Technology

Technology

The Technology Department Department Information 

The Staff of the Technology department is committed to working extremely hard to achieve 100% pass rate at GCSE, AS and A2 levels. This entails working many extra hours before and after school to motivate the pupils to complete high quality products for their coursework as well as scoring high marks in written examinations.  

The Technology department consists of 3 full-time teachers, 1 part-time teacher and a technician:  

  • M. Titterington (Head of Department)
  • N Carson
  • D Lambe
  • L Woodhouse (on career break)
  • J Young (Technician)  

There has been significant investment by the Board of Governors within Technology in the past couple of years. The department facilities now include a Denford CNC Microrouter, CNC Versalaser and a Notebus containing 12 laptops. 

Subjects offered by the Technology department

  • Technology to GCE Level
  • Manufacturing to GCSE level – students who perform well can use this to go on the study GCE Technology
  • Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies to GCSE level
  • BTEC Engineering – in collaboration with Belfast Metropolitan College

Recent achievements:

  • 2016 - Carson McKee- 4 A*at A level – 100% in Technology coursework– Now reading engineering at St Andrews.                                                                     Manufacturing GCSE- Charlie Lamb – 2nd in NI - Fourth consecutive year with one or more of the top  three rankings in Manufacturing in NI.
  • 2015 - Manufacturing GCSE – 2 top placing in NI – Adam Duff 2nd – David Robinson 3rd – third consecutive year with one or more of the top three rankings in Manufacturing in NI.
  • 2014 - Manufacturing GCSE – Jack Shepherd – 3rd in NI 
  • 2013- Manufacturing GCSE – Rory Douglas –Smith – 2nd in NI 

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in a House System with classes limited to 20 pupils who study Technology for 2 periods per week. Key Stage 3 subject content is geared towards preparing the boys for GCSE while adhering to the Revised Curriculum. Pupils studying Key Stage 3 Technology will complete 2 practical projects each year as well as a graphics module. 

Year 8:    
  • Christmas Tree project
  • Fuse Tester
 xmastree 
 Year 9:    
  • Moisture Tester
  • Night Light
 moisturetester  nightlight
 Year 10    
  • Steady Hand Game 
  • Exercise timer
 steadyhand 

GCSE 

At RBAI we study the CCEA Technology and Design specification. (click the link on this website or click on www.ccea.org.uk and select GCSE and Technology and Design) There is currently no streaming in Year 11 and the classes remain in the same format for Year 12. There are usually 2 GCSE classes every academic year who study the course during 4 periods per week. During Year 11 the pupils complete the Unit 4 Controlled Assessment design task worth 20% of the GCSE, study common core Electronics, study the specialist option of pneumatics and mechanisms, complete the majority of the major project design portfolio and design of the control system for their project. In Year 12, the pupils must complete the design portfolio, finish the major project and conclude the common core study. 

Examples of GCSE project work

topgear  Chris Moffitt
piano  Peter Brangham
perfectpushup  Hyon Dong-Uk

AS/A2 Level 

In 2010 the Technology department, for the first time, had 2 AS and 2 A2 classes. This growing interest highlights the enthusiasm that the boys have for the subject. During Year 13, pupils study units 1 and 2 of the CCEA Technology and Design Revised specification. (click on the link on this website or click on www.ccea.org.uk and select ‘Revised GCE’ and ‘Technology and Design’). The specialist option at AS level is pneumatic/mechanical systems. Pupils are expected to sacrifice 2 Private Study periods, 1 common room period as well as working on Technology for at least 3 hours per week at home, if they are to achieve top grades.

In Year 14, pupils study units 3 and 4 with the specialist option of pneumatic/mechanical systems. The product that is designed and manufactured at A2 is based around the Product Design element of the course. AS and A2 Technology are taught during 8 periods per week. 

Examples of AS re-design work:  

as projects pics 001 webas projects pics 002 webas projects pics 003 webas projects pics 004 webas projects pics 005 webas projects pics 006 web

Year 13 Pupils learning how to spray paint

spraypaint

GCSE Manufacturing

GCSE Manufacturing (see www.ccea.org.uk or click on the link on this website) has been offered for the past 3 years and this year will see the first set of results published. To see the pupil booklet click on pupil booklet

Congratulations must to Rory Douglas-Smith who achieved a second place in Northern Ireland in GCSE Manufacturing last year.  His work is presented below:

Rory Douglas-Smith
 douglassmith
 Jonathan Redfern
 redfern
 Matthew Blayney


blayney

blayney2

General Studies 

The Technology department offer a general studies CAD class. This course runs for 2 periods per week and is open to all pupils (not only Technology pupils) who are in sixth form. It provides the opportunity to design a range of products using SolidWorks CAD software. 

