King's Bruton

Design & Technology

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The Design and Technology Department is dynamic, receptive to change and an incredibly exciting place to be.

Having seen considerable investment over the past year, it now has its own computer design suite with the latest industry standard software, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D printers, and electronics room.

The A2 laser cutter has successfully been embedded into the programme of studies and is really supporting the pupils in Product Design for rapid prototyping and creating final pieces. The pupils are now able to design and deliver professional outcomes suitable for the shelves.

The training programme delivers AutoCad Professional from 3rd Form to U6th, enabling pupils to really see the power of their design ideas and realise their ability to adapt, modify and rapidly construct, with a client directly at the centre, (iterative design). Setting daily success criteria has enhanced the quality of the pupils’ work, which is exponentially growing.

The 3rd Form curriculum builds on work from lower schools and starts with the construction of electronic circuits, including programmable chips and programming with software that allows pupils to work in class, at home and in the boarding houses. The pupils are also introduced to Computer Aided Design and learn to use Industry Standard Software, to enable them to design and create imaginative, fully working products.

The Department has also introduced Lego Mindstorms, run as an afternoon activity, and recently invested in a petrol Go-Cart kit, which the pupils are building from component parts and are really looking forward to testing.

The Department is fully focussed on looking at future career pathways and is forging links with different companies to demonstrate to the pupils how their learning is directly transferable to the world of work. The A-Level pupils were exceptionally fortunate to visit McLaren and discuss with designers and engineers, how the latest 570S was built from initial conception to the final working product.

Below is a montage of some of the latest work produced by pupils.

Latest Design & Technology Department News & Photos

GCSE Curriculum

From the light bulb, radio and television to mobile phones, laptops and iPods, products have defined each generation. They change the way we live our lives. Product Design is the perfect subject for those that love to create and innovate. With rapidly changing global challenges ahead, Product Designers will be at the forefront of solving the problems that we will all face. If you enjoy being creative, get satisfaction from problem solving and can spot what people want, you could be a great Product Designer; maybe even the next Sir Jonathan Ive.

D&T Product Design builds on key skills taught in 3rd Form and further extends learning through the introduction of new concepts. Ergonomics, manufacturing techniques, client centric design and, of course, 3D printing. The Control Assessment areas include; Research, Design and Development, Making, Evaluating and Communication skills. Traditional skills such as sketching will be an area heavily worked on and new communication skills such as CAD will be introduced. New technologies have been brought into the department over the past year to support the outcomes of the students.

What is the structure of the course?

The GCSE Product Design course is split into two sections:

Unit 1 (455551)
Written Paper - 2 hours - 120 marks - 40%. Candidates answer all questions in two sections. Pre-release material issued in March. Exam is generally in June.

Unit 2 (45552)
Approximately 45 hours - 90 marks - 60%. Consists a single design and make activity selected from a range of board set tasks. Completion date is the end of the Easter Term.

GCSE Specification


A-Level Curriculum

The A-Level Design and Technology, Product Design qualification, gives pupils the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers. Especially those in the creative industries.

Pupils will produce their own design portfolio, researching a specific problem area of their choice, working with a live client to enhance and improve a situation. They will be working with many different materials, testing outcomes to see how successfully they meet the requirements of their client, before building a completed working prototype, which will be evaluated based on the success of it fulfilling the requirements set out at the beginning in the specification. (Iterative design is a process of designing a product in which the product is tested and evaluated repeatedly at different stages of design to eliminate usability flaws before the product is designed and launched). This constitutes 50% of the A-Level.

The exam component will test pupils’ knowledge of materials and manufacturing techniques, look at their understanding of various manufacturing process, examine their working knowledge of the design process, identify the role of a designer, and their responsibility’s in this role, as well as enable them to show off their talent and passion as a designer.

The assessment of the course is broken down into three areas: -

  1. Technical principles written exam 2.5hrs 30% of the A-Level. This is a mixture of short and extended responses.
  2. Design and Making principles written exam 1.5hrs 20% of the A-Level. This looks at product analysis and commercial manufacture.
  3. Non-exam assessment 50% of the exam, submitted as a written or digital portfolio and photographic evidence of the final prototype.

Pupils should develop the ability to draw on and apply a range of skills and knowledge from other subject areas to inform their decisions in design and the application or development of technology. There are clear links between aspects of the specification content and other subject areas, including business studies, art and design, history of art, the sciences and maths.  There are also opportunities within the specification for pupils to integrate and apply their wider knowledge and understanding from other subject areas studied at GCSE.

Design and technology can set you up for a career in a wide variety of industries. Careers for people with design and technology qualifications include: Product Designer, Architect, Software Engineer, Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Plastic Surgeon, Material Scientist, or even the next James Dyson or Jonathan Ive.

A-Level Specification

Contact Design Technology Staff

Head of Department
Mr Simon Griffin-Raphael 

Support Staff
Mr Jim Byrne

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