Design and Technology combines material and manufacturing theory with practical know-how acquired through design and make projects.
The two year IGCSE (AQA) exam syllabus in either Textiles Technology or Product Design, includes the study of design, engineering and fashion history, materials theory, including smart materials, manufacturing processes and basic electronics.
Through this course students acquire the knowledge and competence to complete practical tasks, which focus on innovation and creativity. A final 'product' is made as an exam piece and is supported by a written folder of around 20 A3 pages, which include photographs and sketches. Students of Design and Technology sit a single two hour exam paper.
The allocation of marks for the final GCSE grade is:
Controlled Assessment Activity (formerly refered to as 'course work'): 60%
Written Paper: 40%
The skills needed to carry out the design process are taught and practiced during the two year course and candidates actively engage in all aspects of computer aided design and manufacture (CAD / CAM). Dye sublimation, laser cutting and 3D printing equipment are used alongside traditional hand forming techniques to design and make quality products.
The first year of the course aims to build knowledge and ability through an integrated approach of taught theory and practical experience; this prepares candidates for the Controlled Assessment Task, which is chosen in the Upper Fifth and consists of a 45 hour Design and Make project chosen from a list of a dozen or so contexts supplied by the exam board.
Candidates explore a wide range of fibres, fabrics and components, as well as learning a variety of construction methods, finishes and contemporary finishing techniques, which includes state of the art CAD/CAM and electronic clothing technologies. Pupils develop an understanding of how the skills and techniques learned in the classroom are used in industrial production enhancing their appreciation of the importance of textile technology in the commercial world.
Both courses develop skills of creative and critical analysis by making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge. The syllabus offers the young designer a chance to study a subject whose influence is one of the most profound of British industrial successes which can lead to a wide range of future opportunities.
The course assumes no previous experience in either technology or design. The design cycle is at the heart of the course and is used alongside a scientific approach to practical investigative work.
Design consists of gathering information about a design opportunity, processing that information and planning for some kind of intervention, either by modifying what already exists or by introducing something new. The designer is interested, not just in the material environment, but also in the social, technological, economic and environmental considerations that affect people's priorities.
Technology relies on the laws and properties of nature and the accumulated knowledge of technology to create new products, techniques and systems. Design and Technology sits comfortably in Group 4 of the Diploma Programme experimental sciences, because the design cycle involves inquiry, much like the scientific method is used in Science, and students need to study scientific principles in order to understand advances made in society and to be able to speculate what might be achieved in the future.
The Lower Sixth is spent learning the theoretical aspects of good design and carrying out a number of practical and lab-based investigations to support this. Standard Level candidates study six core topics and Higher Level candidates study a further four topics.
Additional Higher Level Topics:
Students undertake a personal Design Project which unifies all aspects of the syllabus. There are no restrictions on material type for the major project and students tend to work in textiles, wood, metal, plastic or a combination of these.
Internal assessment of the Design Project is externally mediated.
External assessment consists of three written papers:
Paper 1 - Students answer multiple-choice questions that test knowledge of the core topics.
Paper 2 - Tests knowledge of the core topics. In section A, data based questions that require students to analyse a given set of data. The remainder of section A is made up of short answer questions. In section B, students answer extended response questions.
Paper 3 - Tests knowledge of the option choice i.e. CAD/CAM at KWC.
Head of Design & Technology - Clwyd Parry - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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