The lower school syllabus is designed to introduce the students to the subject.
The lessons include a variety of creative and practical activities, all aimed at giving students the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the designing and making the process. Their projects will be based on a range of contexts (which reflect the work completed at GCSE level, and industrial contexts (engineering, manufacturing, construction, energy and graphic design).
There are four key elements to the KS3 DT curriculum:
The design includes identifying user needs, solving design problems, developing specifications that help them design innovative, functional and appealing products, and communicating their ideas through methods such as sketches, plans, 3D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based skills.
Make selecting from a range of materials, tools, techniques, processes and manufacture, including computer-aided design.
Evaluate involves analysing the work of past and present design professionals, investigating new and emerging technologies, testing, evaluating and refining their own ideas, and understanding how design and technology impacts on people, and the responsibilities of designers and engineers.
Technicalknowledge includes understanding and using the properties of materials, understanding and using more advanced electrical and electronic systems, and using computing to make intelligent products using programmable components.
Since 2017, F1 in schools, entry class has formed a compulsory part of the D&T curriculum.
Year 1 students design and manufacture their own clocks using a variety of materials including found items and present these to their peers. This is their first taste of the workshop, where they experiment with light craft materials and equipment, with emphasis on safety. They develop their analytical and evaluative skills which they apply throughout the project. They have the added advantage of experiencing and enhancing their verbal presentation skills and PowerPoint presentations.
In the latter part of the year, the students work on designing their House Sports Emblem, and enter a competition for the best House Emblem.Year 1 students work complete two booklets, one for each of their projects. These take them through the Design Process for each of their products.
Students in Year 2 learn about CAM mechanisms and the different types of movements to incorporate in their toy designs. These are created using woodworking skills which they are able to formulate using both traditional hand tools and machinery. The designs are inspired by PIXAR movies and they are able to realise their project from the design brief right through to the end product, following the principles of the design cycle, as echoed in industry.
In the latter part of year, the students are involved in their F1 in Schools Entry Class project, within their teams. They design and manufacture a miniature F1 race car, develop a team identity, collect and manage sponsorships and race their cars in a Year 2 Competition!
Students in Year 3 are involved in an Architectural Project in Design & Technology. Through this project, the students develop their fine motor skills, working in small scale model making, replicating their designs that they create in CAD. Particular challenges are keeping models in proportion in order to look as realistic as possible and paying attention to detail.