Design Technology at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

 "Design is intelligence made visible." 
Louis Danziger

Design Technology aims to provide students with skills for life, which they can take into further study of the subject and beyond. The subject gives students the opportunity to work creatively, independently, and to develop resilience and problem-solving abilities as they encounter challenges and consider the best way to take their ideas forward. We encourage students to reflect on their progress, and to re-draft and re-design until they arrive at the best possible solution for their design brief.

Students are taught by specialists in their fields; many of our staff bring industry experience and expertise to the classroom in this part of ‘school which is not like school’. Smaller class sizes for practical subjects means that staff are able to provide one-to-one attention and support, building trust and positive working relationships.

At Key Stage Three, students spend two hours in the department per week, following two subject strands: Design Technology and Food and Textiles.

Design Technology provides an introduction to workshop skills and mechanics, and over the three years students will make projects from solar powered torches and electric buggies to Art Deco clocks and autonoma.

Food and Textiles introduces students to an understanding of nutrition and competency in kitchen skills, and to fabric printing, properties and construction. Students pass a sewing machine ‘driving test’ before moving on to projects such as puggle dolls and pencil cases; in Food & Nutrition, students should leave the end of Year 9 with the ability to make a range of savoury dishes following the Eatwell Guide.

At Key Stage Four, the department provides an extremely wide range of qualifications. Students can study for GCSEs in Food & Nutrition, Engineering, or Design Technology (Materials or Textiles specialism). Students can also choose from vocational courses in Construction, Engineering, and Health & Social Care.

We are delighted that we have expanded our offer into Sixth Form, where students can now study A Level Product Design.