Staffing: Mr M Wilson (Head of Department), Mrs S Warburton (i/c Food Technology), Mrs T Astley, Miss C Moore and Mrs J Chappell (Learning Assistant).
In the 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 Technology 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 and Technology education to GCSE level via one of the three specifications offered. These currently include Food Technology, Product Design and Resistant Materials all through the AQA examination board (www.AQA.org.uk).
All of the specifications, share a common approach. Pupils have to design, make and test items through a major coursework project which can earn up to 60% of their final GCSE marks. The remaining 40% 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, environmentally friendly USB torch, safety and hygiene, fruit salad, super sarny, pizza toast, carrot cakes etc.
In subsequent years, 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.
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.
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.
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. They were once asked to design a storage unit for CD’s but with the advent of MP3’s this became redundant and they are now asked to design and make a stand for a mobile phone.
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. Pupils study for 5 hours per fortnight in each subject.
All subjects within the Technology Suite are examined by the AQA Examination Board:
Unit 1: A controlled assessment task carried out in school by the pupil comprising a research section, a design section and a practical section. This accounts for 60% of the final examination grade. It is marked by the class teacher and moderated by the AQA
Unit 2: A final examination lasting two hours. The exam is not tiered and all pupils are expected to sit this at the end of the course. The exam is marked by the AQA.
All pupils’ work is assessed through the following Assessment Criteria:
Investigating the design context
Development of design proposals including modelling
Testing and Evaluation
Drop Down Days are used from Year 9 onwards to provide the pupils with a Deep Learning Experience whereby they are able to spend 4 continuous hours on either one specific activity or as a booster session in order to aid their coursework. Towards the end of the coursework phase of the course, staff voluntarily provide extra sessions within the workshops and Food Technology 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 cease to exist and will be replaced with a new exciting course titled “Food Preparation and Nutrition”. Technically this isn’t part of the suite of Technology subjects 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.