Design and Technology (DT) at Heathfield is an engaging and practical subject which fosters students' creativity, problem-solving abilities, and practical skills. The curriculum is designed to develop students' understanding and application of design principles, materials, and manufacturing techniques. Through a range of hands-on projects, students explore different materials such as wood, plastics, textiles, metals, and electronics, while also delving into design movements, sustainability, and ethical considerations.
During Key Stage 3, students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of DT and build a solid foundation in design and practical skills. They engage in projects which span multiple terms, allowing them to gain a comprehensive understanding of various materials and processes. In these projects, students develop woodworking skills as they create a passive amplifier, while learning about workshop safety, tools, timber products, and design movements. They also explore textiles, designing and manufacturing a tote bag while considering categorisation, environmental concerns, and production techniques. These projects provide opportunities for creative designing, critical thinking, and hands-on craftsmanship.
In Key Stage 4, students further develop their skills and knowledge in DT, focusing on more advanced projects that require a deeper understanding of design principles and manufacturing processes. They explore materials such as plastics, metals, and electronics to create functional and aesthetically pleasing products. Through projects like designing a phone stand and a chair, students enhance their ability to consider user needs, ergonomics, and sustainable design practices. They also work with a range of tools, technologies, and software, including computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), to produce high-quality prototypes and refine their design solutions.
Key Stage 4 provides students with an opportunity to engage in the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA), a coursework element of the DT curriculum. This involves conducting research, analysing design contexts, developing ideas, and producing a manufacturing specification. Students apply their knowledge and skills to create innovative designs, considering factors such as market research, materials selection, and manufacturing techniques. The NEA allows students to demonstrate their ability to work independently, think critically, and solve design challenges.