A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Digital & Design Technologies

Digital & Design Technologies

Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Technologies

I have never studied this subject before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. You are welcome to commence at Year 12, but a knowledge of programming is a huge advantage. It is possible to ‘catch up’ your programming knowledge by undertaking a short course online or in conjunction with your teacher. This could be completed any time prior to starting your Year 12 subject. For students who are worried about the programming component, they may choose to study Digital Communication Solutions which focuses on the creation of solutions like apps, websites and games. However, programming is only part of your skillset to complete this course. SACE describes the course as detailed below, so these are the skills you will need or develop in the subject.

In Digital Technologies students create practical, innovative solutions to problems of interest. By extracting, interpreting, and modelling real-world data sets, students identify trends and examine sustainable solutions to problems in, for example, business, industry, the environment, and the community. They investigate how potential solutions are influenced by current and projected social, economic, environmental, scientific, and ethical considerations, including relevance, originality, appropriateness, and sustainability.

In the past there was an examination. Is this still the case?

The universities and SACE now recognise that collaboration is incredibly important in the Digital Technologies industry, so the new course is designed around working with others to solve problems. Much of it is practical-based, just like you would experience if working in this area after school. As a guide, the assessment structure is shown below.

Students should provide evidence of their learning through six assessments, including the external assessment component. Students undertake:

  • four project skills tasks (50%)
  • one collaborative project (20%)
  • one individual digital solution (externally assessed – 30%)
Where does this lead after High School?

With an understanding of Digital Technologies required in nearly every profession, studying this subject will certainly provide an advantage heading into your future even if you are not looking to head into the ICT Industry. The four main study areas include computational thinking (logical problem solving), design and programming, data analytics and iterative project development (sequentially developing a project by applying industry-standard approaches). All are incredibly valuable in the modern workplace.

Will my ATAR be scaled?

Ultimately, you can be scaled in any subject and this concept is often misunderstood. The best way to consider it is that your SACE grades are compared to others studying the same subjects as you. If you do worse in a subject compared to others and others did better, you are likely to be scaled. Our advice is to ensure you do your very best. Remember it is only the university entry score being scaled and more information on this can be found here: https://www.satac.edu.au/pages/scaling. Many students consider it a good idea to include balance in their subject selection and technology subjects and in-class practical components provide a chance to experience less pressure than subjects with tests and exams. If you are worried about this, talk to a Technologies Faculty staff member.

Is there much written work?

The course allows written, digital or multi-modal submissions (eg video, interviews, pictures, speech etc). Reflecting what is required in industry, students present their solutions in a range of formats. For example, the digital solution is presented in a digital or multimodal form. The explanation and evaluation should be oral and multimodal and be recorded. Overall, your assessment it more about you being able to share your solutions in the most appropriate format.

I have more questions not answered here. What can I do?

Speak with a Technologies Faculty staff member or contact Mr McLachlan at school or via Email.

Digital Communication Solutions - Stage 1

I have never studied this subject before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. Come and join us and enjoy a great mix of practical activities. Many students have commenced in Year 11 and continued on to be incredibly successful in Year 12. With most professions now requiring skills in digital communications, this is a great place to start in Year 11.

Do I have to make a video? Can I make something else?

The subject allows you to make anything provided it uses digital technology and it communicates. However, the really cool thing is that you choose what you make. Everyone chooses their own area to study and makes their own desired solution. Examples of Digital Communication Solutions include:

  • application (app) development
  • CAD
  • digital animation
  • film-making
  • game production
  • graphics
  • multimedia
  • photography
  • sound
  • virtual reality
  • web design
  • TV (online web) broadcasting
Do I need to know how to use any of the specialised gear?

We commence with two skills tasks where you learn the necessary skills to create the product (solution) of your choice. So, you have the chance to learn new skills or develop ones you already know. To create your solution, the equipment you use is up to you.

Is there much written work?

The course allows written or multi-modal submissions (eg video, interviews, pictures, speech etc). You can do whatever you do best! We start with two practical skills tasks, where you demonstrate how your skills have developed. Your major project (called a solution) is all about you practically making something and keeping a Folio/Journal of your plans and progress.

Do I need to provide my own gear?

The School will lend you gear to take home for your project or you can use your own. In fact, this subject runs in the new Inquiry and Innovation Hub from 2021.

I have more questions not answered here. What can I do?

Speak with a Technologies Faculty staff member or contact Mr McLachlan at school or via Email.

