GCSE Design and Technology Rationale
Students follow the GCSE Design and Technology AQA specification. 50% of the course is based on theory of core, specialist and designing and making principles, the other 50% is a Contextual Challenge which starts in June of the first year of study. Students choose a brief that interests them from a choice of three.
50% 35 hrs coursework, 50% 2 hour exam.
In addition: at least 15% of the exam will assess maths and at least 10% of the exam will assess science.
The teacher will provide any necessary resources to assist with theory, coursework including the practical outcome and exam preparation. AQA text books, revision guides and past exam papers. However-quizes and other useful information will be available on line.
Q-How is the exam structured?
- Section A-Core technical principles (20 marks) A mix of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.
- Section B-Specialist technical principles (30 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.
- Section C- Designing and making principles (50 marks) a mix of short answer and extended response questions.
Students will be set ‘low stakes’ written tests throughout their first year to allow them to develop confidence and check their theoretical learning in preparation for the written exam in their final GCSE year. Practical skills and coursework developed will be assessed regularly over the course of study to support their progress and learning. One to one tutorials will be given to students to discuss effective progress and development.
Q-How many sections is there in the design and make task?
- 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 (10 marks)
- Analysing and evaluating (15 marks)
Q-What should be included in the final portfolio?
Reviewing contextual challenges, reviewing primary/secondary research, a design brief and design specification, initial design ideas, refinement and development of ideas, prototyping, evaluative decision making, high quality 2D/3D images of proposals, planning/timelines, modifications and evaluations, final prototype of finished product etc. Worth noting that when we moderate will expect to see everything that the learner has used in the development of the design and make project.
The typical steps of iterative design for user feedback are as follows:
- Complete an initial design and present the design to several test users.
- Note any problems had by the test user and refine the design to account for/fix the problems.
- Apply the iterative design process to the first prototypes through to the developed 3D outcome, repeat steps 2-4 until user problems are resolved.
- When properly applied, iterative design will ensure a product or process is the best solution possible. When applied early in the development stage, significant cost savings are possible.Other benefits to iterative design include:
- Serious misunderstandings are made evident early in the lifecycle, when it's possible to react to them.
- It enables and encourages user feedback, possibly resulting in modifying specifications and costings.
- The designer is forced to focus on those issues that are most critical to the product and shield them from irrelevant issues.
- Continuous, iterative testing enables an objective assessment of the project's status.
Autumn 1st half term
Health and safety in the workshop
New and emerging technologies
Industry and enterprise
People, culture and society
Production techniques and systems
Informing design decisions
Targeted revision for mock exam
Written mock exam 2hr paper October
Identifying and investigating design possibilities, 10 marks – component 2
Developing a Design brief and specification, 10 marks
Autumn 2nd half term
Energy, materials, systems and devices
Energy generation and storage
Modern and smart materials
Composite an dtechnical textiles
Systems approach to designing
Electronic systems processing
Revision for mock exam
Written mock exam 2hr paper December
Generating design ideas, 20 marks
Developing design ideas, 20 marks
Spring 1st half term
Wood joints, cutting finishing techniques/CAD/CAM.
Generating and developing design ideas, 2D and 3D drawing techniques
Materials-paper and boards
Timbers, metals and alloys and polymers
Manufacturing a prototype, 20 marks
Practical exam for component 2 February
Spring 2nd half term
Common specialist technical principles
Forces, stresses, 6rs, scales of production
Improving functionality, ecological and social footprint
Analysing and evaluating design decisions and prototypes, 20 marks
Summer 1st half term
Timber based materials
Sources and origins-working with timbers
Written exam 2hr paper
Summer 2nd half term
Designing and making principles
Investigating primary and secondary data
Design strategies and the work of others
Communication of design ideas
Selecting materials and components
Tolerances and materials management
Tools, equipment, techniques and finishes
Surface treatments-Unit test
Students will be given theory tests in lessons to assess their success and areas for improvement with all theory topics. Students will sit two DT written exam papers in the Autumn term of their final GCSE year as practice before they sit their final written exam in the Summer term.