Our intention for our students at Fosse Way is to have a practical approach to making using a range of materials, tools and equipment including CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing).
The skills taught build on our student’s life skills that will be invaluable as they venture into the world. The transferable skills they develop can help them be more independent and give them confidence in problem solving, planning and evaluating. It teaches how to understand risks through trial and error and so become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life.
Design ad technology offers a unique opportunity to use the ‘Hands, Head and Heart’ it provides challenges such as using mathematical understanding in real practical problem solving, communicating ideas through drawing and modelling, the opportunity to practice and improve technique using tools and machinery and also the time to think about the aesthetics or beauty of particular products and designs.
Students have the opportunity to design and make for themselves and also for others, allowing them to think about what other people need and like.
The specialist Design and Technology room is well resourced and is staffed by an experienced Technician who is able to demonstrate how to use equipment safely and who supports teachers with resourcing each topic. The school has recently purchased a laser cutter which has improved the quality of outcomes for CAD CAM lessons.
Fosse Way School has a secondary teacher who specialises in Design and Technology and teaches the Key Stage 4 options group and some Key Stage 3 classes and also co-ordinates the subject throughout the school.
Design Technology is an important subject for students to explore a variety of materials and manufacturing processes through a series of design and make projects. We spend time looking at designers and innovative ideas to inspire our students to come up with their own design ideas. We teach a series of short projects exploring different materials using different hand tools as well as digital design.
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, pupils work in their classrooms and will use a combination of materials including construction kits to explore making and modelling ideas such as using Duplo to build a new chair for Goldilocks & the Three Bears. They will discuss how well their model works and how it could be improved. Pupils design and make work will usually link to the class theme or topic.
In Key Stage 2 some pupils will begin to access the D&T room, they will follow adapted National Curriculum units of work and also design and make projects that link to the class theme or topic. E.g. Making bug hotels, designing a Roman helmet and shield or making moving pictures that link to a story. Pupils will begin to evaluate their work and the work of others and say what works well and what doesn’t.
In Key Stage 3 students again work in the specialist room and follow adapted National Curriculum units including digital design, working with 2D design computer programs and using the laser cutter to realise their designs, Textiles, building skills using soft materials and an introduction into using sewing machines also, working with metal, wood and plastic to build skills using and working with different resistant materials.
They will begin to think about the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’, they will begin to plan their work more carefully thinking about materials and tools they will need to make their product. Pupils will begin to use their mathematical skills when measuring materials, some pupils may work with pre-cut shapes to assemble a product whilst others will measure and cut independently or with support.
In Key Stage 4 students can opt to follow further learning and qualifications in Design and Technology. The option is taught by the specialist teacher.
Students in Post 16 may access the Design and Technology room to support with Enterprise work. The new laser cutter has meant that students are able to market and sell products with a high quality finish.
Design and Technology encourages pupils to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team.
We know our curriculum is working in design technology through the engagement of students throughout the school, both observed and recorded in student voice. The quality of teaching and learning in design technology has been praised consistently during learning walks by both external and internal observers. Students are engaged in our lessons and frequently express their enjoyment of the subject and its different material areas.
Students in Year 11 are successful in gaining either of the following qualifications:-
Arts award – Bronze and Silver
GCSE AQA Project Qualification
The skills gained through our design technology lessons will equip our students with many transferable skills to support life skills and independence.
The qualifications gained could also lead them onto further education or training towards a vocational route.