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Welcome, below is an introduction to the design & technology curriculum. The following information has been created to give students, teachers and parents an understanding of the content and approach to teaching design & technology at Regents International School.
Design & Technology Mission Statement at Regents
Developing a visible expertise in the field of Design and Technology through the construction of knowledge, the development of capability, the acknowledgement of creative expression’.
(D&T Team 2014, based on the work of Prof. John Hattie)
Overall Aim of Design & Technology at Regents
In design and technology, students combine practical, scientific, mathematical and technological skills from a whole range of disciplines, with creative thinking, to design and make relevant and socially meaningful, marketable products and systems that meet real and relevant human centred needs. They learn to understand and use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn design based thinking skills and how to apply these creatively to intervene to improve the quality of life by solving problems as individuals and members of a team or as a community. Students work in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world; they identify needs and opportunities and respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate. They combine practical and cognitive skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, scientific, mathematical, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence and show competence in applying practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.
Key Concepts of Design and Technology
There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of design and technology. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. The explicit learning outcomes for this subject, is to design and manufacture a meaningful, marketable product for a local need which has been designed and developed using these key concepts.
Designing and Making a Marketable Product within a Range of Specialisms
Students must understand that design and make activities in D&T are not craft focused, for example, does not exist through the immaculate presentation of a veneered wooden box, but exists in the application of problem finding and solving skills where students understand user needs and create a marketable product to fulfil them. Students learn to apply knowledge of the design process, its concepts, thinking tools, material and process selection, graphical communication, STEM and electronics to design products and solve practical solutions that are relevant and testable as well as being marketable. Hence priority must be given to designing products for an identified local need like the provision of a prosthetic limb for a local dog, a robot arm to teach primary students robotics or a storage unit for teachers to hold objects which must be easily and quickly accessed. These projects have real users with real needs which can be fully investigated and provided for as well as an opportunity to actually sell the product to an end user. Students must also understand that products and systems can have an impact on the quality of the local community as well as worldwide; this is often achieved by working with the local community.
User Centred Design
By placing the user at the centre of the design process, students learn how products are designed based on user needs, tasks which need to be achieved and the environment which they operate within. This includes beliefs, ethics, values, local customs, traditions and available materials and processes. Through investigation, students begin to understand about how products contribute to lifestyle and consumer choice.
Creativity & Innovation
Students learn how to explore and experiment with creative, scientific and mathematical models, manipulating materials, technologies and techniques in an iterative manner, refining solutions ensuring they meet the needs of a user and eventually selling the product.
Students learn to conduct usability tests to enable them to thoroughly evaluate products in a real environment with real users. They understand how to analyse information and make meaningful suggestions for improvements.
General Principles and Objectives of the Subject
The teacher needs to:
reduce emphasis on product outcomes and focus on learning objectives and the promotion of thinking skills.
introduce keywords, concepts, contexts, procedural knowledge and thinking skills to the student.
ensure there is a balance between conceptual, procedural knowledge and thinking skills.
scaffold tasks to ensure they provide a progressive curriculum ensuring success at KS4 & KS5.
teach students design thinking skills like problem finding strategies, problem solving skills, product analysis, environmental analysis and other key concepts to empower them to be able to develop their own successful ideas in response to local needs.
create opportunities to stimulate and challenge students and fellow staff.
cater for all students needs by adapting T&L opportunities as needed.
ensure all students have equal opportunities, throughout the course to develop their capability in Design and Technology.
act as advocates of Health & Safety and be responsible for themselves, the students they supervise as well as the staff they work with.
have the opportunity to produce visible evidence which allows teachers to access a range of capabilities of the student which reflect the subject as described above.
be taught and assessed (skills testing) to work in a safe manner and environment at all times.
be given ample opportunity to discuss/demonstrate their ideas and their progress with staff and their peers.
have the opportunity to work individually and in pairs or groups.
draw on their knowledge and skills gained across the curriculum (with a particular focus on ICT, Mathematics and Science) and apply them in D&T.
be varied, progressive and meaningful by completing worthwhile design and make projects using real contexts.
enable students to develop their confidence, not hinder their wellbeing, allowing them to become autonomous users of design and technology.
allow students the opportunity to discover new concepts/technologies, in and outside of school, for example, Build a 3D Printer Activity or Round Square Robotics Club.
move from familiar to unfamiliar contexts, increasing in complexity.
offer open ended choices, at various stages of a course or project.
include where possible, real design situations and reduce simulations through the use of visits and visitors.
allow students to carry out in-depth investigations into existing products.
Curriculum Structure & Content
To meet the demands of the key concepts of design and technology, the department has created a curriculum content and structure based on core and optional units of work. These units of work have been mapped out from Year 7 through to Year 9 and provide the base underpinning knowledge and skills of the subject as well as clear progression onto any IGCSE and IB course. Core units provide the fundamental elements of the subject, for example, material science, manufacturing and design which have been included in the subject almost since its inception and allow students to progress onto any IGCSE, IB or A’ level Programme. Optional units provide content related to supporting students progression onto an IGCSE and IB courses at Regents. For example, electronics, graphics and STEM provide specialist knowledge and skills and are directly mapped against IGCSE and IB content and/or project based outcomes relating to programmes of study provided by the design and technology department here at Regents. By providing optional units the department can quickly adapt to new programmes of study or updates in content at IGCSE and/or IB without having to rewrite the whole curriculum. This allows the implementation of new content to be more effective and efficient.
