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Restructuring KS3 Technology - Any Ideas??

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by vcollier, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    Im looking for some inspiration!

    The school have had a big review of the KS3 Curriculum and have decided that they are going to allocate us an extra period a fortnight from September (takes us to 4 hours a fortnight). Now I am looking at any ideas on how we could structure the curriculum.

    We currently opertate a carousel system in which the students spend approx 12 hours (at present) in each of the areas of Graphics, CAD CAM, Materials, Electronics and Food. The students in each year are split into three groups and within those 2 have 3 sub groups and 1 has 5 sub groups e.g. 901, 902, 903, 9Q1 - 9Q5. Obviously this system has its advantages in that each project is delivered by specialist staff, in specialist rooms and it is consistantly delivered, but it also has its disadvantages in that you do not really get to know they students, and them us, etc

    How does KS3 operate in your department??? Anyone not use a carousel and if so what do you do?? Is it sucessfull???

    Any inspriation would be much appreciated
  2. we used to rotate termly but that meant in some bands they were not getting equal opportunities as each staff memeber was not necessarily timetabled for every lesson. We have resolved it and are trialling the following now that our bands are formed of 3 classes divided into 4 groups.
    We rotate after 18 or 19 weeks depending on how much snow or otherwise has disrupted our timetable. So each group has 2 teachers in the year. That teacher will deliver 2 specialist area projects and will roughly mirror one other teacher. So, for example, one teacher might teach RM and food and the other team member would start with food then do RM. There is another pairing of someone doing a diffferent pair of areas such as systems and control and graphics. This seems to be a ahppier medium than having everyone trying to teach food or graphics etc. and we get a better chance to record their levels before they pass on to the next teacher. This is a big bonus.

    We have had year 7 taken away from us and non specialists delivering a vaguely tech food 6 weeks project related to enterprise. We are therefore going to do a baseline test at the end of the year 7 with the help of a cross-curricular project similar to our usual baseline project from years gone by so we don't have to waste time doing one at the start of year 8. Hope this helps.
  3. thanks for this, we have had a look at this but having 3 groups, 3 groups and then 5 groups are causing us problems. The system works for the 3 groups but not for the 5 due to needing more speacilist rooms to run the same project with more than one group.
  4. Hi
    we work on a rotation / carousel system too. we used to see the studetns for either 4 or 5 weeks in a row, 4 lessons per fortnight. we found it too difficult to know the students let alone complete the projects. What we did in the end was to join up two subjects. ie we now have a project which is resistant materials and electronis based, we have a graphics and textiles project and then food is on its own as it never really complemented any other area. The students are now with us for 11 weeks in year 7 and 8 and 12 weeks in year 9 before they rotate. the students gain alot more skills, are able to complete both written and practical tasks and the levels they are gaining have increased plus we know the students alot better too.
    hope this helps
  5. heidiyoung86

    heidiyoung86 New commenter

    We don't use carousel. There is so much written on the detremental effects a carousel system has on students' progress! The problem has been having to teach your non-specialist areas, so we are going to start using a system that was very successful in an outstanding school that one of our department used to work in.
    We teach food, textiles, RM and graphics. Using 2 periods a week, each class will have a food/textiles specialist for one of their periods and an RM/graphics specialist for the other, so each class will be doing 'soft' and 'hard' technology in parallel like two separate subjects. Obviously continuity needs to be emphasised in some way, perhaps with break-out weeks where one intensive project/topic is taught by both teachers?
    Hope this gives you some food for thought!

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