Digital Communication Solutions - Stage 2

I have never studied this subject before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. Come and join us and enjoy a great mix of practical activities. Many students have commenced in Year 12 and still managed to achieve an A Grade.

Do I have to make a video? Can I make something else?

The subject allows you to make anything provided it uses digital technology and it communicates. However, the really cool thing is that you choose what you make. Everyone chooses their own area to study and make their own desired solution. Examples of Digital Solutions include:

  • application (app) development
  • CAD
  • digital animation
  • film-making
  • game production
  • graphics
  • multimedia
  • photography
  • sound
  • virtual reality
  • web design
Do I need to know how to use any of the specialised gear?

We commence with two skills tasks where you learn the necessary skills to create the product (solution) of your choice. So, you have the chance to learn new skills or develop ones you already know. To create your solution, the equipment you use is up to you.

Will my ATAR be scaled?

Ultimately, you can be scaled in any subject and this concept is often misunderstood. The best way to consider it is that your SACE grades are compared to others studying the same subjects as you. If you do worse in a subject compared to others and others did better, you are likely to be scaled. Our advice is to ensure you do your very best. Remember it is only the university entry score being scaled and more information on this can be found here: https://www.satac.edu.au/pages/scaling. Many students consider it a good idea to include balance in their subject selection and technology subjects and in class practical components provide a chance to experience less pressure than subjects with tests and exams. If worried about this, talk to a Technologies Faculty staff member.

Is there much written work?

The course allows written or multi-modal submissions (eg video, interviews, pictures, speech etc). You can do whatever you do best! We start with two practical skills tasks, where you demonstrate how your skills have developed. Your major project (called a solution) is all about you practically making something and keeping a Folio/Journal of your plans and progress. There is no examination and in its place is a Resource Study which is done like a normal assignment with teacher support.

Do I need to provide my own gear?

The School will lend you gear to take home for you project or you can use your own.

I have more questions not answered here. What can I do?

Speak with a Technologies Faculty staff member or contact Mr McLachlan at school or via Email.

Fashion

Is there an exam in Fashion?

There is no exam in this subject but like all Stage 2 subjects, it does have an externally marked assessment item. It is a Resource Study of 2,000 words investigating the characteristics and properties of materials and issues directly related to the garment you are making.

Do I have to be a good sewer?

You do not need to be good at sewing. Students are assessed on their ability to follow and demonstrate the design process, with a focus on identifying a need, developing and refining ideas to produce creative and original solutions. Your final product is assessed on how well it addresses the design brief and how well you have applied the skills needed to construct regardless of their complexity.

What if I have not done fashion in previous years?

There are no pre-requisites but obviously any experience would be a slight advantage. This subject is about designing and creating original fashion items and accessories and developing an appreciation of the processes needed in the production of clothing and the fashion industry.

How much of the course is practical work?

Other that Part B of the Resource Study which focuses on the investigation of an issue all other work is practical. Whether sketching and refining design ideas in your Folio, drafting and testing patterns, developing specific skills, trialling and pro-typing ideas or creating the final product.

Do I get to keep what I make?

Yes, you do get to keep what you make. In fact, what you make is specifically for you (or someone else if you wish) but it is made to measure.

Where does this subject lead?

This subject leads to careers in the fashion industry such as fashion designer, stylist or fashion journalist/writer. It can also be helpful in obtaining part-time employment in fashion retail. But mostly it offers the ability to create, alter and upcycle garments that reflect your individual personality. This subject also develops transferable skills such as creative and critical thinking and problem-solving skills and the application of new and emerging technologies.

Material Solutions

I have never studied this subject before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. Come and join us and enjoy a great mix of practical activities. Many students have commenced in Year 12 and still managed to achieve an A grade.

In the past, there were Wood and Metal options. Where are they now?

The subject allows you to make anything provided it uses materials, so now we allow you to include Wood and Metal in the same subject. In fact, you can use other materials to develop a unique solution (product). Provided we can support your choice of materials, it is not a problem to us. Examples of Material Solutions include:

  • Clothing and textiles (choose Fashion if this is your focus)
  • Composite materials
  • Food
  • Jewellery manufacturing
  • Metal
  • Polymers
  • Timber
Do I need to know how to use any of the specialised gear?

