Design and Technology is a subject that has developed rapidly in the last few decades. This is due to the development of automated processes and the spread of digital technology in the design and manufacturing industry but also due to the recognition that the effects of design and manufacturing on our society are far-reaching. Design and Technology today focuses on analytical as well as practical skills; digital technologies as well as effective graphic communication; the acquisition and application of individually acquired knowledge as well as ingenuity; and the capacity to solve practical and social problems by creating new solutions using materials, machines and technology.
Design and Technology at Wrekin contributes to a well-balanced education with its aim to promote ‘doing’ as well as ‘knowing’. Our focus is on teaching Resistant Materials and Product Design. We believe that it is vital for pupils to understand, appreciate and interact with our material world. We therefore start by teaching all pupils in First Form how to work confidently and safely in a workshop environment, creating small products made from plastic, wood and metal. Pupils begin to understand materials, processes and the context of product design in today’s world. They are encouraged to draw links to existing professions, from graphic designers to architects, entrepreneurs to carpenters. We test their skills through practical exams and written papers with creative design tasks.
During the GCSE and A Level courses we encourage the pursuit of individually chosen design projects that give the pupils a great sense of ownership and promote individual project-based learning. We give young people experiences of good craftsmanship in order to teach them processes that will enable them to understand the development of mass-production processes much better. They learn a lot about project management as all final pieces are exhibited in our Design Show. This public event creates a great focus throughout the Lent term and gives each pupil a wonderful sense of achievement. Through their own design process and experience in the workshop, pupils become more aware of the origin, quality, and value of products they consume or use on a daily basis. They learn about the social and environmental implications and the positive contribution designers can make. They also learn to push themselves into the unknown and to persevere from their first initial ideas through to a completed working product. They experience the stress and strain, the struggles and setbacks, and finally the excitement and exhilaration of success.
Full details of the curriculum are available in the GCSE and Sixth Form Curriculum guides.
Pictured below are a selection of GSCE and A Level finished pieces.