Welcome to Design & Technology

We live in a world where technology is inescapable.

Learning about design processes and how products and accessories in our everyday lives enhance and sustain modern living is all part of the DT curriculum at Pittville. We feel this curriculum is both challenging and enjoyable.

At Pittville, we have high expectations for all of our students. We strive to encourage pupils to recognise their own successes by having positive attitudes towards the subject and we wholeheartedly believe that all pupils can achieve. Before starting school at Pittville, many students will never have stepped foot in a workshop and it is our ambition that all students leave Pittville understanding how to safely design and create products that they are proud of, alongside ensuring that they also have a strong knowledge base of all theoretical areas of Design Technology.

We are proud of our carefully designed five year curriculum which is constantly evolving in line with the demands of both the world at large, and with what students need. Students at KS3 are all exposed to the drawing skills unit which is the first step in their journey to being able to design effectively. Without effective sequencing of skills we are aware that students will not progress to where they need to be in KS3 should they decide to pursue the GCSE course with us. Our curriculum has, therefore, been designed backwards as we carefully account for all of the skills and knowledge that students need to be successful at KS4 and ensure that these concepts are taught early on in a way that is accessible to all learners. All of our units at KS3 include regular retrieval practice of key knowledge that sits alongside the more practical design and making skills. Students have the opportunity to work using a wide range of materials in our two well-equipped workshops. We are fortunate to be able to offer our students the opportunity to work not just with woods and plastics, but also with metals, which is something that sets our department apart from others.

Our ambition is for as many students as possible to take DT at GCSE level. This is because the course allows for students to study core technical, design and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials, techniques and equipment. Students will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth. This builds on the foundations taught at KS3 and, as such, allows for pupils to feel successful and confident when embarking upon the course. As the new GCSE course places greater emphasis on understanding and applying repeated rounds of analysis in the design process, we ensure that students have the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to design and make a prototype that solves real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wishes and values. These are skills that students will have honed in KS3 which is testament to our carefully curated curriculum plan.

Students enjoy their DT lessons and value the high level of challenge that comes with them. All students are provided with sets of core knowledge flashcards to direct their learning, which take away the fear of failure; if students learn what is directed then they can achieve. We offer regular drop-in sessions at lunchtimes where students can make use of our full suite of computers in the DT block to work on their coursework and also gain valuable 1:1 support with their practical skills from their teachers and highly-skilled technicians. At KS3 homework is set through Independent Learning Tasks (ILT) where students are able to work on tasks that engage them. This approach enhances their learning outside of the classroom, allows them to make their own choices and take ownership of their learning from the outset at Pittville.

We are proud of our students in DT and are keen to continue developing the next generation of engineers, designers and architects.

Currently the subject leader for the department is Mr Jones. Mr Jones is a new member of the department and teaches the Resistant Materials subject area. He is accompanied by Miss Harris the technician, and also oversees all the other subject areas at KS3.

Resistant Materials is a very popular subject at Pittville School and is striving to improve every year. The team we have together is new, and have a real passion for the subject practically but also developing their knowledge.

The current KS3 lessons are based on learning theory knowledge, designing and producing a practical outcome as part of a rotation system with all the other areas in DT.

Pupils will learn the basic hand tools skills along with more challenging machinery as the years progress while also using CAD (Computer aided design) to develop their software skills.

By the time students get to GCSE in year 10 they have a wide variety of skills to develop further. More equipment and machinery skills along with theory lessons will be used for a better understanding of the subject as a whole, making them ready for working life.

Thanks for reading and hope to meet you soon! 😊

How can parents support their child in DT?

Download 3D software ‘Inventor360’ on PC/laptop so they can practice using for 3D printing skills.

www.aqa.org.uk for past paper questions that will help build confidence and knowledge in the GCSE exam.

· Practise and test the flashcards questions after they have revised so they get more confident in their subject knowledge. Students can create their own flashcards from the template on TEAMS.

· Consistently checking their TEAMS assignment for independent learning tasks and coursework deadlines they need to complete; helping them to manage time accordingly.

· Show or watch programmess on IPlayer, Channel 4 or YouTube about making products and real-life solutions, so they can be more enthused about the subject to create more complex ideas.