We’ve developed a new Technical Award in Materials Technology which, along with the new GCSE in Design and Technology, replaces the outgoing Resistant Materials GCSE. The new qualification will be available for first teaching in September 2017. It is intended for learners interested in using materials in a practical way, and understanding the working properties of those materials.
Learners will have the opportunity to develop skills in making high quality products using woods, metal and polymers (plastics). They will be expected to make a range of products, prototypes and samples, applying technical and practical expertise to ensure that the product is fit for purpose. They will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and modern technologies.
Technical Awards are practical, vocational qualifications available to 14-16 year olds to take alongside GCSEs. If approved by the Department for Education, a single award will be equivalent to a GCSE qualification and will count towards performance tables. They could then be included in Progress 8 as part of the non-Ebacc open group of subjects.
Our new qualification enables learners to:
All learners will be taught and assessed in the same way, and there is no need to split your class into Level 1 and Level 2.
There are two internally-assessed units, and a third unit that is externally assessed:
Learners will produce a portfolio of small made outcomes to demonstrate core skills outlined in the specification. These skills include:
Learners will undertake an extended project that showcases the skills they have developed in unit 1. The brief for this will be set by AQA.
Example briefs learners might receive:
The project will be marked against the following criteria:
Learners will be assessed on the following topics:
Insight from teachers:
I particularly like the focus on making and practical skills.
Rachel Owen, Head of Design and Technology, Fairfield Girls’ School, Manchester
The specification is well laid out and easy to understand with clear marking criteria.
John Murphy, Head of Design and Technology, The Avon Valley School, Rugby
This Technical Award is designed to equip learners with the practical skills in Materials Technology that they need to progress to further general or vocational study. They’ll develop a broad understanding of the sector, so they can make informed decisions about their career opportunities.
Learners will also develop valuable transferable skills including communication and collaboration.
We’ve worked with post-16 education providers to ensure that Technical Awards count equally alongside GCSEs when applying to do further study in either general or vocational qualifications.
We’ll be submitting our draft qualification to the Department for Education in September 2016, when we’ll share the draft specification with you. We’re also planning a series of free support events throughout the autumn term, alongside a full set of resources.
We have developed a suite of four Technical Awards in the following subjects: