All our students study Design and Technology (DT) in Key Stage 3.
It is made up of three components, in line with IGCSE should they wish to pursue it further:
- Electronics and control systems
- Graphic products
- Resistent materials
Electronics and control systems
In this unit, our students work with BBC Micro:bit mini computers (embedded microcontrollers) to control a variety of electronic systems. They use a block-builder style programming language (similar to Scratch) to code the Micro:bit to control the systems. Using a variety of electronic components, breadboards and recycled materials, they construct a range of working simulators, games and toys, including a piano made of fruit, a steady hand buzzer game, and a couple of robots!
This unit teaches our students about the design and prototyping process. They learn technical drawing and draughting skills that allow them to design and conceptualise their ideas. They then apply these ideas through the industry-standard computer-aided design (CAD) software, Autodesk Fusion 360. Finally, they take their designs with them on an away-day at The University of Malawi, Polytechnic, where they learn about computer-aided manufacture using 3D printing, CNC milling and laster cutting, and are able to have their 3D designs printed to take home.
In this unit, students get to learn about the physical properties of materials as well as how to work with them to build structures and objects. They learn techniques for using tools and common joining methods. They also receive the opportunity to use more industrial techniques, like arc-welding, on our field trip to The University of Malawi, Polytechnic.
Our students have one-to-one access to Windows PCs, as well as BBC Micro:bits and a selection of electronics components, including LEDs, motors and buzzers. We provide all the necessary materials for technical drawing and 3D modelling, and our partnership with The Polytechnic allows us access to their Design Studio and CAM machines including 3D printers and laser cutters.