The Technology Curriculum Area is a thriving and innovative part of the school. The curriculum area’s main emphasis is on creating challenging and creative approaches to teaching and learning, and comprises two large food rooms, three hard material workshops, a CAD/CAM suit, a purpose built graphics room and a further two textiles areas. The area also benefits from the expertise of staff with a range of employment backgrounds, some from industry and others with specialist teaching qualifications.
Our aim is to create challenge for students in lessons and encourage independent investigation of successful design. Students are encouraged to understand why design is affected by society and what impact it, in turn, can have on the environment, market and culture. Design is not all about drawing and making products but a means of understanding culture and issues of sustainability, as well as about developing new technology and inspiring innovation through methodical and tested frameworks.
Key Stage 3
As is the case with many other schools in the local area, the Key Stage 3 curriculum at Denefield works on a carousel rotation. Students spend approximately seven weeks in each of our technology subject areas. These areas fall under the categories of Food, Resistant Materials, Electronics, CAD/CAM (Graphics) and Textiles. Each student receives a grade in each of these areas which is averaged to give an overall level of attainment.
In Year 9, our students are encouraged to refine their skills in technology by choosing two of the subject areas they might like to follow as a GCSE course and study them at a higher level (similar to GCSE) for a full year.
Key Stage 4
A wide range of GCSEs are available for this Key Stage. However, Denefield also offers vocational subjects: Health & Social Care, Child Development, BTEC Fashion and Construction. Many of the GCSE courses offer a foundation level understanding of technology that can be used to gain access to Further Education and also provide a springboard into industry.
All GCSEs follow a similar structure of coursework and terminal examination for a final grade. Below are the outlines of the course objectives and suggestions as to where they can lead:
- Electronic Products (GCSE) provides a core understanding of the manufacture and design of electronic products. The qualification can lead to apprenticeships in electronic installation, further A Level qualification (currently offered at Denefield) and other applications within the electronics industry.
- Graphic Products (GCSE) ensures students can replicate and manufacture innovative graphic products for industry and encourages their understanding of visual media and their varying social impact in society. The course can lead to basic level entry in the visual media and graphical communication industry and into the A Level course ‘Graphic Communication’.
- Textiles (GCSE) offers students the opportunity to construct their own garments and products according to a target market need or gap in the current market area. Popular projects have often followed from the reproduction of historical styles of dress such as Coco Chanel’s ‘Little Black Dress’ and other famous influences. The qualification can lead into the fashion, textiles and product purchasing industries. The course is also offered as an A Level qualification at the school.
- Resistant Materials (GCSE) encourages students to demonstrate their understanding of industry standard manufacture of products from a range of hard materials such as plastics, metals and woods. Students pursuing a career in the manual trade industry such as carpentry, product design and construction would greatly benefit from the course’s content.
- Food Technology (GCSE) provides students with an opportunity to investigate the food and catering industry and also develop their knowledge of nutrition. The structure and requirements of the course dictate that a number of food products are developed by the students, emphasising the nutritional value of what they are producing. Denefield also offers an opportunity to progress with the course as an A Level at Key Stage 5.
- Child Development (GCSE) and Health & Social Care (GCSE) are often seen as ‘vocational’ style qualifications, offering entry into the care industry. Students provide reflections on case studies and facilitate their own ideas to gain an understanding of the legality and moral issues surrounding the subject. Careers such as social work, child care, teaching and the medical field are often pursued as a result of the qualification. Health & Social Care (single award) is also offered as an A Level to be studied in Key Stage 5 for those who wish to develop their qualifications to a higher level.
- BTEC Fashion, a more ‘art based approach’ to the textiles and fashion industry, is often a preferred mode of study for those who may wish to pursue a more ‘art’ oriented career. Again, the qualification can lead into the fashion, textiles and product purchasing industries or into further education at college or Sixth Form. The course is also offered in the Sixth Form for those who missed their opportunity at Key Stage 4.
- BTEC Construction is often used to directly apply to the next level of qualification at college or used to find a work-based apprentice scheme. The basics of construction and the working environment include skills such as brick laying, tiling and timber framework in order to work safely within construction fields.
Key Stage 5
Many of the courses offered at A Level are a direct progression of their respective GCSE courses. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge of industry practice, market trends and historical factors that have developed their industries to date. Students often use their qualification as a foundation to access university or even pursue the subjects into industry. We currently offer the following qualifications:
A Level Food Technology
A Level Textiles
A Level Product Design
A Level Electronics
A Level Graphic Design
A Level Health & Social Care
Updated October 2011