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Design Technology gives students the chance to work creatively with food, resistant materials, electronics and computer aided design/manufacture. At key stage 3 students experience a wide range of projects and materials, develop their skills and make high quality products. At Key Stage 4 GCSE Product Design and Food Technology (Food & Nutrition) and are offered as GCSE subjects.
Head of Design & Technology
‘The hand is the cutting edge of the mind’
At Ballard School Design Technology continually challenges students to think independently, analyse situations and develop solutions to problems. Development of practical skills empowers them to produce impressive products using modern and traditional materials and techniques.
At a time when Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, Sir James Dyson reflects upon this phenomenon by saying “As a child, at school, making wonky boxes in woodwork classes is not sufficient”. He goes on to say “Design Technology doesn’t separate out design from technology; but instead recognises that art and science, the practical and the theoretical, can all work together to bring about creative products”.
A progressive journey through structures, mechanisms, electrics and encompassing a range of materials from card to plastics, electronics, and food. All projects are researched designed and evaluated both by the pupil and the department. Cross curricular links are developed and pupils may find themselves building Tudor houses, ‘live’ volcanos or making puppets to link with course work in History and Geography.
This foundation course enables students to creatively develop their design skills and problem solving abilities. They experience the trials and satisfaction of manufacturing their designs in a wide variety of materials and develop as independent learners. A number of short, fun and competitive technology challenges are also set to further enhance their abilities.
Students opt for either Product Design or Food technology with a view to pursuing their choice for GCSE if they wish. In Product Design Students find themselves using their skills in a wide variety of situations developing increasingly impressive products such as MP3 amplifiers, CAD/CAM made articles, point of sale displays and other innovative products. This year 9 experience gives an excellent basis for then moving onto the GCSE course.
This is a stimulating five term course of study using situations to satisfy design briefs, concluding with an in depth Design and Make project for the GCSE examination itself in year 11. The coursework project accounts for a high proportion of the overall grade and student’s find themselves designing and making challenging products of their choice within examination board guidelines. A high proportion of them achieve the top A/A* grades for their projects.
The STEM agenda has a high priority at Ballard and many links are formed combining the elements of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to form exciting cross-curricular projects and competitions.
The ‘Ballard Creative Techies’ STEM team are well known nationally for achieving impressive results with their innovative projects having attained a number of regional and national awards. The Head of Technology is also the Coordinator of STEM and a fellow of the Sinnott Teaching Fellowship. The department leads the school in developing technological, cross curricular projects and challenges often using business and industrial links to develop exciting and successful solutions.
Our students learn how to master the challenges of teamwork, research/analysis and development of creative solutions to technological problems and learn a huge amount about themselves in the process.