Students studying technologies at Somerville House will learn strategies to solve a range of problems, including ones relevant to other curriculum areas. They will develop digital literacy through engagement with new and innovative technologies; preparing them for the technological and transformative world they are entering. 

Digital & Design Technology (7 to 9)

Year 7
Year 7 Digital and Design Technology introduces a number of significant Information Technology domains including Online Communications and Social Media; Coding; 3D Design and Computer Systems architecture. The students investigate their digital footprint and look at the Ethical use of computers; how the digital age impacts society, as well as Cyber Health & Safety, and Cyberbullying.

With 3D Design, students begin their design journey, creating a folio of sketches, orthographic projections and isometric projections of simple designs to recreate a 3D printed piece. For the Coding unit they use the Tynker environment and complete a coding project. Their first foray into Computer Systems architecture involves principally investigating the core CPU functionality of such modules as Inverters and their use of the binary number system.

Year 8
Students in this year level extend on their skills in Coding with Tynker and exploring robotics with Sphero SPRK+ app-driven and block/text coded robots, as well as developing their Graphic & Video Design skills with Adobe Spark and Adobe Illustrator. Students apply project management skills to document and use project plans to manage the production of a collaborative project using appropriate technical terms and a range of technologies and graphical representation techniques. Students also design the user experience of a digital narrative and develop their use of algorithms incorporating branching and iterations, as well as error checking to test, modify and implement their digital project.

Year 9
Students in Year 9 study Design Thinking and Computer Animation with Adobe Animate; Web Design with Adobe Dreamweaver; Coding in Python; Physical Computing with the micro:bit and some Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) with CoSpaces.

There are many important skills that are developed through these topics including, but not limited to:

  • Define and decompose real world problems taking into account functional requirements and economic, environmental, social, technical and usability constraints
  • Generate, develop, test and communicate design ideas, plans and processes for various audiences using appropriate technical terms and technologies including graphical representation techniques
  • Evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions against comprehensive criteria for success recognising the need for sustainability
  • Develop project plans using digital technologies to plan and manage projects individually and collaboratively
  • Develop, modify and communicate design ideas by applying design thinking, creativity, innovation and enterprise skills of increasing sophistication
  • Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs
Digital Solutions & Technology (Year 10)

Digital Solutions and Technology is a subject designed to build on skills taught in the Middle School Digital and Design Technology course in order to prepare students for further study in Year 11 and 12 Digital Solutions as well as the use of technology in all other courses. Building on the foundational knowledge acquired in Middle Years DDT, students further their learning about algorithms, computer languages and user interface design as they mature from concept acquisition and consolidation towards production and generation of solutions. Students learn about data and information systems, as well as their applications to digital solutions and integration with software. Students also gain an appreciation of the local and global impacts of technology, not only in terms of the practical issues, but also in terms of social and ethical issues. It will allow students to gain:

  • A greater appreciation and understanding of digital solutions and technologies
  • An appreciation of the implications and ethics of technology in society and further development
  • Further consolidation of creating digital-based solutions for complex, open-ended problems through practical and iterative methodologies

Digital Solutions and Technology will develop students’ abilities in coding, particularly in preparation for Senior School or other further study in programming. The technical skills required to create software systems will also be taught in the broader context of the life cycle of a digital solution, which includes both technical and non-technical considerations. Students will also gain an understanding of the structure of information systems and the interactions between computer hardware, software and networks.

Design also forms a significant part of this course where we investigate and generate prototype solutions in such diverse areas as Wearable Design; Fashion Design, Sustainable Design Project and Web Design.

Introduction to Engineering (Year 10)

Introduction to Engineering is the preliminary course in preparation for the ATAR subject Engineering.

Engineering involves the practical application of science, technology and mathematics knowledge to develop sustainable products, services and processes that improve the quality of people’s lives in an increasingly complex and dynamic technological world. This course introduces students to the main focus areas of mechanics, materials science and control technologies as they are understood through real-world engineering contexts and problems. In studying Engineering, students will learn about:

  • Engineering fundamentals, including communicating as an engineer through drawings and symbolism, and the technical precepts that underpin and leads to engineered solutions
  • Engineering and its role in society, both within current and emerging technologies and contexts
  • Materials, material properties and their use and application in engineering contexts (e.g. structures and dynamics)
  • Problem-solving and associated processes and cognitions

The study of engineering can lead to further education and development in the fields of (but not limited to) civil, mechanical, mechatronic, electrical, aerospace, mining, process, chemical, marine, biomedical, telecommunications, environmental, medical, micro-nano and systems. It will also benefit students who wish to pursue study paths in the areas of architecture, project management, aviation, surveying and spatial sciences.

Design (Year 11)

Design focuses on the application of design thinking to envisage creative products, services and environments in response to human needs, wants and opportunities.

Design is a course of study consisting of four units. Subject matter, learning experiences and assessment increase in complexity from Units 1 and 2 to Units 3 and 4 as students develop greater independence as learners.

Units 1 and 2 provide foundational learning, which allows students to experience all syllabus objectives and begin engaging with the course subject matter. Students should complete Units 1 and 2 before beginning Unit 3. It is recommended that Unit 3 be completed before Unit 4. Units 3 and 4 consolidate student learning.

Only the results from Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations.

In studying Design, students will learn about —

  • design in practice
  • commercial design
  • human-centred design
  • sustainable design.

Studying Design can lead to a career in —

  • architecture
  • digital media design
  • fashion design
  • graphic design
  • industrial design
  • interior design
  • landscape architecture.
Digital Solutions (Years 11 and 12)

Digital Solutions enables students to learn about algorithms, computer languages and user interfaces through generating digital solutions to problems. Students engage with data, information and applications to create digital solutions that filter and present data in timely and efficient ways while understanding the need to encrypt and protect data. They understand computing’s personal, local and global impact, and the issues associated with the ethical integration of technology into our daily lives.

Students use problem-based learning to write computer programs to create digital solutions that: use data; require interactions with users and within systems; and affect people, the economy and environments. They develop solutions using combinations of readily available hardware and software development environments, code libraries or specific instructions provided through programming.

Students create, construct and repurpose solutions that are relevant in a world where data and digital realms are transforming entertainment, education, business, manufacturing and many other industries.

Subject recommendation: Due to the demands of assignment work, a C standard or better in Year 10 English is recommended. Additionally, a B standard or better for Year 10 Mathematics, and a similar level in either Natural or Physical Sciences in Year 10 would also be an advantage.