Design and Technology

AQA GCSE

Course Outline ‐ What will I learn?

Our GCSE Design and Technology course allows students to learn to understand the products and technologies that we rely on in our everyday lives. Pupils aspire to become conscientious and passionate decision makers with a vision for innovation, using state of the art technologies and vibrant & inspiring practical environments, pupils take risks with their ideas & create prototypes that are fit for purpose. 

Design & Technology encourages pupils to develop resilience and resourcefulness, cultivating strategies to overcome real world problems. They use their skills attained across the curriculum and a passion for creativity to develop prototypes, empathising with the wants & needs of a range of cultures, religions & demographics. Studying the lifecycle of materials, pupils learn to consider their origins, properties & the impact they have on our communities & environment, becoming compassionate individuals with a strong understanding of ethics. 

They take pride in developing both their cognitive and physical skills, progress through levels of dependency and learn to take responsibility for the quality of their own outcomes. Working  iteratively, pupils develop a sensitivity to high quality presentation and design commercially viable practical outcomes. They learn to appreciate the need to communicate their ideas accurately & develop social skills that will be invaluable in any workplace. Through experiencing challenge, pupils are able to attain skills that enable them to adapt to a plethora of ever changing circumstances. Seeing problems as opportunities, they become well-rounded adaptable problem solvers with a hunger for new challenges.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop a range of subject knowledge and skills which are attractive to employers, further education and universities including: 

  • Resourcefulness & Resilience 
  • Problem solving skills
  • Prototyping and making skills
  • Communication skills including drawings and modeling
  • Environmental design and manufacturing 

Much more…

What’s assessed

A range of technical principles including: 

  • New & emerging technologies
  • Developments in new materials 
  • Systems approach to designing 
  • Mechanical devices 
  • Materials and their working properties 
  • Forces and stresses 
  • Sources and origins of timbers, metals and plastics
  • Use of production aids 
  • Use of tools, machines and industrial processes 
  • Quality control 
  • Using DATA to inform design decisions 
  • Investigating designs using primary and secondary data
  • Environment, social and economic challenge 

Plus much more…

How will it be assessed? 

2 Hour exam, 50% weighting of GCSE 

What’s assessed

Designing and making principles including: 

  • Research and development: Investigating a design context 
  • Researching the wants and needs of a client
  • Using primary and secondary approaches to investigate a design opportunity/problem
  • Generating a design brief and product design specification (PDS)
  • Generating and developing a range of ideas that are fit for an intended purpose
  • Creating manufacturing specifications, job sheets and technical drawings 
  • Prototyping using a range of tools, materials and making techniques 
  • Evaluating and analysing design proposals
  • Suggesting modifications for mass production

How will it be assessed?

Non exam assessment (NEA) Coursework

25 – 30 pages of research and development work.

35 Hours, 50% weighting of GCSE

What parents need to know

Pupils will be expected to work through levels of dependency in Y9 & 10 to become independent critical thinkers in preparation for their final Non Exam Assessment (NEA) in Y11. 

The NEA is an assessment and as such the pupils must be independently motivated and manage their own projects and time. 

Pupils will learn to develop an appreciation for deadlines and must demonstrate their abilities to generate their own design ideas without relying on close supervision from teachers or other adults. Teachers will be responsible for providing appropriate guidance that is in line with the specifications expectations and the JCQ’s regulations for assessments. 

Potential further study and careers

The creative industry is the most lucrative and in demand of all industries! 

  • Furniture designer 
  • set design 
  • CAD engineer 
  • product designer 
  • games design 

Lots of transferable skills for trades such as plumbing, carpentry and the building trade. 

Ex pupils’ experiences

Design and Technology is a great subject. It has taught me about so many things, from properties of different materials, environmental impacts of manufacturing and how to use designing strategies like isometric drawing and prototyping to help bring designs to life. Design and Technology has also allowed me to express my creativity and ideas through the different projects where all of the design choices are down to you. 

In my opinion, it is quite a futuristic subject, not only does it teach you to be innovative with your ideas, but it also informs you about environmental and economic challenges faced in manufacturing industries. I would recommend choosing Design and Technology if you are creative, passionate about developing your drawing and making skills and would like to learn about a range of industrial processes and modern manufacturing. 

For more information

Please contact: A.Senior, Design Technology and Engineering Subject Leader, on info@oakwood.ac

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