Bombardier

Tony Monaghan is the Educational Liaison Officer for Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast.

In October 2011, he visited the school with two recent graduates to talk to boys in Year 14 about careers in Aerospace, and what it was like to work as an engineer. The week after this, the same boys were invited to have a tour of the Bombardier site at Queens Island. They were able to see first hand how the processes we learn about in school, such as CADCAM, riveting and testing materials, are applied in industry.

In November, Tony returned to the school to run The Flight Experience project with Technology pupils in Year 11. Working in teams of 4, the boys had to construct a balsa wood and paper aeroplane, powered by a propeller and elastic band. When the planes were all constructed, we ventured outdoors for test flights – some proving more successful than others. After a pit stop to modify the trailing edges of the wings (with some sticky labels!) the surviving planes were flown from upstairs in the Common Hall out to the waiting team mates in the quad. The boys have also been invited to take part in The Flight Experience Competition which will take place in 2013, and is run by Bombardier and W5.

imag0591imag0614

picture 003picture 006

picture 012picture 016

Competitions: 

RBAI have enjoyed success in various competitions such as the F1 in schools competition. At the start of the 2009, the senior team were invited to compete in the GT class in the national finals in Birmingham in January 2009.

Karting

After the success last year of the RBAI Senior Karting Team, there have been four teams entered into the BSKC 2011. The teams consist of 12 boys selected from the June heats (held at Nutts Corner Race Track). Over 20 boys turned out for an afternoon of high-speed action and the overall winner was William Creighton. There were other impressive displays behind the wheel and some impressive crashes. The team members range from Years 9 to 12 and are very excited at the prospect of racing against other schools in January. The boys are optimistic that they can go one step further and reach the National Finals in England in 2012.

Inchmarlo visit Inst

Inchmarlo (this link will take you to the Inchmarlo website).

Awards
 F1 in schools Best Identity in UK f1identity
 F1 in schools Best Sales and Marketing Brochure  marketingbrochure

RESULTS

The RBAI Department has produced some outstanding results in recent years:

  • Samuel Millar, second place in Northern Ireland in GCSE Technology 2011
  • Rory Douglas-Smith, second place in Northern Ireland in GCSE Manufacturing 2012. 

GCSE Results:

GCSE Year

Entry

A*

A

B

 

2005

33

3

10

10

9

2006

21

0

8

6

5

2007

27

1

5

12

5

2008

29

2

3

11

6

 2009

34

3

6

13

9

 2010

31

2

4

13

7

2011

35

2

8

7

14

2012

29

0

5

9

10

Value Added: +0.08

AS Level Results:

AS Year

Entry

A

B

C

D

E

U

A - E %

2005

8

1

2

2

1

2

0

100

2006

11

2

5

2

2

0

0

100

2007

6

1

1

3

0

0

1

83.4

2008

8

0

2

1

3

2

0

100

2009

6

5

0

0

1

0

0

100

2010

13

5

3

3

1

1

0

100

2011

16

2

5

4

3

2

0

100

2012

14

2

1

7

4

0

0

100

AS Level Relative Performance Indicator (Males only) 2012

    A B C D E
  RBAI 2011 12.5 43.75 68.75 87.5 100
Design and Technology RBAI 2012 18.8 25.0 68.8 100.0  
  NI 16.9 40.8 68.0 88.4 96.2
  UK 9.8 25.8 48.0 70.5 86.8

Other information:

  • 57% of boys studying AS Level Technology achieved their best grade in this subject.
  • Value Added: +0.42

A2 Level Results:

A2 Year

Entry

A

B

C

D

E

U

A - E %

2005

4

0

2

2

0

0

0

100

2006

6

1

2

1

1

1

0

100

2007

8

0

1

5

2

0

0

100

2008

5

0

1

3

1

0

0

100

2009

6

0

1

3

1

1

0

100

2010

5

2

1

1

0

0

0

100

2011

11

3

2

4

1

1

0

100

2012

11

1

4

1

3

1

1

91

Other examination Information:

