Design Technology at Smithills School embraces the demand of the new GCSE specification and is present in our curriculum through Design and Technology: Product Design, Graphic Design and Food Technology.


Students in Year 7 and Year 8 are taught on a fortnightly carousel and experience 6 different projects across the 2 year Key Stage 3. These projects are designed to prepare students for the Design and Technology technical awards in Year 9 and for the GCSE in Year 10 and eventually Year 11.  These projects include clock design, Adobe Photoshop, movie marketing, structures and physics, smart and modern materials and a lighting project.

In Food Technology students follow a similar curriculum pattern and will experience the same project cycle.  The curriculum is derived from the GCSE Eduqas endorsed specification and is designed to cover a wide range of practical skills, assessment objectives and theoretical content.  Students begin to learn about planning and investigation and are assessed in challenging, time sensitive practical sessions, to replicate the demand expected by Year 11. The Key Stage 3 curriculum is heavily influenced by practical activities and students cite this opportunity as one of their favourite parts of the school curriculum.

Both Food and Design Technology will be represented in the Year 9 technical awards, studied across the year group from September 2018. Design Technology students will have access to the NCFE Craft and Graphic Design qualifications, whilst Food Technology will follow a route based in Hospitality and Catering.  It is our intention that students embrace and achieve well in these awards, inherently developing a skillset and knowledge base which will make the progression to GCSE or alternative technical awards more viable.

We are blessed with the resources, facilities and equipment we have at our disposal across Design and Technology.  We have a fully functional Mac suite with access to Adobe Photoshop which plays a huge role in the development of our Graphic design opportunities.  We have recently developed projects incorporating smart and modern materials and have invested in a state of the art Ultimaker 3 3D printer, which we intend to introduce across all year groups from September 2018.  In addition to this we have large, industry approved workshops and catering facilities, well equipped with traditional tools and equipment, alongside CAD/CAM facilities such as the routers and laser-cutter.

Subjects within Art, Design and Technology are taught by specialists within their field of study and all areas are served by an experienced, practically minded technician; fully trained and equipped in all aspects of the faculty.

Our current Year 10 students are studying the NCFE Graphic Design qualification where they complete 4 different design briefs to produce their Graphic Design portfolio (50%).  They will also complete a 50% examined portfolio, culminating in a 10 hour examination.

In Food, students are working towards their NCFE technical award in Food and Cookery, which follows a similar format to the Graphic Design equivalent.

In Year 11 Design Technology students all follow the GCSE Product Design course.  This qualification is in its final year before the combined Design and Technology GCSE comes into fruition.  Within this course, students will complete a design and make portfolio (60%) which is internally assessed and externally moderated.  They will also complete an examination paper, accounting for 40% of the GCSE.

Food Technology students currently follow the Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE in Year 11.  This course is broken down into 50% non-examined assessment and 50% terminal examination through a written paper.  This aspect demands theoretical knowledge and application with regards to food science, origins, commodities, health and hygiene as well as drawing on the physical application of food skill and processes.

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