Blue school 16th sept 2019 0134

Design & Technology

Studying Design & Technology at school helps to prepare young people for living and working in a technological world.

In Design & Technology, students combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. Students will be taught the technical understanding, design methods and making skills needed to produce practical solutions to real problems.


Key Stage 3

Design & Technology stimulates both intellectual and creative abilities and develops the personal qualities needed to complete a design project from initial ideas to finished product. 

The work of young people in Design & Technology enables them to: 

  • relate their personal experience to the work of commerce and industry 
  • understand how Design & Technology affects our lives 
  • contribute to the use and development of technology in our society through informed participation. 

The Blue School has excellent facilities for Design & Technology. In addition to the well-equipped specialist rooms, we have an excellent networked suite of computers. 

The entry into secondary school is a significant step. It brings students into contact with specialist teachers and a wide range of technical resources. Students are taught how to work out their ideas with greater technical precision, taking proper account of functional, economic and aesthetic factors. Design proposals can be manufactured by using equipment and an increased range of materials to produce products of quality. 

Teachers will show students how to structure their designing by working through a design folio to show evidence of exploring ideas and making decisions. Students will be taught techniques for exploring and developing their ideas - thumbnail sketching, annotated drawing, 3D mock-ups, and computer simulations. Sometimes the scale of the design task will make it necessary for students to work in teams. Teachers will require students to use mathematics, science and art in their work. Understanding of design continues to develop through the study of existing products and by inviting designers and others from industry and commerce into the classroom. 

Typically over the first three years students will design and make eco-friendly printed ‘monster’ bags, tie dyed, laser cut and embellished zipped wallets, Kandinsky inspired door stops, pens, jewellery, electronic novelties, torches, clocks and mirrors, mechanical toys, and a variety of food products for particular lifestyles and nutritional needs, including the favourites - pastries, soda bread and savoury muffins. 

The range of experience includes the use of foods, textiles, timbers, metals, plastics, mechanisms and electronics. 

Students will be taught Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Control, Computer Aided Making (CAM) and Desk Top Publishing (DTP).



D&T - Graphics and Product Design

In D&T Graphics and Product Design, the central aspect of our foundation course is that children learn to communicate ideas and manufacture solutions.

At the earliest opportunity students will be taught to cut, shape and join a wide range of materials - from plastics to precious metals, from electronic components to our native hardwoods. Students will be taught to observe general safety and workshop procedures and to work in a manner that is planned and considered. Students will be expected to pursue the highest levels of craftsmanship.

The skills required in researching and illustrating ideas are taught alongside the design projects. The communication of ideas through drawings, models and text involves the development of many graphical skills. Setting specifications, making observation drawings and using our Computer Aided Design facilities (CAD) are some of the skill areas that are developed. Students will use industry standard CAD software such as CorelDraw, Sketchup and Solidworks 3D modelling to develop design ideas in new and exciting ways. Computer Aided Manufacture enables students to make what they have designed using the latest Laser Cutting and Rapid Prototyping technology. Students will be expected to pursue a high level of presentation and communication throughout the process.

D&T - Food and Nutrition and Textile Materials

In D&T— Food and Nutrition and Textile Materials students are taught on a rotation basis; they experience a term and a half of both Food and Nutrition and Textiles in Y7 to Y9. The skills that students develop during Y7 form a foundation for subsequent years. Emphasis is placed on producing quality products that are individually creative. Understanding and observing safe working practices are given a priority at a very early stage.

D&T - Food and Nutrition Materials

In D&T - Food and Nutrition Materials students really enjoy and show a wonderful level of motivation when they cook and use ingredients in a creative way.  Opportunities arise to taste a variety of foods, to offer opinions on taste and texture but also to introduce food they may not have yet experienced.

Ideas are communicated through illustration, verbal communication and group collaboration and products are designed with consumers in mind. Techniques and processing skills are taught and assessed each time designs are made into real products. Creativity with food ingredients is nurtured. We aim for products to be made with quality, have a good appetising appearance and be relevant to lifestyle; this may mean some preparation will be required at home as time is our main constraint.

Government guidelines are clear on the need to make products nutritious and healthy; nearly all products made will be savoury. Treats will be made towards the end of the projects, usually involving chocolate! Nutritional needs and healthy eating are a focus in all year group teaching, particularly Year 7.

During Y7 products include: hummus with vegetables crudités, energy high fibre bars, soda bread, fruit crumbles, savoury scones and vegetable based muffins. Y8 students concentrate on foods that use ingredient waste as our project focuses on food sustainability and protein.  In Y9 the focus is on foods that contain carbohydrates and fats and we look closely at a range of dietary needs.

Staff would appreciate parents checking with their children to see if food ingredients are required for the following lesson so that their experience in the food workshop is a rewarding one. A recipe guide sheet is forwarded to parents at the beginning of each project along with a letter asking parent(s) to identify any food allergies that may affect their child’s experiences. Students are encouraged to further the skills they have developed at home.

D&T - Textile Materials

In D&T - Textile Materials students are fascinated by the sewing machine and the laser cutter so we exploit both fully within the KS3 schemes of work. Developing an understanding of how fabrics are constructed and used within the textile industry to make unique products is the foundation to all three projects that students complete in Textiles. Students are taught, from the outset, how to embellish, cut accurately and construct using a range of fabrics, techniques and processes. As with all D&T materials, students carry out research before communicating their design ideas through illustrative drawings, modelling and group collaborative work, all assisted by the use of our Computer Aided Design (CAD) facilities. Evaluation of work takes place throughout the course so that students can learn to make judgements for future tasks. High levels of creativity and individual thought are expected.

In Y7 students’ focus is on sustainability. Using CorelDraw they design an eco monster which is then printed onto fabric and made into a bag-for-life. In Year 8 product development starts with pattern and shape found in Moroccan art. Fabric is tie dyed and laser cut before being embellished and sewn.  In Year 9 students' focus on a 20th Century artist to then print, manipulate and decorate fabric before sewing into a product.

Students would benefit if basic sewing equipment such as pins, needles and thread are accessible for use at home.

Key Stage 4