Materials Technology Technical Award (KS4)

Technical Award in Materials Technology

 Exam board: AQA 3740: Specification





Course description:

The Technical Award in Materials Technology is ideally suited to students with a preference for practical, rather than theoretical learning. The qualification has a focus on creativity with links to the world of work.

Students who want to study materials in a practical way and understand the working properties of woods, metals and polymers will really enjoy this course. It will enable students to work in a hands-on way to develop the core skills to make high-quality products using woods, metals and polymers. Students will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and also modern technologies in the well-equipped school workshops. This Technical Award in Materials Technology will help students develop the knowledge, skills and experience and could potentially open the door to a career in related industries.  The experience gained could also be put to good use if a student chooses to study Product Design at A level in the future.

Aims and learning outcomes • develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and technologies • develop practical skills to produce high quality products • develop decision making skills through both independent, team and collaborative work • communicate their decisions effectively to a third party • be able to read, interpret and work from drawings, plans and instructions • be able to produce working drawings and production plans • develop an understanding of quality and how this can be achieved by making to fine tolerances • use materials efficiently in relation to cost and environmental impact • demonstrate safe working practices • use key technical terminology related to materials and processes • develop the knowledge and understanding to evaluate and refine their own skills whilst making • develop an awareness of industrial practices and employment opportunities.

 Assessment:  There is an emphasis on practical skills, with two coursework units accounting for 60% overall of the final qualification and a 1 hour 30 minute exam accounting for 40% overall.

The course is split into three distinct units.

Unit 1: Skills demonstration (internally assessed coursework accounting for 30% of the qualification).  Students will carry out a number of bite-sized projects to demonstrate their competence in the 12 core skills outlined. This will include the transferable skill of teamwork and one of the mini projects should allow for this. Students will produce a series of small made outcomes and record their work in a portfolio of no more than 12 pages.

Unit 2: Extended making project (internally assessed coursework accounting for 30% of the qualification).  Students will undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills and knowledge they have developed in Unit 1. Students will develop skills in planning and development, making, testing, evaluation and communication.

Unit 3: Fundamentals of Materials Technology (Externally assessed exam accounting for 40% of the qualification) Students will study materials and their working properties and learn about processes and manufacture. They will gain knowledge of the applications and characteristics of a wide range of woods, metals and polymers and also learn about possible careers within industry.


Why study the Technical Award Design and Technology?

This Level 1/2 Technical Award in Materials Technology is very much about hands on learning.  It gives students a whole host of easily transferable skills. They include: Developing a wide range of practical making skills including using hand tools for cutting or shaping, casting and using joining and finishing techniques in a range of materials. Students will also develop an understanding of commercial processes and an in-depth knowledge of materials and their properties. Additionally, students will gain transferable skills such as communication and teamwork that will benefit them whatever they choose to do next.

This complements vocational qualifications including areas such as plumbing, carpentry and jewelry manufacture. However, it also offers a balance for able students pursuing a highly academic route.  It is also a route to A-level Design and Technology: Product Design.

The subject content sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required to use materials in an imaginative way and will equip learners with an understanding of commercial practice and careers in related industries. Students will also develop valuable transferable skills such as teamwork and communication. The majority of the subject content will be delivered through the practical application of knowledge and understanding


Further information can be obtained from Mr Jara, Head of Product Design, Mr Bosley and Mr Rose.