Department Background

Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good design must primarily serve people. Thomas J. Watson

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs

The Design and Technology department is a team of three full-time teachers and one technician who deliver Key Stages 3 and 4. The subject is delivered in six well equipped specialist rooms: 2 resistant materials workshops, 2 CAD/ICT rooms, 1 food room, 1 textiles room, a materials preparation area and a small office. The team provides an exciting design and manufacturing experience for all pupils in Key Stage 3, and for those who pick the subject as an option for GCSE This involves the use of traditional tools, machinery and techniques along with new cutting-edge technology including the latest CAD software, a range of CNC equipment, 3 laser cutters and multiple 3D printers. The DT curriculum is designed to get students to engage in the design process with a strong emphasis on functional and technical issues, using an approach based on problem solving and creativity.

The team consists of:

  • Head of Department: Ollie Collins
  • Teacher: Jane Dadswell
  • Teacher: Holly Jebb
  • Technician: Ashley Little

Year 7 - 9

At Key Stage 3 students experience Food, Product Design and Textiles throughout Years 7, 8 and 9. ICT Technology is studied additionally in Year 8 and Control Technology in Year 9. An emphasis is put on problem solving and pupils work through the design process as well as on focused tasks.

In Product Design Year 7 pupils cover a number of basic graphic skills: Use of a drawing board, parallel motion, set squares and design and manufacture of a softwood propulsion boat. This introduces pupils to the safe use of traditional hand crafting tool, equipment and machinery and gives them an understanding of the properties of timber. Students learn how to use CAD/CAM through the laser project working on modelling and testing and producing an acrylic laser cut pencil holder. The final projects sees the students work with scale model building in their quest to design an eco pavilion, this project is run in conjunction with the EDT (Engineering Development Trust)

In Food the course covers all the basic skills necessary for pupils to be able to work safely in a domestic kitchen. Students start off by learning how to prepare ingredients for a fresh fruit salad and a range of vegetable salads. They then move on to learning how to use the various parts of the cooker by making scones, pizzas, pasta sauces, soups, and pastry. Other topics covered include healthy eating, food safety, packaging and meal planning.

In Textiles Year 7 the course covers all basic skills needed to manufacture a resist dye bag and an electronic wrist band. Students learn how to sew by hand and machine, how to manufacture a basic pattern, how to create an electronic circuit using conductive thread and how to produce a mood board. Students work on two products exploring, one focusing on pattern and design and the second working with new developments in Textiles. The electronics project links to skills learnt in Science.

In Product Design Year 8 pupils design and make a piece of pewter jewellery. The pendant, badge, brooch or key fob has an acrylic insert. This introduces pupils to the casting process, use of metal shaping tools and equipment and to a 2D design software package. The students second design project is to design and make a handheld electronic maze for a specific company, introducing them to designing for a client. Students learn new hand tooling skills through making a selection of joints, making moulds, vacuum forming and soldering of a circuit. Along with design boards and packaging the students get a great insight into the different aspects of the design process.

In Food Year 8 pupils look at the function of ingredients in food products, healthy eating and the science behind food ingredients. They are introduced to handling meat by making a chicken/quorn risotto, look at how eggs can hold air by making a fatless sponge, consider the preservative properties of fat in a Victoria sponge cake, and look at the role of herbs and spices in flavouring party dip and sauces. Pupils also investigate the nutrient content of food by producing a cheesy pasta dish with the correct protein for someone of their age.

In Textiles Year 8 design and manufacture a mobile phone holder, this develops their decorative and manufacturing techniques. Students make an individual template for their mobile phone and then decorate and line the holder using a variety of different technique. These include applique, reverse applique, embroidery, couching and applying stones. Students learn how to attach a lining to create a professionally finished item.

