Contemplating the delivery of a new Design and Technology (D&T) qualifications can at times feel like going back to the drawing board and delays with the publication of the textbook may well be causing concern to some.
Having received a wide range of feedback from teachers and in order to ensure appropriate coverage of the new qualifications, we put together 6 considerations for delivering the new qualifications to your students.
Though we are faced with a new specification that requires clear changes in approach, existing texts, resources and schemes of work are likely to support the delivery of some of this content.
It is also important to recognise the two sets of content; the examined content focussing tightly on student’s knowledge and understanding, and being able to analyse and evaluate products and wider issues.
These principles are not new to us and we need to have confidence in the expertise we already have in delivering them.
This also applies to the more technical knowledge that can become more distinct to the three different disciplines covered by the endorsed titles. Topic areas 5, 6 and 7 of the specification outline the required technical content, this content should be familiar.
It is then the depth of understanding that needs consideration. This depth is certainly no greater than in legacy qualifications.
Knowing the content is not always enough in preparing students to perform well in an examination. Familiarity with the structure and assessment approach of each examined component is therefore vital.
The reformed qualifications are not asking students to simply recall their knowledge, but rather apply their learned knowledge and understanding in different contexts.
Reviewing not only the specimen papers, but also the mark schemes from the same document will help you to better understand the parameters and openness of assessment with these reformed qualifications.
There can be multiple ways of solving problems or manufacturing a product; we require students to draw on the toolkit of knowledge you give them to outline and justify how best to respond.
The reformed qualifications cover content with what happens in real world industry practice, a vast amount of D&T teachers delivering KS5 qualifications have experience from industry as well as from teaching, and drawing on this experience is key to engaging your students.
For those that feel they have had less of this experience, I encourage you to engage with industry as it can invigorate your application of the subject content to your pedagogy, and may offer potential connections that your students could engage with through their project work.
We would probably all accept that to be a successful teacher we all need to magpie ideas and resources from others at times.
D&T is a particularly demanding subject when it comes to lesson preparation and making sure we are not isolated in this preparation is a really strong way to reduce the pressures faced.
There are many communities whether locally or through social media who support each other and share materials. The ‘OCR Design and Technology’ group (Facebook) and ‘OCR D&T A-Level from Sept 2017’ (Google+) specifically support the reformed AS and A Level OCR qualifications.
When talking to some centres recently it has been interesting to hear how they have already mitigated any risks on the publication date of the textbook through their planning.
One center in Bedford is feeling confident with their project approach, telling us how they are engaging A Level students in the NEA earlier this year than they would do usually.
They are aiming to substantially complete this assessment component by Christmas 2018 to ensure they have more time to prepare their students for the examined components from January 2019.
If you have been looking at your delivery for a while and are finding it hard to pitch it, it is really important that you contact us, we can help in lots of ways, such as:
Helping to finding companies you can work with. Their advice may open some doors for you.
We’ll do our best to locate and sign post you to more local or online D&T community groups or associations, such as The Design and Technology Association
We’ll give you lots of tools to move forward with such as sharing exemplification and schemes of work or joining in with networks or online Q&A sessions.
Email us your questions firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up the phone and call 01223 553998
If you haven’t done so already you can also keep up to date and sign up for email updates and also follow us on twitter at @OCR_DesignTech.
To help inspire and prepare your students to tackle the iterative design process with creativity and confidence, Hodder Education and OCR have joined forces to provide you with advanced chapters of the forthcoming OCR Design and Technology for AS/A Level Student Book – published spring 2018.
Hodder Education and OCR have joined forces to provide you with advanced chapters of the forthcoming OCR Design and Technology for AS/A Level Student Book – published spring 2018.
Written by a trusted author team, this textbook delivers the knowledge, understanding and skills your students need for the 2017 OCR Design & Technology AS and A-level specifications.
Find out more about it from Hodder Education’s website.
Jonny Edge - Subject Specialist - Design and Technology
Jonny joined OCR in April 2014 as a Subject Specialist within OCR’s Maths and Technical team. Jonny has been leading the development of the reformed GCSE (9-1), AS and A Levels in Design and Technology, and responsible for the commissioning, creation and delivery of resources and CPD events for the subject. He also looks after many of the legacy qualifications and run a consultative forum for Design, Technology and Engineering to ensure that we are hearing from all subject stakeholders to build the perceptions of Design and Technology both within and outside of OCR.
Jonny has taught Design and Technology and led departments in Design and Technology, working in both secondary comprehensive and independent schools in the East of England. He has also completed a Master in Education in Arts, Culture and Education, all of this following 12 years working in the design industry.