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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Design & Technology

Product Design

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The Department

Curriculum Leader: Miss H Bowman

KS3

What will be studied?

Within Design and Technology students in Years 7, 8 and 9 study Food and Textiles and Product Design on a rotation system, where they complete one project per topic each year.

Students have access to specialised textiles rooms where new techniques are taught and applied via a range of projects which include dying techniques, machine sewing, decorative embellishment techniques, construction and pattern making.

Food Science and Nutrition is taught in our food rooms where students learn about a variety of cultural dishes, and the science behind our food. These lessons are very popular, and students enjoy taking home their creations to share with their family after a practical lesson.

Product Design is taught in specialised workshops and students learn a variety of woodwork and metal work techniques – the use of plastics within design, electronics and circuit boards are also included within topic content.

New technologies and STEAM are an important part of our curriculum, and we use state of the art equipment including CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture).  Product Design is offered at GCSE where students can opt to take a resistant materials or textiles focus, enabling progressing into the engineering and design industries.

What support is needed?

  • Encouragement in creativity, and promotion of the importance of STEAM, and the importance of getting girls in Engineering.
  • Museums e.g. Science Museum and the Design Museum.

How will they be assessed?

Assessment is carried out via extended projects which are set and marked by teachers. These projects are designed to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and technical ability in Art. Targets are set for students during the year and progress towards those targets are monitored by frequent discussions with students and by written feedback.


GCSE

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 8552

What will be studied?

art7New technologies and STEAM are an important part of our curriculum, and we use state of the art equipment including CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture).  Product Design is offered at GCSE where students can opt to take a resistant materials or textiles focus, enabling progressing into the engineering and design industries.

This GCSE D&T course will build upon the design-and-make skills used in Years 7-9, developing knowledge and understanding within Resistant Materials or Textiles.

Product Design is a subject where students gain practical skills that are relevant to everyday life, both at home and at work.  They use and develop many key skills, especially communication, numeracy, problem solving and ICT, and become effective independent learners.  The coursework is demanding, but the final products and portfolios give most students a sense of real achievement and satisfaction, as well as something to be proud of at home and in future interviews. The new controlled assessment regulations mean that most of the coursework will be done in school, not at home.

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Topics covered will include: Knowledge and understanding of properties of materials (paper & card, then at least one of metals, woods, plastics, or smart materials). Skills in the relevant material including use of a range of tools, machines and processes, CAD/CAM, industrial production, different types of drawing and rendering, model making and prototypes, developments (nets), forming (e.g. vacuum forming), packaging, marketing and advertising. Background information such as evolution of product design, product development, environmental issues, human factors, quality control and health and safety.

ICT will be used extensively for desk top publishing, graphics (including drawing, editing digital photos and scanned pictures), spreadsheets and charts, nets, flow charts and CNC work.

Learning Methods

We try to teach as much of the theory as we can through practical work.  For example in Year 10 students might be designing and making a storage unit, or textile garment based on a design movement.

Group work, PowerPoint presentations, disassembly and research are other teaching styles used in lessons.

We hope to give students the opportunity to make at least one visit during the course or to hear from a visiting speaker, particularly concerning the industrial applications part of the course, but this is not always possible.

How is the course assessed?

There is one written exam paper of 2 hours carrying 40% of the total marks, including a design question for which you get some prior information and a chance to research before the exam.

60% of the final grade is dependent on a design-and-make project.  This will begin in the summer term of Year 10 and will take approximately 45 hours of school time.

In this project students will be given a choice of titles to investigate and then individuals research or recall relevant knowledge and make informed decisions about what is required for a solution.  Students have to provide a variety of ideas, plan and carry out the making of a solution and finally test and evaluate the results. The use of ICT in designing, making and presenting your work is very important.

Students will be working individually for most of this time, so they need to show considerable independence and make sure that they meet the deadlines for each part of the project.

What websites are recommended?

BBC Bitesize and AQA for past papers

What equipment is needed?

A calculator, protractor, ruler, pen and pencil and coloured pencils are essential at all times.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans

Hertfordshire

AL3 6DB

01727 853134