Design is an exciting course at Monkton. This large department can be found next door to Art and Photography and has its very own ICT suite, fully equipped to cater to a range of design styles and preferences.
The department is proud of its ability to enable pupils to creatively problem-solve their own individual projects. We achieve this through a series of projects with individual outcomes that progress in complexity over the course of the curriculum and offer students the opportunity to work in a range of materials.
The three major topics include - Mechanisms (Automata), Electronics (Portable Speakers) and Metalwork (Steel Bug). The pupils start using hand tools and develop their basic skills in the lower years, which are important stepping stones as they progress to the computer run equipment, such as the CAD/CAM laser cutters, 3D printers and vinyl cutters. The department is open to all pupils who might want to work in other areas, offering woodturning, electronics, robotics and programming as part of our voluntary options throughout the year.
GCSE Years 10 and 11
This course provides opportunities for students to develop an eclectic mix of skills and knowledge centred on designing and making tangible products through an iterative design cycle.
What will I learn?
Pupils will learn how to communicate their ideas using sketching, 3D modelling, computer-aided design, 2D design, SolidWorks and Google Sketch-up. Pupils will explore overlapping areas from two or more genres of design; including product design, jewellery and body ornament, architectural design, interior design, environmental/landscape/garden design, 3D digital design, theatre, film and television design, sculpture and ceramics.
Pupils will also learn about manufacturing processes used in industry and have first-hand practical experience of a wide range of wood, metal and plastic forming methods. These include welding, turning and plastic forming.
The AQA course also enables students to:
- Explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, economic, environmental, ethical and social dimensions interact to shape designing and making
- Develop decision-making skills through individual and collaborative working
- Explore how sources relate to historical, contemporary, cultural, social, environmental and creative contexts
- how ideas, feelings, forms, and purposes can generate responses that address specific needs, be these personal or determined by external factors such as the requirements of an individual client's expectations, needs of an intended audience or details of a specific commission
How is the course structured and assessed?
- 60% Coursework (Portfolio)
Pupils undertake a broad range of study in order to display their technical, practical and contextual understanding. The projects become more personal as the course progresses, with the pupils leading their research areas with staff support and guidance.
- 40% Externally Set Assignment
Pupils choose a starting point from the list provided by AQA. They are encouraged to develop their own ideas from contextual sources, refine their ideas through practical development, record and assess their work in written and visual form and produce final outcomes relevant to their intentions.
What is the nature and timing of the coursework?
Having completed a series of challenging assignments for skills acquisition and contextual understanding, pupils will begin the personal project for their portfolio in the Summer Term of Year 10. This will give sufficient time to explore design ideas thoroughly, complete the portfolio and finish the project to a high quality by the end of the Michaelmas Term in Year 11. The Externally Set Assignment becomes their project from January - May in Year 11.
A Level Year 12 and 13
This is a subject that reflects the demands of a truly modern and evolving society. A subject that enables students to apply themselves and gives them the skills to succeed in their chosen pathway. Students should explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making process. Students' responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.
Three Dimensional Design
Three Dimensional Design offers students the ability to develop their innovative and creative proficiency through designing and making high-quality products. This course will introduce students to a variety of experiences that explore a range of three-dimensional media, processes and techniques. They will be exposed to both traditional and new media, and encouraged to explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students will use sketchbooks with journals to underpin their work over their final year, and are required to submit a portfolio of work, followed by a period of controlled assessment within the exam project at the end of the course.
What will I learn?
The emphasis of the first year course is the learning and practice of investigative skills - the process. These will include areas from ceramics, sculpture, exhibition design, design for theatre, television and film, interior design, product design, environmental and architectural design, jewellery/body ornament, 3D digital design.
Skills and Techniques
Students will be expected to demonstrate skills, as defined in Overarching knowledge, understanding and skills, in the context of their chosen area(s) of Three-dimensional design. Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:
- appreciation of solid, void, form, shape, texture, colour, decoration, surface treatment, scale, proportion, structure, rhythm and movement
- awareness of the intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of Three-dimensional design
- awareness of the relationship between Three-dimensional design and urban, rural or other settings
- appreciation of the relationship of form and function and, where applicable, the ability to respond to a concept, work to a brief, theme or topic, or answer a need in the chosen area(s) of Three-dimensional design
- the safe use of a variety of appropriate tools and equipment
- understanding of working methods, such as model-making, constructing and assembling.
How is the course structured?
Work is assessed internally throughout the year, with weekly or twice weekly assignments. Final work is marked internally, then moderated by an external examiner in June at the end of Year 13. There will be a termly charge for extra materials with this course.
What careers do students go on to?
Students have gone on to study at the top universities in the country, and abroad. They have studied engineering, architecture, product design, landscape architecture, sculpture, computer animation, graphic design, exhibition design, design for theatre, television and film, interior design, environmental and architectural design, jewellery/body ornament, 3D digital design and many others.
Previous pupils work