GCSE Design & Technology

Head of Department: Miss A M Healy BA (Luton)

SPECIFICATION: AQA GCSE 8552  (9-1)

Design and Technology is taught from Elements (Year 7) to Grammar (Year 9) as part of their curriculum and then as option for GCSE and A Level.  Students learn about the different materials, tools and processes as well as the theory element of Design and Technology.  Various materials including wood, metal and plastic to develop the students skills.  The department ensures it utilises all available resources from computer aided design tools, to 3D printers.

If you enjoy problem-solving and making things, you will find this subject interesting. Design is a constantly evolving process requiring a broad range of skills and knowledge. The course is structured to allow you to solve design problems logically and systematically. We will teach you the skills and knowledge needed to develop products that are creative, innovative and useful.

Design Technology will give you the opportunity to:

  • Design and make creatively conceived and well-made commercially viable products by generating, developing, planning and communicating your ideas.
  • Make quality products by working safely with tools, equipment, components, and materials.
  • Apply systems and control, CAD/CAM, digital media and new technologies where appropriate.

You will also:

  • Develop as an effective and independent learner.
  • Make considered decisions when designing.
  • Design and make sustainable long lasting, good quality products.
  • Combine skills and knowledge to solve real-life
  • Explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, economic, environmental, ethical and social issues interact when designing and making.
  • Analyse existing products and produce practical solutions to needs, wants and opportunities.
  • Develop your decision-making skills through working on your own and in teams.
  • Understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies.
  • Develop skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge.

The course is taught through a series of practical projects which include core teaching topics. Past projects include short problem-solving exercises, drawing exercises and CAD/CAM practice.  The controlled assessment project is set within a timed period and set to a theme by the Examination Board; we give you guidance as to what might be a suitable project.  In the past pupils have designed and made children’s toys, storage for cramped rooms, picnic equipment, aids for the disabled, furniture and items of jewellery.

Assessment overview

The course is spread over two years.  Only the marks gained in the second year count towards the final GCSE assessment grade.

Coursework:

This is set to a theme given by the examining board and completed under supervision.  This work is internally assessed and externally moderated (50%). This element should be a reflection of 40 hours school-based work and should include evidence of a design folio and a manufactured product.

Examinations:

Terminal 2 hour examination.  All questions are compulsory and the answers are marked externally.  The final examination tests the student’s ability to understand the design process and the theory and techniques behind their knowledge and understanding and making based on a range of materials (50%).

Is this the right course for me?

Students who enjoy this course are hardworking, well organised, able to meet deadlines, and creative, they enjoy practical activity and solving problems.  Above all, they have a personal passion and interest in how products we use on a daily basis are designed and made.

What are my career options?

Design and Technology is an excellent choice if you wish to consider a career in architecture, computer aided design, product design, environmental design, furniture design, industrial design or mechanical or structural engineering.