The term Technology can cover a wide range of activities, but a common feature of many of these is identifying a problem, developing it and realising the solution. We must be able to think about what we are trying to achieve in solving problems, so that we can learn to judge both our own and other people’s solutions in a reasoned way.
The Design and Technology course for Year 9 is demanding yet satisfying for the student who is prepared to develop his knowledge and practical skills. For boys who actively take initiative and are highly organised in managing their time and their project, they will find the Year 9 DT course very rewarding.
The course in Year 9 is intended to build on the experience gained in Year 8 so that if the student proceeds to GCSE he will have a sound practical background to enable him to fulfil the requirements to design and make products in resistant materials. For half of the year in Year 9, he will be working on wood based projects and for the other half metal and plastic based projects.
The course will endeavour to improve the communication skills used when problem-solving and to record and show others these ideas clearly. Over the two years, a wide variety of materials will be expected to be used to develop a breadth of knowledge of materials and processes. Solutions to design problems will involve the uses of appropriate materials and technologies.
The design course for GCSE would lead directly to the type of work now being undertaken for our A Level courses, but even for those boys not considering pursuing this at a higher Level, it can offer a wonderful opportunity to give a breadth to their education not available from other subjects, and develop sound practical and problem-solving skills for life.
Design and Technology continues to heavily influence the world around us and will therefore remain an exciting and engaging subject. It draws together skills from a broad range of disciplines including Physics, Mathematics, History and Art, and consequently requires pupils to develop their knowledge and abilities in numerous areas. Whilst there are no prior learning or other requirements for this qualification, it is expected pupils will have studied the subject at GCSE given the fundamental skills and knowledge developed during these years.
As part of the course, the pupils will learn a wealth of skills and will experience various opportunities. The Department is very well equipped to help the pupils realise their ideas. We have specific wood and metal workshops, which have a wealth of tools and equipment including centre lathes and a milling machine. We also have a CNC microrouter and laser cutter. The Department features a 3D printer, which the pupils are encouraged to use. Alongside the workshops, we have two computer suites which feature the modelling software, Solidworks. This is heavily used in industry and this educational addition enables pupils to develop their skills in this area.
The Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities that Sixth Form pupils are encouraged to participate in. These include the GreenPower Go-Kart challenge and motorsport enrichment on a Thursday afternoon and a range of STEM competitions. These activities are often drawn upon in university applications to describe how the pupils have utilised their Design and Technology skills.
Due to the nature of the subject, the course is very demanding in terms of time and pupils should be expected to spend some of their free time within the Department.