Design & Technology
'DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY IS ABOUT MAKING THINGS THAT PEOPLE WANT, OR THINK THEY WANT, THAT WORK WELL. CREATING THESE THINGS IS HUGELY EXCITING. IT IS AN INVENTIVE FUN ACTIVITY.' - JAMES DYSON
The creative industry is the second largest industry in the world, with the UK design sector leading in Europe. The UK creative industries as a whole are valued at £76.9 billion per year – contributing an incredible £8.8 million to the UK economy every hour. The UK creative sector is growing at three times the rate of the wider UK economy – but design itself is growing at double that rate. This is fantastic news for the creative industries, and for our pupils studying Design and Technology.
At Hitchin Girls' School, we provide opportunities for pupils to engage in activities that are challenging, relevant and motivating. Our students use their increasing knowledge to become active in their learning, and questioning contributors and creative problem-solvers. We aim to foster their resilience through testing and developing concepts that are viable solutions to meet real users' needs. Building upon an ever-increasing skill set, pupils enjoy their learning in D&T, grow in confidence, demonstrate high levels of motivation and take pride in their achievements.
Inherent skills within any 'design and make' activity prepare our young people to be questioning members of society and discerning consumers, who can plan, organise, manage, work as a team and communicate their intent effectively. They will be socially and environmentally aware, appreciating the wider impact that their decision may have.
D&T is taught throughout the school in mixed-ability groups and based upon practical work that requires students to become active self-managers. This teaching enables students to respond positively when taking on new skills and responsibilities. They are taught to make products in workshops and, in order to do this, they must prioritise, anticipate and overcome difficulties and reflect on successes. D&T needs students to investigate, solve problems and challenge existing models. Our teaching permits the creative contribution of ideas and develops our students' designing ability.
Up to two pieces of 30 minutes of homework per week are set to extend and consolidate learning for all year groups. The homework activities can range from sourcing materials or ingredients, ICT-based work, research-based tasks, designing / creating, revising or even online quizzes and videos.
D&T offers a range of clubs and activities. D&T competitions will be advertised throughout the year, as and when they are available for entry.
Whether your interest is in food, textiles, robotics or creative designing, there is something for everyone to get involved with. We also offer a range of catch-up sessions to help students make up for lost time on their classwork. For older students, we run a number of extra sessions to help support with NEAs and the food curriculum.
Key Stage 3
All students take D&T as part of a broad and exciting Key Stage 3 curriculum. For all students in Years 7 - 9, we run practical classes with up to 21 pupils per class. We deliver focused skill-building and making modules in Food, Textiles, 3D Product design and 2D/Graphic Product Design.
As part of Food Preparation & Nutrition, students learn a range of basic food preparation skills through mini demonstrations and the making of their own products. Health and Safety issues are covered, as well as food hygiene, sensory attributes, the Eatwell Guide and key nutrients and their functions.
In Fashion & Textiles, students learn how to use a range of equipment, techniques and materials to decorate fabric, alongside some basic design skills, in order to create a fabric night light.
Foundation workshop skills are developed through making products such as bird feeders in 3D Product Design, with illustration skills and an introduction to computer-aided 2D design being delivered in Graphic Design.
In Food Preparation & Nutrition, students learn more about nutrition and are exposed to foods from a variety of different cultures through preparing and cooking a well-balanced range of products and dishes.
In Fashion & Textiles, students are able to design and make items such as pencil cases, clutch bags, iPad covers, phone pouches, notebook covers and other interesting products.
Modules in Product Design involve creating a stationery storage item. In Graphic Design, further illustration techniques are applied to create a vanity mirror. This is developed through the use of Adobe Illustrator and computer-aided manufacture to create original character mirrors and packaging.
End of Key Stage modules help students gain confidence and consolidate their learning so far, in more open-ended and independent projects. They produce more demanding items that they have designed for specific target groups and functions. During this year, they can choose their GCSE D&T option.
Key Stage 4
We offer GCSE Design & Technology, enabling our students to specialise in either Textiles, Paper & Board (Graphic Design) or Materials (Product Design).
A second offer is GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition.
Details of the courses offered, the content, method of study and assessment structure can be found in the Key Stage 4 Options booklet.
GCSE Design & Technology: Specification
GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition: Specification
Key Stage 5
A Level Design & Technology - Product Design is on offer alongside Food Science & Nutrition Vocational Certificate and A Level Fashion & Textiles.
Our aim is not just to achieve outstanding exam results, but also to prepare our students with the skills, knowledge, creative mindset and design ability needed to be successful in higher education and in industry.
Full details of the courses offered by the Hitchin Schools Sixth Form Consortium can be found here.
A Level Design & Technology - Product Design: Specification
A Level Design & Technology - Fashion & Textiles: Specification
Level 3 Food Science & Nutrition: Specification
Mr Tom Mason - Head of Department
Mrs Gemma East - Head of Food and Textiles. Textiles specialist
Mrs Jane Hart - Food & Nutrition specialist and Textiles teacher
Ms Gillian Morris - Graphics teacher
Mrs Lorna Terry - Food & Nutrition specialist and KS3 Graphics teacher
Mr Jonathan Williams - Workshop specialist