D Design and Technology
School Certificate grading
M The scheduling of assessment activities and the
A weightings applied should reflect the school’s
Schools are responsible for awarding each student
organisation of the course. Students should be given
studying Design and Technology a grade (A, B, C, D,
the opportunity to demonstrate their maximum level
or E) to summarise the student’s achievement in any
E of achievement relative to the course performance
100 hour or 200 hour course completed in Stage 5.
R grade awarded is reported on the student’s School descriptors.
Certificate record of achievement.
E Applying the course performance
From 2006, teachers will use these Stage 5 course descriptors
performance descriptors to determine School Teachers should use their professional judgement in
Certificate grades for Design and Technology. The
) applying the course performance descriptors. It is not
descriptors have been developed from the Board’s intended that the course performance descriptors
general performance descriptors, and provide a more represent a checklist, or provide a comprehensive
complete description of typical performance in this description of student performance at each grade level.
course at each grade level. The descriptor that provides the best overall
e description of the student’s achievement will
Determining School Certificate
v determine the grade awarded.
e Teachers should interpret the course performance
Teachers should follow their school’s procedures for
descriptors in terms of standards that can be achieved
the allocation of School Certificate grades.
by School Certificate students within the bounds of
: the course.
During the course teachers collect information on the
achievement of each student. To allocate a grade to a
student at the end of the course, teachers make a
The samples of student work that are provided on
h the Assessment Resource Centre website clarify
judgement as to which grade descriptor best describes
the standards described in the course performance
the achievement of that student.
descriptors. They illustrate the quality of work
s typically produced by students who receive each
Values and attitudes are an integral part of learning.
However, information on students’ values and
attitudes is not to be used in determining grades.
P Assessment for learning
Assessment activities Assessment for learning is described in detail in the
assessment section of the Design and Technology
In developing and selecting assessment activities for
the purpose of determining School Certificate grades,
syllabus. It involves using assessment activities or
i tasks as a regular part of the teaching and learning
teachers will use a range of different assessment
process to clarify students’ understanding of concepts,
activities or tasks. The assessment activities should
to remedy their misconceptions, and to support their
reflect the relative emphasis the school’s programs
t further learning and the development of deeper
place on the various aspects of the course.
Where activities or tasks are scheduled throughout a
e All assessment activities can be used to support
course, greater weight for grading purposes would
learning, and to provide feedback to students that
generally be given to those activities or tasks
enables them to actively monitor and evaluate their
undertaken towards the end of the course. There are
different ways of organising the teaching/learning
program for a course.
Published by Board of Studies NSW, 2005
Stage 5 Course Performance Descriptors – Design and Technology
Areas for Assessment Design concepts and processes Creativity, innovation and enterprise Communicating, managing and producing
Producing quality design solutions Designers and responsible designing Design, technology and society
Grade E Grade D Grade C Grade B Grade A
A student performing at this grade A student performing at this grade A student performing at this grade A student performing at this grade A student performing at this grade
typically: typically: typically: typically: typically:
• demonstrates an elementary • demonstrates a basic knowledge • demonstrates a sound knowledge • demonstrates a thorough knowledge • integrates their extensive
understanding of design when and understanding of design when and understanding of design when and understanding of design when knowledge and understanding of
identifying concepts and processes describing concepts and processes, analysing concepts and processes, analysing concepts and processes, design in critically analysing
and, with guidance, applies their and is able to apply their learning in and is able to apply their learning in and is able to apply their learning in concepts and processes, and is able
learning in familiar contexts. familiar contexts. new contexts. new contexts. to apply their learning in new
• with guidance, applies and manages • applies and manages a design • applies, justifies and manages a • consistently applies, justifies and • consistently applies, justifies and
a simple design process to develop process to develop design ideas and design process to develop design manages design processes to manages complex design processes
design ideas and solutions. solutions. ideas and solutions. develop design ideas and solutions. to develop design ideas and
• identifies some impacts of • describes the impacts of past, • explains the impact of past, current • analyses and explains the impacts of • evaluates and coherently explains
technologies on the individual, current and emerging technologies and emerging technologies on the past, current and emerging the impacts of past, current and
society and environments. on the individual, society and individual, society and technologies on the individual, emerging technologies on the
environments. environments. society and environments. individual, society and
• identifies some factors that affect • evaluates designed solutions, • evaluates designed solutions, taking • evaluates designed solutions, • evaluates designed solutions,
the work and responsibilities of choosing appropriate factors that into account a range of factors considering a variety of factors independently considering a
designers when evaluating designed affect the work and responsibilities affecting the work and affecting the work and comprehensive range of factors
solutions. of designers. responsibilities of designers. responsibilities of designers. affecting the work and
responsibilities of designers.
