Balcarras

Design and Technology

The Design and Technology department comprises five teachers, supported by two full-time technicians. The department occupies a suite of seven specialist rooms.

The department is highly successful at all key stages, and makes a significant contribution to the overall success of the school. This includes a strong record in external examinations at both GCSE and Advanced Level. Standards are excellent as the result of a well-structured curriculum that is well taught. The Design & Technology department enjoys the respect of the school and is well supported by parents and governors.

There is excellent access to ICT across the department and CADCAM is embedded within the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. We currently have seven 3D printers in the department as well as a CNC Router and Laser Cutter. ICT is an established element of GCSE courses and specialised software is used to develop design proposals and model practical solutions (CorelDraw, Crumble and SpaceClaim). The department uses e-portfolios in product design and textiles.

 

A structured KS3 course ensures that all students experience the full range of design and technological activity. An induction course in year seven is followed by more in-depth activities where students are expected to work with a wide range of materials and components, including electronics. The department regularly monitors all aspects of the KS3 curriculum to ensure consistency of approach and delivery, and progress is tracked through a comprehensive recording system. The department works closely with feeder primaries.

At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to follow Design and Technology courses to examination level, and we currently offer GCSE Design and Technology (product design and textiles specialisms), both AQA, and WJEC Food and Nutrition. Post-16, the department offers advanced level courses in D&T: Product Design (AQA) and Art and Design (Textiles) (AQA). We also offer Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition (WJEC)

The department has strong links with local industry, and designers and engineers regularly visit the department to talk to students. Students are encouraged to take p

  • The Arkwright Scholarship Scheme
  • Kohler Mira STEM Events
  • Gloucestershire Rotary Technology Competition
  • Secondary Leaders Award

Jennifer Swanepoel
Head of Design & Technology