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Design and Technology

Engineering

We intend to teach our students that Design and Technology is the relevant subject for the 21st Century.  It provides the scope for innovation and creativity in one subject. 

Design teaches students the creativity they need to stand out from the crowd and Technology teaches the innovation to make technological advances to keep students on the cutting edge of engineering and manufacturing, which will eventually help to drive the country forward in a 21st Century technological and industrial revolution.

All of our schemes of learning are intended to equip students with the relevant and transferable skills to produce high quality outcomes in their practical work. 

At Key Stage 4 we study vocational engineering which can lead to a wide range of creative and practical careers, from apprenticeships through to studying for a degree – over 86% of engineering-related graduates find employment within the sector. 

At Chaucer School, we are looking to develop our links with industry in order to maximise all students’ life chances and improve aspirations.

Key Stage 3 - Product Design / Workshop

In Product Design students learn how to cut, shape and join different materials and components using a variety of hand, machine and CAM tools, to make functional products. They follow the design process to develop an understanding of the properties of the materials they are working with, and what influences their designs. Students rotate between specialist teachers, and typically spend 8-9 weeks in each specialism within Design Technology.

Year 7

In Year 7 students work with MFD to make a Pull-Along Toy. This will often be their first experience with hand tools, and is also a good opportunity to use most of the machines in the workshop. The students will complete health and safety training with the most commonly used hand and machine tools, and learn about how to finish MDF to the highest standard. Through their design work they will look at problem solving to meet a design brief, creating a specification and designing ideas, often based on a single source of inspiration that they independently research. The design process is followed throughout with students evaluating and refining their designs to make a final product. They evaluate the product to decide how successful they have been and make recommendation for further improvement. The year 7 product design course promotes resilience, encouraging students to think through problems and correct errors rather than giving up and starting again. The course also encourages confidence with students stepping outside their comfort zones to use machine and hand tools

Year 8

In Year 8 students create a keyring or bag tag from a design brief and for the first time design for an unknown client based on strict criteria. Students research different design movements and use these as inspiration for designing their own unique key ring or bag tag. They also use CAD and CAM for the first time, designing a mould for their keyring/bag tag in the 2d design programme. This often requires a degree of deep thinking to allow them to make a reflective mould, especially if they are using wording on their bag tag. This is then cut using our laser cutter (CAM) before students cast the pewter, learning the properties of different materials to the previous year, including the correct techniques to finish pewter to the highest standard. This project builds on their machine knowledge from previous years by training them on the buffer, a high powered machine to produce a shine on pewter. Finally, this challenging project requires students to create a presentation box, utilising their mathematical skills through accurate measuring and cutting. They create a butt joint or a mitre joint using different hand tools to year 7 before finishing their box to their own high standards.

Year 9

In year 9, students create a working clock using the third category of material – plastic, specifically acrylic. Students design for a specific client from a brief, enabling them to use primary research for the first time, including questionnaires and client interviews. They research the properties of both thermoplastic and thermoset plastic deciding which type of plastic is most suitable for which job, as well as looking at the sources and manufacturing of plastic. They then follow the design process before making a clock inspired by pop art, including creating a card prototype. Students are asked to use scrap materials to create this clock, thereby enabling them to understand the concept of social responsibility and the 6R’s. The aim of this project is to develop their problem solving skills, where students have a selection of different shaped acrylic pieces that they can cut, smooth, shape and buff using the equipment of their choice to create their design ideas. This project enhances their modification skills as frequently original designs do not work out, requiring students to rethink and recreate their design, mirroring real world prototype manufacturing. 
All materials are provided for each product, however students are asked to contribute towards the cost of the materials before taking them home. This is usually a nominal £1 charge.

Food

We intend to both broaden and deepen our students understanding of the food that they consume and to expand their perception of what they might both enjoy and be capable of producing. Our curricular is designed to prepare students for the world of work in the food industry but also to teach them to prepare a range of unfamiliar meals that expands their cultural awareness within a realistic budget.

All of our schemes of learning are intended to equip students with the relevant and transferable skills to produce high quality outcomes in their practical work. We intend to provide students with explicit teaching and support material to fill the “literacy gap” from which our learners can create annotation and extended writing to express their thoughts clearly and with confidence. We also ensure that we frequently revisit practical and health & safety skills.