• with direction, develops design • with guidance, develops and • explains innovative, enterprising • confidently develops and evaluates • independently develops and
ideas and solutions. describes design ideas and solutions and creative design ideas and innovative, enterprising and critically evaluates innovative,
that are innovative, enterprising and solutions. creative design ideas and solutions. enterprising and creative design
creative. ideas and solutions.
• uses a limited range of techniques • uses a range of techniques to • selects and uses a range of • selects and uses a wide range of • is discriminating in their selection
to communicate designed solutions. communicate design ideas and techniques to communicate design appropriate techniques to and use of a wide range of
solutions to audiences. ideas and solutions to a range of effectively communicate design appropriate techniques to
audiences. ideas and solutions to a range of communicate design ideas and
audiences. solutions effectively to a wide
variety of audiences.
• with guidance, applies risk • applies basic risk management • applies risk management practices • consistently applies risk • applies risk management practices
management practices when using a practices when selecting and safely when selecting and safely using a management practices when when independently selecting and
limited range of technologies to using a limited range of range of technologies to produce selecting and safely using a range of safely using a wide range of
produce simple designed solutions. technologies to produce designed designed solutions of sound quality. technologies to produce high- technologies to produce outstanding
solutions. quality designed solutions. designed solutions.
Published by Board of Studies NSW, 2005
General performance descriptors
The general performance descriptors describe performance at each of five grade levels:
A The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this
knowledge. In addition, the student has achieved a very high level of competence in the processes and skills
and can apply these skills to new situations.
B The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in
the processes and skills. In addition, the student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills to most
C The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the main areas of content and has achieved an
adequate level of competence in the processes and skills.
D The student has a basic knowledge and understanding of the content and has achieved a limited level of
competence in the processes and skills.
E The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved
very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.
Areas for assessment
The areas for assessment for Design and Technology areas for assessment when designing an assessment
provide a framework for structuring an assessment activity, to ensure it is assessing performance in
program, and may be used for reporting student relation to a grouping of outcomes.
achievement. They are derived from the course
objectives, and are linked to the course outcomes. In designing the assessment schedule for a course,
They can be used as organisers for assessment of teachers may find it useful to map each planned
student achievement. assessment activity to one or more of the areas for
assessment. This allows teachers to ensure that
Good assessment practice involves designing quality assessment can occur across the year in a manageable
assessment activities that enable students to way. The table below gives an example of how this
demonstrate their achievements. Teachers can use the planning could be done.
Sample Assessment Activities (with weightings)
Document Study* Oral Report* Common Test* Research Project*
Sample Areas for Assessment 10% 20% 35% 35%
Knowledge and understanding*
Investigating and researching*
* These sample areas for assessment and activities are provided for illustrative purposes only.
Resources and further information
The Assessment Resource Centre is a section of the The Assessment for Learning in a Standards-
Board of Studies’ website that contains resources that referenced Framework – Design and Technology CD-
have been developed by the Board to support teachers ROM contains a variety of material, including
in the awarding of grades for the School Certificate assessment activities for Design and Technology with
from 2006. For most Stage 5 courses, there are annotated work samples. Copies of this CD-ROM
assessment activities, and work samples that illustrate were provided to all schools, and are available from
the standard of work associated with each grade. Shop Online (http://shop.bos.nsw.edu.au).
The Design and Technology Years 7–10 Syllabus Inquiries about the use of these course performance
(2003) contains information on assessment (page 38) descriptors should be directed to the Assessment and
– including the principles of assessment for learning – Reporting branch at the Office of the Board of Studies
and provides a detailed list of assessment strategies on (02) 9367 8371, or by email to
(page 41) that are suitable for Design and Technology. CustomerLiaison@boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au
It is available on the Board’s website at
Published by Board of Studies NSW, 2005