Harris Academies
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Design & Technology

Design and Technology is a subject that blends creativity with practicality, emphasising the acquisition of essential life skills for student development. D&T focuses on researching, designing, developing, making, and evaluating solutions to real-life problems. Students in KS4 engage in creative problem-solving within various contexts. The subject nurtures creative thinkers who can innovate and take risks. It encourages intentional creation of products and systems, emphasising aesthetics, functionality, and user experience. 

At KS3 (Key Stage 3), students explore different specialisms, including handling various materials, techniques, tools, and machinery. These specialisms cover areas such as resistant materials, product design, and electronics. D&T equips students with subject knowledge and skills applicable to everyday tasks, the workforce, and other disciplines like art, mathematics, engineering, computing, and science. 


Why Teach D&T at HAF?

At HAF, we are passionate about inspiring the next generation of designers. Our goal is to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to thrive in the industry and the broader world. The National Curriculum recognizes D&T as an essential contributor to creativity, culture, wealth, and well-being in the nation. 

Students develop the creative, technical, and practical skills needed to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. Design and Technology (D&T) cultivates a hands-on approach to learning, allowing students of all abilities and backgrounds to design and create executed products. D&T bridges the gap between everyday products we use and the materials, processes, and technological concepts that transform ideas into practical solutions for daily life. It encourages collaboration, critical feedback, and an awareness of technology’s impact on society and the environment. 


Teaching Design and Technology at KS3: 

Throughout Key Stage 3 (KS3), students engage in a series of D&T projects covering resistant materials, product design, and food preparation. Our goal across these projects is to build students’ technical knowledge, fostering design, development, and practical skills. Each student is encouraged to take home their completed practical outcomes. Safety is paramount, and we ensure that students receive comprehensive training on using all tools and equipment before independent use. 

In Year 7, students create a bird marionette puppet in Design and Technology. This project hones their cutting, sanding, and shaping skills using a variety of hand tools and machinery. Alongside practical tasks, students delve into theoretical knowledge related to the materials they use. They learn about timber origins, differentiate between hardwood and softwood, and explore the properties of various materials within the project. Joining methods, joinery techniques, and finishing skills are also part of their learning journey. Additionally, students develop drawing and rendering skills as they design their own bird. 

Moving on to Year 8 in Design and Technology, students build upon the skills learned in Year 7. They embark on creating a wooden jointed maze box, using both familiar materials from the previous year and a new material: polymers. During this project, students delve into the origins of polymers, their environmental impact, and strategies for reducing that impact through the 3Rs of sustainability (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). This encourages deeper thinking about decision-making and societal impact. 

Drawing skills take centre stage, with students practicing isometric projection and two-point perspective drawing. Working with pine, they construct the main frame of the maze box using finger joints. Confidence and accuracy grow as students continue to use familiar tools and machinery, while also venturing into computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. 

In Year 9, students in Design and Technology (D&T) will build upon the skills they’ve acquired over the past two years. Their task will be to design and create a sports figurine resembling their favourite sport or athlete. While continuing to work with materials from Years 7 and 8, students will also explore a new material: metal. They’ll delve into the origins of metals, extraction methods, different types of metals, and their unique properties. 

Students will learn how to effectively communicate their ideas through drawing, rendering, and annotation. This process ensures that their designs resemble the intended materials. Alongside researching their chosen athlete, students will write their own design briefs. This ensures that their project aligns with the sporting context and event. Students will continue honing their accuracy with familiar tools and equipment. Additionally, they’ll deepen their understanding of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). 


Teaching Design and Technology at KS4:

At Key Stage 4 (KS4), students have the option to study D&T at GCSE. They can specialise in either Design and Technology (Product Design) or Food Preparation and Nutrition. In the Design and Technology (Product Design), students engage in various mini projects to enhance their hands-on skills. They’ll tackle contextual challenges set by the exam board, creating a mini personal portfolio that showcases their research, design, development, and outcomes. This portfolio supports their understanding of the NEA (non-exam assessment) and prepares them for final examinations. 


Exam boards at KS4 

Studying GCSE Design and Technology - GCSE Design and Technology | Eduqas  


Please view Curriculum Maps below:

KS3 Curriculum Map

Design & Technology Curriculum Map KS3

KS4 Curriculum Map

Design & Technology Curriculum Map KS4

KS5 Curriculum Map

Product Design Curriculum Map KS5

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