Our Lady's Abingdon - Design Technology

Design Technology

Overview of the Design Technology curriculum at OLA

Design and Technology allows the pupils to be inspired, creative and challenged giving an insight into related careers such as architecture, designing, manufacturing and engineering.

The subject prepares pupils to participate in their rapidly changing technological world by making use of knowledge and skills from other school subjects including Art, Mathematics and Science. The student requires initiative, an enquiring mind, determination, the careful planning and allocation of time and resources with a sense of responsibility for making decisions and taking action. These qualities are strengthened throughout the curriculum which is guided by the words of James Dyson:

“The teaching of quality design and technology in our schools is a vital requirement for the country’s future in the 21st century.”

Pupils are taught the same design process that is used in industry and they soon learn that everything they buy and own is developed using this process to one degree or another.  They learn to develop their own personal learning and thinking skills. Pupils learn:

1. To make their own decisions when solving problems

2. Be Independent enquirers, and able to critically analyse existing products.

3. Be creative thinkers, taking responsibility for their own decisions.

4. Be reflective learners, able to evaluate their own work and each other’s.

5. Team work – they’re able to offer each other constructive input.

6. Self-management. Planning the use of their time and the resources available.

7. To be effective participators, able to share their knowledge and apply their skills in other areas of school life.

Developed well, these skills will enable pupils to enter work and adult life as confident and capable individuals.

Design and Technology teaching is in a new well equipped purpose built facility.  The department offers a good balance of both traditional manufacturing equipment and new state-of-the-art technology. Machinery includes a laser cutter, a 3D router and a 3D printer.

Years 7 to 9 Design Technology Curriculum

The curriculum offered covers the design and manufacture of projects that use a range of materials. Pupils will develop a range of techniques and processes for working with and modelling these materials. The work is assessed in various ways such as: project work and homework assignments, end of topic tests and an end of year examination which is usually set after the May half term break.

Trips for Design Technology in Years 7 to 9

There may be the opportunity for pupils to take part in a combined Textiles/Design and Technology trip in the Trinity Term of Year 7 and/or Year 8.

Co-curricular Design Technology Activities in Years 7 to 9

The department offers a range of clubs, which differ from term to term depending on pupils’ interests. They have so far covered automotive design, jewellery making, electronics and the manufacture of a replica of Scott of the Antarctic’s sledge.

Years 10 and 11 Design Technology Curriculum

This curriculum is undergoing change and so there is a different specification in Year 10 from Year 11.

Year 10 Design Technology Curriculum

Each pupil will undertake a number of different design and make activities in Year 10 that will prepare them for their assessment in Year 11.

Final assessment will consist of:

Written Paper:50% and taken at the end of Year 11

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA): 50% – pupils will produce a design portfolio and make prototype in response to a contextual challenge. This project will start at the end of Year 10 and continue in Year 11.

Year 11 Design Technology Curriculum

Pearson Edexcel. Specification code: 1DTO

Pupils are assessed by an examination and a non-examination assessment.

Examination: 1 hour 45-minute paper with two sections for 50% of the total marks.

Non-Examination Assessment: 30-35 hours of work for 50% of the marks. The assessment has four parts based on four processes: investigation, design, making and evaluating.

Trips for Design Technology in Years 10 and 11

Previous trips have visited Jaguar Land Rover, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Design Museum in London.

Co-curricular Design Technology Activities in Years 10 and 11

Usually there are clubs running to allow the examination groups to enhance their skills and provide more time to use the resources available. The department is often involved with many cultural aspects of the school such as: helping those involved with the Young Enterprise Scheme, The Arkwright scholarship foundation, EPQ projects and inter-house events.


Sixth Form Curriculum in Design Technology