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Year 8 DT

Guidance for parents

What will students study in Design and Technology this year?

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

  • 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. You can view examples of the projects here.

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. You can download a copy here.

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 8?

The best way to provide support to Year 8 students is by discussing their work in the subject. If you can, access the CAD programs Techsoft 2D design; Autodesk Inventor; and the Systems and Control program Circuit Wizard and encourage your daughter to work through the free trials. 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 www.technologystudent.comand www.bbc.co.uk/education. It would be helpful if students can get involved in any 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 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. There is a list of high quality websites here 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 Shilling, on fshilling@newsteadwood.co.uk with as much detailed information as possible.

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