At Key Stage 3 students work through a series of practical tasks and projects generating design portfolio work and practical outcomes in a range of materials through Years 7-9. Each student will be introduced to formal elements such as teaching them to use a range of tools, to controlling and manipulating a range of outcomes. 3D projects are used to introduce students to wood, metals and plastics. All portfolio work is carried out in the design rooms which are equipped with networked computers. All practical work is undertaken in the well-equipped workshops. All students will have the opportunity to take home at least 3 different 3D outcomes each year. Whilst the extensive use of CAD/CAM is encouraged and used throughout this Key stage.
- Autumn Term: Tile puzzle
Year 7 starts with a unit in which students research, design, make and evaluate a tile puzzle in oak, acrylic and aluminium. Students learn how to cut, shape and finish these materials to a very high standard. Students use CAD and CAM to produce some of the parts as well as produce a portfolio.
- Spring Term: CAD and CAM
From the outset CAD and CAM are placed at the foundation of their Design and Make tasks. To this end the next unit sees students producing ‘holey cubes’, bolt threads and assembling elements they have produced. It’s incredible to see the quality of work they produce after only a short time. Before Easter students will be introduced to food and will design and produce a menu stand in acrylic with accompanying menu. This is a creative project and one that produces some fantastic, individual results.
- Summer Term: Mechanical toy
The final unit of year 7 is the mechanical toy project. In this project students investigate different mechanisms and use them to produce motion and movement in a figure or theme of their choice. Students will produce a full portfolio and is the culmination of all the skills they have learnt over the year.
- Autumn Term: Structures and computer control
A group work project where students design and produce a scaled structure using CAD and model the solution. Once completed these structures are tested to destruction. Students will witness the forces of tension, compression, shear and torsion. This is most students’ favourite project. The unit finishes with students designing procedures to control a set of traffic lights.
- Spring Term: Electronics
Students produce a transistor switch PCB circuit a LDPE container to house it. The project is set in a crime context and the outcome works as a sensor for a burglar alarm.
- Summer Term: Modelling course
This course allows students to model storage unit ideas using different materials and techniques. Students will reinforce their knowledge of CAD creating different ideas and improve their drawing skills with the introduction of isometric and oblique sketching techniques. The course is aimed at developing students modelling skills to aid initial idea communication which is a big initiative for the new NEA GCSE product design course.
In Year 9 students have only one lesson a week. The emphasis this year is on skills for Key Stage 4 courses. There are 2 units this year.
- Autumn Term: Engineering course
This course introduces students to the metalworking skills of lathe work, bench work, forging, and shaping, drilling, filing and shaping. Students will reinforce knowledge in CAD creating working drawings and undertake product analysis. These skills will be taught through a practical project made from mild steel.
- Spring Term: Joinery course
This course allows students to laminate different hardwoods to create different effects. With these laminations students design and make a photo-frame project using CAD and produce an outcome using mortice and tendon joints. The projects are finished to a very high specification.