Technology holds a unique place within the school curriculum, it is the subject of the man-made world around us and how we interact with it, and so one of the major strengths of all the subject specialisms taught within Technology lie in their ability to help students to identify potential improvements to current products and processes, and so empower them to try to improve current products and change the world around themselves for the better.
Technology as a subject is both intellectual and practical in nature. Through testing, experimentation and manufacturing products students develop a practical knowledge of the working properties of materials as well as knowledge of both hand and computer aided manufacturing techniques; they develop both hand and computer aided design drawing and presentation skills; and use ICT to help research, communicate and realise their ideas.
These skills are backed up by an intellectual understanding of the design process and design history, as well as imaginative problem solving, analytical and evaluative skills that will enable students to produce well-designed products that meet the needs of the target market.
Students are also introduced to the possibilities presented by new and emerging technologies such as smart materials and they also consider the social, moral and environmental impact on society of design and future technological developments.
As well as providing students with the opportunity to explore their creativity, build on previous skills and knowledge and develop a high standard of presentation as designers are required to do in the real world the curriculum has been designed to re-enforce the close links between Technology and not just Maths and Science, but to Computer Science, Art & Design, Humanities, Physical Education and be seen as a subject that links the wider school curriculum.
As students often arrive in secondary education without little or no Technology experience at KS2 students are introduce to Health & Safety in the workshop and are guided in good practice in practical work. Investigations are carried out into physical properties and manipulation techniques of common woods, metals, plastics, papers, cards, boards and natural and synthetic compliant materials. Pupils are introduced to CAD/CAM, systems and control along with joining materials. The origin sources of materials, and issues surrounding sustainability are explored. The design process is introduced and followed throughout student rotations, this encourages students to critically evaluate their designs and products and suggest modifications and improvements. Students are introduced to current and historical key designers, their iconic brands and products and the reasons for their success. Subjects currently studied at KS3 are – Resistant Materials, Graphics and Food.
Learning is broken down into three main components:
Students explore new and emerging technologies, energy storage, developments in new materials, mechanical devices, core materials and their properties.
As a part of the designing and making processes students are exposed to schemes covering selection of materials, forces and stresses, ecological footprints, sources and origins of materials, stock, forms, sizes and types, scales of production and their implementations, specialist techniques and surface treatments/finishes.
Students are guided through the design process and are aware for the need for research, designing, developing, realising and evaluating, and appreciating that the approach can be holistic.
Subjects specialisms studied at KS4 are:
Resistant Materials, Graphics, Textiles.
Studying Technology can lead to a wide range of careers including: Engineering; product and industrial design; fabrications; architecture; jewellery design; fashion and textiles design; film and theatre set design; self-employed craftspeople; graphic designer/artist; illustrator; cartoonist, animator; book and magazine design; web based design; and advertising.