At St Bede’s, our intention is for our students to
- follow an iterative and explorative design cycle
- become creative and critical thinkers
- develop solutions to everyday problems that meet users’ needs
- understand the impact of design decisions and how their actions can have an effect on the environment around them and globally
- adopt an inclusive approach to the design process
- develop a range of transferable practical skills in a variety of processes and mediums
- have a deep awareness of STEM career opportunities, allowing them to make informed decisions about their next step in education and future careers.
Regardless of the media being used, pupils follow the same cyclic design process. They are encouraged to analyse and reflect on the successes (and failures) of real industrial products and their own designs.
Manufacturing quality is considered from the beginning, introducing the concepts of quality assurance and control from the very first stages of the design brief.
Projects are contextualised with users identified and extended writing approaches in the design specification and the evaluation stages.
The focus of designing products for real people can help students to empathise with others and put user needs at the heart of their product. Skills will advance from basic 2D sketches to using a range of 3D techniques such as Oblique in Year 7, Orthographic in Year 8 and even exploded drawings in Year 9, whilst also working towards presenting these in ways that professional designers and engineers would recognise. The design process is an iterative one, so first attempts are not taken as a final solution; we continue to evaluate and develop careful and innovative solutions throughout the key stages. Ultimately, designing is an important form of communication and we want all students to be able to do so through a range of mediums confidently.
Manufacture & Modelling
Exploration of different materials and manufacturing processes through producing their own work is integral to how students understand the built environment around them. Starting with low risk elements like food products in Year 7, building through a range of timbers, polymers, metals and the introduction of electronic elements in Year 8, all the while challenging their skill level as they improve and move to manufacturing with metal and welding techniques in Year 9. Along the way, students experience the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes from learning a range of new skills in order to create a realised of version of their own initial sketches.
Researching, Analysis & Evaluating
These skills underpin the iterative nature of the subject; students are encourage to be always looking for ways to be inspired and improve their efforts. Using research initially to help students understand concepts of different cultures and their cuisine in Year 7, finding out about new processes and materials in Year 8, and as they advance using it to support their design decisions and branch off into their own user centred designs that will consider specific needs in Year 9. The need for evaluation is a continuous thread weaving all the way through our students’ experience. This involves highlighting areas for development or successes in recipes in Year 7, to evaluating the application of new practical skills in Year 8, and then building to understand the importance of 3rd party feedback and conducting their own user surveys in Year 9.
Health & Safety
Student safety is paramount and it is important that they understand their role in the safety of themselves and others. Students follow strict guidelines and expected behaviour is modelled. This allows students to develop good habits, building trust and a respect for the tools and equipment they are using. Students develop confidence using a wide range of apparatus and become confident to operate larger machines requiring greater levels of skill with the progression through projects. In Year 7 they begin by learning the rules and regulations of hygiene and good practice within the kitchen, moving onto the risk factors associated with dealing with workshop electrical tools in Year 8, and finally creating their own risk assessments of working with metal and welding equipment in Year 9.
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 5