Technology

The Design and Technology Department aims to create an environment that will support the academic and personal development of each student.  This is achieved through the continual development and delivery of an exciting curriculum that enables all students to achieve their potential.  We also have good links with the community and industry including Surrey SATRO, Sainsbury’s, FutureChef Programme, The Design Council etc.

A number of competitions take place annually; we use industrialists as much as possible to demonstrate and enhance the lessons; we also run a number of trips involving various aspects of technology.

Facilities

The Curriculum area is housed in well-equipped and well-maintained facilities consisting of two workshops, one plastics’ workshop / graphics room and a further graphics’ room, two food technology rooms and two textiles’ rooms, one computer pod housing ten computers. CAM is a major focus and the department make good use of a laser cutter, six CAD/CAM sewing machines. The department is also equipped with an industry standard laser cutter that allows students to create complex designs in a variety of materials.

A level Product Design

Course Details

A level Product Design is for those who are interested in designing the products of the future and pursuing a design based career. It is for those who enjoy sketching, drawing, being creative, working with a range of materials, manufacturing 3D products and carrying out practical tasks. It amalgamates a practical approach with the relevant theory required to understand, refine and construct innovative and diverse products. We encourage students to embrace new technologies and take risks with their design work. Product Design is a well-respected subject and helps students develops many of the transferable/soft skills Universities, Employers and Colleges are looking for. 

You will design and make a prototype based on a context released by the AQA exam board. These range from designing using natural forms to educational products. You will also be expected to study a range of theory topics from both Resistant Materials and Graphics (these will provide the basis of the knowledge required for the AS exam).

You will also learn about the ‘designed’ world around you, and how everything has been created with a purpose, function and user in mind, even the simplest of products

Link to course specification

Assessment

The course is assessed through two examinations and a substantial design and make task. Both examinations are 25% of the overall A level and are 2 hours in length. The design and make task is 50% of the overall A level and should take in the region of 45 hours.

Enrichment opportunities

Studying Product Design naturally leads to ways of extending learning outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to conduct primary research and experience products and events firsthand. In Year 12 students visit Ikea independently to carry out research that will inform their lighting design task. Students in Year 13 carry out their own research specific to their project. This has included trips to the local forge, attending ‘Bikefest’ at the NEC, working with and finding a business client and visiting the local Sea Scout Centre to find out about and test canoes. Allied to this, we offer a trip to the renowned Design Museum in London and support entries into national competitions.

Student quotes

‘I chose Product Design because I was intrigued to find out how things are made. I love the subject and have learnt a lot of practical skills that I can apply to everyday life.’

‘Product Design has developed my technical thinking and has proven a great asset to me with employment and further education.’

Progression

Many students who have studied Product Design have gone on to successfully complete degrees at Russell Group Universities and we regularly send students to study Design at Loughborough, one of the top Universities in the country. If you study Product Design you open yourself up to a whole host of career prospects. Study a Design based degree. Work in the Design Industry; this could include Product, Industrial, Interior, Garden, Environmental and Engineering Design. It could also lead to Architecture, Construction and many other types of Engineering. You will also develop analytical, evaluative and creative skills that will be of benefit in the future.

 

A level Textiles

Course details

Almost everything we do in our lives is affected by design and this is never truer than when you are dealing with the material area of Textiles. The top designers keeping thousands of people employed dictate the rapid changing fashion cycle. Working with textiles is big business with many career opportunities. It demands a high level of creativity as well as skill but is a rewarding and exciting subject for an advanced level of study.

Textiles at Blenheim encourages students to work independently on more involved and long term projects which could reflect their individual interests. It falls under the umbrella of Product Design and breaks down into the following units of work.

Product development

Individual product design and manufacturing based on a context decided by the student. This is a design and make assignment. The product is supported by a design folder which must include ICT generated images.

Materials components and applications, design and manufacture

This covers the classification of and working with materials, preparing, hand and commercial processing, manipulation, combining and finishing leading to a full understanding of the use and selection of materials.

These units also cover modern technologies and materials, design in practice, ergonomics and anthropometrics and product manufacture.

Link to course specification

Assessment

The Textiles course is assessed with a combination of internally assessed coursework and external examination.

Enrichment opportunities

Many trip are taken throughout the course including vists to London Fashion week, the Clothes Show, various exhibitions and the V&A museum.

Student quotes

‘Textiles at A Level provides you with freedom and independence to explore more exciting and innovative designs within the development of your project. With the support of the teachers in the textiles department, you can achieve great grades’

Progression

The skills that you gain on this course will support your application to an enormous range of careers and university courses such as exhibition and display design, interior design, museum curatorship, product design, shoe design, technical illustration, product marketing, theatre set design, TV set design, design management, packaging design, teaching / lecturing, market research, trend setters to name but a few.