A couple of weeks ago David invited English teachers of D&T GCSE to contribute to a short survey asking if and how they have they have changed their curriculum at KS3 and 4 to reflect the demands of the new GCSE and, in particular, its non-examined element, the Contextual Challenge.
Frankly, given how busy teachers are, we weren’t at all sure whether even a very short survey would get much of a response, so we are delighted that 41 colleagues have taken the time to do so; thank you very much!
We think the responses are of interest and the purpose of this post is to simply present the data from the survey without commentary or analysis. As the original request noted, David and I will be including this data in a paper we are presenting at the PATT 36 conference in June. After that conference we will make the full paper available on this site and let everyone know that it’s available.
[Incidentally, we are working on this paper over the next few weeks – so if anyone else would like to respond to the survey, there’s still time (say until the end of this week) to have your data inform the final paper – if you manage to do this, thank you in advance.]
The survey had just two questions:
- What changes have you made to your KS3 D&T curriculum to prepare pupils for the new D&T GCSE?
- What changes have you made to your KS4 D&T curriculum to prepare pupils for the new contextual challenge NEA?
The responses under ‘Other’ for Q1 were:
- More focus on coverage. Start covering simple D&T theory in the early year. The amount to get through in 2 years (years 10 & 11) means you have to start teaching lower down the school.
- Removed carousels – one teacher for all disciplines
- Changes have been made due to budget cuts – not curriculum change. less making, I can’t afford materials and machines are breaking and not being replaced.
- My sow (carousel) is now loads of mini projects covering a wide range of outcomes – theory lessons are also interactive with a practical element – homework assignments are evidencing how students use their outcomes through photo stories and story boards.
- Home learning tasks have included more theoretical elements – we’ll revise our projects at the end of this year.
- Spent more time on theory than I would usually do early on in a course to ensure they get all the time needed when the NEA kicks in. Was in danger of losing them at one point… Became to theory lead. Quickly reverted back to designing exercises and skills lesson inputs. I have not got the balance right yet re the course (AQA) ,. 1st year… Suppose it’s to be expected. Little support re NEA etc from exam board.
- Bigger focus on client.
- I don’t have a KS3 I teach in a UTC.
- Struggling to make the changes necessary with an inexperienced department. Sticking with old fashioned design, make, evaluate ks3 projects. There is then an upskill in year 9 and 10 so they’re ready for year 11.
The responses under ‘Other’ for Q2 were:
- My design tasks at GSCE have always been open. I rarely restrict students to a particular project. A range of projects creates a stimulus for the group, a collective problem solving focus and generates different outcomes.
- Completely revamped the delivery of theory. Will tackle the NEA when we are closer to the release date and time.
- Focussed yr10 on core theory
- Small focused tasks and recorded range of skills and materials and lots of theory
- More small fpt’s.
- A mock NEA with year 10’s. Constant feedback through Google classroom
- More small theory based makes to make the content less dry
- Have done a lesson giving them a myriad of contexts and then asked them to research possible design opportunities / different briefs.
- Add more theory components that cover core and in-depth of 2 materials. Have attempted to use maths activities from exemplars across exam boards. We also test theory knowledge weekly
- Shorter design and make tasks to cover different core materials.
- Focus practical tasks on processes and materials
- More focus on theory within year 10. Only short practicals due to feeling there’s less time for NEA
- I’ve tried to focus on areas of weakness/no links will be made in, if there isn’t a ‘pointed out’ element to it. Each small term is spent on 1 area of focus – t4 is currently mechanisms/cams/levers/gears etc
As ever, we’d be delighted to hear people’s thoughts on these responses via the comments.