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Why choose GCSE Design & Technology?
GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise. The course allows students to study core technical, designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.
Do you want a well-paid job?
Design and technology feeds into two major sectors of employment. UK engineering (mechanical/electrical/civil/structural) is world renowned for excellence, and one of very few sectors where employment is expanding. What you might not know is that the skills people gain in preparation for this profession also make them incredibly good managers and chief executive officers. In fact over a third of the country’s highest paid managers are qualified engineers. The creative industries are one of the largest sectors of employment within the UK, worth around £15.5billion per year, and one of very few sectors to have continued to grow during the recession. Companies are desperate for young designers with fresh ideas, combined with the technical ability to realise creations.
Pupils throughout KS3 have developed skills in the design and creation of products in a wide variety of materials and contexts. They understand the design process, and are comfortable with creating new and unique items. GCSE design and technology is the continuation of this to a higher level, combining practical knowledge with transferrable skills, such as applied mathematical and scientific principles along with problem solving and analytical thinking.
Core designing and making principles
Students should understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use and context. They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas:
Core designing and making principles, will be graded within the non-examined assessment (coursework), alongside some questions within the terminal examination.
What will you do?
The new GCSE places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Evidence of designing can be submitted in a range of formats including A4 or A3 folders, sketchbooks or electronically in PowerPoint format, whilst making can be evidenced in the form of model making, all the way through to a working prototype. The assessment is holistic, ensuring students are fully rewarded for their efforts. The department has invested heavily in the latest technologies to support this such as audio-visual equipment, industry standard CAD and graphics software, rapid prototyping machinery, 3D milling and laser cutting.
Core technical principles
To make effective design choices students will need a breadth of technical knowledge that consists of:
Through your GCSE option you will also choose a specialist focus. This area you will then cover in greater depth, and it will also be primarily the focus of your NEA.
D&T: Product Design
D&T: Graphic Design
Course Key Details
Non Examined Assessment:
50% – 35 hours of designing and making (low level control)
Context driven challenge, with working prototype produced as a result.
Work will be within lessons and can be continued at home.
50% – Single 2 hour exam
A level Design & Technology (and supports other qualifications too)
Post 16 Courses and Routes to Employment
This GCSE leads directly into A-level Design & Technology following an ‘academic route’. We actually deliver the A-level course at Fernwood on behalf of Bilborough College. University degrees in Engineering (mechanical, electrical, civil etc.) Industrial design, architecture, project management and a vast array of others directly follow on. Following a more vocational route, options include high level professional apprenticeships amongst other choices.
Possible career paths:
Management positions, Professional Engineers, Architects, Industrial Designers, Graphic Designers, Marketing, Sales, Business and Entrepreneurship, Mechanical Engineering, Advertising, Apprenticeships such as Rolls Royce.
Thoughts from the UK Education Secretary:
“The UK needs to recruit 83,000 engineers a year over the next 10 years to compete economically, the subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock the door to all sorts of careers are the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths),”
What is Design Technology?