  • 45% of boys achieved their best grade in Technology A2

results

RBAI Department Review

As part of the Whole School Development Plan, two departments are reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team each academic year. The RBAI Technology Department was reviewed in December 2011. The review entailed lesson observations, assessment, department documentation and how the department adheres to Whole School Policies. Some of the comments from the report can be seen below:

TEACHING AND LEARNING; LESSON OBSERVATIONS
  • All lessons observed were good and one excellent.  In all lessons teachers made effective use of time and resources and pupils were well managed and high standards of behaviour insisted upon.  Generally, evidence of the implementation of the Revised Curriculum was consistent, with explicit learning intentions and success criteria.  There were various strategies for communicating these, including verbal, use of whiteboard and worksheets.  The principles were reinforced at KS4.
  • There were varying levels of interaction between pupils and teachers, with the best practice reflecting open ended questions and assessment of knowledge and understanding throughout the lesson; both verbal and written.  There was effective use of pair and group work which supported differentiated learning outcomes.
  • It is clear pupils enjoy their learning in Technology and Manufacturing and are capable of working to increased depth, particularly in KS3 and Year 10.  The main areas to be reviewed are the KS3 level of work and assessment.  Secondly, their writing skills should be enhanced reflecting several lessons at KS4 and KS5 where pupils did not use this skill extensively.  The examination analysis would support this area for development.
  • Written IEPs are very good.
Feedback from parent questionnaires
  • There were 27 questionnaires returned from the 78 parents at the time of writing this report, with 26 of the 27 affirming how much their son enjoys technology/manufacturing.  The very meaningful and positive comments from parents reinforce the equally positive feedback from the pupils.  All parents know who to contact if there is a concern and parents are engaging with the school’s opportunities for consultation, including parent meetings.  Parents at KS3 and KS4 are supporting their sons at home by checking homework diaries, monitoring coursework deadlines, providing IT facilities for research, and in two cases parents extend opportunities for their son through DIY and construction work at home.
  • There are practical reasons for parents supporting Technology and Manufacturing choices at KS4 and A Level; these include career aspirations, building on strengths and interests, the practical element and enjoyment of the subject.  The importance of the boys enjoying their learning environment is a consistent strength recognised by the key stakeholders – parents, pupils and their teachers. 
PUPIL FEEDBACK

Key Stage 4 and 5

  • There was a very strong sense of enjoyment and in particular the practical elements.  All A Level students referred to their success and enjoyment at GCSE influencing their decision to study Technology at A Level.  There were 3 main reasons for continuing with Technology and Manufacturing – building on practical skills; career focus and sheer enjoyment.  Students identified an impressive range of teaching strategies, the most helpful including demonstrations, practicals and exemplar student materials.  The exemplar material and knowledge of the specifications were valued and appreciated by all pupils. 
  • The boys were very clear about the difficult transition from KS3 to KS4 and that the Year 10 course had not adequately prepared them either for Technology or Manufacturing GCSE.  In contrast there was an immediate and confident transition from GCSE to A Level.  The transition reflected a familiarity with the structure of assessment and style of teaching.  There was a consensus that weaker students would have benefited from more regular assessment, feedback and use of past paper questions throughout the year, rather than at the end of the course (JW in contrast observed a lesson with a past paper question being set as a homework in Year 11).  All students commented on the importance of an improved environment to Technology with displays of work giving a sense of achievement and pride in Technology and Manufacturing.

Key Stage 3

  • There was unanimous enthusiasm about the quantity of practical work in this subject. Pupils said that they enjoyed being ‘active’ and the variety of work that practical work presents. A range of teaching approaches are implemented in addition to the practical activities; this includes group work, investigative work, problem solving, drawing, videos, demonstrations, and using computers.  Prepared booklets are used extensively in Key Stage 3 and pupils liked the fact that much of the content was already provided as this gives more time for practical activities.
DEPARTMENTAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
  • A strength of the DDP is a focus on the development of staff knowledge and skills which will contribute to quality teaching. There is also a clear focus on consistency and monitoring of pupil work and progress through marking of booklets, project work and homework. The use of pupil mentors to support the learning of key stage 3 is an encouraging development, particularly if focus is directed at those pupils who are underperforming.
  • There is evidence of the development plan being used to support staff and to raise standards of teaching and learning.  There is a clear and successful review process, which includes discussion at regular departmental meetings, with all members of the department having the opportunity to contribute to the plan. 
DEPARTMENTAL LEADERSHIP

