D & T Resource of the week 11

KS3 Design and Technology- The new curriculum

Resources: Design Technology/Secondary/Teachers TV

The two members of staff who have produced this resource were inspired by Portsmouth Harbour and as such have ended up with a really interesting KS3 design technology lesson. Focus is on freight ships and ferries at the harbour with local pupils being taught how to design, make and race model cargo boats. The lesson, led by team teachers Justin Baker and Christopher Smith, incorporates key concepts from the new secondary curriculum. Pupils are divided into groups, each representing a different country. The production of this video is considered and serves as the perfect aid to running the project, complemented with a concise written scheme of work.

  • What is it? - The project is presented via a thirteen minute video. This video serves as the perfect example on how to run the project. You could simply play the whole piece to your Year 9 groups or pause it and follow step by step with your year 7 or 8 students on a week by week basis. The pupils essentially build their own freight ships which they load with wooden ballast and race in a water way constructed by the member of staff, of course this could be followed through by students as part of an extension activity. The focus throughout this project is very much on making and as such looks like great fun. The video itself explains in details what needs to be done and the examples given by the two members of staff are both logical and concise.
  • How could it be used? - I would only suggest using this project with key stage 3 groups as it has been designed accordingly. It would be great to introduce as part of an activity day or topic week and could be used to supplement your department’s schemes of work. This is where the supporting written document would be invaluable and would make the translation really quite simple. I do believe some of the theory illustrated in the video could also be used to highlight and backup knowledge during other design technology projects. Furthermore, I feel that this particular video has been produced in such a way as to inspire other teachers or head of department to go and try it for them selves. Why show a process like vacuum forming time and time again when as a department you could get together and present the process in video format? You never know you could all have fun putting it together and possibly make a dull production process that bit more exciting.
  • How have you used this resource? - I have not used this project as yet, but we do have an activity week coming up for our KS3 groups. At present we run a solid fuel rocket project during that week, this is something that makes the school’s SMT rather nervous, owing to the close proximity of the school’s neighbours. Obviously this new project would make them relax, would be easier and cheaper to resource and would be just as simple to run owing to the clever use of the video. However I have already started to think about using the idea behind this project, that of using the camera to record key processes, in the production of our KS4 and KS5 core practical skills tasks. I cannot remember how many times I have shown a group, welding and brazing in a room which is too small for the whole group. This has meant me running the demo for half of the students at a time, when all I would have to do is take some time to simply get one of my colleagues to film the process the following session. While I agree this may take some of the wow factor away from the process, I could still demonstrate the most exciting parts but use the recording afterwards when the pupils are required to write up their notes.
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