Design and Technology
The Design and Technology (DT) department's philosophy is to provide an exciting experience for all pupils. We aim to challenge pupils' creativity and problem solving skills through a wide variety of projects that encourage independent and practical thinking and that use a range of different materials.
DT is a dynamic subject that is keeping pace with the ever-changing technology used in industry. It prepares pupils for a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, architecture, product design and creative arts.
DT at Kingswood focuses on these core elements of creativity and critical analysis within each project. The department is housed in a bright, well-resourced teaching block with two fully equipped workshops and a design studio with IT facilities.
The variety of students’ projects as they enter the examinations demonstrates a key part of what makes the department such a vibrant place to be. We hold an annual exhibition that aims to showcase each students’ individuality and the choices they made to ensure that their design was bespoke.
Kingswood offers many related extra-curricular activities, including jewellery making, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Eco-schools and opportunities to design and create individual projects in open workshop sessions. Many Kingswood pupils have applied for and received the prestigious Arkwright Scholarship, which is awarded to students aiming to study engineering.
Key Stage 3
This course is designed to encourage pupils to develop an awareness of the nature and importance of Design and Technology in a rapidly changing society. Pupils learn to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices, all of which are essential in the technological field. At GCSE level, pupils follow the Edexcel specification. The subject focuses on resistant materials, with a wood specialism.
Design and Technology is a subject suited to students who are dynamic, questioning and keen to fundamentally improve the world we live in. The challenge to be original and to solve problem, as well as to be a practical maker, is fundamental to design. The ability to look at the world and products, to evaluate them through design and manufacture, and to improve them through sketching and making to produce high-quality product design are the skills of a good designer.
This course will build up these skills and is suited to those who can meet a challenge and are driven to succeed. It will prepare students for further study in the world of design and engineering through creative output.
Please see work produced by this year's Upper Sixth below.
Studying Design and Technology has helped me improve all my communication skills, due to the need to communicate with my client back and forwards about what their needs were for the product.
"The A Level Design and Technology course has been challenging but ultimately rewarding, in designing and making a unique and individual product I have solved problems and visualised and anticipated how things would be manufactured and be used.
"In my manufacturing process, I used a computer and produced different types of 3D models which has developed my 3D computer aided design skills for the future."
All the way through my DT A Level course I have had the opportunity to develop skills using computer systems to make models and produce parts of my project.
"As well as my work on a portfolio, this has given me a realistic insight into communication and presentation skills needed to cooperate with a client. Also, showing the importance of organising, and meeting deadlines.
"My project this year focused on technology and how to make a range of products to a good standard, while keeping the costs as low as possible. All of these points have also tested my design and time-management skills which will be vital in a future career."
Studying Design & Technology has taught me a lot about organisation. Meeting deadlines is one of the most important components of the course. This will become applicable to all the university courses and jobs I apply to in the future.
"I have learnt a great deal throughout the course and the interaction with my client has been a key part of this process. My future plans in the sports training world is a little distanced form product design but I do believe that the organisation practical problem solving and interaction with clients will be key skills I will take forward."
Studying Design and Technology has taught me how to consider the market you are providing a service or product for, by discussing and adapting my product designs with a client.
"The course has enabled me to develop my design and manufacturing skills – my A Level project allowed me to focus on the needs of a specific client and therefore make a product best suited for them.
"This involved focused research on manufacturing techniques but also design styles. I am sure that the design and presentation skills I have learned from undertaking a variety of projects will be of great use in my Business Management Studies."
By studying Design and Technology for A Level, I have developed a breadth of knowledge in problem solving, this has helped me investigate client wants and needs and developing an adequate solution to a given brief.
"This is something that I will bring forward into my university degree and will help me greatly in business, specifically by meeting consumer demand for products. Furthermore, the analytical principles the subject has enabled me to make informed decisions about a design as a result of specific investigation points.
"I thoroughly enjoyed both the design and manufacture phases, the whole process taught to me the importance of client analysis in order to understand their wants and needs. In the business world this relates to market analysis and can help determine how successful a given product would be."
Design and Technology at Kingswood has been a really valuable A Level that has taught me numerous life skills I can apply in my future.
"Learning how to use solid works throughout my time here has been undoubtedly the most valuable skill especially when looking to apply it in design and architecture jobs, as I learnt during my work experience in PB weir electrical.
"As well as learning practical skills in the workshop the theory side has helped me gauge a better understanding of materials and allowing me to develop a product orientated around a specific specification. By understanding they key concepts of Scandinavian styles helped me win Gold award at the 2017 DT Exhibition by creating a unique corner lamp. I am sure I will be able to apply these skills I have learnt over my time studying DT into my intended career of Architecture or Product Design."
The A Level course has allowed me to broaden my understanding of product design both in industry and within a school setting and has been very important in building skills I hope to take with me into an architecture degree at university.
"My coursework piece this year was heavily influenced by Scandinavian design and the Mid-Century modern aesthetic as I think it gives greater precedence to the function of the product rather than its aesthetic value.
"Much like the products designed by companies like IKEA, my product has no specified user. It’s intended to be a product that works and can be personalised by any user and I have tried to achieve this by giving the client multiple choices in the design of the product and how it functions.
"I’m really interested in furthering my understanding of bettering client/product interaction at a higher level, as I think this is particularly important in subjects like architecture where this relationship is one of the cornerstones to becoming a good architect."
From my experience in the Design and Technology department, I have greatly developed my problem solving skills through the design and development of a product for a specific need or problem in the real world.
"Using a real world client through GCSE and A Level coursework has allowed me to get a real understanding for the product market, adapting and changing my project to meet the needs of the client.
"The development and manufacture of my modular shelving unit in 2017 won the School’s ‘Made in Kingswood’ Gold award. I have also learnt a great deal through the coursework aspects of both GCSE and A Level, meeting deadlines and completing sections on time."
Studying Design and Technology has taught me how to investigate consumer needs and user centred design principles. I developed a wide range of manufacturing techniques which will be of great value in my engineering degree.
"My project this year has also allowed me to make an A Level out of what I love, making stuff. I enjoy the hands on approach and I feel like I learn a lot more doing, rather than listening or writing about it.
"I would thoroughly recommend taking Design and Technology as it really gets you engaged in problem solving. I aim to study mechanical engineering, then set up a company of my own. Who knows I might be the next Dyson!"
The Design and Technology A Level course has allowed me to develop several skills I will be able to apply in life.
"I have been able to develop my communication skills throughout this course by regularly contacting my client. This skill will be essential particularly in my desired career path as I will be required to communicate clearly on a daily basis. Furthermore this course has allowed me to improve my time management, ensuring that I met deadlines on time. This skill will be particularly essential to have when I’m older considering I would like to be a pilot.
"This course has taught me to be resilient as I have struggled with particular parts of the course such as SolidWorks, a software I had never used but am now quite skilled at. I am sure my training to be a pilot will be rigorous in which failure, to me, is not an option. Therefore I will need to be resilient throughout my training in order to succeed."
Made in Kingswood
Every year, the Art and Design & Technology departments celebrate the outstanding work produced by their students with the annual Made in Kingswood Exhibition. Please see below images from last year's exhibition as well as a link to an archive of work from recent years.