Material Science Foundation Level (Core)
Material Science Intermediate Level (Core)
Material Science Advanced Level (Core)
Material & Manufacturing Project - Boat Project
Manufacturing & Skills Testing Intermediate Level (Core)
Manufacturing & Skills Testing Advanced Level (Core)
Manufacturing & Skills Testing Foundation Level (Core)
Design Intermediate Level (Core)
Design Advanced Level (Core)
Design Foundation (Core)
Electronics & Robotics (Specialist Unit)
Graphic Products (Specialist Unit)
Design Project - Service Project Photoshop
Design & Innovation Project - Marketable Product
STEAM (Specialist Unit) Hydralic Arm
This section has been developed by the department as a part of the curriculum planning, development & evaluation process. Foundation units are taught at Year 7, intermediate Year 8 and advanced Year 9. Changes to the curriculum content must always be inline with the vision and overall aim of the curriculum and must also support the broader aims of the school. Once any developments or changes are made they are transferred to the units of work. This ensures that the vision, aims and content are always aligned.
Material Science - (Foundation/Intermediate/Advanced)
Develop student’s ability to show discrimination when selecting materials for different uses based on an understanding of their physical and mechanical properties and their performance.
KS3 National Curriculum includes material science in its specification. All D&T specifications at KS4 & 5 also include material science. As a part of distributed learning, material science will become a foundation, intermediate and advanced unit.
understand material categories and their characteristics including smart materials.
understand how materials are processed from raw materials to a usable product.
understand a range of material properties
understand how materials are mixed like composites to change their mechanical properties
justify material application (why a material is used for certain applications)
be able to test materials both physically and using software (Solidworks FEA & Sustainability)
students need to know how materials are used in a structure to support loads.
understand the importance of material research (web chat or visiting lecturer) and predict what materials may be developed in the future
Students could (examples):
produce a Materials Categories Map
produce Mix and Match Cards for materials and their properties
produce Mini Product Analysis Revision Cards on products to provide evidence of their understanding of why certain materials are used
case study - conduct a Product Analysis on a metal, wooden and plastic pencil sharpener and produce posters to show how materials are extracted and processed into products, why these materials are used and the impact on the environment (Solidworks Sustainability)
produce Persona Profile – A day in the life of a materials researcher
research – student present findings on current material research areas
Manufacturing (incl Prototyping & Modelling) – (Foundation/Intermediate/Advanced)
Develop student’s ability to show discrimination when selecting manufacturing processes based on an understanding of the desired outcome and scale of production.
KS3 National Curriculum includes manufacturing in its specification. All D&T specifications at KS4 & 5 include manufacturing including bespoke units like commercial production. As a part of distributed learning, manufacturing will become a foundation, intermediate and advanced unit.
understand main categories – Forming, Cutting, Joining and Finishing, subcategory-additive, subtractive.
understand different Forming, Cutting, Joining and Printing Processes and example products.
cutting & Abrading (laser cutting vector & raster, die cutting, knife cutting (CAM), filing, sawing)
moulding (Injection, Blow and Paper Pulp moulding)
forming (Vacuum Forming, Line Bending, Press Forming)
laminating (Wood & Composite)
casting (Silicone Casting, Sand Casting)
weaving (Composites and craft based)
joining (wood joints, metal soldering, plastic adhesive, fabric stitching)
finishing (Digital Laser, Dye Sublimation, Screen printing, Painting, powder coating, electro plating)
prototyping & Digital Technology (3D Scanning, Fusion Deposition Modelling & other 3D Printing Processes(CAM)
modelling – functional & aesthetic, paper, clay ect.
understand that manufacturing relates to materials and scale of production.
students understand the impact manufacturing has on the environment.
student understand how technology is developing manufacturing for the future.
Student could (examples):
produce a Manufacturing Categories & Scale of Production Map
produce an in class 3D display for the range of manufacturing processes.
produce a revision pack for Year 10 Students to purchase.
Design & Design History- (Foundation/Intermediate/Advanced)
Students show an understanding of how the design process is applied in D&T as well as historically. Students understand how fluid design must be, how it can be approached from different start points, how it is primarily focussed on being user centred and how design tools are used to stimulate creativity.
Design is at the very core of D&T programmes of study, its outcomes and how it distinguishes itself from other subjects. It is also the key element which empowers the subject by allowing knowledge and understanding of other subjects to be applied within this one.
understand what classic design is and how it relates to its genre.
understand the design cycle and its phases and the different start points ( a design brief, the analysis of an existing product, technology push, radical design, incremental design or updating).
understand why designers often work in multi-disciplinary teams.
understand how to find real problems with real marketable opportunities
understand how to conduct real purposeful primary and secondary research (ethnographic, lab based, story boards, human factors, market statistics)
use the design cycle (iteratively) to create a user centred, marketable product which can be sold at school
recognise the range of methods used to record the design cycle (portfolio, video and what these look like)
understand how to use design thinking tools to support the design process (when to use divergent and convergent thinking strategies)
Students could (examples):
using the design cycle and supporting thinking skills, students produce a marketable product and sell it within the school/departmental magazine or for the needs of a local community project.
