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Solihull School

Solihull School

Design & Technology

The Design & Technology department teaches a wide range of topics to promote creativity and experimentation and responsible design. Pupils are encouraged to solve problems, take risks and develop an appreciation for a wide range of materials and processes, including woods, metals and plastics, electronics, food and textiles. As pupils progress they are encouraged to undertake increasingly more independent and ambitious projects.

Staff

  • Mr  N.E. Corbett (Head of Department)
  • Mr G. James
  • Mr C Guy
  • Mr M. Ali (Technician)

Facilities

The department teaches in a suite of workshops and teaching rooms in a dedicated building affectionately known as ‘The Fort’. Facilities include: well-equipped wood and metal workshops, two ICT suites, a recently fitted food suite along with textiles and computer aided design and manufacture equipment (laser cutter, 3D router, 3D printer and plotter/cutters). We use a wide range of software including commercial design packages such as SolidWorks.

Pupils also enjoy excellent support from our skilled departmental technician.

Curriculum

Lower School

We follow a curriculum of our own devising which focuses on developing the key skills that lead to quality and imagination in design. Third Form (Year 7) pupils are taught the following: woodwork, metalwork and technical textiles. In the Shell Form (Year 8) pupils are taught structures, electronics and product design. In the Fourth Form (Year 9) pupils prepare for GCSE by completing a 16 week design and make project focused on lighting products.

GCSE

GCSE pupils follow the Design & Technology AQA specification. Pupils start by investigating key issues in design to build up a detailed understanding of emerging technology, materials and processes as well as key issues such as sustainability and commercial production techniques. They also undertake a series of focus projects covering graphical, modelling and manufacture skills. In the summer term of the first year, through to March of the following year they engage in their own design and make to develop a unique design solution and supporting e-portfolio.

Sixth Form

In the Lower Sixth Form we follow the AQA A Level syllabus for Design & Technology: Product Design.

Design & Technology emphasises two key factors — creativity and sustainability. The course explores ideas of originality and value, to question and challenge, to envisage what could be. This course develops a range of practical, design and analytical skills in the first year alongside creativity and understanding of materials and processes. In the second year students complete a design and make project.

All modern designers have to consider sustainable issues when designing new products. Students learn how to develop solutions that conserve the use of natural resources and minimise the pollution from manufacturing or disposal of waste.

As an A Level, it is increasingly sought after by universities in combination with science or arts subjects. Many students of this subject go on to study related areas at university and eventually work in fields such as engineering, product design and architecture.

Co-curricular Activities

Stretch & Challenge

The majority of our pupils gain a 7 to 9 at GCSE and a Grade A* to B at A Level. At every level pupils are encourage to solve demanding problems, develop their own interest and understanding through independent research and experiment with a combination of traditional craft skills and the latest high tech processes such as rapid prototyping. At GCSE pupils are encouraged to apply for the Arkwright Scholarship, and the department has had many successful applicants over the years. At A Level students are also invited to take part in the Triumph Design or TDI Challenge Awards. 

Trips & Visits

Design & Technology undertakes a number of trips at GCSE and A-Level to local manufacturers such as Land Rover, Morgan Cars to gain a better understanding of commercial processes and techniques.

Destinations

Many of our pupils go on to study Engineering, Architecture or Product Design at leading universities. 

AmbitionOpportunityCommunity