Design and Technology

Overview

Design and Technology covers a large skill set from the applied art skills of Graphic Design to the applied physics and maths skills of electronics. At Eltham College, we teach all the areas of Design and Technology and specialise in Product Design – Resistant Materials and Electronic Systems at GCSE and Product Design and Systems and Control at A level.

Design and Technology is one of the youngest of subjects, having been created in 1989. Since then it has developed to reflect the rapidly changing world that we live in. We still teach some of the skills that were taught in the days of CDT or woodwork and metalwork, but the subject has changed considerably since those days.

The Design and Technology Workshops are an exciting place to work; students have made everything from a hovercraft to a robotic fish and educational tables for primary school students to display units for the Mervyn Peake Library.

There are three workshops, all of which are equipped with computer facilities to enable the students to use the subject specific software that enables 2D and 3D drawing along with circuit simulation software. We also have the complete Microsoft Office package that enables the students to use the basic programmes for presenting work alongside the project management software that enables mind maps and project planning to be undertaken.

The workshops are all capable of completing KS3 work as well as being designed for the specialist areas taught at GCSE and A level. The department has a dedicated CAD/CAM suite which includes a laser cutter, combined routing/milling machine and A3 printer/scanner. Some of the older CAD/CAM machinery is in the progress of being updated including our smaller milling machine and vinyl cutter. We are also waiting for the delivery of a new 3D printer to complete the facilities that the students will be able to

Curriculum

Year 7

Students develop some core Product Design skills alongside subject specific knowledge in the two areas of Design and Technology that we specialise in, Resistant Materials and Electronic Systems. The students develop hand skills alongside learning how to use the modern computer operated machines we have within the department.

Year 8

Students continue to develop their subject specific skills in projects that raise the Design and Technology challenges to a more difficult level.

Year 9

In Year 9 the students are beginning to get a taste of what Design and Technology is like at GCSE level.

Year 10 and 11

At GCSE level the students can choose between either the applied art course of Product Design – Resistant Materials or the applied science course of Electronic Systems. The students have two double lessons a week. Both courses provide students with the ability to develop and use the design process to solve real life problems and create high quality products using the modern computer controlled manufacturing equipment we have within the department.

The courses are based upon 60% coursework and 40% exam, both of which are completed in Year 11. Year 10 is used as a development year where students enhance the skills that they have learned at KS3 and increase the technological complexity of their design solutions.

Areas studied

  • Look to the future in a creative and innovative manner
  • Design and make high quality products using a variety of materials and techniques
  • Solve real life problems by making design decisions based upon research and analysis
  • Understand how design fits into a modern enterprise culture
  • Develop both applied art and applied science skills alongside design skills
  • Learn “soft skills” that are in demand from most employers

The subject material covered is wide and varied. Students are frequently required to use knowledge imparted in other subjects alongside the subject specific skills that they gain in the workshops. The students also develop the soft skills that are demanded in most work places, including, problem solving, creative thinking, experimentation, research, critical analysis, resilience, presentation – both oral and written. The department’s facilities include computers in every room to ensure students have access to industry standard design software and also all the key Office software for presenting work and developing their project management skills.

We try to keep the workshops open as much as possible so that students can just pop in and make something or use the facilities that are exclusive to the Design and Technology Department. GCSE students have specific evenings set aside for them to come in and use the facilities to enhance their coursework and A level students will frequently use their free periods during the day to work on their coursework.

We are frequently visited by students from other departments; physics students have used the facilities to develop their rockets or manufacture an electro-magnetic rail system, Drama students have developed props, and Art students will often come down for materials and guidance. We have also worked with the Music department in their creation of their Scrap Heap Orchestra.

Trips, activities and clubs

It is always possible to find a student working on something when the workshops are open, but we also run specific sessions including:

  • KS3 Electronics and Programming Club – students learn to use PIC’s to create programmable electronic products.
  • DT – Resistant Materials Club – students use the facilities to manufacture products they want to make but don’t know how to.
  • Greenpower – students design, build and race an electronic car as part of a national competition.

The Design and Technology Department run the Arkwright Scholarship each year. This nationally recognised award promotes engineering and financially rewards those students who are thinking of studying engineering or a design related subject at degree level. Promising Year 11 students are selected and helped through the application process both by members of the department and the current Arkwright Scholars within the school.

The Design and Technology Department run regular trips to various places around the UK including, The Design Museum and The New Designers Show.

We also run an Easter trip to Germany and Italy for Year 10 Design students where they will investigate some of the Design and Technology the two countries have to offer including exploring Bauhaus, Audi, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Staff

  • Mr M Gennari BSc (Head of Design and Technology and International Universities)
  • Mr P Wren BSc TEng
  • Mr J Bacon (Design and Technology Technician)