- Whilst both subject areas mention creativity and designing for purpose, design in D&T is seen to a much greater extent as the practical application of science and mathematics, with outcomes considered primarily for manufacture/ industrial production.
- There is a clear focus on problem solving, whilst applying scientific and mathematical knowledge and creating a functional final outcome that answers a specific problem through the design process: ‘learners are expected to make prototypes that solve authentic, real-world problems, applying mathematical skills and demonstrating understanding of related science that result in ‘novel’ and ‘appropriate’ (meaning functional in design terms) outcomes.’ (OCR GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology specification, J310 for first assessment in 2019) There is the requirement that technical detail is communicated through the use of projections and rendering and the focus of drawing as part of the designing process quickly becomes technical in nature.
- The approach to and purpose of design within art and design is less clearly articulated than when design is referenced in D&T. Whilst we can align the GCSE assessment objectives to the design process, that actually encourages an iterative approach, and whilst the design-based areas of study within Art and Design can expect functionality and commercial appeal as an outcome to a successful design, there is much greater reference to the aesthetic impact, decorative and ornamental qualities of students’ personal responses and a lack of clear articulation as to how the subject really defines design.
Teachers emphasising Design should be aware that:
- It must be noted that, the current and future use of any art and design GCSE specifications by D&T teachers, will result in assessment moderation carried out by art and design specialists, using art and design GCSE criteria and not in accordance with the D&T aims and objectives specified by Ofqual. Such students will therefore have a GCSE in art and design and not D&T. Any GCSE student taking both an art and design GCSE title and a D&T GCSE (through another art and design Endorsed specification title), will therefore hold 2 art and design GCSEs with the same discount code and not a separate GCSE from each subject, unless of course their art and design GCSE is in Photography. Schools are only able to count the higher of the two grades. Hence, “Centres should be aware that students who enter for more than one GCSE, or other Level 2 qualifications with the same discount code, will have only the grade for their 'first entry' counted for the purpose of the School and College Performance Tables”. (Pearson Edexcel. GCSE 9-1 Art and Design - Admin and general information. 2016). This is consistent with equivalent statements published by the other examination boards