Design & Technology

Design and technology is about providing opportunities for students to develop their capability, combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products. As a school we place an emphasis on ‘quality’ products as there is great benefit in students experiencing success and seeing, handling and producing products that are well made. The preparation of young people for citizenship in a technological society is also a central activity within the subject. Core activities in D&T

  • investigative, disassembly and evaluative activities related to products and their applications
  • focused practical tasks to develop skills and the fields of knowledge
  • understanding materials and components
  • control and systems, including mechanical, electrical, electronic and pneumatic structures
  • achieving quality
  • Health and safety.

Knowledge and understanding is taught specifically within D&T, but it also draws on other curriculum areas such as science, mathematics, art and design, business education, information technology, environmental education and economic and industrial understanding. D&T will also contribute to these subjects and some other curriculum areas.

Design and technology provides excellent opportunities for students to apply value judgements of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature in their designing and to existing products and their applications.

It also provides excellent opportunities for teamwork Students use a range of communication skills, including verbal, graphical and modelling skills, to help their thinking and ability to take action in the process of designing.

Key Stage 3

At Walton High we aim to achieve the following through our teaching of D&T:

  • prepare young people to cope in a rapidly changing technological world
  • enable them to think and intervene creatively to improve that world
  • develops skills required to participate responsibly in home
  • school and community life
  • help students to become discriminating consumers and users of products
  • help students to become autonomous, creative problem-solver
  • support students working as individuals and with others
  • equip students with the knowledge, skills and understanding about a range of materials, tools and processes (including CAD/CAM)
  • develop practical capability
  • being able to apply knowledge, skills and understanding when designing and making; skills that can be used in their future
  • encourage the ability to consider critically the uses, effects and values dimension of design and technology.

We teach D&T at KS3 through rotations each of approximately 10 weeks alongside Media and the new Food and Nutrition subject. Rotating groups between teachers ensures students are taught each material area by a specialist teacher and where possible in a specialist environment. Teachers keep careful and accurate records of student development in a range of skills and areas of knowledge to ensure they make the best progress possible throughout the year.

Project work KS3 D&T projects provide an opportunity for students to participate in a wide range of activities, including:

  • investigative and experimental work
  • individual and group activities
  • problem-solving tasks
  • tasks requiring creative responses
  • evaluation of existing products and systems
  • Sharing skills through inputs/demonstrations and discussion
  • Computer Aided Design & Manufacture (CAD/CAM)

All projects involve students working towards quality practical outcome(s) that require students to apply their developing making skills. Students find the process of working independently to produce a unique and personal product very satisfying and engaging and we value the skills of independence and motivation this grows within them.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 students can specialise in one of two materials areas: Product Design and Textiles Technology. This opportunity allows students to focus on an area of DT that best suits their interests and strengths. Below you will find a brief explanation of the two specialisms we offer and on our site you can view photographs of GCSE outcomes that our students have recently produced.

  • Product Design - Product Design encourages students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials such as paper and card, plastics, textiles, ceramics, food, electronics, timber based materials, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Candidates will also develop a variety of techniques for working with these materials.

  • Textiles Technology - Textiles Technology enables students to develop a working knowledge of a wide range of textiles materials and components appropriate to modelling, prototyping and manufacturing. Students will learn about design and market influences, processes and manufacture, environmental issues and the use of ICT in relation to the manufacturing of material products.

    GCSE D&T Assessment (AQA) (Exam June 2018) At GCSE students are assessed on two units of work - these are both completed in Year 11.

    Unit 1 – Exam (40%) Students sit a 2 hour exam in the summer of year 11. The exam tests understanding of the broad range of knowledge and skills covered in the course specification.

    Unit 2 – Controlled Assessment (60%) Students prepare a portfolio of design work along with practical outcomes. This consists of a single design and make activity selected from a range tasks set by the exam board.

    New Design Technology GCSE – Exams from: 2019 (Specification code: 8552)

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The specification content is divided into the following categories:

  • Core technical principles.
  • Specialist technical principles.
  • Designing and making principles.

Acquire and apply knowledge, skill and understanding in the following areas:

  • Papers and boards.
  • Timber based materials.
  • Metal based materials.
  • Plastics.
  • Textile based materials.
  • Electronic and mechanical systems.

Non-Examined Assessment accounts for 50% of the final grade and will be submitted in the summer of Year 11.

The Non-Controlled Assessment consists of a final design project made up with a concise design portfolio and the related 3-dimensional outcome(s). The portfolio needs to communicate in detail the design process including the areas of research, analysis, design, design development, planning for manufacture, technical drawing and testing & evaluation. It is expected that within this document students will demonstrate effective use of ICT. Students’ Controlled Assessment projects are internally assessed and externally moderated.

Written Exam accounts for 50% of the final grade and assesses related product design theory. This includes understanding of commercial design practice and technical vocabulary, packaging, materials and components, manufacturing processes and sustainability. This exam is sat at the end of Year 11.

Exam Board Website

Useful Websites

Post 16

At Post-16 we offer an A-level course in Product design.  The A-Level Product Design course is recommended for students who have studied a Design & Technology subject at GCSE, however we also encourage applicants who have strengths in Arts and Sciences to apply as previous design experience is not essential.

We hope to develop these qualities in our P16 students:

  • Willingness to learn new skills and knowledge,

  • an imagination,

  • ability to be creative,

  • enjoy working practically to explore 3D ideas,

  • commitment to producing high quality design and practical work,

  • good organisation and time management skills,

  • self-motivated learners,

  • a desire to want to change the world!

The course is designed to emulate product design in commercial practice and so naturally requires a broad range of knowledge and skills to be demonstrated. Some of these include:  Drawing & design skills, Use of ICT & CAD/CAM processes, Technical drawing skills, Modelling, Practical making skills, Research and Product analysis, High quality of written, visual and verbal communication.

Unit 1 (50%) - 2 hour exam on Materials & Components

Unit 2 (50%) - 50 hours: Four design and make coursework Projects. Submission: A portfolio of a range of work and all the practical outcomes.

A2 (AQA) Unit 3 (50%)  - 2 hour exam on a broad range of issues relating to design, materials, processes and manufacture.

Unit 4 (50%) - 60 hours: A single substantial design & make coursework project requiring the submission of a design portfolio and the practical outcome(s).

NEW A-level Design and Technology: Product Design(Exams from: June 2019) Specification code: 7552

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

A2 Units - Course content:

Paper 1 (30%)- primarily based on core technical and designing and making principles. This unit has a 2.5 hour written exam.

Paper 2 (20%)– Specialist knowledge, technical and designing and making principles. This paper contains questions centred around product analysis and commercial manufacture and is a 1.5 hour exam.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) (50%) – A substantial design and make task demonstrating practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles and specialist knowledge.

Exam Board Website

A-Level product design is an ideal course for students looking for careers requiring excellent communication, creative, ICT and problem-solving skills. It of course prepares students particularly well for further study in the following areas:  Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering, Fashion Design, Jewellery Design, Graphic Design, Visual Arts & Communication, Media/Film, Theatre Set Design, Animation, Illustration, Product Design, Industrial Design – but also many more!