Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Design and Technology

Head of Department: Ms Emma Alighieri

The Design and Technology department at Salesian benefits from its own purpose-built centre, containing specialised facilities for working with resistant materials, electronics, food, textiles and graphic design. 

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

Key Stage 3 Technology Modules

During Years 7-9, student’s study DT for 4 hours per fortnight. Design and technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for pupils to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects. Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.

DT is delivered through the following disciplines:

  • Resistant Materials Technology
  • Electronics & Systems
  • Graphics
  • Food Technology
  • Textiles

Students participate in all five disciplines throughout each year (as briefly outlined below), and progress to increasing levels of challenge as they proceed through the year groups.

Systems & Electronics

The systems and electronic modules explore circuitry and the components that drive them. Students will make their own circuits from scratch and therefore look at the materials and processes required. The students will learn knowledge and skills through the practical and theory aspects.

  • Year 7: Manufacture a 'Fuse Tester', looking at Printed Circuit Board (PCB) production, components and processes that include using the bubble etch tank, soldering and vacuum forming. Systems will be explored through computer tasks and the use of 'Flowol', where students will learn about inputs/processes/outputs and relate this to real life situations.
  • Year 8: Manufacture of a 'Steady Hand Game', students will build on their knowledge from year 7 and look at components such as the Transistor and the Capacitor. There is also the opportunity as an extension with this project to get a first look at the Laser Cutter and to customise their games.
  • Year 9: The systems again will be developed with more complex programming using logicator software, and exploring systems and sub-systems. Students will also be introduced to programmable chips and their relevance in our technological society.

Food technology

We build from basic food preparation skills and using kitchen equipment correctly to designing and making food products through understanding the properties and functions of basic ingredients. The students learn through developing all the skills needed to prepare food safely and to make a healthy main course dish, in our fully resourced kitchen. 

  • Year 7: Developing knowledge of Healthy Eating and Food Safety through preparing and making a selection of nutritionally balanced dishes. 
  • Year 8: Understanding the Functional Properties of Ingredients in order to produce a range of Multicultural dishes, following a project on a chosen country.
  • Year 9: An introduction to Catering. Students are taught a range of culinary terms and skills associated with the sustainable production of high quality dishes suitable to be served to paying customers. 

Textiles

The textile modules explore many key areas of the subject, under a different design-and-make project each year. They explore fabric construction, colouring and decorative techniques, and learn how to make patterns, model ideas and to use specialist equipment. All the projects focus on the 7 stages of product design; analysing a design task, research and investigation, initial designing, design and skills development, planning, making and evaluation.     

  • Year 7: Creating a unique toy from reused and recycled materials mostly knitted products such as socks, gloves, scarves and jumpers. The result is a colourful array of unique, hand-decorated monsters!
  • Year 8:  To challenge their skills the students design and make a ski hat for a specific target market.  They learn to use the sewing machines and over-lockers for this project and learn to cut patterns to make functional 3D products. 
  • Year 9: is based on colouring and printing techniques. The students choose a charity to focus on and have to develop a campaign promotional T shirt design using these colouring and printing skills. 

Resistant Materials

The term ‘resistant materials’ refers to woods, metals, plastics, composites, and modern “smart” materials.  We offer structured opportunities for students to develop their technical knowledge and understanding of these and the tools and processes with which they can be manipulated. Students will learn to design and make products through a study of materials and components, mechanisms, structures, modelling etc., and health and safety.  

  • Year 7: The Copper enamelling (keyring) project introduces pupils to “design and make” skills, with a particular focus on metals and plastics.
  • Year 8: The picture frame project has been designed to introduce pupils to “design and make” skills essential to the manipulation of woods and plastics at GCSE and beyond.  
  • Year 9: Cam toy project allows pupils to build on their previous practical skills. New skills are also introduced. Understanding of the key principles of levers and linkages are discussed, along with the further progression in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM).  

Graphics

The Graphic design modules explore many key areas of the subject, under a different design-and-make project each year. The ‘Design Cycle’ is central: analysing a design task, research and investigation, initial designing, design and skills development, planning, making and evaluation. Students explore materials and components, commercial processes, existing products, sustainability and ethical design and manufacture.  

  • Year 7: Theme Park Project; the importance of graphics as a means of communication. Students consider the use of graphic design in road signs, products and company logos, and design their own in Photoshop for maps and diagrams.
  • Year 8: Comic Book Project; students develop their sketching and drawing skills in line with the Art schemes of work and learn about one-point and two-point perspective drawing, as they create a new teenage comic strip and character. 
  • Year 9: Drinks label Project; students research, design, make and model a new brand of fruit based drinks for the teenage market, using PhotoShop.  

