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Design and technology is an inspiring rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. We teach pupils to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users; critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others and understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

The KS3 Design Curriculum at Castle Donington College mirrors the National curriculum closely in breadth and ambition and in addition, ensures all pupils;

  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools
  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties

Pupils will also gain technical knowledge so they can understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions.

They will be taught to understand how advances in modern technology has affected industry, manufacturing and day to day life.

The KS3 Design curriculum provides a solid base knowledge required to support continued studies at KS4 in Design, Art, Graphics, Textiles and Food Preparation and Nutrition.

Food Preparation and Nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

All pupils at KS3 will be taught to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health, cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet , become competent in a range of cooking techniques and understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

How is Design and Technology delivered?

Pupils arrive in year 7 with a wide range of design experiences, skills and knowledge. Design lessons are delivered to pupils through project led lessons in a rotation system. This is to give them the opportunity to apply their developing knowledge of design theory and increasing design realisation skills in a project setting, resulting in varying practical and design experiences. Project lessons are run in a rotation system and include Design, Textiles, Art and Food. At KS3 students are taught in smaller mixed ability groups.

How do we monitor quality of the Design and Technology curriculum?

At Castle Donington College, the Art, Design and Technology department incorporates a number of subjects. Design, Food and Nutrition, Art, Child Development, Graphics and Textiles. The Head of Design is responsible for monitoring the quality of the curriculum and quality of delivery in all disciplines. The Assistant Principal line manages the Department and oversees the development and quality of the curriculum with the Head of Department and the Principal. Design follows the College Quality Assurance Programme and is reviewed annually through Departmental Review.

Each subject area has clear end points for assessment, and these are shared with students at the start of each rotation and printed in each workbook for reference. The Department uses the whole school approach of support, secure and greater depth.