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Construction – NCFE

Exam Board: NCFE
Specification Number: (601/3232/2/CON)

What will be studied

This qualification is suitable for all learners from Year 9 and above who wish to develop skills and knowledge in Design and Technology and Construction. This qualification aims to extend and further develop learners’ skills and to extend learners’ knowledge and understanding of the design and making process. It will enable learners to investigate creative enterprise and employment opportunities in the creative sector and provides a basis for progression onto further study and careers in the Construction and/or Creative industries.

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to use raw materials, tools and equipment in a safe and competent manner, develop analytical and research skills, evaluate their own work and develop ideas and learning through the craft process and develop an understanding of health and safety considerations in a practical environment.

Learning Methods

Students are able to design and make a variety of products before deciding which area of the course they wish to focus on for their final pieces. Some examples of products made are bird houses and feeders; jewellery boxes; storage units for students bedrooms; occasional tables; lamps; board games and hand held children’s toys. Students are able to use the internet to research and investigate ideas before sketching out their own. Then they can model or practice new skills before committing to making their chosen design in a variety of materials – from hardwoods, softwoods, man-made boards, veneers, plastic or casting resin. Whatever is made the skills can be developed so that the completed product is of an excellent standard and able to take pride of place when it is taken home.

Students are also shown what happens on industrial sites for Construction and related industries. Visits to local sites are arranged as often as possible so that students gain a real understanding of what actually happens in the world of work and how their qualifications are going to be used and useful in their futures.

Expectations of Students

All students are expected to complete four compulsory units. Each unit has a specific theme and must be completed by meeting the criteria. Students are expected to research ideas, discuss them and draw out ideas of their own; plan how to make their chosen product; manufacture their design and then to evaluate it so that they meet the assessment criteria.

How is the course assessed

This course is internally assessed and externally moderated with a portfolio of evidence:

The units are as follows:-

Unit 1: Use materials, tools and equipment to develop craft techniques.

Students need to look at what materials are available for designing and manufacturing, assessing which would be the best for the task they have chosen. Then, select the correct tools and equipment they would use. Finally they have to manufacture the product they have chosen to make and be able to comment on what they have done, why they chose the materials and tools and what skills they have learned.

Unit 2: Investigate creative enterprise and employment opportunities.

This unit is about the development of a small business within the construction industry. It focuses on all of the skills needed to start a business of your own and the different things you would have to think about before doing so.It is completely theory and paper based and involves research into local companies and the risks and rewards of being self or company employed.

Unit 3: Develop craft ideas

Students need to look at the problem they have chosen and research existing products and materials that are currently being used to solve this. They are expected to design a range of their own solutions to the problem and gather feedback from peers and staff about which one is the most suitable before adapting it to make sure it meets the challenge .  Finally, they can start to manufacture it whilst ensuring that they meet the necessary Health and Safety standards.

Unit 4: Create, present and evaluate final construction item.

Unit 4 expects students to evaluate their design – which could be a stand alone product or the one designed for Unit 3 – then to comment on the process of designing and making it. A production plan, a list of suitable materials, tools and processes are needed as well as photos of the completed product to show how it meet the problem chosen at the beginning. Along with an evaluation of how well it meets the needs of the problem and how it could be improved.

What websites are recommended – the website of the awarding authority.

Pinterest – for research into existing products and ideas

What equipment is needed

Student will be provided with all equipment, materials and Safety wear as needed during the course.

Career Paths/Next Steps

NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Creative Craft

City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Craft Skills for Creative Industries: construction (carpentry and joinery, metal work, bricklaying, plaster working, plumbing).