In Product Design Year 9 pupils take part in the Design Museums National Competition, Design Ventura. Here students work on a real life brief and use their previous knowledge to aid them in designing in accordance to the given theme. Students work in design teams allocating different roles to the members. Each team must produce working models of their designs along with branding, packaging and costings for their product to be manufactured (enterprise), researching appropriate materials and projecting profits per unit, finishing the project with a design pitch. Successful students are nominated to represent the school at the finals held at the Design Museum whereby the winners of the competition see their products manufactured and sold in the Design Museum shop. For the second project students design a finger skateboard looking at anthropometrics, user design and manufacturing techniques; making moulds and using the bag press to form ply, measuring and accuracy, metal lathe and packaging design.

In Food Year 9 pupils are shown how food products are prepared and cooked in industry by comparing how they make a Cumberland pie and a bread product in class with videos of the identical product being made in a factory. They look at the use of standard components such as pasta sauces and make their own lasagne. Smart, or modern foods are investigated by tasting a range of foods.

In Textiles Year 9 students learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create a variety of different print designs; these include placement, repeat and half drop. The designs are then printed using a sublimation printer and a heat press is used to transfer the designs onto fabric. The finished design is then used in the manufacture of a cushion

Year 10 - 11

The following subjects are offered at Key Stage 4:

Design and Technology: Product Design (AQA) Design and Technology: Textiles Technology (AQA)

In Textiles the pupils produce several small skill based exercises before moving onto their final project. The project is selected from a range of briefs provided by AQA ,this can be something for the home or fashion based. Briefs include producing a garment influenced by the Swinging Sixties, Japanese Street Style, Punk, an Artist or a Culture of the students choice. Students produce a comprehensive folder of their work. Students produce a portfolio of work demonstrating skills in analysis, research, designing, development, time management, making, packaging and evaluating along with their final made product. In Year 11 the students focus on theory and revision for their exam.

Coursework: 60% Exam: 40%

In Product Design the pupils produce a fully functioning product that builds on the skills acquired in KS3. During Year 10 the students choose from a selection of briefs ranging from small scale furniture and lighting following a 20th century design style to children's toys aiding development in early years. Students produce a portfolio of work demonstrating skills in analysis, research, designing, development, time management, making, packaging and evaluating along with their final made product. In Year 11 the students focus on theory and revision for their exam.

Coursework: 60% Exam: 40%

Year 12 - 13

We no longer offer Design & Technology as a Sixth Form subject

Activities and Recent Highlights

A variety of clubs and activities are offered by members of the technology team, some within the department some outside i.e. Badminton.

A few of the textiles students have recently come to create a new magazine called Latymer Threads, a copy can be found here

Activities offered within the department are:

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships Each year students are selected to take part in the prestigious Arkwright Scholarship. This scholarship is set up to identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in Engineering and technical design. Through a rigorous selection process, high calibre students in Year 11 are offered to sit an aptitude paper and if successful are invited to interview. Every Scholarship is sponsored by industrial companies, universities, charitable trusts, trade associations, professional engineering institutions, the Armed Services, Worshipful Companies, industry regulators or personal donors. This is run by Emily Doyle an Arkwright Alumni.

National Competitions: Each year the department run different clubs in response to competitions that are announced annually. In 2014 we took part in the ‘Great British Make off’ allowing all Year groups to take part in exciting competitions against other schools. These opportunities allow students to work as part of design teams and produce real life projects.

Design Show Every year Year 11 pupils (plus Engineering Club students) display their design and practical work done in GCSE Product Design and Textiles. This is always a vibrant and exciting show in which pupil and students present their work to the public. It is very well attended show, promoted by the pupils and attended by parents, ex-teachers, teachers from Latymer and other schools, college and university lecturers and other interested parties, many of which support the department in one way or another.

V&A Visit The Victoria and Albert Museum is a fantastic resource on our doorstep which contains examples of all types of products from wooden tables to the latest textiles products. Year 10 pupils are taken to visit relevant exhibitions and galleries and asked to fill sketch books with notes and ideas of design movements, materials and the latest in design. This helps them to prepare for their final assessment which is to design and make their own product in Year 11

Design Museum Visit The Design Museum offers and exciting innovative experience to our GCSE students. Year 10 pupils are taken to visit relevant exhibitions and galleries and asked to sketch, photograph and note take, in order to help them in their research and initial design ideation.