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Guru Nanak Multi Academy Trust

Technology

Design and Technology

Key Stage 3 - National Curriculum

All students study Design and Technology throughout Key Stage 3.  Students follow a programme that allows them to study different specialisms of Design and Technology thus providing them with a broad base of knowledge and experience of the subject.  A typical Year 7 and Year 8 student would study Food Technology, Graphic Products, Product Design and Textiles Technology.  Students benefit from the different skills and knowledge available from the specialist staff.  In Year 9, they continue to work in these areas enabling us to select candidates for the subject option which best suits their interests and abilities at GCSE level.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

At the beginning of Year 10, all students have to study one specialism within Design and Technology.  Students can choose from any of the four subjects:  Food Technology, Graphic Products, Product Design or Textiles Technology.

Studying Design and Technology will develop you as a creative problem solver.  You will be researching and evaluating products and processes, engaging in focussed practical tasks to develop ideas, planning and making your own unique designs using a combination of materials and computer aided design and manufacture.  It is a subject that requires you to develop many different skills as well as utilising skills from other subjects.  You need to measure, calculate and estimate.  You need to gather and analyse data.  You need to consider options and justify decisions.  You will learn to work independently, as an individual, and in teams to communicate your ideas. You will combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, function, cultural, environmental and moral issues in order to design and make quality products in quantity.  Design and Technology will suit anyone wishing to develop both their practical and theory skillsas well as those considering a career in any area of designing or manufacturing.

All four specialisms will enable students to:

  • Combine their creative and practical skills with knowledge and understanding in order to  effectively design and make quality products,
  • Consider the effects and implications of technological activity,
  • Develop their Design and Technology capability through activities which involve a range of contexts, materials and processes which lead to practical results,
  • Have the opportunity to develop practical abilities and the confidence to design, make and modify products and systems for identified purposes.  In addition it trains them to select and use resources effectively.

The examination board chosen for all four specialisms is AQA (www.aqa.org.uk)

The Qualification - A breakdown:

All four specialisms within Design and Technology:  Food Technology, Graphic Products, Product Design and Textiles Technology, have similar assessment criteria.  The subject is assessed through coursework and an end of course examination.  The coursework element of the qualification is worth 60% of the final mark, while the remaining 40% of marks is achieved from the end of course examination.

Coursework (60%):  Marks are divided as follows: 20% for the design folder and 40% for making the product.  The coursework is set from a range of projects compiled by the examination board.  Students are expected to undertake a project by working through the design process from start to finish.  Students are required to apply their knowledge, understanding, design and making skills to produce a quality product and a well presented design folder.

Examination (40%):  The examination will test the application of knowledge and understanding of materials, components, processes, techniques, technologies and the evaluation of commercial practice and products.  The paper will test all assessment objectives through two sections.  A pre-release sheet will provide candidates with information about a range of products that will be included in the test paper questions.  This examination paper is two hours in duration and it is not tiered.

Key Stage 5 - GCE AS/A2 Product Design:  Graphic Products

GCE AS/A2 Product Design:  Graphic Products is an optional subject which students can undertake at the beginning of Year 12 (AS Course) and continue in Year 13 (A2 Course).  The course seeks to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, skills and application for designing products.  Product design encompasses a wide range of design disciplines but is firmly rooted in the skills required to design and make high quality products.  Products that are fit for purpose, satisfy wants and needs, enhance our day-to-day lives and, most importantly, give students the opportunity to demonstrate their Design and Technology capability.

The examination board chosen for this specialism is EDEXCEL (www.edexcel.com)

The Qualification - A breakdown:

GCE Product Design:  Graphic Products is assessed through coursework and an end of course examination.  At AS Level, the coursework element of the qualification is worth 60% of the final mark, while the remaining 40% of marks is achieved from the end of course examination.  If students wish to carry on with this subject through to the A2 Level, then the AS year would count as 50% of the final mark.

Coursework (AS Level): 

The AS coursework is divided into three specific areas:  Product Investigation, Product Design and Product Manufacture.  Students are expected to undertake a thorough Product Analysis of a product or a number of products. What is important to note here is that the products being analysed do not have to be limited to graphics products.  The GCE course is part of the Product Design suite of qualifications and the product analysis can be of any product.  The designing element of the AS qualification can be a “blue sky” design project. The idea is for the design experience of GCSE to be built upon.  Students should be encouraged to produce busy design pages. They should move on from the, sometimes referred to, “three initial ideas – develop one idea” approach at key stage 3 and GCSE.  Students should be encouraged to have a more integrated approach to their designing. The purpose is to “bridge the gap” between GCSE and A2 where a professional designing approach is expected.  The make exercise is designed to develop students’ making skills.  The task directly follows on from the GCSE standard and is building on knowledge already acquired in preparation for the GCE exam.  Here the students are expected to produce high quality three-dimensional graphic projects in accordance with one of the chosen areas.

Examination (AS Level): 

In this unit students will develop a knowledge and understanding of a wide range of materials and processes used in the field of Design and Technology.

It is important for students, as designers, to learn about materials and processes so that they can develop a greater understanding of how products can be designed and manufactured.  Students will also learn about industrial and commercial practices, and the importance of quality checks and the health and safety issues that have to be considered at all times.

Assessment: 

1 hour 30 minute examination set and marked by Edexcel.  The paper will be a question and answer booklet, consisting of short-answer and extended-writing type questions, all of which are compulsory.

Coursework (A2 Level): 

The A2 Coursework is a full-blown design and make activity. When compared to the GCSE design and make project, the major difference identified between them is that the A2 project must have a “client”. It should be a project that is intended for commercial production. One important point to remember in this project is that the client must be seen to be taking an active part in the process. They must be kept informed of how the work is progressing and they should be referred to throughout the portfolio of work as evidence. Ideally, copies of emails, letters or notes of meetings need to be included in the student’s folder.  In the A2 projects the moderators are looking for a high level of work. Design and Development pages should be full of ideas. The pages need to be busy, with evidence that ideas are “tumbling out” of the designer’s head. There should be reference to industrial and commercial practices and evidence of how the product should be manufactured on an industrial scale.

When it comes to the practical work, the final piece should show “high level making skills”.  There should be two things evident where the making is concerned. Firstly, there must be a production plan: how is this going to be produced by the student.  It is very important that this is looking forward and not retrospective. Secondly, there must be evidence of manufacture.  Use digital photography to record the making of the product.  The final part of this activity is the testing and evaluation.  This section must be carried out honestly, with reference to the client and their original design specification.  Students must not be afraid of stating any problems which occurred during this practical phase of work. Students should admit to them and then suggest ways in which those problems could be rectified or the design improved.  When it comes to the GCE coursework, the moderators are looking for a high standard of creativity and a high standard of finish in students’ work.

Examination (A2 Level): 

In this unit students will develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of modern design and manufacturing practices and contemporary design issues.  The modern designer must have a good working knowledge of the use of ICT, systems and control technology in the design and manufacture of products. They must also be aware of the important contributions of designers from the past which may provide inspiration for future design.  It is increasingly important that students develop an awareness of the impact of design and technological activities on the environment. Sustainable product design is a key feature of modern design practices.

Assessment: 

2-hour examination paper set and marked by Edexcel.  The paper will be a question and answer booklet, consisting of short-answer and an extended-writing type questions, all of which are compulsory.