We commence with two skills tasks where you learn the necessary skills to create the product (solution) of your choice. So, you have the chance to learn new skills or develop ones you already know. To create your solution, the equipment you use is up to you. If looking to create a complex solution, skills learnt in previous years are an advantage to the success of your product. However Westminster now has a number of CNC (Computer Controlled) tools, so provided you can tell the computer what to do, it will assist you with some of the difficult skills.

Will my ATAR be scaled?

Ultimately, you can be scaled in any subject and this concept is often misunderstood. The best way to consider it is that your SACE grades are compared to others studying the same subjects as you. If you do worse in a subject compared to others and others did better, you are likely to be scaled. Our advice is to ensure you do your very best. Remember it is only the University entry score being scaled and more information on this can be found here: https://www.satac.edu.au/pages/scaling. Many students consider it a good idea to include balance in their subject selection and technology subjects and in-class practical components provide a chance to experience less pressure than subjects with tests and exams. If worried about this, talk to a Technologies Faculty staff member.

Is there much written work?

The course allows written or multi-modal submissions (eg video, interviews, pictures, speech etc). You can do whatever you do best! We start with two practical skills tasks, where you demonstrate how your skills have developed. Your major project (called a solution) is all about you practically making something and keeping a Folio/Journal of your plans and progress. There is no examination and in its place is a Resource Study which is done like a normal assignment with teacher support.

I have more questions not answered here. What can I do?

Speak with a Technologies Faculty staff member or contact Mr McLachlan at school or via Email.

Engineering - Industry and Entrepreneurial Solutions

I have never studied this subject before. Is that a problem? In fact, I don’t think I have heard of this subject before.

Industry and Entrepreneurial Solutions is a new SACE subject in Design and Technology that replaces the old CAD course. The universities were very keen for students to learn a range of practical industry-based skills around engineering and in the process, for students to develop entrepreneurial skills. Come and join us and enjoy a great mix of practical activities that support career paths into engineering and the like. Many students have commenced in Year 12 and still managed to achieve an A grade, so it is not too late to start.

In the past this subject was more about learning CAD skills and making prototypes. Is this still the case?

This subject involves designing solutions to meet industry requirements, or the invention of an entrepreneurial product that meets a need or solves a problem. This could be achieved using design programs such as computer-aided design to develop prototypes or products. Students demonstrate knowledge and skills associated with systems, processes, and materials appropriate for the prototype and final solution. Examples of contexts for industry or entrepreneurial design solutions include:

  • aerospace
  • agricultural equipment
  • architecture
  • CAD/CAM
  • construction
  • food industry
  • health and aged care equipment
  • industrial design
  • maritime equipment
  • media, entertainment, music, and game industries
  • product design
  • software programming
  • transport (e.g. automotive)
Do I need to know how to use any of the specialised gear or software?

We commence with two skills tasks where you learn the necessary skills to create the product (solution) of your choice. So, you have the chance to learn new skills or develop ones you already know. To create your solution, the equipment you use is up to you. If looking to create a complex solution, skills learnt in previous years are an advantage to the success of your product. However, Westminster now has a number of CNC (Computer Controlled) tools, so provided you can tell the computer what to do, it will assist you with some of the difficult skills. For those who have never worked with CAD software, your first skills task will be an intensive CAD course to bring you up to speed.

Will my ATAR be scaled?

Ultimately, you can be scaled in any subject and this concept is often misunderstood. The best way to consider it is that your SACE grades are compared to others studying the same subjects as you. If you do worse in a subject compared to others and others did better, you are likely to be scaled. Our advice is to ensure you do your very best. Remember it is only the university entry score being scaled and more information on this can be found here: https://www.satac.edu.au/pages/scaling. Many students consider it a good idea to include balance in their subject selection and technology subjects and in-class practical components provide a chance to experience less pressure than subjects with tests and exams. If worried about this, talk to a Technologies Faculty staff member.

Is there much written work?

The course allows written or multi-modal submissions (eg video, interviews, pictures, speech etc). You can do whatever you do best. We start with two practical skills tasks, where you demonstrate how your skills have developed. Your major project (called a solution) is all about you practically making something and keeping a Folio/Journal of your plans and progress. There is no examination and in its place is a Resource Study which is done like a normal assignment with teacher support.

I have more questions not answered here. What can I do?

Speak with a Technologies Faculty staff member or contact Mr McLachlan at school or via Email.

Fashion

The below images are Stage 2 Fashion Design pieces. Each student came up with their own design for their piece, before manufacturing the garment and then modelling it at our annual Fashion Show.