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Kirsty Carlisle: B1031914
A report to show my research findings based on my observations and analysis of the organisation
of the Design and Technology curriculum within my placement school at key stage 3.
The area I have chosen to focus on in Design Technology is resistant materials; the projects taught in
this area are a clock project, a maze game, and a pencil box. My chosen DMA is the clock project,
this project aims to develop pupils understanding of how to shape and combine plastics. To develop
the ability to follow a design process to solve the brief, self-evaluate and develop design skills.
The Design and Technology National Curriculum Programme of Study
(See appendix 1.1)
The school uses blooms taxonomy to distinguish vocabulary that should be used to ensure that they
are meeting the national curriculum in the area of formative and summative assessment. This is all
usually colour coded within the scheme of work as it helps staff identify what is expected in the
outcome in order to meet the national curriculum requirements. Throughout the clock project, when
objectives and outcomes are shown, the key words are visible E.G. Under Knowledge: recall data and
information it will have the key words to help with this such as label, describe and identify. (Clark,
2013). The national curriculum is met when it comes to assessment from the teacher at key stage 3,
for year 8s. The national curriculum states that in year 8 there must be teacher assessment. (Service,
Opportunities for Assessment
Throughout the project there are many opportunities for assessment through formative, peer and
self-assessment as well as class tests and feedback within lessons as well as the constant marking of
workbooks. Over the course of 8 weeks the pupils are given 4 lots of homework, this tends to be
given near the start of the project as its mainly theory based and they focus on research into
existing clocks and the current themes and trends. I feel that homework is a good starting point for
any pupil to acquire more knowledge, and as the students of Joseph Whitaker in this particular year
8 class, they seem to be forward learners who ask for extra work, homework could really be utilised
as an important part of learning. In this case Id say that an area for development is to re-evaluate
the amount of homework given. More homework during practical could be given especially to
understand things such as materials and tools (knowledge needed in the workshop whilst making) to
have a more in depth understanding.
During the project peer assessment is a tool that is vigorously used on a constant basis. It helps
create critical and independent learners, who will give constructive criticism and learn to appreciate
others opinions, work and skills. Starting sentences are given to ensure that the feedback is useful
and not negative comments about someones work, as it is much easier to criticise than it is to praise
and sometimes it can be personal so this needs to be watched closely. They are provided with 5
opportunities to do this but thats not counting the spontaneous opportunities given without
planning. (See appendix 1.2)
I have took the opportunity to ask pupils about how they feel when asked to help those that may be
struggling, not working at the same pace or just being lazy. A few pupils have said that it makes them
feel that the teacher trusts them to do a good job and to be safe using the equipment; it gives them
a sense of satisfaction that they have been chosen. I enjoy helping others as it means Im working
Kirsty Carlisle: B1031914
well enough to support myself and another (quote from a year 9 student at Joseph Whitaker, 2013),
who previously completed the project. Ive enjoyed being the manager of my manufacturing team
as I like to be in charge but the whole group can work together (Quote from a year 8 student at
Joseph Whitaker, 2013).
Target setting is the main form of assessment, students are told at the start of each lesson what is
expected of them, what they can achieve if points are met and what they will be assessed on. This is
forcing self-evaluation throughout a lesson, if they can see the targets they are more likely to work
towards them. Who wants to be the one behind or last? (Quote from a year 8 student at Joseph
Whitaker, 2013). It helps them recognise where they are and decide where they want to be, a few
teachers called this a proactive approach towards assessment.
Pupil interest and motivation
I liked the project because it started with practical, The fact we started with practical interested
me, Getting stuck in and having a taste of what I would make was exciting, unlike other lessons.
These are just a few statements made by students that did the key fob before moving onto the
written work. To motivate the students, the first two lessons are to familiarise the students with the
machines, materials, tools and health and safety. One of the teachers said that letting the students
get stuck in straight away gives them a sense of trust and responsibility. I personally think that
having them practice first means they will not only develop their skills and work more independently
when it comes to the real project but they will also find the theory section easier too, e.g. writing the
design specification. I found that students were more likely to answer questions about the product
and became more involved and interested as they felt confident in what they had to talk about.
Independence plays a big role when it comes to motivating students and allowing them to
experience trial and error gets them interested as they start to ask things like why did that not
