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DATA – your new 2017 D&T GCSE will be a disaster…

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by bluesbreaker, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. bluesbreaker

    bluesbreaker New commenter

    What have they done? Why did they give the new D&T GCSE the green light? It looks like a Blue Peter sticky backed plastic throwback to the 1980’s. I had expected to see the subject finally move into the 21st century, but this...

    Looking at the assessment and maths&science table for the new 2017 D&T GCSE, there is likely to be hardly any meaningful technology, computing or CAD/CAM that pupils will be expected to understand and that’s nuts in a world increasingly filled with technology (and for that matter a single GCSE course called Design AND Technology).

    I mean where are the jobs opportunities or further study opportunities going to be for pupils studying the new D&T? How am I supposed to sell it to them at option time? Or convince parents or employers that it is a properly academic subject worthy of comparison with the eBacc subjects? Frankly, I’ve got no chance as it will be clear to everyone that it is a dumbed-down, hands-on hobby/craft course.

    My advice to anyone who is not close to retirement is to do what I am plannign, which is to look to teach something else in 2017 before it’s too late and D&T gets closed down for good.
    Shedman likes this.
  2. cosybear

    cosybear New commenter

    I'd advise looking at things like the Cambridge Nationals which has some fairly decent engineering/design exams.

    Remember as D&T isn't (and is not likely to be ) an EBacc subject you should not be confined to GCSE So start looking out for other more modern, forward thinking and relevant qualifications.
  3. mmjkaejec

    mmjkaejec New commenter

    The Engineering Manufacturing course look interesting is any one teaching this in the Birmingham area.
  4. Andy Mitchell

    Andy Mitchell New commenter

    Interesting that the 'new GCSE is being accredited to the Desing and Technology Association! I would like to think that they were the authority with the power to make decisions at that level but its not the case. I fear DfE and Ofqual consulting much more broadly than a single subject association have that power. Taking your pints in order:

    Sorry I don't understand which bit your are referring to with respect to Blue Peter ...etc. To me, the introduction of some of the concepts associated with the principles of design and indeed the technical principles inject the potential to significantly increase rigour. But as I have said on numerous occasions, the responsibility rest now with the AOs to produce the specifications that students and teachers deserve. To comment at this stage on purely the outline content that by definition can contain no delivery model is I would suggest premature. Better would be to state which parts you think bluesbreaker you think willed to an over emphasis on craft, hobbies activity.

    I don't see why as a consequence of the subject content, there should eb less use of digital technologies - indeed, I would hope quite the opposite! For example, the inclusion of the words (for the first time) programmable components would suggest to me that ALL students now must have an understanding of the potential use of micro electronics and with it programming using computing. How far AOs go in terms of writing in the detail we shall see. (I would add however that this will reflect how far teachers will be prepared to undertake this type of work - as they are already required to by law in state maintained schools at KS3.)

    Maybe I've been in D&T teaching for too long, but I really welcome the return to teachers having far more say in what they do. Being able to teach D&T to GCSE and not be restricted by an antiquated list of material categories under ridiculous titles such graphic products and resistant materials (embarrassing) that once signed up to, preclude you using other (sometimes much more appropriate) materials in the design and development of a prototype is astonishing. Thank God that has gone!

    Maths and science table - I'm unclear what the point is you are making. This is the work of Nick Gibb who is convinced that explicit inclusion of maths and science content significantly ups the rigour. I'm not saying one way or the other, but I am convinced that getting a GCSE grade in D&T from 2017 on will be more difficult. Mark my words.

    If I were still a subject leader, I would (as I always did) ensure that not only did we provide high quality D&T GCSE courses, we also offered craft/vocational courses that were complementary. There is still real place for this too but not instead of D&T obviously.
  5. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Im not sure what you have been looking at here. As far as I am aware Ofqual released basic details of the reformed subjects in December and now AO's are busy drafting up specifications and supporting material. Could you provide a link to the table and other details you are referring to please?
  6. Andy Mitchell

    Andy Mitchell New commenter

    If the question directed at me rather than the original poster Bluesbreaker, then for information, I was responding to points in the original post which refers to a 'maths and science table'. I'm assuming this is referring to the annex in the DfE Subject Content published last term. Also for information, that was separate from the parallel publication of the Assessment Objectives published by Ofqual. You are correct in your assertion that these are what are informing AO's writing of specifications - a process that of course had started a long time ago and ran concurrently with the development of the content.

    If you flick back through the news items I've put up on the D&T Association website over the past year, you will find all the links to the various stages of the consultations and their conclusions. Hope that helps.
    splinters likes this.
  7. cosybear

    cosybear New commenter

  8. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Thanks for the link, i must have skipped that part on my first read.
  9. DeniseFirth

    DeniseFirth New commenter

    Unfortunately the D&T community has only itself to blame for not being more vociferous or refusing to pay DATA membership. DATA were moving to this overarching one subject nonsense several years ago despite the dangers of diminishing subject worth and redundancies being apparent. At the Nov 2014 meeting in Chelsea, R Green & D Barlex maintained this was dynamic and the way forward when their audience pointed out it would be difficult to sell it to students who wanted to specialise not do more of the same ‘Carousel’ style DT. We also heard a representative from industrial engineering pointing out the content was so watered down as to be meaningless.

    If you are young enough re-training to teach an EBacc may be a good idea. Once the ‘Specs’ are out Im going to try to make something work as Technical awards are not viable in the context of my school. Forum input could be very useful then.
    Nduty and Shedman like this.
  10. amazingpurplecow

    amazingpurplecow New commenter

    Far too wide, way too shallow.... I'm convinced the merger will result in fewer students opting in.
    Shedman likes this.
  11. Nduty

    Nduty New commenter

    I'm going to be using the Eduqas Design Technology GCSE having taught AQA Electronic Products for the previous 8 years.

    There seems to be a lot more depth to it and students are able t specialise, even being able to choose specific exam questions based upon their speciality.

    There is a lot of ground to cover. I have been working every moment I can to create resources. I have shared some on here if anyone is interested.

    Good luck whatever you choose :)
  12. Nduty

    Nduty New commenter

  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I have been teaching the new GCSE course for the last year because we start KS4 in Y9. There is no doubt that the new GCSE Technology course is an unmitigated DISASTER!

    We have opted to do the AQA version of the course now that the specs have been published. We have ordered in the text books and looking through the book there seems to be lots of separate bits and pieces plucked from the original separate specialisms. There is little or no coherence in the content and many sections of the AQA textbook consists of tables of facts. This is list learning at it's very worse.

    There is a huge amount of seemingly unrelated content to get through even on the basic core sections. There must be technology teachers out there who can teach such topics as papers and boards and types of timber and breathe some life into these dry as dust topics but it ain't me. I hate this wretched, miserable excuse for a course so much that I am retiring at the end of this term. This course is simply a load of sh *te and is so unutterably dull and tedious it will surely spell the end of DT in schools.

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