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Design & Technology GCSE

Year 4
Our Year 4 students are involved in lighting structures, whereby they are designing and manufacturing their flat-pack lantern. Students are designing parts of their lantern using Fusion 360 which will be cut using the laser cutter giving them the opportunity to enhance their skills on Fusion 360 which they will be making use of in their GCSE project next year.

Year 5
Through their coursework, our Year 5 students were tackle realistic problem solving situations for different target markets and come up with creative and practical solutions which they also represent using CAD. Looking at the design cycle, they echo industrial product design situations and enhance their analytical and evaluative skills. Their knowledge and understanding of materials and processes is enriched through experimentation in the workshop.

A general outline of the GCSE course follows:
Examination Board: Pearson
Unit 1 – 50% of GCSE
This involves the students producing a design folder and a 2D and 3D practical outcome on their suggested design solution. This is completed during the 5th year. It is produced under supervised sessions.

Unit 2 – 50% of GCSE
A terminal examination based on the knowledge acquired throughout the two-year course. 1 hour & 45 minutes.

The Key Skills and Concepts of studying Design & Technology

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of design and technology. Pupils need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.

Mathematics and Science
Design and Technology has a new requirement to include mathematics and science knowledge, skills and understanding.
For the mathematics component, students are expected to: a) Recognize and use expressions in decimal and standard form b) Use ratios, fractions and percentages c) Calculate the surface area and volume D) Presentation of data, diagrams, bar charts and histograms. e) The plot, draw and interpret appropriate graphs f) Translate information between graphical and numeric form.
For the science component, students are expected: a) quantities, units and symbols b) SI units, prefixes and powers of ten for orders of magnitude c) metals and non-metals and the differences between them d)the basic principles in carrying out a life-cycle assessment e) corrosion and oxidization. f) The composition of alloys g) the physical properties of materials h) the main energy sources available for use on Earth, the ways in which they are used and the distinction between renewable and non-renewable sources. i) The action of forces; levers and gears

This is the holistic activity that is at the heart of all design and technology courses and is in evidence at every stage of the design process. Students who identify a need, analyse the problem, collect research, develop a specification, generate a range of alternative solutions, develop a chosen solution, produce a production plan and evaluate the outcome of their designing will generate appropriate evidence for this key skill.

Designing and making
Understanding that designing and making has aesthetic, environmental, technical, economic, ethical and social dimensions and impacts on the world. Applying knowledge of materials and production processes to design products and produce practical solutions that are relevant and fit for purpose. Understanding that products and systems have an impact on the quality of life. Exploring how products have been designed and made in the past, how they are currently designed and made, and how they may develop in the future.

Cultural understanding
Understanding how products evolve according to users’ and designers’ needs, beliefs, ethics and values and how they are influenced by local customs and traditions and available materials. Exploring how products contribute to the lifestyle and consumer choices.

Making links between principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge to develop innovative products and processes. Reinterpreting and applying to learn in new design contexts and communicating ideas in new or unexpected ways. Exploring and experimenting with ideas, materials, technologies and techniques.

It involves skills which underpin all design and technology work and activities such as brainstorming ideas and group discussion at the outset of a project, provide appropriate evidence in this area. When researching design problems, students will read extensively around a topic in order to collect relevant information that they will summarise. They may also use product analysis in their work and this will involve the use of images, providing further portfolio evidence.

Critical evaluation
Analysing existing products and solutions to provide information on designing and making of new products. Evaluating the needs of users and the context in which products are used to inform designing and making. Exploring the impact of ideas, design decisions and technological advances and how these provide opportunities for new design solutions. Environmental concerns include opportunities to explore issues relating to sustainability. Economical concerns which include understanding the patenting process. Production processes which include seeing possibilities, problems and challenges, and visualizing alternatives.