Design and Technology

The aim of the Design and Technology curriculum is to immerse our students in an array of design opportunities which focus on the development of solutions through the application of scientific knowledge whilst exploring form and function.

In Years 7 to 9 our students develop their understanding of the subject material (structures, mechanisms, electronics, coding, material technology and computer aided design) through e-learning and exploration via a series of increasingly challenging design tasks. By Year 9 students embark on an open design task which encourages independent research and experimentation with a sharp focus on creativity through form and/or material choice. The work of others (e.g. designers, architects and engineers) and how design impacts society is also taught to enhance understanding and promote curiosity.

At GCSE and A level our students study Design and Technology and Product Design respectively. Both courses further enhance their design skills through the deepening of their knowledge of the subject material and the completion of several design tasks, culminating in the design and manufacture of a working prototype that solves an everyday difficulty/problem.

Students are encouraged to be critical and analytical in their approach to design and to have the courage to explore and learn from their mistakes. In addition to the teaching of traditional and modern subject material, cross-curricular links are established between the Sciences and Mathematics. The annual STEM days in Year 8 and 9 afford our students the opportunity to explore real world engineering challenges whilst working in small groups. Within the co-curricular programme our students have the opportunity to design and manufacture an array of products by attending either the Made In Ashford or Jewellery Club activities.

Beyond the classroom our GCSE students have the opportunity to visit the Design and Science Museums. At A level our students visit the New Designers Exhibition and Brunel Universities’ Design Graduate Exhibition plus attend at least one conference on design at UCL. Our students have also visited the Jaguar and Morgan car plants.