KS3 Creative Technologies Carousel (encompassing D&T, engineering, graphics, textiles and food prep & nutrition.)

 

Curriculum Intent

During KS3, all students get the opportunity to visit each area of the creative technologies’ carousel, both in year 7 and year 8. Collaborative planning, focusing on the national curriculum for design and technology, has ensured that each specialist unit of work covers the key aims and builds upon the knowledge gained during KS2, as well as developing understanding that enables students to progress onto a number of KS4 subjects within the Technology, Art and Computing faculty. Students move through each area, building on their prior knowledge and making connections between different materials, processes and systems and strengthening their understanding of how each discipline can help to solve problems. The overarching themes of ECO and SOCIAL run throughout year 7 and 8 and a real-world scenario or problem is given as part of each contextual challenge. This helps the students to broaden their cultural capital, as well as deepen their levels of empathy and compassion towards the environment and others.

 

Curriculum Implementation

In both year 7 and 8, the curriculum is taught through 2 x 1 hour lessons per week for approx. 9 weeks before rotating to the next area. Students therefore visit engineering, design & technology, food prep & nutrition and also a lesson each of graphics and textiles, twice in total. Each unit of work is taught by specialist teachers in well equipped rooms. We have a large workshop/CAD classroom and a new D&T maker hub, in addition to a well-resourced food room, textiles room and several ICT suites.

Each unit of work comprises of theory work as well as practical elements. Students are encouraged to research, design, innovate, make and evaluate and the themes of ECO and SOCIAL are explicitly taught and discussed in all specialist units. By the end of KS3 pupils gain a greater understanding of client/user needs and wants as well as sustainability issues affecting the wider world and local areas.

Using books to document their design journey and theory knowledge, students are expected to check and green, in line with school policy, at appropriate stages of the rotation. Assessments are planned carefully and cohesively to highlight students’ strengths and areas to develop in both practical/ creative work as well as theory. High standards of work and presentation, as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar, are expected and again a cohesive approach is used to ensure this throughout the whole carousel.

All the schemes of work are based upon the KS3 national curriculum for design and technology which includes food preparation and nutrition and we also have a department membership with the Design and Technology association to ensure we are up to date with any developments in the subject area.

Curriculum Impact

By the end of KS3, students will have visited all areas of the carousel and will therefore have gained insight into each specialism ready to progress, if chosen, onto one of the many KS4 subjects in the TAC faculty. Graphics at KS3 leads well onto several KS4 options including our iMedia course, which is popular each year with the students. Engineering is often fully subscribed and the curriculum at KS3 gives students a real insight into the manufacturing techniques used on the KS4 course, as well as preparing for post 16. Since 2022, the school has also expanded the technology arts and computing offer by beginning delivery of GCSE Design and Technology. Alongside engineering manufacture, this helps students gain knowledge of designing and making using industry standard software and equipment as well as traditional tools and machinery.

We currently run a D&T club and a STEM club after school and the students have the opportunity to visit FE/HE institutions and enter national competitions. In lesson time, all pupils are also made aware of the pathways available to them post 16 in all related disciplines. The TAC faculty aims to grow the extra-curricular provision and opportunities further, as we make links with more local businesses and FE/HE providers.