Design and Technology
A level

Aim of the course 

This is an academic and hands-on course over two years that focuses on the core principles of designing and fabrication, specifically geared towards product design. 

This hands-on subject sets to understand user requirements in design and combines programmable electronics with 3D modelling and mechanical manufacture, and a broad knowledge of tools and machinery. 

We develop how a product can be iterated through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture. The course produces empathetic learners who have the ability to confidently critique products and their use in situations and society, while building skills in thinking and designing too.  

Course outline  

With a heavy coursework element, students enjoy the independence of working on their individual project. Students are free to choose the type of project to undertake, within reason, so can tailor their study to their interests. Examples include a an desk based exercise machine, a product for helping people with mobility issues use the kitchen and a contemporary piece of space saving furniture.  

Students cover components, materials, manufacture, design and market influences, and improve their working knowledge of aesthetics and mechanical prototyping. 

In addition to hands on prototyping skills, we use the laser cutter and 3D printer extensively to aid precise manufacture of prototypes. Early on in the course, students start on their individual project, where about 50% of the total time will be spent. 

Be inspired  

Each year students organise a technology show to present their projects to other students, staff and parents. Projects have also been exhibited at national shows. 

We organise visits to give students an insight into the techniques and applications of technology, from visiting companies like Jaguar Land Rover and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, to attending engineering shows and design and technology exhibitions. 

We encourage wide reading to stimulate intellectual curiosity and develop new interests, understanding and skills. Students are encouraged to consider delving into Bloomfield’s How Things Work, Peter Forbes’ The Gecko’s Foot and Natasha McCarthy’s Engineering: A Beginner’s Guide.  

Past students studying design and technology in the Sixth Form have gone on to study engineering (general, mechanical, aeronautic and electronic), product design, industrial design, computer science and architecture at university. 

Assessment details  

Exam (50%) and coursework (50%) in both the Lower and Upper Sixth. Exam taken at the end of the Upper Sixth. 

Examining board  

OCR 

Please note that Covid may have implications on the way exam boards award grades at this current time. 

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