At St John Fisher Catholic School the Design and Technology department are a dedicated and passionate team engaging our learners through a varied use of media and approaches to meet every Childs learning needs. This includes the use of; Video, Photography, Presentations, Inter Active Whiteboard, Class debate, Research projects, displays and encouraging the evaluation and development of others.
Students learn how to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and develop products to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team.
Working in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world, pupils identify needs, opportunities, problems and design solutions. Responding with ideas they combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. Learning about past and present design styles: to aid understanding to develop coherent creative solutions. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills, become discriminating users of products, as they apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.
Key Stage 3
Years 7 and 8 students study Design and Making, Cultural Understanding, Creativity and Critical Evaluation. Through the use of investigation, researching existing products, analysis and evaluation students learn how products evolve according to users' and designers' needs, beliefs, ethics and values and how they are influenced by local customs, traditions and available materials. Students appreciate that to enable the making of quality products, a product has aesthetic, environmental, technical, economic, ethical and social dimensions and impacts on the world. Students gain key knowledge of materials and production processes of products, exploring and experimenting with their ideas, materials, technologies and techniques and learn how to produce practical solutions to products that are relevant and fit for purpose.
Designing and making products have an impact on quality of life. Students explore how products contribute to lifestyle and consumer choices, evaluating the needs of users and the context in which products are used to inform their own designing and making.
In year 9, having chosen a specialism at GCSE level in Graphic Products or Product Design
Students explore how products have been designed and made in the past, how they are currently designed and how they may develop in the future. Students make links between the principles of good design, analysing existing solutions and technological knowledge to develop innovative products and processes to inform designing and making, exploring the impact of ideas, design decisions and technological advances and how these provide opportunities for new design solutions.
Key Stage 4
At Key stage 4 (years 9-11) students have a variety of GCSE Design Technology courses to specialise in through the AQA exam board. All GCSE specifications have been designed to encourage candidates to be able to design and make products with creativity and originality.
Resistant Materials; uses a range of materials and techniques to develop a working knowledge of woods, metals, plastics and composite materials. The use of new technologies is encouraged in this specification and is designed to foster awareness amongst candidates, of the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing. The course provides the candidates with the opportunity to design and make a product using a range of materials.
Graphic Products; uses a range of graphic and modelling materials to develop a working knowledge of how images can be used to manipulate or convey messages and information, understand and apply colour theory to design, to develop spatial concepts, and to understand graphic materials and their manipulation. They will design and make product(s) using a graphics media and new technologies to prepare them for the world of work considering sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing.
Product Design; uses a range of materials and techniques to develop quality products. Students develop knowledge and making skills to produce a quality product to include packaging, labelling and instructions. Students are encouraged, as part of the complete design proposal, to produce advertising and points of sale. Students learn how to create products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability and follow the need to consider sustainability and environmental issues surrounding the impact of their designing. Students learn how to undertake innovative work and make effective use of CAD/CAM facilities.
All GCSE specifications provide an excellent route into the A level Product Design course.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we study the Product Design A-Level which culminates all learning from year 7-11 into a very modern and industry led qualification. The A-Level is very relevant to current trends in the design field and allows students to study up to date technology and innovation which is centred on the vital skills needed to succeed in any area of design.
The AS Level concentrates on 2 vital skills, product analysis and innovation. Students produce a detailed study on any commercial product and evaluate the use of this product in today's world. They then go on to produce a re-designed version prototype and test it in its natural environment. Students also sit an advanced innovation challenge whereby they study a theme for the year and then get a chance to respond to a design problem. Students are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box in this exam and are rewarded for taking a high risk approach.
The A2 Level concentrates on designing, making skills and the theory surrounding product design. Students complete a detailed folder where they choose to advertise a product and work with a client and a user group to identify ways in which they can advertise and sell a product in a real life situation. Students create a 2D and 3D product then test the products in real customer based settings, for example; retail shops. Students will sit an exam which will test their knowledge and understanding of design issues, sustainability, advertising, production methods, manufacturing and printing. Previous students having successfully completed the course have integrated into further university courses and degrees in Product Design, Jewellery, Silver Smith, Architecture and Theatre Design. Careers have included Silver Smith, Architecture and BAE systems as an engineer.