Balcarras
School

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 information technology; all computers within the department are linked to the school network and have access to the Internet through a high-speed broadband connection. CADCAM is embedded within the KS3 and KS4 curriculum.

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 D&T: Product Design and D&T: Textiles Technology, both AQA, and WJEC Food and Nutrition. ICT is an established element of GCSE courses and, in addition to the use of word-processing and DTP software to aid the production of project portfolios, specialised software is used to develop design proposals and model practical solutions (CorelDraw, Sketch-up and SpaceClaim). The department has adopted e-portfolios in product design and textiles.

Post-16, the department offers advanced level courses in D&T: Product Design (AQA), Food Technology (Edexcel) and Art and Design (Textiles) (AQA).

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 part in local and national initiatives, and the department has a strong record of success in the following:

  • The Arkwright Scholarship Scheme
  • The National TDi Award
  • Young Engineers for Britain
  • Gloucestershire Schools Technology Award
  • Rotary Chef Competition

Jeff Draisey
Head of Design & Technology