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'Creativity is intelligence having fun’
- Albert Einstein
Design and Technology Aim
The Weston Road Academy offers an exciting variety of courses within Design and Technology.
At Key Stage 3, they include Product Design, Food Technology, Graphic Products, Electronics and Resistant Materials.
At Key Stage 4, students can select a GCSE course in either AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition and/ or AQA Design and Technology.
Subjects within Technology are popular option choices and students achieve good results that are getting increasingly better year on year. Students particularly enjoy the active style of learning, practical work and working in specialist, purpose built rooms and workshops. Access to ICT, new technologies and our Design and Technology CAD/CAM Suite engage students in active learning.
Design Technology subjects at Weston Road inspire students to be independent learners, combining practical and technological skills to make innovative and creative products.
KS3 Design & Technology
During KS3 (year 7 & 8) students experience a wide range of tools and materials, including Food and Nutrition, Textiles, Graphics, Product Design, and Resistant Materials; with all students having the opportunity to enter external competitions and recognised awards.
Students design, make and evaluate in each area, providing them with the experience of working with a wide range of tools/equipment and materials. There is also a focus on literacy, numeracy and science within the subject, students use subject specific vocabulary to evaluate and develop their work to a high level.
Students work is assessed three times every module. Each module is between 8 to 9 weeks long and students cover four modules per year. Each assessment is linked to a detailed success criteria, which students can access through their module booklet. Personalised feedback and SAIL is provided with each assessment. The Subject Leader, who intervenes where necessary, monitors assessment internally.
Students are also baseline assessed at the beginning of year 7 (around week 9/10) and then once a term, as to the assessment timetable. This assessment enables staff to see which modules students may need more retrieval or intervention.
Homework at KS3 is set three times per year, as to the homework timetable. Homework is set as a research task that will support their assessment weeks/ test. Students are provided with detailed feedback and SAIL on their homework. Students are then advised to use their homework during their assessment weeks.
KS4 Design & Technology
At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity of opting for one or more of the following GCSE Design and Technology courses:-
- AQA GCSE Design and Technology
- AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
AQA GCSE Design and Technology
Specification Code: 8552
GCSE Design and Technology enables students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. Packaging, labelling and instructions are encouraged as part of the complete design proposal and advertising, points of sale can be used to supplement the making experience and help create products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability.
Unit 1 – Written Paper (External Exam 50%)
Students will sit an examination at the end of the course, this will cover areas within core technical principles including: New and emerging technologies, energy generation and storage, developments in new materials, systems approach to designing, mechanical devices and materials and their working properties
Unit 2 – Non External Assessment (50%)
Students will respond to a task set by the exam board and will be assessed on their ability to investigate the design context, develop design proposals, manufacture a product or prototype, analysis and evaluating of the product.
AQA GCSE Food and Nutrition
Specification Code: 8585
Paper 1 – Food Preparation and Nutrition (50%)
Students will sit an examination which assesses their theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition.
Non Exam Assessment (50%)
Task 1 (15%) – Food investigation. Assessing the Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
Task 2 (35%) – Food preparation assessment. Assessing the Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task. Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.
These courses are very popular and allow students to specialise in their preferred material area.
Each of these courses provides students with the opportunity of designing, prototyping and making, developing creativity and independent working skills.
During KS4 students are assessed in two sections; project work and theory.
In year 9 and 10, students work on mini projects that are 10-12 weeks long. Work is assessed against the AQA marking criteria points, every 3-4 weeks. Personalised feedback and SAIL is always given. Students are then given a week to improve their work as to the feedback.
In Year 11, students will work on their NEA. The NEA is assessed against the AQA marking criteria. Work is assessed, every 2-3 weeks, personalised feedback and SAIL is always given. Students are then given a week to improve their work as to the feedback.
Throughout KS4 students are assessed on their theory knowledge. Theory is delivered once a week, in the single lesson. Sections are tracked through the students PLC. At the end of each section, students formally assessed. To support this assessment, teachers use retrieval and interleaving throughout their lessons.
The classroom teacher and Subject Leader, who intervenes where necessary, monitors assessment internally.
At KS4, homework is set weekly. The homework set is to either; a consolidation of theory knowledge or to support the project-based work. Students are provided with detailed feedback and SAIL on their homework.
In year 9 and 10, it is recommended that students spend around 30 minutes to 1 hour per week on their homework. In year 11, this will increase depending on the NEA demands.
Throughout KS3 the Design and Technology department host in a range of extra-curricular activities. These include:
- IET Faraday Challenges
- Lego League
- Rotary Chef Competition
- Young Engineers robotic challenge
At KS4, we open up to the department at break, lunch times and after school for students to work on their NEA/ Project work or to gain additional support on tasks. There is a member of the department available at each session.
The teaching and support staff are currently:
Mrs T Lambert – Subject Leader and Teacher of Technology firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr P Fowler – Teacher of Technology email@example.com
Mrs V Merriot - Teacher of Technology firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs C Clough – TA and Teacher of Food (KS3) email@example.com
Mrs K McCracken – Technician & first aider firstname.lastname@example.org