Design & Technology is a key learning area for all of our students at Key Stage 3 and 4. It provides a range of opportunities for students at Westfield Academy to develop their researching, designing, making and evaluating skills.
The Design & Technology Curriculum
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is divided up into 3 areas of Design & Technology: Food, Graphics and Resistant Materials. During Key Stage 3 students experience 14 week projects in rotation. Lessons are taught by staff with advanced subject knowledge in order to help develop students’ skills within that section.
When students arrive at Westfield Academy in Year 7 they are introduced into the kitchen, looking at health and safety and developing their culinary skills by cooking a variety of simple dishes. Throughout Year 7, the recipes studied during cooking lessons get progressively more complex, helping to build on their cooking skills and developing their confidence within the kitchen. In Years 8 and 9 students go on to look at presentation, cultural foods and the catering industry. This provides them with the foundation knowledge that is needed for the Hospitality BTEC and GCSE Food course on offer at KS4.
The 14 weeks of the year that students spend studying Resistant Materials focuses on building up their wood and metal work skills by allowing them to design projects within the well equipped workshops found in the Design and Technology Department. Each year the projects focus on different materials and machinery used in industry. Students get used to handling and working with a variety of tools and equipment, learning how to produce a range of good quality products. The use of technical vocabulary in lessons and the focus on accurate measuring when working either by hand or computer provides a great opportunity for students to further develop their numeracy and literacy skills. Resistant Materials is a particularly popular area of Design and Technology at Westfield Academy and many students enjoy spending time after school continuing to develop their practical skills.
A variety of different Graphics projects are taught throughout KS3 with particular focus on students’ drawing skills, looking at traditional hand drawing techniques and then introducing students into Computer Aided Design. The skills learnt in Graphics are transferable to the other areas of Design and Technology providing key presentation skills that will aid their future Design and Technology Coursework. The projects throughout the year look at the branding of products, paper mechanics, drawing techniques, architecture and graphic imagery.
Key Stage 4
Since Engineering has been introduced at KS4 it has proven to be popular with many students and currently achieves a 100% pass rate. This is a practical work related course and allows students to become more independent in the workshop. Students continue to build upon the practical skills developed during KS3. This course allows students to build up a portfolio of work and prepares individuals for engineering courses at KS5 or apprenticeships within the industry.
In Key Stage 4 students can also choose to enrol on the BTEC First Certificate in Hospitality; this is another practical work-related course. Students learn through completion of projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. It introduces the student to the employment area they have chosen and provides a good basis to go on to a more advanced work-related qualification. They give students the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment.
In KS4 the students that choose to study Food Technology continue to develop practical skills in the kitchen and also build upon their understanding of researching, designing, planning, cooking, testing and evaluating. This course requires pupils to be creative thinkers and problem solvers in order find solutions to given briefs and develop high quality dishes.
City and Guilds Horticulture
This is a skills based City and Guilds course at Key Stage 4 open to all students but particularly those favouring vocational, hands-on study. Our allotment is at the heart of the school and is developed and cared throughout the year. Past students have moved into horticultural-based study and further careers. Last year a further site was developed as the Watford Community Orchard by our Sports Hall.