Design and Technology

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 Design and Technology Department Presentation

The Design and Technology Department is a continuously evolving and thriving department, committed to helping all students achieve their full potential. Our aim is to offer students a wide range of different and interest projects, focusing on every aspect of Design and Technology. The department works as a team, with the strength being the sharing of resources and support wherever possible.

In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team.

Pupils follow the National Curriculum programmes of study and the course is delivered through projects which combine both Designing and Making. The complexity of the projects increases as the pupils’ progress through the Key Stage. Within their projects pupils combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.

Skills

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. During lessons students will:

  • Investigate, disassemble and evaluative products and their applications;
  • Work on focused practical tasks to develop skills using a wide range of tools and machinery
  • Develop an understanding of materials and components
  • Use systems and control, including mechanical, electrical and electronic structures
  • Achieve quality within their designing and sketching
  • Understand Health and Safety issues within a workshop
  • Use Computer Aided Design such as Creo & 2D Techsoft Design
  • Use of specialist equipment (Laser Cutters, CNC Lathe & Router)

Courses and Exam Boards

At Arthur Mellows Village Collage we offer the following courses at GCSE and A-Level:

  • GCSE in Resistant Materials (AQA Exam Board)
  • GCSE in Graphic Products (AQA Exam Board)
  • GCSE in Textiles (AQA Exam Board) - GCSE in Food Technology (AQA Exam Board)
  • BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Engineering
  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Engineering (Edexcel Exam Board)
  • A-Level Product Design: Graphic Products (Edexcel Exam Board) 
  • A-Level Product Design: Resistant Materials (Edexcel Exam Board)
  • A-Level Food Technology (Edexcel Exam Board)

Staff

  • Head of Design and Technology - Mrs Watson
  • Second in Design and Technology - Mr Cundall
  • Resistant Materials and Engineering Teacher - Mr Bond
  • Resistant Materials Teacher - Mr Wainwright
  • Graphics Teacher - Mrs Cumberland
  • Textiles Teacher - Miss Lee
  • Food Teacher - Mrs Bowman
  • Food Teacher - Mrs Clarke
  • Food Teacher - Mrs Turtle
  • Food Technician - Mrs Newman
  • Resistant Materials Technician - Mr Hall

 Facilities

We have great Facilities within the College which consist of:

  • 1 Workshop dedicated to Metal Work
  • 2 Workshops dedicated to Wood Work
  • 2 Multifunctional Workshops used for Graphics and RM
  • 1 ICT Lab containing 16 Work Stations and a CAD/CAM Room
  • 1 Technicians Prep Room
  • 2 Food Rooms and 1 Textiles Room

Our newly built Engineering Facility also consists of:

  • 1 ICT Lab containing 25 Work Stations
  • 2 Rooms containing CAD/CAM equipment and a Spray Booth
  • 1 Main Workshop Area with Heat Treatment Room
  • 1 Technicians Prep Room
  • 1 Electronics Lab
  • 1 Conference Room / Classroom


The department is well equipped with access to the internet, printers, scanners, digital cameras, PC’s, CAD/CAM equipment and fully equipped workshops. A range of technology is available to students which have broadened the scope of design at AMVC. These include Laser Cutting machines, a CNC lathe and router, Vinyl Plotters, CNC sewing machines, an electronics area and spray booth. The department also has traditional machinery such as thermoforming centres, manual centre lathes and milling machines, pillar drills, band facers, wood lathes, fret saws and metal fabrication.

National Curriculum

Design and Technology NC Website  ::  Design and Technology NC Programme Of Study Document

Pupils respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate. They combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.

As pupils respond creatively to design briefs they analyse and reflect critically on products and then put forward constructive explanations for improving their own work. When evaluating and modifying their proposals, learners invite feedback, consider different points of view and incorporate insights gained. Pupils understand how to learn from their mistakes as they reflect critically when modifying their proposals. The course aims, not only to develop skills in DT, but to provide an understanding of how products are designed and made as well as encouraging students to learn by doing.

