Key Stage 3

Course Description
Within Design and Technology, students are expected to respond to a design situation/brief, conduct appropriate research, generate a design specification, explore ideas, developing these into a realistic, appropriate and achievable design that suits the needs of the end user.

Students are involved in making products which are of high quality and address a range of issues which are studied in greater depth at Key Stage 4.

Key evaluative skills are taught and nurtured whilst the exploration of existing products and material applications develop student awareness. Students consider the environmental and social aspects relating to design whilst ensuring that their designs are fit for purpose.

Students work to deadlines acquiring a range of practical techniques, working with a variety of materials and components in the areas of Electronics, Graphics and Resistant Materials. Students also develop skills in the appropriate use of Information Technology and all enhance their skills further with the use of CAD and CAM technology, appropriate to the design/ability level.

Each of our 5 main assessment areas feature in every project however specific focus areas are built in to each project, as described below:

 ElectronicsResistant MaterialsGraphics
PlanningYear 9Year 9
DesigningYear 7
Year 9
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 8
Year 9
MakingYear 7
Year 9
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 8
Year 9
Technical KnowledgeYear 7
Year 9
EvaluatingYear 7
Year 9

Students should be able to:
  • 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, 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
In Year 7 items including an animal toy are produced. An abstract clock based on inspiration from a “design movement” of the 20th Century is an example of a Year 8 project and in Year 9 one of the outcomes is a range of merchandise and promotional literature to accompany a student designed music festival.
Homework is set on a regular basis in support of class work. Students receive homework tasks which feed in to one of the main assessment areas. Assignments will relate to practical projects and may involve research, investigation, testing and evaluation or a series of tasks which reinforce the understanding and acquisition of design skills.
Teacher assessment occurs during, and at the end of each section of the course or project, in areas identified in the chart above. This ensures that pupils receive feedback throughout their designing to ensure that a quality product is assured, with appropriate targets for improvement set. Pupils are also encouraged to assess the success of their and their peers’ work and respond to the improvement comments made by teachers.
Electronic Products
The GCSE in Electronics is a subject that students will be familiar with from lower down the school. Whilst building on the theory knowledge and practical skills that students have generated in Electronics, the new GCSE in Electronics now provides exciting opportunities for students to develop their overall knowledge base in the subject which will open many opportunities for them such as A’ Level, HND / Degree in Electronics, as well as BTEC and Apprenticeship schemes. There is a shortfall of Electronics specialists in the UK and the demand is growing to meet the technological advances and infrastructure. There is also a demand for UK Designers and Engineers abroad.
The course focusses on theoretical and practical skills, and the GCSE in Electronics is mainly an academic subject. The practical sessions will reinforce the theoretical knowledge and give students the opportunity to appreciate how circuits operate and problem solve such as development and fault finding.
The course is split as follows:
Component 1 - Discovering Electronics
Written Examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
40% of qualification - 80 marks
The component covers the following topics:
  1. Electronic systems and sub-systems
  2. Circuit concepts
  3. Resistive components in circuits
  4. Switching circuits
  5. Applications of diodes
  6. Combinational logic systems
Component 2 - Applications of Electronics
Written Examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
40% of qualification - 80 marks
The component covers the following topics:
  1. Operational amplifiers
  2. Timing circuits
  3. Sequential systems
  4. Interfacing digital to analogue circuits
  5. Control circuits
Component 3 - Non-exam assessment (NEA), Project Extended System design and realisation task
20% of qualification - 40 marks
  1. A design and realisation task based on an individually identified problem, context or opportunity.
  2. Research and analysis of the problem to develop a design specification.
  3. Develop a system from a series of sub-systems which will be tested individually before assembly and tested as a complete system.
  4. Evaluate the performance of the developed system against the design specification and suggest improvements that could be made.
In addition:
20% of qualification will be of a Mathematical content.
Electronic Designers and Engineers need knowledge of Mathematics in order to perform the various calculations needed for circuit design and development. Students will have already gained their algebraic skills in their Mathematics lessons as well as in Science and Electronics.
Under normal examination conditions, students will sit their exams which will take place in the summer term of year 11. This includes a range of multiple choice questions in addition to extended Electronics based questions.
Visual Communication

Visual Communications is a new qualification to the Kingsway School and replaces GCSE Graphic Products.

The qualification is a Technical Award rather than a GCSE. It is worth as much as a GCSE, but greater emphasis is given to ensuring students are educated and trained to a high standard in modern graphical communication techniques. This involves a significant level of the use of modern technology such as specialist software and industrial equipment such as laser cutters, vinyl printers and lamination.
During the course:
  • Students will learn to draw and sketch in 2D and 3D both using traditional drawing techniques as well as specialist CAD (computer aided design) software.
  • Students will learn how to digitally edit images including, enhancing, filtering, cropping, rotating, reshaping and resizing. This will also include image capture and manipulation using scanners and digital cameras.
  • Students will learn about colour theory and its importance for visual impact to the graphic designer.
  • Students will learn about publishing layouts in order to create posters, websites and other publications.
  • Students will learn about packaging and card engineering.
  • Students will learn about the role of the graphic designer in IT applications, such as web-based design, by customising web pages and developing skills in a variety of printing techniques which will additionally lead onto to printing effects such as lamination and embossing, to name but a few.
During Year 10, the course will involve a series of mini projects where there will be an emphasis on covering key aspects of the syllabus, largely through practical (design and making) activities. The course will suit students that prefer learning through making. These mini projects account for 30% of their assessment.
In Year 11, the examination board will present the student with a major project, again graphically based, where the student will have to record their investigation, practical work and progress on the project in a portfolio. This major project accounts for a further 30% of the qualification.
In addition to this, there is also a summative examination which is worth 40%.
Examination preparation will be ongoing throughout the two year course, as students learn through practical application and by the use of a homework booklet and stand-alone theory lessons.
Materials Technology

The technical award in Materials Technology has evolved from Resistant Materials, a subject that students will be familiar with from lower down the school. Whilst building on the theory knowledge and practical skills that students have generated in Resistant Materials, Materials Technology now provides exciting opportunities for students to develop skills focused practical knowledge.

The course focuses on skills building and practical outcomes and the theory related to them.
The course is split as follows:
30% Internally assessed skills:
Taking place in Year 10, students will make a number of mini-projects which enable them to demonstrate 12 vocationally focused skills. These mini-projects must be demonstrated practically, with photographic evidence provided in a making diary. Skills covered include:
  • Forming, bending or laminating
  • Casting or moulding
  • Machining and the use of power tools
  • Using CAD/CAM systems
  • Using finishing techniques
  • Quality control and maintaining accuracy
30% internally assessed extended making project:
Taking place at the start of Year 11 this section of the course engages students in a personalised making project. They will be required to consolidate the skills acquired in Year 10 and apply these appropriately. By responding to a set brief, interpreting working drawings, formulating manufacturing plans, accounting for material and manufacturing costs and working to given tolerances, students will produce a high quality, bespoke item.
40% terminal examination:
Under normal examination conditions, students will sit an exam that tests their theoretical knowledge of the principals and skills covered by the internally assessed skills and extended making project. This will take place in the summer term of Year 11 includes a range of multiple choice questions in addition to extended materials based questions.
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