The collegiality and strength of the Technology/Manufacturing department can be attributed to the commitment, vision and drive of the Head of Department, Mr Titterington.  His high expectations are recognised by his colleagues, and students.  He aspires to have the most outstanding department in Northern Ireland in terms of results, organisation and facilities.  There have been constraints with the premises, technical support and budget and he consistently works around these to improve standards at all levels.  He gives credit to his colleagues, and respects their professionalism, giving support and challenge when needed.  A real strength of the Head of Department is meticulous organisation which gives continuity and a standardised approach to the DDP, SOWS, IEPs, departmental handbook, teaching and learning tools include impressive hyperlinks and resources.  There is a genuine desire to succeed, a drive to improve and to bring everyone with him.  The recent introduction of the hyperlinks, booklets with evaluation, literacy and numeracy sections, the CNC router and laser cutter demonstrate the long term vision and commitment in the department.  All of this is balanced with a pragmatic realisation that extending projects to reflect pupil choice have a cost implication; to make more effective use of the recently refurbished Mac Suite will require additional funding and to have state of the art facilities will require refurbishment and even an extension.  It is to Mr Titterington’s credit that despite the restrictions and the challenges he continues to push on an open door.

ASSESSMENT
  • There are distinctive strategies being adopted in all key stages, with consistency and an appropriate level of standardisation to establish a common platform of learning and teaching.  There is evidence of progression from Year 8 to Year 14, with increased depth and rigour of knowledge and understanding.  There is a definite upgrade in depth between Years 8 – 9; 9 to 10, and thereafter at examination level.  There is consistent marking in all years with a standardised marking scheme, the marking proforma and worksheets in Year 12 is outstanding.  There is evidence of the specification and guidelines being disseminated at A Level and GCSE.
SCHEMES OF WORK
  • A variety of projects / exercises are incorporated in the schemes which become more challenging as the pupils move up through the Key Stages. As a subject, Technology relies heavily on practical work but there is a strong emphasis on presentation of information at a very high level.
  • Strategies for lower achieving pupils and extension materials for the higher achievers are included for all topics. Strategies for SEN pupils are highlighted and there is clear reference to Literacy and Numeracy support. IEPs are included for all pupils with SEN. SEN is addressed in the Dept Handbook.
  • Core Homework assessments are clearly identified and assessements are in Staff Resources – Technology Folder and do contribute to pupil tracking. The aims of all assessments are included.
DEPARTMENTAL HANDBOOK
  • The use of ICT to rationalise resources is at an outstanding level.
  • The Marking Policy reflects standardisation of marking across the Key Stages and in relation to schemes, the marks for individual pieces of work are discussed and agreed so that all members of staff within the department are marking to the same standard.
  • The schemes for each project/topic and departmental assessment grids provide details of marks that are allocated to the projects/booklets across the 3 year groups in Key Stage 3. Key Stage 4 and 5 work is marked in accordance with the CCEA marking criteria for each unit. 
  • There is, a comprehensive separate file dealing specifically with Health & Safety, An Equipment File, and a CLEAPPS File with Model Risk Assessments. Assessment Resources are available in a Staff Resources on the C2K system – Technology – Assessment – MFI in Schemes Folder. Literacy and  Numeracy are both addressed and this is reinforced in the booklets used by all pupils.
  • Regarding SEN, there is clear expectation that each pupil will take part in all of the activities of the Design and Technology department within their capabilities. Teachers are aware of the capabilities and limitations of individual pupils.  Where possible, additional assistance is given to pupils by the teaching or technical staff.
  • Individual education plans are put in place for any pupil, with a statement of SEN or with learning difficulties. When teaching a statemented pupil, teachers have a copy of the IEP close at hand (either an electronic copy or hard copy) Individual staff members liase with the SENCO to meet the needs of pupils.
CONCLUSION

The Technology department continues to innovate and to be open to improvement, in recent years this has led to the introduction of GCSE Manufacturing, integration of the CNC Router and CAD to teaching and learning at KS4 and Key stage 5; and to extensive use of exemplar materials. There are plans to improve and enhance the entrance and learning environment, with displays of pupils work. The pupils enjoy their learning and are keen to progress, which is supported by the parents. The department has a clear sense of purpose and a shared understanding of what is required to achieve the DDP and objectives and would benefit from equally strong technical support, in the future. 

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