 Design and technology develops confident individuals who become increasingly independent and able to take the initiative as they plan and organise activities, and then shape, form, assemble and finish materials and components. Design and technology enables pupils to try new things and to make the most of opportunities relating to the made world. Pupils can recognise their talent as they visualise alternative solutions when designing and making products and systems. Exploring their own and others’ ideas and values, pupils respond resourcefully as they anticipate and overcome difficulties when implementing their ideas. All this increases their confidence in their own abilities and opinions, enhances their feelings of self-worth and prepares them to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives. A range of technology is available to students which have broadened the scope of design at AMVC – Laser Cutting, CNC engraving and Routing, CAD/CAM, Cutter Plotters, thermoforming and metal fabrication.

Homework

In the Design & Technology Department homework is set on a regular basis for all students. The nature of the homework tasks is varied. In some instances it may be related to elements of design related tasks i.e. individual research or completion of tasks and activities from lessons. Homework is an important aspect of teaching and learning. Its values are taken to be those outlined in the ‘Homework Policy’ of the school: it reinforces, extends or compliments work completed during school time; it enables students to develop skills, attitudes and habits involved in independent study; it allows work during school time to be focused on learning and practical activities where the presence of a teacher is essential; and it provides opportunities to inform parents about the nature and the standards of their children’s Design & Technology activities and education.

 At KS3 students are expected to complete 30 minutes homework each week. In some areas students will be issued with an outline of what homework needs to be completed during a project. Other areas have homework outlined in their Schemes of Work.

In Years 10 & 11 students will be expected to complete an hours homework each week. Homework will either be supportive to current project work or will build on the students subject knowledge in preparation for the theory exams at the end of their GCSE courses.

In Year 12 and 13 students are expected to spend 3 hours working on their coursework or will build on the students subject knowledge in preparation for the theory exams at the end of their A Level courses.

It is expected that completed homework is handed in on time. This gives students valuable experiences of working to deadlines and facilitates staff with their marking schedules. If homework is not given in appropriate action is taken:
  1. Students will be required to attend lunchtime sessions to complete work.
  2. Failure to attend the detention will result in a Faculty detention with the Head of Department.
  3. In this case contact in the form of phone calls or a formal letter will be sent to the student’s parent/guardian by the teacher imposing the sanction. The pupils form teacher will also be informed.
  4. If there are persistent problems with a particular student failing to complete the homework then the Head of Department and parents will be involved in the first instance. The matter may then be referred to SMT and the Head of Year for further attention.

Marking homework forms an integral part of assessment. Staff aim to return marked homework to students as soon as possible, for inclusion in that module of work, and while the exercise is fresh in the students mind. Some homework will be included in the final project which will be assessed as a whole.

Assessment

During each project a range of skills are assessed. These include: researching the task, developing ideas, making high quality accurate products using a range of tools, equipment and processes. Other areas that are also assessed include: quality of presentation and finish, effort, planning and evaluation. Homework is set using extended tasks, based around a particular theme or topic related to the project being worked on. These are graded together with the complete project.

Marking and Grading

Work is marked using the following scales:
  • National Curriculum levels (NC) are awarded at the end of each project. NC Levels are used for attainment with student having access to what the levels mean and how they can improve. Students are expected to be working between levels 4-8 throughout the key stage.
  • Grades are awarded on a scale of 1 to 10
  • Effort is marked in accordance with the whole school policy 1 = excellent 4=poor
  • Comments alongside each grade, it is usual for the teacher to add comments to inform the pupils about their work might be improved.

 How can parents help?

Parents can help by checking on the quality of work undertaken and to ask questions about the work set. Many tasks involve research and the completion of design based work. It is a great help if parents can support students to collect information from a variety of sources and also to help them in selecting/searching and purchasing any materials they may need for their project.

The use of a computer is a tremendous advantage. Students can e-mail work home and do internet searches as well as use various software to help complete folio work and homework tasks. It is also important that students come to lessons with the correct equipment for their studies. A good set of colouring pencils, basic drawing equipment and a selection of fine liner pens and drawing pencils are the minimum requirements.

Primary School Links

AMTEC Day is an opportunity for our feeder primary schools to each enter a team of 6 students to complete challenges in Technology, Science and Maths. In Technology the teams design their team robot and program our LEGO Mindstorm robots to complete a given course and then catapult their ammunition at the target. In Science students make a chemical clock with the challenge to see who could achieve the greatest accuracy and in Maths the competition is to see which team could answer questions based on robots correctly and the quickest time. The final round using Qwizdom tests who has remembered the most from each of the days challenges. There are winners from each round and an overall winner.

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