at Cockermouth School

Design & Technology

Key Stage 3

All students in Years 7 to 9 follow a Design & Technology course. This involves them in a series of designing and making tasks, working with, wood, metal, plastic or food.In Year 7 the 3 practical projects are Balancing Toy; Electric Loop Lamp and a Game Board and package. In Year 8 students follow these practical projects, Aluminium Key Rack; a Clock Face and an Ergonomic Pizza Cutting Handle. Finally in Year 9 students follow these projects, Dovetail Box; Tea-Light Holder and a Jewellery Project. In Year 9 students are taught in half form group sizes to maximise their teaching and learning experiences and allow students to really flourish in this practical subject. In all 3 years emphasis is placed on enjoyment and producing work of quality by developing some practical skills

The Department has 3 full time and 1part time specialist teachers’ of Design and Technology. In addition we have a term time Design & Technology specialist technician. There are 3  practical workshops. Each of the workshops have wood and multi-purpose wood and metal benches. Each workshop has floor mounted machines and a range of bench mounted machinery is shared. The multi-media room has 20 computer stations, with several further computers in workshops. Computer aided design and manufacture is offered through a range of 2D & 3D milling machines, a card and sticker cutter printers and a 3D router.

The department sits adjacent to the Art and Food Technology rooms.

Key Stage 4

Within Design & Technology we offer three separate GCSE courses. These are with AQA exam board and are GCSE Resistant Materials, GCSE Graphic Products and GCSE Electronic Products, all of which are popular preferences.

GCSE Resistant Materials specification code (4640) requires students to develop their knowledge of woods, metals, plastics and composite materials. Other materials may also be used and the use of new technologies, computer aided design, computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is also encouraged. Students are taught practical skills and have to complete an extended coursework task, comprising research, analysis, designing, making and evaluating eg a themed storage unit.

GCSE Electronic Products specification code (4540) helps students to design and make quality Electronic Products with creativity, originality and flair, using a wide range of electronic components, with appropriate materials to package the electronic circuit. The packaging of the electronic circuit can include individually designed cases, made from a range of resistant materials, textiles, card or recycled materials. Alternatively candidates can purchase a commercially made case and modify the case to meet their project needs.

GCSE Graphic Products specification code (4550) enables students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of graphic and modelling materials. Students will be enthused and challenged by the range of practical activities possible. They will be encouraged to use, understand and apply colour and design through images, to develop marketing materials for bands, sports clubs, scale model buildings (architecture), board games and to understand graphic materials and their manipulation. They will design and make product(s) using graphic media and new technologies (CAD/CAM). Skills include a range of ICT software such as photo-shop, 2D Design, publisher and power-point software.

Each of the three GCSE courses comprises 60% coursework assessment (40% ‘e-folio’ and 20% practical) and the remaining 40% is through an externally assessed exam.

In addition to the above GCSE courses several students are selected to follow the BTEC level 1 in Construction (green pathway). Here students can work in practical carpentry and joinery projects, making a wooden planter, or use a computer aided design (CAD) package to produce technical drawings for their practical projects.

Key Stage 5

Here students can follow an AS or and an A Level in Product Design, as this course is designed specifically to follow on from each of the GCSE courses we offer. Students can choose a project specialising in either resistant materials, graphic products, or electronic products, or indeed a combination of these to be studied as part of the AS and A Levels. Similarly the examinations offer the student the choice of choosing to answer a separate question on their chosen specialism of resistant materials, graphic products, or electronic products.

The AS Level Product Design is a one year course consisting of two units :

F521 : The innovation Challenge a design and modelling exam based on a theme , eg festivals.
F522: A Product Study the aim of which is to research, analyse and modify one aspect of a small product.

The  A Level in Product Design consists of the above two  AS units, with a further two A Level units :

F523 : Designing , making & evaluating an extended designing , making practical and evaluation project.
F524 : A writing, drawing examination of which Paper 1 is a 1 hour annotated drawing and written notes paper, plus
a 11/2 hour designing examination paper.

Outside the Classroom

Coursework for the GCSEs and the BTEC  is to be carried out in lesson times under teacher instruction, although research can be collected for homework.
The AS product study and ‘e-folio’ is almost entirely done in lesson time, with the A Level design making & evaluating unit and the practicals are carried out in lesson times.
Students are however expected to collect research and continue their classroom studies outside of lesson time through further reading and exam preparation.