Design & Technology

The Design and Technology facilities, based in our FutureTech building, provide the perfect and most up-to-date environment to explore the disciplines of 2 and 3 dimensional design. The department is fully equipped with the latest machinery accommodating processes including rapid prototyping, CNC machining and laser cutting. With a full computer suite, clean design/graphics room and two multi-material workshops, pupils are able to realise their designs and create fully functional prototypes of almost any product.

Pupils are encouraged to put themselves in the position of a professional industrial designer, taking a broad view of the subject and considering all elements of the design process. Strong practical skills are developed along with the ability to analyse and evaluate, to plan and present ideas and to become confident in solving design problems.

Outside the classroom pupils are encouraged to compete in National Design events and visits are arranged to add to the learning experience. In particular, teams regularly take part in competitions that focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related themes. Reed's has a strong history of success in several of these, including the McLaren Engineering Challenge, the Surrey SATRO problem Solving Competition and the Greenpower and Land Rover Challenges.

Design & Technology is studied as part of the curriculum in the First and Second Forms (Years 7 and 8) and as an option in the Third Form (Year 9). Pupils design and make a variety of products during the lower school years and use advanced and equipment throughout. We feel it important that pupils experience the most modern processes such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D Scanning and printing a CNC (computer numerical controlled) laser cutting and routing as early as possible.

The GCSE course develops pupils’ design and making skills through theoretical and practical work to produce quality products. They work creatively when designing and making with a broad range of design processes, materials, techniques and equipment. Pupils gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. The course starts with a range of small tasks and experiments designed to develop their understanding and practical skills which are then applied to the practical project which is a major focus of the Fifth Form.

At A Level the Product Design course encourages pupils to take a broad view of technology and design, to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate the complex relationship between design, materials, manufacturing and marketing. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing products of their choice. A real understanding of what it means to be a designer will be gained, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

This qualification can lead directly to a Product Design course or similar engineering or technically-based subject at university. Alternatively, many pupils studying Fine Art or Graphic Design complement their creative learning experience in the Sixth Form with Product Design. Such combinations work both ways and skills are transferred across disciplines to good effect.

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