THE PROGRESSIVE PROGRAM
UPPER SECONDARY: 16 TO 19 YEARS
Design & Technology
Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel
The A level Design & Technology syllabus reflects the demands of a modern and evolving society. Pupils undertake a large Design and Make project and a written examination over the duration of this course.
The A level is assessed in two ways:
Component 1 is a written examination and Component 2 is a Design and Make project and portfolio.
Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology
2 hours 30 minutes
50% of the qualification
Topic 1: Materials
Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials
Topic 3: Processes and techniques
Topic 4: Digital technologies
Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products
Topic 6: Effects of technological developments
Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment
Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries
Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
Topic 10: Current legislation
Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling, and forward planning
Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.
Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project
50% of the qualification
Pupils individually and/or in consultation with a client/end user identify a problem and design context.
Pupils develop a range of potential solutions which include the use of computer aided design and evidence of modelling.
Pupils are expected to make decisions about the designing and development of the prototype in conjunction with the opinions of the client/end user.
Pupils realise one potential solution through practical making activities with evidence of project management and plan for production.
Pupils incorporate issues related to sustainability and the impact their prototype may have on the environment
Pupils are expected to analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes for prototypes/products made by themselves and others
Pupils are expected to analyse and evaluate wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.
Design and Technology is well-suited for pupils who possess inquisitive minds, are inclined towards creative thinking, and demonstrate a certain level of self-management. These skills are nurtured throughout the study of Design and Technology, alongside the development of reflective learning, teamwork, and effective communication. The study of Design and Technology encompasses various skills, including active listening, reading comprehension, note-taking, active participation in class discussions, technical drawing, mathematical proficiency, model-making, computer-aided design (CAD), manual and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), photography and videography, and the creation of digital portfolios. At the A level, pupils are expected to take ownership of their work, thereby emphasising the importance of independence, maturity, and discipline.
Ideally, pupils are recommended to have pursued Design and Technology at IGCSE level and achieved a minimum grade of 5.
In exceptional cases, pupils who haven't previously studied Design and Technology may express an interest in pursuing it at A level. In such situations, it is typically advisable to arrange an informal interview with the school staff. This interview serves to establish clear expectations, facilitate effective communication, and assess the candidate's suitability for the course.