The Design & Technology AssociationDeisgn Council

The Design Mark

The Design Mark

Evidence portfolio: De Ferrers Technology College

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Status - 2 Values1: Personalising design education– how do you involve pupils in planning and evaluating the design curriculum?


Why has this evidence been included?

The Design & Technology Department has always considered personalizing learning as a fundamental aspect of a successful teaching and learning environment/curriculum. Feedback from our students and the use of new technologies is vital to the evolution of our personalized curriculum.


Historically we have always gathered most feedback of Key Stage 3 schemes of work from our Year 9 students as they complete Key Stage 3 and make decisions about their future pathways in Design & Technology at Key Stage 4, and beyond. During this ‘Student Voice’ period students work on a small project presenting ideas to staff to illustrate what they think would help improve the options programme for future students. An example of this work has been included as evidence: Figure 1.


However we are now moving forward to more innovative methods of gaining student feedback and thus personalizing the learning of our students. In this section evidence has been provided of our new work, including: online ‘Student Voice’ questionnaires for Key Stage 3 students; peer mentoring with Key Stage 5 students mentoring Key Stage 4 students of Product Design; pre-school mentoring sessions for under-achieving Year 9 students and widespread use of online resources to support students through their GCSEs or Key Stage 3 modules.

What does this evidence demonstrate?


The evidence provided demonstrates the variety of resources that we have in place in order to personalize the curriculum for our students and to gain valuable feedback from them for continued evolution of our Design & Technology curriculum.


The feedback from our first online ‘Key Stage 3 Student Voice Questionnaire’ (Figure 2 and 3) has been very interesting and has inspired adjustments to several of our current KS3 schemes of work. We intend to gain feedback from all KS3 students this year and move forward with a similar implementation with KS4 in the spring/summer this year.

After piloting the Electronic questionnaire in 2008 we gained feedback from students on the usability of the resource and with these issues in mind introduced version 2 in February this year (Figure 7 and 8). Additionally, and even more interestingly, we introduced a “Design Your Own Module” activity for year 9 (Figure 9) running alongside the new questionnaire. The results from this week long scheme of work have been extremely interesting and will definitely inspire new projects to be adapted for KS4 if not KS3 modules. We intend to gain feedback from all KS3 students this year and move forward with a similar implementation with KS4 in the spring/summer this year.

Our peer mentoring scheme with our KS5 Product Design students providing feedback to our KS4 Product Design students has worked well. Year 10 students respond differently and more positively to advice given by their own peer group who have recently been in their position and encountered similar challenges. Year 13 students also gain from this experience as they are made to feel valued to be able to share their wisdom with their younger peers. This process is carried out via video pod casts. The Year 10 students are videoed presenting their design concepts. The Year 13 students then access these videos via the VLE and leave feedback for the Year 10 students using the online forum (Figure 4).


The department provides extensive online resources for students, particularly at GCSE level which plays an extremely important role in personalizing the curriculum for all students. Well motivated students can access ‘My Classes’ online outside (and during) lessons  (Figure 6) and can easily find page templates, misplaced worksheets or extra guidance to help them to achieve their full potential. This online resource is also useful as a catch-up device for students who have been absent or just behind with their work.


Finally the Design & Technology Department have been working closely with ‘Achievement & Guidance’ to provide pre-school mentoring sessions for selected Year 9 students who are under-achieving. The sessions involve small groups of students and aim to build their self esteem and help them understand how to improve their achievements within the classroom environment. (Figure 5).

Figure 7: ‘New Improved’ Electronic Student Voice Questionnaire

Following feedback from students during ‘Student Voice week 2008’ the Student Voice Questionnaire was redesigned to ensure that it was accessible for all students (font editable for different users) and the ‘comments’ options were removed to enable students to complete the questionnaire quicker, thus ensuring more students complete the questionnaire. The additional information lost from the comments box was regained through a three lesson task “Design Your Own Module” (see Figure 9) which prompted students to tell us exactly what they would like to design and make in Design & Technology.

Figure 9: Student Voice: Y9 Design a Module exemplar work

Two examples: 1 Textiles and 1 Graphics. Each student was asked to mindmap their material area, design a product to make and do a breakdown of what they would like to do in each lesson to make their product over a 10 week module.




Support files:

Student voice - Options feedback.ppt

Figure 2 evidence.doc

Figure 3.doc

Figure 4.doc

Figure 5.doc

Figure 6.doc

Figure 7.ppt

Figure 8.ppt

Figure 9.ppt