Design technology is a highly resourced and skilled department.
The greatest progress seen with both KS3 and KS4 has been with practical work. A hand on experience of making something tangible and useful to the students has proved therapeutic in nature.
It is typical that where a student has a low reading/writing/comprehension score their willingness to sit and complete theory work is also lower due to a lack of confidence in themselves. DT at the CPA aims to provide the building block to restore lost confidence, equipping pupils with the skills they need to succeed.
With KS4, we are following AQA Resistant Materials GCSE, which comprises of a practical unit worth 60% and end exam worth 40%. The controlled assessment practical is going well with excellent progress in portfolio work with attending students. Students are also being entered for an Edexcel Entry Level qualification of which all students will achieve at least a level 2 qualification in addition to their GCSE.
Along with the WRAT scores we can see that student SDQ levels can also be linked to student progress. The highest scoring students typically show less progress in class. The highest scoring areas within the SDQ are Behavioural Problems and Hyperactivity. DT and the school as a whole use SDQ areas of concern to inform planning and chart progress.
Schemes have been modified as seen fit to tailor themes to the individual. An example of this is when Peru consisted of two girls; a scheme was developed around jewellery making. This fitted the students very well and also proved to be very therapeutic in nature. This also opened up an educational visit to the jewellery quarter to be taught jewellery making by a professional jewellery maker.
As this proved to work very well; DT as a department is constantly evolving and developing new ways of working to suit the group dynamics. A recent example of this is the on-going development of a scheme based around Enterprise where students can make items in small batches, which can be sold in a future CPA shop. This has the benefit of making smaller items enabling students to see instant results while still following DT design concepts and learning new concepts such as profit and loss. This also brings more mathematics into DT lessons and will give students the confidence to see that they have the ability to make and sell items than can potentially make them money in the real world.