GCSE D&T: Materials Technology


Awarding body, specification number and title: 

AQA, 3740, Technical Award - Design and Technology: Materials Technology

The aim of this course is to encourage students to use resistant materials when making three-dimensional products.  The Materials Technology is ideally suited to students who prefer practical learning, in addition to theoretical learning. The course enables students to work in a ‘hands-on’ way in order to develop the core skills required to make high quality products using woods, metals and polymers. Students will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and modern technologies.  The course calls for students to become independent and creative problem solvers. It combines practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. Students reflect on and evaluate relevant present and past design and technology, its uses and effects.  Lessons within Materials Technology are a combination of focused bite-sized projects to demonstrate their confidence in 12 core skills, which then lead onto an extended making project to show case their new found abilities in an independent project that responds to a brief that they develop. Every piece of work that students complete will have a direct impact on their final level, with the bite-sized projects and extended making project accounting for 60% of their final level.

Year 10 course content

In Year 10 students will focus on producing a portfolio evidencing four practical projects that will demonstrate 12 core skills. This portfolio records their work for the four projects and must not be more than 15 pages in length.

These four projects are all practical based to cover the following key skills:

1. Selecting and preparing materials

2. Using hand tools for cutting and shaping

3. Forming, bending, laminating and shaping

4. Casting or moulding

5. Non-permanent joining techniques

6. Permanent joining techniques

7. Machining and the use of power tools

8.Quantitiy production

9. Using Computer Aided Design & Manufacture

10. Using finishing techniques

11. Quality control and maintain accuracy, and

12. Teamwork.

These four projects will account for 30% of the qualification.

All Students start their own Extended Making project during Year 10 and continue it through to Year 11. This accounts for a further 30% of the qualification.

Year 11 course content

In Year 11 students continue their Extended Project enabling them to put their making skills to the test. During this project, students will produce a made outcome in addition to a small portfolio to evidence the planning and development and testing and evaluation stages. Projects could range from furniture, garden items, jewellery plus much more…

Running parallel with the projects in Years 10 and 11 there will be lessons that continue to further develop students understanding of the theory and practices involved in the fundamentals of Materials Technology that are assessed in a terminal examination that accounts for 40% of the qualification.

This exam covers the following topics:

1. Materials and their working properties

2. Processes and manufacture

3. Joining, components, adhesives and finishes

4. Product specification

5. Commercial practices and

6. Careers opportunities.



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