Design, Technology and Media
At Bede’s we offer both an A Level in Media Studies as well as the BTEC Media in Media Production, both of which are very much student-led courses.
You will have a great deal of freedom to create media that reflects your interests and help to support your career aspirations or university targets. In recent years, students have worked on projects linked to fashion, sport, journalism, animation, photography and graphic design.
On the theory side of the A-Level course, we explore gender, race, political bias, audience theory, post-colonial theory and postmodern theory in great detail, using media texts to deepen our understanding of the world. In this sense, A-Level Media is not dissimilar to English Literature, except that we explore films, television, newspapers and magazines instead of plays, novels and poems; the academic principle is the same. By studying cultural products in detail, we learn about wider contexts.
The BTEC is more practical in application, covering pre-production techniques, storyboarding lighting, sound design, camera techniques, green screen, studio and location shoots. We also work with music and a wide range of post-production and special effects.
Alongside this, pupils learn how to pitch projects to clients and how to design and deliver presentations as well as work with media companies.
Alongside the A-Level and BTEC courses, we run a series of Masterclasses and trips throughout the academic year. Recent topics have covered “What is Postmodern Theory?” as well as a focus on advanced key-frame editing in Final Cut Pro, an introduction to sound-design and working at the BBC.
In the last year, trips have included a cinematography workshop at a local cinema, a trip to the regional BBC studios, a visit to a post-production facility in Soho and the Royal Television Society Careers Fair as well as a trip to New York.
The underlying belief behind the work of the Design and Technology Department at Bede's is that all pupils can be encouraged to develop the skills of designing and making, and problem solving to a greater or lesser degree.
In an economic environment where the UK finds itself in real need of young people with design and manufacture knowledge and skills, the experiences we give DT students sets them up brilliantly for a wide variety of skilled careers and tertiary education.
Design theory goes into great depth, teaching iterative design and research strategies to enable students to create products that successfully meet real client needs. The subject now encompasses a wide range of new skills and techniques that reflect advances in industrial manufacturing.
Whilst it is important for pupils to continue to develop sound craft skills, the use of technology in modern manufacturing cannot be ignored and this should now be reflected in the work pupils undertake. Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), Computer Aided Design and Manufacture (CAD/CAM), Control Systems and the use of microprocessors and smart materials all feature in the broad but deep curriculum.
These new technologies have now become an important influence in the approach adopted within the department yet it is hoped that a balance can be struck and pupils are encouraged to use both the more traditional craft skills and ICT to enhance the quality and range of the products that they produce.
Our Sixth Form provision is the jewel in the DT crown at Bede’s. We offer students the chance to gain a broader understanding of Design outside the classroom, with activities that support and reinforce classroom teaching, including visits to the Design Museum, and the Mini factory; here they experience design challenges led by working Product Designers and can see JIT (Just In Time) manufacture in the real world respectively.
Other real-world experiences include the opportunity to enter work for the South of England show, where we regularly win awards in the Young Artisan competition. We have good links with local engineering and Product Design businesses.
Often seen as a ‘boy’s subject’, we are very proud of the high uptake of girls into DT, often going on to university courses such as Architecture and Design Engineering.
Through our Scholars’ programme and the co-curricular programme, we encourage and enable students to broaden their practical and design experience outside the constraints of the curriculum, whether it be in Joinery Masterclass, or Jewellery Making.
Computing and Information Technology form a major aspect of our lives today, whether we like it or not. Applications are more pervasive than ever before and our behaviours and use of apps and devices is constantly evolving.
Our Sixth Form offering in ICT and Computing is now also evolving, the purpose being to provide a much wider student cohort the opportunity to develop their understanding and skills in ICT and Computing during their senior years in the School.
With an increasing use of technology in all aspects of society, it makes sense to give all of our Sixth Form students the opportunity to develop a confident, creative and productive use of ICT in readiness for university or work. Students will have the opportunity of guided learning hours to complete an EPQ focusing on IT solution areas such as Mobile Application Development, Cyber Security, Robotics or game development.
Included in the Computer Science course are the fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms, data representation, computer systems (including their organisation and architecture), the consequences and uses of computing, the fundamentals of communication and networking, databases and “Big Data”.
Meanwhile, the ICT BTEC involves developing more of a portfolio of evidence through the coursework assessment process. Units are a combination of theory and practical work and required students to use ICT to present evidence. Through the various assignments, pupils work across a number of software packages including making websites, making animations, building PCs and networks, creating traditional presentations and building reports.
This is an ideal opportunity for students who are aiming at a career in Science, DT, Economics, Finance, Business or Media, Engineering and Maths, or even vocational services such as construction and healthcare, to add a working knowledge of key IT areas such as programming and application development to their skillset.