Key Stage 4 Catering

Our GCSE Catering course offers a unique opportunity in the curriculum for students to develop their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence. The course focuses largely on the practical and theoretical aspects of food preparation in a professional context, as well as a range of general topics linked to the hospitality and catering industry. Areas of study include: 

  • Food preparation
  • Cooking and presentation
  • Health, safety and hygiene
  • Costing and portion control
  • Specialist equipment
  • Communication and record keeping
  • Job roles and employment opportunities, including relevant training. 

As the course develops, students learn to produce more complex dishes for customers with specific dietary requirements, as well as the adaptation of traditional recipes to the modern health eating agenda. Students will learn to prepare hot and cold mains and desserts from a variety of cuisines, some of which they will produced under controlled conditions as part of their final assessment.

We follow the WJEC syllabus. Tuition combines a great deal of practical experience and practice with expert classroom teaching on theoretical topics. Assessment is through a combination of controlled practical assessment tasks and a theory examination.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Visiting Laverstoke Park Farm, taking part in the Future Chef programme run by Springboard, and gaining work experience with Local Catering establishments.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Many of our students pursue Hospitality and Catering courses at local Colleges where they can study the C&G Diploma in Professional Cookery Levels 1, 2 and 3. 

Key Stage 4 Graphic Products

The Graphics GCSE course allows students to develop transferable skills such as creative thinking, problem solving and evaluative techniques used throughout industry, alongside the creative nature of presenting ideas with illustrations and modelling.

Key subject aims

  • actively engage in design and technology 
  • make decisions, consider sustainability and combine skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make quality products 
  • explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, economic, environmental, ethical and social dimensions interact to shape designing and making
  • analyse existing products and produce practical solutions to needs, wants and opportunities, recognising their impact on quality of life
  • develop decision-making skills through individual and collaborative working
  • understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies, and that products have an impact on lifestyle
  • develop skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge.

Students develop their Graphics skills through a number of mini projects that cover many aspects of the course including, publicity, promotion, packaging, and product design. Specifically this includes:

  • Model making skills 
  • Computer Aided Design 
  • Computer Aided Manufacture (Laser Cutter)
  • Commercial processes (printing)
  • Materials and manufacture

We follow the Edexcel syllabus. Tuition combines a great deal of practical experience and practice with expert classroom teaching on theoretical topics. Assessment is through a combination of controlled assessment tasks (one design-based, one production-based) and a theory examination.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Students can continue their studies in a related field in the Sixth Form on our A Level Product Design course. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages

Key Stage 4 Resistant Materials 

Students studying RMT GCSE will be actively engaging in design and technology as they learn how to design and make high quality, innovative products. They will consider sustainability, aesthetic and ethical issues and social consequences as they develop designs that solve practical problems. As such, they will be gaining knowledge, expertise and experience that will help prepare them for a future career in related professions such as architecture, engineering (such as civil and mechanical), product design, building, carpentry etc. In reality, this list is virtually endless and ever-growing.

We follow the 2012 Edexcel syllabus. Students will develop their practical skills by producing a number of projects that cover many skills including computer aided design, product design, graphical communication, investigative research and analysis, as well as proficiency in the use and selection of a wide variety of tools and processes. Specifically, they will manufacture a product as a “controlled assessment” task that incorporates a wide range of manufacturing techniques.  In the second year they produce a design-based folder which is also controlled assessment.  This encourages the development of their design skills – and their creative and imaginative flair – by identifying a problem and designing and developing an innovative solution. 

Progression opportunities

Students can continue to develop these skills at sixth form on our A Level Product Design course, or study further at college. 

Key Stage 4 Textile Technology

Many students develop a keen interest in fashion and textiles and the first step to a future career in this huge industry is to study Textiles at GCSE 

The main focus in the first two terms is to develop confidence in construction and decorative techniques. This is delivered with three ‘design and make’ projects. We use a wealth of reference points to inspire the students, cultural, artists, architecture and fashion designers.

Alongside this work, the students develop an understanding of the fibres and fabrics they can work with, understand how the choices they make can affect the outcome, aesthetic qualities and functionality of the completed product. They learn fashion illustration methods and CAD based techniques to develop their initial ideas. 

We have a range of specialist machines and equipment that allows the students to find and develop areas that they can excel in, ready for the controlled assessment component of the course. 

We follow the AQA syllabus. Tuition combines a great deal of practical experience and practice with expert classroom teaching on theoretical and factual topics. The course is project-based for the first two terms, during which time students design and make a variety of products including iPhone cases, denim wear and printed products. Students are trained and encouraged to develop both their technical knowledge and their designing and making skills so that products they design are original, creative and have a high quality finish. Assessment is through a combination of a ‘design and making’ controlled assessment tasks and a theory examination.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: trips organised throughout the two years to museums and specialist exhibitions, factories and specialist cities of interest. We run a fashion club and STEM related after school courses.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Students can continue their study of textiles in the Sixth Form on our A Level Product Design: Textiles course. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages

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