Graphic Products (Specialist Unit) (Advanced)
Students learn about products designed within the specialism of graphic products.
Graphic Products is taught at IGCSE so this unit is designed to ensure students have the underpinning experience to support this transition as well as to provide the foundation level knowledge and experience to allow students to make an informed choice regarding problems to solve leading to project ideas.
be able to select the correct drawing technique based on the correct use to communicate to a 3rd party
be able to draw in – Freehand
be able to draw in – 2 Point Prospective
be able to draw in – Isometric
be able to draw in – Planometric
be able to draw in – Orthographic
be able to draw in – Exploded
understand the birth of our alphabet and the anatomy of typography
understand branding and its origins.
understand packaging using blister pack and net diagrams (score, cut, emboss and temporary joining using slot, flap as well as adhesives).
understand modern & commercial printing methods like block, digital, offset lithography
be able to apply branding to logos, packaging & POS successfully
Students could (examples):
create a range of ideas for a product using a range of techniques.
produce a digital logo (Photoshop)
create a blister pack for a product with all the correct packaging information
create a POS Display net for blister packs
create a celebrations based product like a chocolate bar including packaging & branding
Specialist Unit – STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art & Maths) (Advanced)
STEM develops a set of thinking, reasoning, teamwork, investigative, and creative skills that students can use in all areas of their lives. Students use challenge based learning to solve one or more problems using knowledge and skills gained from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. This unit is probably the greatest opportunity for cross-curricular work as well as linking with local industry.
STEM is a worldwide initiative focussing on giving students skills, knowledge and experiences which are needed in industry.
‘It is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society’.
National STEM Centre, UK.
be able to understand current real world problems
be able to apply the design process (iteratively) to an open ended engineering based problem within a range of constraints using their holistic education (particularly, Technology like electronics/robotics, Maths and Science)
Be able to successfully work as a team, understanding key roles, responsibilities and communicating effectively.
Students could (examples):
real world (http://www.middleweb.com/5003/real-world-stem-problems/) or local problem - Design and make a prosthetic limb for a dog.
design and make a money counting and sorting machine for the service project 'Coin Challenge'.
design and mathematically model a hydraulic/electronically controlled claw capable of removing a human heart
design and make an science experiment for the science department, or example, a stirling or solenoid engine.
design and make a CNC farming area, planting, watering, sunlight and temperature controlled - see
Specialist Unit – Electronic Products & Robotics (Intermediate)
Students must understand basic electrical and electronic principles of circuit design and microchip architecture. They need to know how to design and make an electrical and electronic circuit and how to programme it. They need to be able to design and make an electronic product to meet the needs of a user group or solve a complex problem.
Electronics and robotics are key educational elements which students must learn, for they are included in the national curriculum and are themselves extensive users of electronic products in society. There are also many design aspects to electronics, particularly in circuit, product and programming as well as numerous career paths for students to consider.
be able to understand basic electrical principles like VAR, parallel and series circuits, digital and analogue,
be able to understand basic microchip and circuit board architecture,
be able to understand how electronic circuits are designed and manufactured,
be able to perform basic programming of an electronic circuit,
be able to experiment with a circuit to read/operate a range of electronic sensors and actuators.
Students could (examples):
solve a problem using an electronic product, for example, a robot arm capable of a heart transplant.
a game console, design and manufactured in D&T and programmed in ICT.
This unit also provides a great opportunity for short courses professional courses and Round Square, for example, Arduino Robotics Activity/Course and Arduino 3D Printer RS Activity
Innovation, The Design, Manufacture and Marketing of a Product for A Local Need (Intermediate)
In this unit students work with local user groups to identify opportunities to design and make and market products for local needs.
This unit is where all students get the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained in their foundation units by creating a product which people want. Students use their knowledge and skills in problem finding/solving, materials, processes and business to create a marketable product.
find a real problem with potential for a product to be made and sold locally,
design and prototype using an iterative process to ensure it meets the users needs,
market the product using the D&T magazine.
Students must (examples):
work and produce a product within one of the potential user groups
Potential Target Users Products
School Departments - Learning posters, School Awards, Display Boards, Rubber Stamps, House Merchandise (Head Boy & Girl).
Awareness campaigns – students guild.
Prosthetic Limbs for local animals
Children’s Toys for Hand 2 Hand, Father Ray, Mercy Centre
Design for disabled/impaired/HIV, Father Ray & Chameleon Centre.
Students are regularly assessed by the teacher and their marks are recorded on a departmental Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains formulas to calculate attainment grades. The grades, combined with teacher appraisal provides information to parents via the school reporting system. Attainment marks and feedback are regularly provided to students both verbally and in written format with recommended actionable targets.