Design and Technology
DT has become an exciting subject over recent years, due in no small part to the significant use of modern technology. Computer aided design (CAD) allows pupils to develop 3D images on a screen, manipulate and then manufacture them using modern manufacturing processes such as computer-controlled milling, routing, laser cutting and, increasingly, 3D printing.
The skills that pupils obtain doing DT are so valuable when it comes to getting a university place or starting a career. Our pupils tend to do very well at interview – they can discuss their own project, other products and technological innovations with confidence.
We have a mix of pupils taking DT at A Level – those who do it as their top choice because they want to pursue a career in a creative subject, but also those who choose it because they enjoy it and are unsure what career path they are going to take. An increasing number go on to take a design-based course beyond A Level.
We usually have four GCSE sets comprising around 45 students, and between 12 and 20 pupils studying A Level Product Design. The subject is currently undergoing change and a more iterative approach to design is being encouraged. This is more reflective of how design works in the real world with the expectations of development modelling and sketching becoming much more substantial than it has been in previous years.
Pupils enjoy coming to the Design Technology department – perhaps they see it as a bit of a haven from the classroom environment of most other subjects. They’ll come at lunchtime, during prep, or even in the evenings and at the weekends during the busiest times. They come in for one-to-one tutorials, to work out a problem, and to get feedback or advice. These sessions are paramount to their success and help drive the projects forward. We challenge the pupils to keep looking at their work in order to find ways to improve it and as a result, the practical outcomes can be quite outstanding. Invariably, the work is extremely varied and usually reflects the interests of the pupils.
In recent years we have seen a number of pupils moving on to study Product Design, Product Design Engineering, or other similar courses. Loughborough, Brunel and Bournemouth are among the favourite destinations and the feedback has been very positive about the experiences they have had or are currently undergoing.