I am opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today. Isambard Kingdom Brunel
We believe that Product Design should be used to promote an understanding of the world around us; recognition of past and present engineers, technologies and designers, and anticipating future technologies. Through student interaction we seek to ensure that all students become successful problem solvers and critical thinkers as well as knowledgeable, confident, creative and discerning consumers.
Newfield School Design & Technology aims to develop students’ Cultural capital. Students learn to design and make products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. To do this effectively, they will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on additional disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The department aim is to see all students who study Design and Technology at Newfield School mature into socially responsible adults capable of making a positive impact in today’s ever changing society, be it voluntarily, in employment, further training or higher education.
The curriculum is dynamic, it has been designed to be flexible to fit the needs of every learner whilst keeping up with the fast rate of technological development. The content is enjoyable and challenging and builds on knowledge and skills from a strong foundation at Lower School to an advanced level at Upper School. Our students gain experience of a wide range of tools and media including CAD/CAM in well-paced, enjoyable, structured lessons in a safe and well managed environment. We provide high quality teaching and learning that is innovative, inspirational, and student-centred. The curriculum is knowledge-rich, its content is delivered in modules (wedges*) in which the learning is focussed on specific material areas. Each project is designed to teach material specific technical knowledge, pragmatic knowledge and deliberate practice. From the very first lesson student misconceptions are tackled e.g. the first whole cohort question is ‘What is Good Design? As an outcome of well sequenced programs of study students are able to build on prior knowledge and utilise the cognitive theories of knowledge retrieval. The student journey has been split into the two Key Stages, the ‘Design & Technology Foundation’ at KS3 and GCSE Design and Technology at KS4. At Key Stage 3 the curriculum is designed to build students’ pragmatic knowledge and their understanding of the Iterative Design Process. The GCSE course then allows students to be increasingly expressive and creative in their design practice and draws on their cross-curricular and wider life experiences.
Assessment points are built into the end of every project. Assessment criteria to be discussed and confirmed with SLT.
Design and Technology Foundation progress awards are given to students who successfully complete each material specific module. These are known as wedges and alongside the Food and Nutrition awards are an ideal entry to the Newfield School Diploma.