Firstly any Design & Technology subject is not an easy option. It will require dedication and an ability to complete work under ones own initiative. There are 5 lessons a fortnight in all GCSE D&T subjects, of these at least two will be theory work for the duration of the course.
A GCSE course in Design and Technology offers an opportunity for candidates to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems in a wide range of contexts relating to their personal interests.
As a fundamental part of their course, pupils will design and make products. Design and Technology develops pupils’ interdisciplinary skills, all six of the key skills, and their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.
At Penyrheol we currently offer GCSE Design and Technology in 4 areas. These are; Resistant Materials Technology, Food Technology, Graphic Products and Textiles.
All follow the same format (60% CAT work 40% exam), although the focus is different for each specialism. We have a specialist teacher delivering each of the focus areas.
Design and Technology: Resistant Materials
You will be concerned with the materials of wood, metal and plastic and the processes used to work with those materials. You will make one major product during the controlled assignment task. Projects undertaken previously include storage, lighting and children’s educational toys. This course follows the EdExcel syllabus.
Design and Technology: Food
You will study how different foods can be used and made into food products, how new food products are designed and developed by the food industry. As part of Food Technology you will be expected to bring ingredients for practical lessons to school. The cost of this will be your responsibility. You will make prototypes and develop one during the focused practical task in Year 11. This course follows the WJEC syllabus.
Design and Technology: Graphic Products
You will be concerned with the promotion of a “suite of products”. These will be to promote or advertise the product. You are not concerned with making the product, just the material that promotes or advertises it. Examples of products that could be made include all posters, covers and promotional material to launch a new CD, DVD or movie, or perhaps the promotional material to launch a new sports drink. This course follows the EdExcel syllabus.
Design and Technology: Textiles
You will be concerned with all areas of textiles from fabrics, colour and decoration to designing and manufacturing a product. You will make one major product during the controlled assignment task in year 11. You will be designing and making a range of products throughout the course, ranging from fashion outfits to interior design products and theatrical costume/accessories. This course follows the WJEC syllabus.
Is the course difficult?
All Design and Technology courses require good attendance. Due to the nature of practical activity, lessons missed will need to be caught up in the pupils own time. During year 10 pupils will undertake skills based mini projects that will help them to gain an understanding of what will be required for the focused practical task which is completed in year 11. Throughout the course there will be a need to keep notes on what has been done during lessons, this will form the basis of the revision needed for the exams. 28
Will I enjoy the course?
If you are interested in creative and technical activities then any of the Design Technology GCSE options will be for you. We cover the majority of the key skills aspects within the course. Design and Technology is seen as a desirable subject to be qualified in as it shows future employers that successful candidates are self-motivated, able to “think outside the box”, and be creative.
How is the course assessed?
Unit 1: Written Paper 2 hours (40%)
Candidates will be required to sit an examination of two hours’ duration (split into two sections), set and marked by the WJEC. Specific papers will be set for each focus area.
The papers for all focus areas follow a similar structure. Section 1 is designed to be answered in 60 minutes and consists of four questions. These questions are set so as to be accessible to candidates from all focus areas and will relate to Product Analysis, Overarching Principles, Designers and Practitioners and “The Design Process”. The quality of written communication will be integrated into question 3 and will necessitate paragraphs or essay style responses. Section 2 consists of four questions: these are focus area specific, and designed to take 60 minutes to answer. Differentiation will be achieved by using a variety of styles of questioning to ensure that specification content is tested in such a way as to provide a meaningful examination to candidates of different levels of ability.
Unit 2: Controlled Assessment Task 30 hours (60%)
The WJEC is responsible for ‘task setting’ and details of the controlled assessment tasks for Design and Technology will be forwarded to Penyrheol in September each year.
Candidates are required to complete one 30 hour design, make and evaluate task. This will be completed during lesson times and will be conducted in timed exam room conditions. Pupils are expected to undertake preparation work at home and in school to ensure they give themselves the best opportunity to gain a good grade in this aspect of the course.
The task is divided into two sections. Section A is concerned with designing the product and Section B is concerned with planning, making and evaluating the product. This aspect of the course will begin at the start of September of Year 11.
If pupils are unsure about which Design and Technology option they would be best suited please speak to Mr Rees or any of the Design and Technology teachers.
More details and syllabi for Food and Textiles undertaken at Penyrheol can be found at the WJEC website; http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subject=14&level=7
For Resistant Materials and Graphic Products, please see the school Moodle site where full details of the courses can be found.