In the Yr 11 Controlled Assessment A533 Making Quality Products, students design and manufacture a complete product from the OCR set themes ‘Pop-up book’ or ‘Theatre or Concert Staging’ and produce original concepts which show high levels of creativity, using manual or computer aided illustration techniques. They then test and trial materials and processes such as Smart Materials, laser cutting or vacuum forming to skilfully manufacture an innovative quality product, recording the key stages in a development log. They then critically evaluate their progress and produce an A3 portfolio showing all design development with photographs of the final product in use. [20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

Product Design- In September students visit the Design Museum for an ‘Ideas Surgery’ workshop, delivered by practicing designers as part of the Design Ventura competition. In teams they design and manufacture innovative solutions to everyday problems, presenting their products for selection which could result in the manufacture and retail of their product in the museum shop. Students develop their understanding of materials, processes, mechanisms and systems by designing a fully operational product. Product Design students then begin their only AQA Controlled Assessment Unit 2- Design and Making Practice, which starts in the Spring Term of Yr 10 and finishes at the end of the Autumn Term in Yr11 [45 hrs and 60% of the total GCSE]. The theme for this assessment is Lighting and students can work across any of the materials areas as their product’s design dictates. They produce an A3 portfolio documenting all aspects of their progress, including the consideration of the marketing of their product.

Students continue their single AQA Unit 2- Design and Making Practice Controlled Assessment into Yr 11, communicating, modelling and presenting their ideas manually and via computer using Inventor, 2D Design and Photoshop. They apply their understanding of the properties of materials to plan the manufacture their products with industrial standard working drawings and incorporate CAD/CAM using the 3D printer, laser cutter, milling machine and use an extensive range of workshop tools and equipment to develop a fully functioning three dimensional product. [45 hrs and 60% of the total GCSE]

Textiles- Following an inspirational session on the Chemical Elements, students start their ‘Chameleon’ collection for the school Fashion Show in February, creating a garment of their choice with change potential using Smart Materials and eTextiles. Students develop skills in pattern drafting, fabric construction and manipulation, surface decoration and production/finishing techniques. To inspire the styling of their collection, they attend the Clothes Show Live exhibition which also gives them an insight into the range of careers in the Fashion and Textiles industries.

In the Spring Term students begin their OCR Controlled Assessment Unit A571-Introduction to Designing and Making where they research, design and model innovative, textiles prototypes from one of the set themes Flash from Trash or Cotton Onto It. They produce an A3 portfolio showing design development with photographs of testing and trialling and evidence of the final product.[20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

Yr 11 Controlled Assessment Unit A573: Making quality products Students design, model and manufacture a quality product from one of the OCR set themes: Twentieth Century Inspiration or Camouflage in Nature and feature designs with high levels of creativity in an A3 portfolio, using ICT to support the design and manufacturing process. Work includes Fashion illustrations using Photoshop, laser cut details, sublimation printing and a wide range of complex Textiles techniques where students have cut or adapted their own patterns. Students record the key stages of making and critically evaluate their progress. [20 hrs and 30% of the total GCSE]

What are the major assessments in Year 10?

Students work with a high degree of independence to complete their Controlled Assessment unit in the Spring/Summer term of Yr 10. They select and adapt the OCR or AQA themes and following a period of research, design and develop a functioning prototype in their chosen specialism. To ensure they have sufficient quality time to make their product, they have a five hour making workshop in Yr10 exam week.

Both OCR and AQA Controlled Assessments amount to 60% of the final GCSE grade and the final examination in June takes the form of multiple-choice, design and discussion type questions, where students consider and apply their understanding of aesthetic and technical issues, manufacturing constraints and sustainable design issues. Students are well prepared for the examination as a result of an intensive programme of theory and examination practice.

What will the current performance grade be based on?

The current GCSE grades are based on progress in the Controlled Assessment design folder and final product in line with OCR and AQA specifications.

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 with targeted support in the form of catch up sessions and Year 12 mentors.

How can I support my daughter?

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, Google Sketch UP, Inventor or Adobe Photoshop and encourage your daughter to develop her computer aided design skills by working through the free trials, she will increase her confidence and develop her original ideas. Visiting exhibitions and galleries such as the Design Museum, the V&A, and Science Museum will support the research section of the Controlled Assessment. For any clarification of key knowledge and revision use the websites and It would be helpful if students can get involved in lunchtime clubs in school and any design and make or DIY projects around the home.

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 Controlled Assessment Checklist 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. There is a list of high quality websites in our Learning to Fly document for her to develop her skills in the subject.

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.

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