In Design and Technology in Years 7 – 9 students spend one double lesson per week, for term per year in each of Construction, Food Technology and Textiles.
Students learn how to confidently and safely use a sewing machine to create seams, applique and machine embroidery. They use these skills to design an original, scary and cuddly monster product that they develop and then make their final design. Students are also taught how to sew on buttons and hand embroidery and they learn about the characteristics of cotton, felt, fleece and fake fur.
Using the theme of Hawaii students design and make a pair of Hawaiian shorts. All students explore resist dye techniques; tie and dye and batik they evaluate their samples and select one or a combination to make their shorts. From 1 metre of cotton students decorate and make a pair of shorts. In addition to this students research the environmental and ethical issues surrounding cotton production and they use this to support their understanding of natural fibres. To celebrate the completion of their products students hold a fashion show where they get to model their shorts and create dance routines to reflect the theme.
Sustainable textiles forms the overarching theme for Year 9 textiles and students are encouraged to learn and experience how textiles can be made to be more sustainable. To begin with in small teams students are challenged to research and present a concise seminar on an allocated sustainable brief. Students then research upcycling and design and make an upcycled screen printed T-shirt. The second sustainable brief is to design and make a pencil case using vintage fabrics and decorate their design with digital printing, applique and hand embroidery. Each pencil case must have a fully functioning zip sewn into it. Students then use odd socks to make sock monsters while also researching the characteristics of knitted fabrics to support their understanding of fabrics. The final design and make task is to design and make novelty hats.
Students are taught in mixed ability groups of 22 students.
The lessons are fun and varied, with an emphasis on practical activities with associated knowledge and skill development. Students will most often provide materials for making their projects with an emphasis on upcycling in Year 9.
Students in Design & Technology subjects are assessed in four aspects of designing: Developing ideas and Communication, Planning, Making and Evaluating.