We aim to use an iterative and explorative design cycle to empower students to become creative and critical thinkers, the Catholic ethos supports the growth of their God-given talents and enables them to contribute meaningfully to society. By encouraging students to find solutions to everyday problems, the design process becomes an opportunity for students to discern their role as stewards of creation and agents of positive change, cultivating a sense of purpose, promoting inclusivity, and prioritising environmental sustainability.
KS3 learning style feeds into skills and knowledge students need to access KS4. All of KS3 delivery is done as project-based learning with NEA style projects run and assessed in the same format as the GCSE DT structure plus an end of year exam. The exam is structured in the same way as the GCSE paper but on a smaller scale.
Whilst the format of KS3 delivery is structured in line with the GCSE, the design process is the same as that which is needed to access the practical aspects of the Engineering courses and also Unit 2 and 3 of Level 3 Engineering. All projects follow the design cycle (research, design, develop, make, test, evaluate) regardless of content.
The foundation of the content for KS3 is the National Curriculum and at KS4 and KS5 the threshold concepts are driven by the specification content of the respective courses. Students build on their skills year on year whilst experiencing the extended project format which is evident in KS4 and 5. However, for those students who opt not to take Technology into KS4, the ambitious learning content and structure has valid links to industry, life skills and other subject content. For example, use of PEE chains supports learning in English, History and Geography. Use of structure strips supports learning in Business and Science. Awareness of electronics and use of hand tools is integral to basic DIY and the focus on inclusivity of design and environmental impact ensures learners are more attuned to the different needs of those in society as well as the environmental impact of their day to day choices e.g. energy consumption, single use plastics and renewable energy alternatives.
Assessment is holistic, mirroring the framework used at KS4 and 5. Students are assessed on their designing and making skills within their project as well as various ’Apply your knowledge’ tasks throughout the KS3 curriculum which allow students to showcase how they can apply the knowledge they have learnt and provide opportunity to practice structure strips which are used to address different question styles in KS4.
Homework is used to support learning throughout the key stages, encouraging students to explore products, design influences and local industry through research activities and real life applications. Homework also seeks to reinforce concepts from lessons and to incorporate the literacy and numeracy skills required to be successful in a career in Technology.