Design and Technology

This forward thinking and ever-changing curriculum area is where the students can experience a range of technology subjects delivered to them by a team of dedicated experts who endeavour to bring all aspects of modern technology into the classroom. This stimulating environment has been purposely designed to create a studio atmosphere, where the students can be self-sufficient and are actively encouraged to work independently.

The facilities include a fantastic ICT suite where there are opportunities for all students to use computer aided design and subject specialist software and there are laptops for students to access the internet, carry out design tasks or to complete coursework assignments. The use of ICT is not just simply used for the research and design element of technology but also the manufacture of products, for example when doing textile technology the students can create, manipulate and modify images on screen which can then be reproduced onto fabric using modern embroidery machines. ICT is also used for analysis work particularly in food technology when doing nutrition, and as a tool for students to present their thoughts and ideas with regard to current issues.

There are 4 multi-media rooms, a graphic design area, three superb food technology rooms, 3 very well-equipped textile technology workshops, a photographic area, a central learning zone for quiet study and a modern systems and control suite where students can explore the fascinating world of electronics.

There are currently 13 staff in the Design & Technology team, all of whom are keen to promote a challenging and forward thinking approach to technology. There is a strong sense of teamwork which enables students to achieve excellent results and which focuses on development and explanation of new concepts to engage and challenge the students. At all times the staff positively encourage innovation, exploration and quality work.

At Key Stage 3 there are four subject areas for the students to study and they are food technology, textile technology, resistant materials and graphic products. The students carry out focussed practical tasks to equip them with the necessary skills to then tackle a design and make project in each area, for example when doing resistant materials in Year 9 the students are expected to use their graphic, ICT skills and electronics knowledge to produce a packaged educational card game with a timer. The products made are then tested and evaluated by themselves or a peer and if possible a prospective user, this encourages the students to take on board other peoples opinions and modify where necessary.

When the students reach key stage 4 they have the opportunity to opt for one or two of the four technology subjects. Each course is full of practical experiences, resulting in them developing design solutions through to the manufacture of a working prototype. At every opportunity we encourage the students to think and act as a designer would do in industry and to apply their creative aspirations to the development of innovative concepts.

At this key stage the department also offers child development, a course in which the students learn about the care and needs of children in their early years, and vocational engineering which is delivered in conjunction with Macclesfield College. This course is a dual award and is about bringing good ideas into reality using a range of problem solving and creative skills.

At key stage 5 the department offers a range of subjects which allows students to progress onto a broad spectrum of degree courses and prepares them for university entry. We offer textiles & fashion, product design, graphic design and food technology. All students receive a high level of support and guidance and have access to a range of hi-tech equipment.

As well as the courses we compliment our student’s experience of design and technology with opportunities to attend extra-curricular activities such as the Technology club where they can refine their skills and make products such as wooden pencil boxes and beach bags. We enter various competitions on an annual basis including the “Young Master Chef” competition held at Macclesfield College and we contribute to whole school activities with other curriculum areas such as the educational visit to Quarry Bank Mill.

It is a department where there is always activity and everyone is welcomed. We actively encourage mutual respect and a positive working environment, where each individual student can achieve their best and experience the potential of modern technology first hand.