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Design & Technology

Our Aim is to develop in children the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently in an increasingly technological world. The Design and Technology department at The Matthew Arnold School are committed to delivering a curriculum accessible to all, providing the broadest possible range of opportunities for students. One which will allow students to become self-motivated and confident learners, who can work independently and as part of a team. We aim to ensure that learners develop technical and practical competencies as well as the wider skills valued by employers. Our main priority is for students to be problem solvers who are not afraid of making mistakes.

Key Stage 3

All students follow a two-year KS3 curriculum in Graphics. During this time students will be introduced to a variety techniques used by designers to promote and sell products. These include sketching, colour coordination, typography and visual style lettering. Students integrate these techniques through a variety of project based work including creating their own festival and producing packaging for a newly designed food board menu. Implementing design and manufacture through ICT is also an integral part of KS3 Design Technology. Students learn some of the basic CAD skills using software like Google SketchUp and produce 3D models to a high degree of accuracy. They then get the opportunity to manufacture their designs through CAM machines like the laser cutter or using a variety of handcraft tools that students develop mainly in Year 8.

Key Stage 4

In Year 9 & 10, we begin to study some of the theory principles in the AQA GCSE scheme of work. Students explore the modern world and we encourage discussion of how we live and work within it. This includes identifying new and emerging technologies, developing a knowledge of properties for a wide range of different materials, to investigating different designers and their design principles. Developing students’ capability to create products of a high standard is an important factor of Year 9 & 10. Through further advancement of their ICT skills and practicing a wider range of handcraft skills, we produce a variety of products that students can be proud of and take home with them if desired.

In Year 11 students focus on the coursework element of the GCSE course: analysing existing products, developing their own designs and manufacturing their own product. The students will also concentration on revision for the exam element, which composes 50% of the GCSE course.

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