Technology holds an 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 the Technology department lie in their ability to help students 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.
All the subject specialisms teach students to apply creativity; intellectual understanding; and practical skill with materials, ingredients, techniques and processes to produce original and innovative products and items, and so can also help change the way that the students see the world and their place in it. As a subject it also prepares students to become confident users and consumers of new and future technologies.
The Technology department at Stour Valley Community School is exceptional well-resourced and allows students to gain experience in both traditional and modern forms of design and manufacturing including the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Laser cutting and 3D printing.
Students have the opportunity to study the following Technology subjects at Stour Valley Community School – Graphics; Resistant Materials; Textiles and Food. In KS3 at Years 7 students study Resistant Materials, Food and Textiles in a rotation system, and in Year Nine - Resistant Materials, Graphics and Food. In Year 9 students study all four subjects before making their options choices. If students do then choose to study any of subjects further we currently offer GCSEs in Graphic Products, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Hospitity and Catering.
Students currently in Years 10 and 11 have the opportunity to study separate Graphic Products, Resistant Materials and Textiles courses at GCSE. Each of these courses is structured in the following way - 60% Controlled Assessment, a portfolio based design and make project of roughly 40 hours in length that the students undertake starting at the end of Year 10 and continue into Year 11 and marked within school. 40% a single examination sat towards the end of Year 11.
From September 2017 the new single Technology GCSE will replace the current separate Resistant Materials, Graphic Products and Textiles GCSEs. Students taking the new GCSE will be grouped by the specialist area they wish to base their studies around with choices to be made from either a Resistant Materials, Graphics or Textiles bias. Although students will be required to choose a specialist area the new course content will allow students much greater creativity and freedom to how they design and produce their products. For example a Resistant Materials student may choose to work with card and paper; a Graphics student work with electronics and fabrics and a Textiles student work with timber and metals.
What will I learn in Technology?
Technology GCSE 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.
The new specification has been designed to re-enforce the close links between Technology and Maths and Science, and students should note that the course requires application of mathematical and scientific knowledge (at end of KS3 level) during both the practical and exam elements of the course. This course would therefore suit not only creative students but could act as a complimentary subject for those students with an interest in the Sciences, Maths and Computer Science.
What will I do in lessons?
This course provides students with the opportunity to explore their creativity and build on previous skills and knowledge. It demands a high level of commitment and students will be expected to work independently to deadlines in both their portfolio and theory work, as well as show a high standard of presentation as designers are required to do in the real world.
How will this subject be of use in the future?
Studying Technology can lead to a wide range of careers including: Engineering; product and industrial design; 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.
How will I be assessed?
The new Technology GCSE will be graded from 1 through to 9 and will be composed of two parts.
Written exam Paper, 2hrs – Marked out of 100 and worth 50% of GCSE award. Taken at the end of Year 11 and marked externally.
- Section A –Core technical principles (20 marks). A mixture of multiple choice and short questions assessing general Technology knowledge.
- Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks). Questions based around students selected specialism, several short answer question and one extended response to assess more in depth knowledge.
- Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks). A mix of short and long answer questions.
Non-exam assessment, 30-35hrs approx. Portfolio based design and make task, marked out of 100 and worth 50% of GCSE award. Marked by teachers then externally moderated by exam board, started at the end of Year 10 and assessed as follows –
- Identifying and investigating design possibilities (10 marks).
- Producing a design brief and specification (10 marks).
- Generating design ideas (20 marks).
- Developing design ideas (20 marks).
- Realising design ideas (making) (20 marks).
- Analysing and evaluating (20 marks).