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Departments: Design & Technology

What is Design & Technology?
Design and Technology prepares you to participate in tomorrow's rapidly changing world. You learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. Here at Finham Park School we teach students the design process and the skills they need to turn their designs into products, allowing students to give practical solutions to real problems and continually relating tasks back to real-life. Design and Technology teaches students how to be autonomous learners, taking responsibility for planning and organising their own work, and evaluating in a reflective and critical manner. Students also learn to adapt to working practically both individually and co-operatively. We know that the majority of our students very much enjoy the practical nature of our subject and gain the satisfaction from the successful completion of a practical project.

Within the department have 6 specialist technology rooms. 2 Food Technology rooms (H12 and H13) and 4 Product Design rooms (K12, K13, K14 and K15). K14 and K15 are fully equipped with computers for student use. As well as the traditional machinery we have are also fortunate enough to have 2 3D printers and a laser cutter. These machines enable students to build quality prototypes from their designs.

Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 students are taught in group sets of approximately 20 and we teach a modular system. In Years 7 and 8 students experience all areas of Design and Technology by completing a carousel within the department, experiencing a different specialism each term. Each year group will complete 3 modules each year. Planning for teaching and learning at Key Stage Three is informed by the National Curriculum to provide challenging experiences that offer sequential learning opportunities. Areas covered within Design and Technology are:

Food Technology
Textile Products
Resistant Materials
Graphic Products
Electronic Products

Current Projects in Year 7:

Interior Design
Trinket Box and USB Light
You Are What You Eat - Healthy eating and basic nutrition

Current Projects in Year 8:

Multicultural Reusable Bag
Promotional MP3 Speaker
Healthy School Meals - building on Yr7 to further develop knowledge of healthy eating and nutrition

Key Stage 3 Homework Projects
As a department we feel strongly that students should be encouraged to become more independent learners and learn to meet deadlines so as to prepare them for controlled assessment at KS4.

We have put the following homework projects together with this in mind. Please download relevant projects as they are set.

If you have any questions or any problems completing the projects please ask your teacher. Our projects highlight SMSC by being linked to wider issues such as sustainability and the environment and different cultures from around the world

There will be certificates and stickers for the best projects, so good luck!

Key Stage 4
At the end of Year 8 students will select their options. In Design and Technology we offer the following subjects from them to choose from:

AQA GCSE Product Design
This course aims to develop your creativity, technological know-how and design capability. You will apply your knowledge and understanding of technology and industrial practices to develop and manufacture high quality products in a variety of materials.

Materials and components - Classification and working properties of a range of materials and use them in practical projects, such as paper/card, timber based materials, ferrous and nonferrous metals, plastics, Ceramics, Textiles, Electronic and control components and new and smart materials.

Design and market influences - Evolution of product Design, Product development, how to communicate and represent ideas, Design approaches, Packaging, Product marketing, human factors important in Design, Safety, Quality control, Ethical, environmental and sustainability issues, consumer evaluation.

Processes and Manufacture - Product manufacture, methods of production, manufacturing systems, use of ICT.

  • Unit 1 is 40% of the total marks and consists of a 2 hour examination paper.
  • Unit 2 is 60% of the total marks and is a single Design and make project. It should take approximately 45 hours to complete. Students can choose a project from a list set by the exam board.

    WJEC GCSE Catering
    This is a very practically based subject and is suitable for people of all abilities. It is a fantastic foundation for students who are thinking of a career in Catering or also gives you the practical skills you need to prepare healthy, well balanced meals in the future. Well motivated students can achieve excellent results in this subject. It is a work-related qualification and will enable you to develop your interest in and enjoyment of this vocational area. It will help you to make an informed decision about further courses in this area and career choices.

    What will you study?
    There are 2 units of work:

  • Unit 1 Catering skills related to food preparation and service.
  • Unit 2 Catering, food and the customer

    Areas of study:

  • The industry - Food and drink - Types of establishments, contract caterers and types of services in different establishments
  • Job roles, employment opportunities and relevant training - Management, chefs and food and drink service
  • Health, safety and hygiene
  • Food preparation, cooking and presentation
  • Nutrition and menu planning
  • Costing and portion control
  • Specialist equipment - small and large scale
  • Communication and record keeping
  • Environment considerations - Conservation of energy and water, avoidance of waste

    How will you be assessed?
    Unit 1 is 60% of the final grade. You will carry out 2 practical tasks. Task 1 (20%) you select 1 task from a choice of 3 set by the exam board, which ask you to make 4 different dishes based on a food group e.g. fruit and vegetables. This is usually carried out in the summer term of year 10.

    Task 2 (40%) you choose 1 from 3 tasks which ask you to produce a 2 course meal e.g. to reflect the theme 'International week'. This is usually carried out during the spring term of year 11.

    These are controlled assessments and you must work within the time constraints given.

    Unit 2 is 40% of the final grade. You will sit an examination at the end of the course, 1 written paper of 1.25 hours. It may be possible to do this exam on the computer.

    BTEC Engineering 1st Award
    BTEC qualifications are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications. They have been developed to provide the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to prepare learners for employment. Learners can progress to or within employment and/or continue their study in the same or related vocational area.

    The Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Engineering is a 120 guided learning hours qualification comprising core and specialist units which cover aspects of knowledge, understanding and competency necessary for employment within the engineering industry.

    Structure of the Course:
    There are 2 Core units that need to be studied and then additional 2 specialist units. This course will enable learners to develop the skills and understanding required to carry out a range of engineering tasks and is based around practical activities. It is, therefore, suitable to those students who wish to follow a practical course. Assessment is by the production of a portfolio of work.

    Unit Core units:

      1 The Engineered World (externally assessed)
      2 Investigating an Engineering Product

    Unit Specialist units:

      5 Engineering materials
      6 Computer-aided Engineering

    AQA GCSE Home Economics: Child Development
    This course provides an interesting study of babies and children, their needs in a diverse society. It offers the opportunity to carry out a series of visits to study a child and observe first-hand how she/he grows and develops over a period of time. Well motivated students can achieve excellent results in this subject. It is a work-related qualification and will enable you to develop your interest in and enjoyment of this vocational area. It will help you to make an informed decision about further courses in this area and career choices. It provides an excellent background for further education courses in Child Care and Health and social care.

    What you will study:

      Parenthood - The family, planning for a family, preparing for a baby and provision of a safe environment
      Pregnancy - Reproduction
      Pre-conceptual care
      Pregnancy and preparation for the birth
      Diet, health and care of the Child - Feeding a baby and young child, food related problems
      Development of the child - Including Learning and play
      Support for the parent and child - Types of support available, child care provision


      Unit 1 - Written exam - 1 hour 30 minutes - 40% of the final grade
      Unit 2 - Coursework - Research task - 20% of the final grade. Choose a task from the range of tasks provided by the exam board eg. - Investigate the importance of pre-conceptual and ante-natal care for a couple who are planning a baby.
      Use your findings to produce a fact sheet, leaflet or PowerPoint presentation for the prospective parents.

    You will also complete a child study - 40% of the final grade. It is a study of a single child under the age of 5 years by the end of the study. You will carry out a series of visits to observe, research and carry out activities to see how the child is developing.

  • Department staff:

    Subject leader: Mrs Conway
    Mrs Morley-Smith
    Mrs Finn
    Mr Maguire
    Mrs Sinclair
    Mr Elliott
    Food/Textiles Technician: Michelle Checklin
    D&T Technician: Peter Rivett