How to improve for Year 8
Help for students and parents
We encourage all our students to reflect on their learning in lessons and use feedback from their teachers to help them improve. Below, you will find the ‘statements for improvement’ that summarise the feedback students are given.
These statements will be used on the termly reports sent to parents and students and parents are asked to look at the further guidance below to help clarify the statements on the reports.
- Use a wider range of key words e.g. names and spellings for all tools, equipment and materials
As students’ progress through their second year of Design and Technology, we encourage a greater use of technical language, students should use keywords displayed in the classrooms, glossary sheets and keywords used by the classroom teacher when delivering a demonstration.
For example: when describing how to add colour to an idea in a graphics lesson, the teacher would use the word ‘rendering’ rather than ‘colouring in’.
2. Have the confidence to carry out tasks independently and safely
As skills and knowledge develop, students should be able to undertake some tasks by themselves secure in the knowledge that they are able to do this safely.
For example: students should be able to solder a component onto a circuit board without direct supervision.
3. Complete all homework to the best of your ability and hand it in on time
All homeworks set by teachers are relevant to students’ projects and they contribute to their assessed work, therefore it is important that the work is completed to the best of each student’s ability. As homework is part of ongoing project work, it is important that it is completed on time as if it is not it may also hinder progress in lessons.
For example: A teacher may set a task for students to collect a range of images to help with designs for their lighting project, failure to do so would result in the student not having any resources to draw inspiration from during the next lesson.
- Make sure you are safe by listening carefully and following instructions in the classroom
Safety in classrooms and workshops is paramount, therefore students must listen to instructions, failure to do so may result in a student being removed from the class.
For example: When a teacher explains how to use a piece of equipment such as a drill machine, they must be confident that a student fully understands how to use the machine before allowing the student to use it. If a student is distracted or not fully concentrating during the demonstration, the teacher would not allow the student to use the equipment.
5. Take time to improve your work using written comments made by the teacher
Set time is planned in lessons to provide students with the opportunity to use both written and verbal advice given by the teacher to improve their work, it is important that students use this time if they are to achieve their full potential.
For example: If a student has not used keywords when annotating their ideas, a teacher may suggest that they look at their glossary sheet and keywords displayed in classrooms to help remind them of technical vocabulary they could use to help them improve their work.
6. Use the yellow assessment sheet and the display boards to improve your work
Each classroom or workshop displays samples of work on the walls for the particular project students are working on. Students are encouraged to use the displays for guidance if they are not sure how they should present their work or if they are not sure of the content of a particular piece of work.
For example: When starting an ideas sheet it is helpful to look at the wall display to give students an indication of the standard of work expected.
At the beginning of each project students are given a yellow assessment sheet which provides details about the work that is being assessed, we encourage students to self-assess their work in addition to the teacher’s assessment.
For example: If a student is not sure what they should include when annotating their work, they can look at their assessment sheet for guidance
7. Use key words when describing features of your idea e.g. materials / ingredients and how could it be made
As students’ progress in Design and Technology, they will learn about many different processes and develop their practical skills. It is important that they use the correct names/processes when annotating (writing about) their ideas.
For example: When annotating ideas for the metal animal project, students are expected to describe how they would shape their animal by using the keyword ‘forge’, they should then explain how they would forge their animal to shape it.
8. Take pride in your work, keep folder work neat and well presented
Folder work is an important aspect of Design and Technology and the work students produce is assessed by the teacher at key points in the project. It is important that students value the work they do and present their work neatly, they should take pride in both their folder and practical work.
For example: If work is not kept in the student’s technology folder it if often becomes torn and damaged making it difficult for the teacher to see the work the student has spent time producing, if this is the case the student may be asked to repeat the work.
9. When evaluating, consider what went well, suggest areas for development and include opinions
It is important to comment on the success of a project, but it is equally important to suggest how work can be improved so that the student can build on their skills and knowledge during the next project. Asking other people for their opinions is also an important part of an evaluation.
For example: The teacher may ask students to create a simple questionnaire about their work, students would then look at the results and comment on how their work could be improved based on other people’s opinions.
10. Organise equipment promptly at the start of the lesson to maximise practical time
As lessons are only one hour it is important (particularly in Food lessons) that students are prompt to lessons and organise themselves as quickly as possible, thus allowing time to complete the task set.
For example: if a student makes Fruit Crumble it would take 5 minutes to organise equipment ingredients and themselves, 25 minutes to prepare ingredients, 20 minutes to cook and 10 minutes to wash up.
- Improve your knowledge even further by reading or watching TV programmes about relevant technologies
Technology is developing at an incredible rate and there are frequently programs and news articles relating to this, we encourage students to watch and read around the subject to inspire and enthuse students.
For example: We encourage students to watch programs such as The Great British Sewing Bee, the Great British Bake Off, Grand Designs and follow KTS Technology Twitter.
- Use the written instructions you are given to improve independence before asking for help
Teachers will give students feedback on their assessment sheets with the expectation that any suggestions for improvement are read carefully and acted on by the student before asking for help.
For example: If a student has not annotated their work, the teacher may suggest on the feedback sheet that the student explains their choice of material on their designs or they might ask them to explain what they like or dislike about their idea.
13. Follow the washing up instructions correctly and leave your sink area clean
A fundamental part of Food Technology is about developing basic skills such as washing up, we expect students to be able to follow the simple instructions placed next to each sink in the Food Technology classroom which show how we expect the sink area to be left at the end of a practical session.