work? How can I solve that? What could I do to improve that?. If the student is asking these
sorts of questions then there is motivation and interest to learn more and improve.
Pupil Learning
From the research I have conducted through lesson observations and questioning both student and
teacher, I have learnt that for effective student learning to take place there must be a wide range of
teaching strategies to engage the students. Different methods are appropriate for different areas of
knowledge, students have different learning preferences i.e. some are more visual learners, some like
working in groups, some prefer the written word etc. a monotonous diet of the same teaching style
will cause even the keen student to lose interest. (The effective teaching and learning Network). Its
important to keep this in mind as every student is different, to encourage learning each student
must feel supported.
During the clock project there are many tasks that have been done to ensure there is something for
everyone, the booklets are also made especially for SEN students. Learning objectives are always
displayed for every lesson so the students have some control over their own learning. Its a choice,
the teacher may say they are a level 5a, but they can check the requirements to improve and choose
to move up a level. The teacher has expressed to me many times how important it is for student
input. However, I think there needs to be more structure in the way they self-assess. They could
possibly be given a mark scheme that a teacher works from so they can begin to understand the
marking structure. As a student teacher, I have realised how complicated the marking criteria can be
to break down but its a very useful source. If the students new more in depth details of the marking
Kirsty Carlisle: B1031914
system, would this improve student learning? I dont understand where my grades come from, I
dont know what the level actually means, and I just know it means good or bad. This is why I think
its important to allow the students to see the objectives and outcomes at the start of a lesson to
show levels and what they have to do to improve their design work; this is something I havent seen
that much practice of. Some teachers verbally express the outcomes, but I feel the levels need to
also be visual. Enforcing these attributes of assessment within the project from what Ive seen has
proven to provide better outcomes in the practical. (SEE APPENDIX 1)
Relevance to generation Z learners:
The strength of this project lies in the relevance to young students, everybody needs a clock, and its
something the students like to give their mum or dad or even put in their own room as I have found
out from talking to students individually. Part of the brief for this project is to relate the clock to
current themes/trends and target it to teenagers. So, potentially, they are making it for themselves,
the fact that they have full ownership of the design and they do practically anything providing the
materials are available. The students succeed in this project partly because they can take full control
over the design section and personalise it as long as they justify any decisions in their analysis.
Opportunities for Digital Technologies and/or Smart materials:
Students are given the opportunity to use their smart phone within the some lessons for research
purposes in the workshop where computers arent available. I think this links to bringing in new
technologies and using them wisely within a school context. They are introduced to many materials
and left to experiment with materials when asked to bring in their own materials from home. They
have to understand it and at least know the specialist name before being allowed to use it. There is a
big emphasis on the amount of knowledge the year 8 students should obtain. There arent really any
digital technologies used as it all about craftsmanship and doing practical tasks by hand. They can
use the linisher and the lathe but other than that everything is done the long way. I do feel that
there is scope for more use of a laser cutter so they can achieve the simple things, for the clock, as
everyone seems to have the numbers; these tend to be difficult to cut out so these could be made
on the laser cutter. Currently they are produced in vinyl but the students do not control the machine
or the CAD software, so this takes away the individuality of the clock.

There are many improvements still to be made, as the department has just started their appraisals,
everything has been put in place to move all projects including this one forward, changes are being
implemented and they are hoping for better schemes of work. This project however, is in the
process so many improvements have already been made. They tend to achieve of 85% of the class
hitting their target grades.

Kirsty Carlisle: B1031914
Clark. (2013, May 01). Blooms Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from
Quote from a year 8 student at Joseph Whitaker. (2013, November 02). Mansfield, England.
quote from a year 9 student at Joseph Whitaker. (2013, noevember 02). mansfield, England.
Service, G. D. (2013, November 08). Guide - The National Curriculum. Retrieved Novemeber 12, 2013,
from GOV.UK:
The effective teaching and learning Network. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2013, from

Kirsty Carlisle: B1031914

1.1 - picture of the blooms taxonomy framework

1.2 - PLTS Skills in Design and Technology

1.3 - Pictures of existing clocks made by year 8 students at Joseph Whitaker Secondary School
L4 L6C L5A/B L5C L7