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The intent of the Design Technology Curriculum

Design is a ‘problem-solving’ activity, requiring the application of creative thinking with technical knowledge. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, the Design and Technology Curriculum at Sir John Leman High School, focuses on developing in all students the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making, alongside the personal attitudes and attributes to be successful at KS3, KS4 and beyond. Delivered through a variety of mediums, including Textiles, Product Design and Food and Nutrition the curriculum covers the following 3 key areas of design in parallel with technical understanding:

Designing: students will learn how to analyse contexts and problems, identifying, through different research, design criteria to meet their own and other’s needs. They will develop a range of communication skills, including modelling and CAD, to explore and test design thinking.

Making: students will learn how to prepare and plan for manufacture and safely use a wide variety of tools and equipment, including CAM, to shape, process, assemble and finish a wide range of materials, components and ingredients.

Evaluating: students will develop their ability to test and critically examine their own and others products, embedding this understanding in the wider context of social, moral, cultural and environmental issues.

Technical Knowledge: students will develop a broad range of technical expertise, including the application of knowledge from the wider curriculum, including such things as materials and their properties, systems and new and emerging technologies..

Curriculum Road Map - TextilesCurriculum Road Map - MaterialsCurriculum Road Map - Food

Curriculum Sequencing Plan - Design Technology

Curriculum Sequencing Plan - Food Technology

How is the Design Technology Curriculum implemented?

Designing, Making and Evaluating skills, along with Technical Knowledge, are taught by specialist teachers through Units of Work delivered on a carousel system with classes experiencing different projects through the year. These build in complexity, challenge and depth as students move through the KS3 years.

The impact of the Design Technology Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Design and Technology Curriculum increases students’ Designing, Making and Evaluating Skills, alongside Technical Knowledge, equipping them with the tools to ‘iteratively’ analyse and solve design problems. This acts as a solid foundation for making informed decisions and accessing the popular KS4 GCSE Courses on offer – Food and Nutrition, D&T Materials, D&T Textiles and D&T Graphics

How is it assessed?

In years 7- 9 students Designing and Making skills are internally assessed and tracked to ensure progress across Key Stage 3. These skills are further broken down to include; Designing, Making, and Evaluating.

How can I help my child?

Parental support in Design and Technology can best be delivered through encouraging your child to complete extended learning activities to the best of their ability and ensuring they revise for written tests. Whilst we provide resources and materials for most projects we request that ingredients for food technology lessons are supplied from home. Developing student's awareness of the diversity of design and technology and its importance in the real world, from engineers to architects, chefs to computer games design can encourage students to see the relevance of the subject and future career opportunities.

Food Preparation and Nutrition (KS4)

The intent of the Food Preparation & Nutrition Curriculum

The course is designed to equip learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to prepare food, applying the principles of nutrition, healthy eating and food science. The heart of the course is the development of strong practical food handling skills and techniques as well a good understanding of nutrition. 

How is the Food Preparation & Nutrition Curriculum implemented?

  • Focused practical cookery tasks – developing high level making skills and techniques using a wide range of ingredients and equipment
  • Investigations into the scientific principles which underlie the preparation and cooking of food
  • Studying the composition, health aspects, nutritional value and functions of food
  • Learning about food choice, provenance, health and safety
  • Presentation and food styling techniques

Students are expected to provide their own ingredients for this subject, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Extended learning will be set on a regular basis to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject. Undertaking practical food preparation at home is always valuable too.

The impact of the Food Preparation & Nutrition Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 4

How is it examined?

Two Non-Examined Assessments (NEAs)

  1. 15% of the total GCSE [10 hours] – A food investigation task exploring scientific principles involved in the preparation and cooking of food.
  2. 35% of the total GCSE [20 hours] – A food preparation task incorporating a three hour session involving the preparation, cooking and presentation of three dishes.

One examination paper

50% of the total GCSE [1 hour 30 minutes] - questions based on Food Preparation and Nutrition.

What qualification will I get? What could it lead to?

  • OCR Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in Food Preparation and Nutrition

Further study could be in Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition, Science, Health and Sport. 

Career directions could include:

Catering, Hospitality, Food Science, Nursing, Caring, Education, Retail, Marketing, Dietetics, Food Technology, Food Product Development or Environmental Health.

Textiles (KS4)

The intent of the Textiles Curriculum

This course allows students to continue to study Design and Technology in a holistic way, developing the skills, understanding and experiences to become effective product designers. The course combines the theoretical understanding of a wide range of technological areas including materials and their properties, emerging technologies, mechanical and electrical systems and sustainability, alongside practical application of solving problems through designing and making products using textiles technology.

How is the Textiles Curriculum implemented?

  • A wide range of mini projects – developing understanding and high level making skills using materials (textiles and compliant materials) components and mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Development of problem solving capabilities through iterative designing.
  • Designing skills including sketching, modelling and Computer-aided Design
  • Development of practical skills using traditional hand and machine tools, alongside new Computer-aided Manufacturing
  • Investigating the commercial manufacture of products
  • Investigation of the social, cultural and environmental issues related to product design and manufacture

The impact of the Textiles Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 4

How is it examined?

Paper 1 (50%)

This unit will be assessed through a 2 hour written exam at the end of the course. It will assess your knowledge and understanding of three key areas.

A) Core technical principles – this will focus on a range of technical issues relating to design and technology including modern and smart materials, energy, electrical and mechanical systems and material properties.

B) Specialist Technical Principles – this will focus on textiles technology and associated issues related to the use of papers, board and card.

C) Designing and making principles – this will focus on the principles and skills of designing as a problem solving activity.

Non-Exam Assessment (50%)

This unit will involve you setting your own design challenge chosen from themes set by the exam board in June of Year 10. You will need to research into the design problem, develop and model design ideas, plan and manufacture your product and test it. The work will be presented as an A3 portfolio and final prototype. Whilst you can use any suitable materials, the focus of the course will be developing skills in the use of textile technology. The unit will be assessed by your teacher and moderated by the exam board.

What qualification will I get? What could it lead to?

  • AQA Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in Design and Technology

Further study could be in fashion design, applied arts, costume design, textiles technology etc.

Career Directions could include careers in fashion design, applied arts, costume design, textiles technology etc.

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