Dynamic projects

29th December 2000 at 00:00
SKILLS IN GRAPHIC PRODUCTS. Heinemann pound;8.25. Teacher's Resource Pack pound;17.25. This key stage 3 pupil's book and teacher's resource pack provides support for teaching and learning design and technology through graphic products. In line with the revised national curriculum, the pupil's book includes the use of ICT and gives an overview of some relevant industrial processes and media technology. Pupils are guided through developing their own project.

Drawing and rendering skills are well covered and there are plenty of interesting pages that give information about a range of graphic products. Each page has a highlighted "To Do" box to help reinforce learning and provide relevant homework. Clear, attractive illustrations and photos are used throughout, but some of the pages are rather crowded for key stage 3 pupils.

The teacher's resource pack contains plenty of useful worksheets divided into three types: resource, task and information. These can be used flexibly to support project work or skills development. A page of relevant websites is also included. The pupil skill record sheet, for pupils to monitor their progress, will also help teachers track and record progression throughout the key stage.


Design amp; Technology: Resistant Materials to GCSE. By Andy Fair and Nick Rose. Oxford University Press pound;10. This latest book in the Oxford series is a resource to help students through their design and technology: resistant materials GCSE. Divided into three colour-coded chapters, each topic is numbered and presented as a double-page spread. This common format gives bulleted aims at the start and a highlighted questions box at the end. Usefully, the questions are differentiated to test the understanding of both foundation and higher candidates. The layout of the book helps with quick referencing.

The first section covers the design process and gives some advice on developing and managing a major coursework project. The small final section provides an overview of some of the key concepts in understanding systems and control and covers health and safety.

But the best and largest section is called Making. The attractive spreads are packed with information on materials, processes, tools, fixings, adhesives, finishes and, of course, mass production techniques. The sections on wood and metal are particularly good and will also provide students with a valuable source for revision.


Technology in Practice. By John Cave. John Murray pound;10.99. Drawing on the expertise of Technology Enhancement Programme (TEP), this new book is avery impressive resource for students from key stage 3 to post-16. Its aim is to cover the information needed for GCSE courses in resistant materials, systems and control, electronic products and graphic products, and vocational courses. And it does this magnificently.

The first section provides comprehensive information on materials, manufacturing processes and techniques, control systems, structures, graphics and ergonomics. Significantly, it begins with an emphasis on the importance of maths and science in solving design and technology problems, encouraging students to focus on accuracy and high performance in their designs. The data section offers a wealth of information on a wide range of electronic and mechanical systems and construction materials ( including new "smart" materials).

My favourite section, Small Miracles of Technology, provides a fascinating glimpse at the clever design and manufacture of some of those familiar, disposable products that we rely on - from the paperclip to lightweight headphones. The final section offers plenty of ideas for design tasks drawing on the rest of the book.

The sections are colour coded, very well illustrated and cross referenced. This is a must for design and technology departments.


Design in the Making: Textiles Technology. By Steve Cushing. Longman. pound;8.75. Teacher's Guide pound;35. Teachers involved in planning a key stage 3 design and technology course with textiles as a focus will find this pupil's book and teacher's guide really useful. They focus on practical skills and knowledge because designing and making is a dynamic, integrated activity.

The pupil's book is clear and attractive with colourful illustrations and a range of photos of key stage 3 work. Divided into colour-coded sections, the book covers tools and equipment, fibres, and yarns and fabrics. It looks at a wide range of processes used in the fashion industry and draws examples from other countries and cultures. The final section starts to look beyond KS3 at some of the skills and techniques needed to design and make 3-D textiles products. All the activities are differentiated into three levels.

The teacher's guide is a comprehensive resource to help plan a whole key stage course. Teachers can adapt the plans, supported by a range of worksheets, to design a thorough and exciting course that will suit their pupils. Ideas for differentiation, assessment and mapping links with other subjects are particularly helpful.

Roz Reyburn Roz Reyburn is an education consultant for design and technology

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