The Technology department is a lively and productive place where our goal is to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated. We aim to equip every student with the knowledge and ability to work independently and creatively; transferable skills which will serve them well during Key Stage 3 and beyond.
At Key Stage 3, we aim to prepare students as fully as possible for the demands of the GCSE and A level courses we offer. The Year 7 course is designed to set a strong foundation in the following areas, which we then build on in subsequent years:
- how to communicate ideas using the formal elements of colour, line, form, tone, texture, pattern and shape;
- how to make best use of the properties and effects of a wide range of different media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies;
- how to think critically and use specialist language to evaluate their own work and that of a diverse range of artists, craftspeople and designers;
- how to use both hand and computer- based drawing techniques to record the observed world and explore ideas visually.
The GCSE and A level courses are designed to extend these skills, as well as encouraging self-expression and creativity through a number of individual projects. Students are given the opportunity to work on their own lines of enquiry and to develop strong independent learning skills that are essential for higher education or any career. They are encouraged to visit galleries, museums and art fairs to inspire their own work and gain an insight into the processes and professional life of an artist or designer.
Key Stage 3 Technology
The main areas of study in KS3 are Food, Textiles and Resistant Materials. We also incorporate ICT skills along with an element of Graphic Design. Technology develops a range of skill including innovation, creativity and problem solving, both as individuals and as part of a team. Throughout KS3 we aim to develop confidence as well as awareness of safety by applying learning in familiar contexts before advancing to the unfamiliar.
At this level, homework should take no longer than 30 minutes each week. Types of assessment could include research, investigations and evaluations. Students are encouraged to develop their skills using Google sketchup and technologystudent.com. There are many valuable resources on manufacturers’websites; we particularly like M&S as they produce products applicable to all three areas of study.
The department offers a range of extra curricular activities, including various lunchtime catch up sessions as and when required and access to relevant local and national competitions.
We offer two GCSE courses:
- WJEC Eduqas Food Preparation and Nutrition which comprises a series of practical investigations underpinned with a comprehensive knowledge of the scientific and nutritional theory behind the processes involved. We use the Educas GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition text book, which pupils can log into online here.
- Edexcel GCSE Art, Craft and Design. Students will cover a wide range of techniques at the start of the course, including traditional art techniques such as drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics, alongside a range of stitched textile processes and RM techniques, including computer aided design, pyrography and precious metal clay. They can select at least two of these to use within their coursework projects and can specialise in just one area in their exam project if they wish.
All Technology subjects are weighted with 60% controlled assessment and 40% exam assessment. This gives the opportunity to develop practical skills, time management and independence as well as a knowledge base. 30-45 minutes of homework is expected each week, which may cover research, planning, revision and exam preparation exercises.
At Loreto College, we offer Art, Craft & Design at A-level. Click here to see the AQA specification.
Students at this level will be examined on their ability to work to a very high standard and to produce artwork that has been well developed and is highly personal. A level takes the subject to greater depth and focus and students are expected to show a high degree of individuality and creativity. The time spent on homework varies at this level but should not be less than five hours per week. Students may use the department during their free time to continue their practical work.
Extracurricular opportunities include an annual trip to London to see the work of a wide range of artists and designers, the possibility of entering an exhibition which showcases the artwork of students across the county, and the chance to become an Art prefect: an ambassador of the subject throughout the school, both on a day- to day basis and at various events. All of these will strengthen applications to a Foundation course in Art and Design or Art- based degree course in areas such as animation, architecture or fashion.
Advice and guidance is available to help with personal statements and the preparation of portfolios for interview. A level Art also nurtures valuable transferable skills such as resilience, independence, creativity and problem- solving which will prove beneficial in any future career path.
- In Year 8 CDT, students work in teams to solve a problem set by The Design Museum which they present in a Dragon’s Den format, with the option to submit the best entries to the Ventura Competition.
- In the Summer term, Year 9 RM students also get the opportunity to take part in a competition with other local schools run by Poggenpohl, an International kitchen design company. We have taken part in this for a number of years and have been successful on several occasions, with students invited to attend an awards evening at the showroom to collect prizes for themselves and the department.
- In Food Technology, we have a number of links with industry, including local 5- star hotels such as St Michales Manor & The Grove. The GCSE students also regularly help with the catering of whole- school events.
Design & Technology & Careers@Loreto
Want to find out more about Design & Technology work skills? Then check out this infographic poster, which can also be found in the canteen: