Design and Technology

Design Technology aims to provide life skills for students; it encourages creativity, practical skills and excellence. Students move around five basic material areas during year 7 & 8, experiencing a series of different projects, each taught by a subject specialist in specialist workshops. Each unit lasts around 12 hrs. These provide a solid background of knowledge, skills and safe working practices that prepare students for their GCSE options.

DT Curriculum Overview


GCSE & Vocational options – Years 10 to 11

Students make their GCSE option choices around Easter in Year 9. The DT choices include:

GCSE Design Technology: This new course encourages students to work in a range of materials – woods, plastics, metals & fabrics rather than specialising in just one. We have arranged a series of three iterative design tasks that work in different materials that give the students a chance to design and manufacture creative solutions to design problems where they write their own brief. They learn advanced skills and knowledge which prepare them for their 2hr written paper which makes up 50% of the final grade.

Students decide which Specialist Technical Area they wish to work in for their Non Exam Assessment which involves a substantial design and make task lasting around 35hrs and makes up the other 50% of the marks. The students will cover the Core technical principles, Specialist Technical Principles & Designing and Making principles to ensure all areas of the extensive curriculum are taught over the three years. The opportunity is provided for students to participate in the Design Museum Design Ventura Challenge in yr.10 to demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills through a group based design task that has proved very successful and thought provoking.

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition: This is the replacement for our very successful Catering GCSE. The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages learners to cook, enables them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and allows them to acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.

Over the course, food preparation and nutrition learners will be able to demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking a variety of food commodities whilst using different cooking techniques and equipment. Develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food as well as a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks. Understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health. Understand the economic, environmental, ethical and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, diet and health choices. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food. Explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and international) to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes.

In Year 11 two tasks are released for assessment which consist of Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment worth 15 % of the overall GCSE. This is a scientific food investigation which will assess the learner's knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food. Assessment 2: The Food Preparation Assessment, worth 15 % of the overall GCSE requires Student to prepare, cook and present a menu which assesses the learner’s knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food.

There is also a written examination which is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and constitutes 50% of the GCSE.


Sixth Form - A level choice

A Level DT Product Design: This new two year course builds on the Design Technology GCSE course with many short design and making tasks, often set by local businesses. This enables us to cover a wide range of different materials, technical knowledge, CAD/CAM, manufacturing methods etc. and go on industrial visits to see the practical application of the processes we cover in class.

The assessment involves two written papers and a substantial Design and Make task.

Paper 1 covers Technical Principles in a 150 minutes written exam worth 120 marks that makes up 30% of the course with a mixture of short answer and extended responses.

Paper 2 covers Designing and Making principles with a 90 minute exam that makes up 20% of the final A-level and lasting 150 minutes on Product Analysis and Commercial manufacture. Both written exams take place at the end of yr.13. The Design and Make Project also takes place in the final year, should take no longer than 40 hrs and is based on a solving a real problem identified by the student, with some form of practical prototype. This makes up the final 50% of the A-level and is evidenced by a digital design portfolio with photographic evidence of the final prototype to be completed before Easter in the second year of the course.

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