Staffing: Mr M Wilson (Head of Department), Mrs S Warburton (i/c Food Preparation & Nutrition), Mrs T Astley (Deputy Head Teacher), Mr T Gray, Mrs J Chappell (Learning Assistant) and Ms B Tatterton (Learning Assistant for Tech and Art).
In lower school (Key Stage 3) all pupils, irrespective of gender, will follow broad courses which are aimed at meeting the National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 3.
Each pupil studies 2 hours of Food and 2 hours of Technology per fortnight throughout Year 7 and Year 8 before opting for one of these subjects in Year 9 where they then receive 4 hours per fortnight.
Pupils in the upper school are encouraged to continue with their Design Technology & Food to GCSE level via one of the two specifications offered. These are Food Preparation & Nutrition and Technology. Food is examined through the AQA examination board whilst Technology is examined through Edexcel.
Both specifications share a similar approach. Pupils have to design, make and test items through a major coursework project which can earn up to 50% of their final GCSE marks. The remaining 50% can be gained through the final un-tiered exam.
The Technology department is equipped with computers, an A3 colour printer and Computer Aided Manufacturing machines including a milling machine, a sticker cutter and a laser cutter. Pupils are encouraged to incorporate this technology into their products and learn to use them autonomously as they progress through the Key Stages.
All staff in the department have industrial experiences outside of teaching and we believe this better equips them to prepare pupils for the world of work.
Key Stage 3
All pupils in Year 7 will be given a number of practical & design activities aimed at ensuring all pupils have the same skill levels. These include a wooden boat, computer aided design, healthy choices, packaging, paper engineering, fridge magnet, safety and hygiene, fruit salad, super sarny, pizza toast, carrot cakes etc.
In Year 8 these skills will be extended and built upon through more open-ended projects; ensuring pupils become more autonomous in their design thinking and practical abilities. These include a Trinket Box, an MP3 Speaker cooking techniques, healthy eating etc.
Pupils are taught to evaluate and assess their work through mark schemes and peer-assessment in order that they can fully understand how they can improve their products.
Key Stage 4
In Year 9, pupils who have opted to take Technology extend the skillset learnt in Lower School and are asked to design and make a clock based on a twentieth century art or design movement. They will research movements from a list, make mood-boards, research materials, jointing techniques and finishes etc. before designing their product and constructing it from a given list of materials. They will then follow the same design process by designing a light based on an architectural movement. Pupils in both cases are encouraged to explore the world of the designer outside of the school environment and to implement the use of Computer Aided Design & Computer Aided Manufacture.
In Year 10 they are asked to design and make a commemorative product for a particular event using pewter casting and to package this product using a four-part vacuum formed box. Other projects are in flux and develop alongside the changing nature of Technology in society.
GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.
Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:
Food, nutrition and health, Food science, Food safety, Food choice & Food provenance.
Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.
All pupils are invited to undertake a Technology subject to GCSE level. Year 10 pupils extend their skills learnt in lower school and spend the majority of Year 11 undertaking their final design and make project which is provided by the exam board. Pupils study for 5 hours per fortnight in each subject.
Towards the end of the coursework phase of the course, staff voluntarily provide extra sessions within the workshops and Food Preparation & Nutrition rooms at lunchtimes or after school to provide pupils with extra help. Revision towards the final exam begins in earnest after February of the year of the exam.
The department continually look for ways to modernise their teaching and the equipment within the department. The laser cutter has been a massive boon for the department, with its use being felt in all subject areas within the department as well as usage around school for signs, sports day trophies etc.
From September 2016 Food Technology will ceased to exist and was replaced with a new exciting course titled “Food Preparation and Nutrition”. Technically this isn’t part of Technology but will remain within the department for administrative and logistical reasons and we look forward to implementing the new course.
From September 2017, separate Technology subjects will amalgamate into one subject and will be delivered in a manner similar to the way we deliver Key Stage 3 but at a much higher level. Pupils will then specialise in one area as they work towards their GCSE.