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 that start in year 9.


Year 7

Textiles: Basic textiles skills are developed; how to use a needle and thread, introduction to the sewing machine in order to attain a ‘sewing machine driver’s license’, computer graphics to design and sublimation-print a piece of fabric, and making a useful and functional piece of equipment: a pencil case.

Catering: Prepare students with ‘life skills’ which in Food Technology includes teaching them the basics such as using an oven, hob, peeling, chopping, slicing, dicing and of course, food hygiene. The students learn how to make scones, cakes, soup, crumbles and spaghetti Bolognese all of which use a variety of different skills.

Electronics: During this project students learn about basic electronic components and how they work as they solder together an electronic dice circuit. Students develop skills in soldering whilst assembling the components which are then contained in a vacuum formed housing which they make themselves.

Product Design: In the mirror frame project, the students, inspired by a poem, design a unique mirror. They work through the stages of designing, modelling in card and then constructing a plywood frame for a mirror tile. They will learn how to use a variety of hand tools, the powered fret saw and pillar drill as they decorate their bespoke design.


Year 8

Graphics: This unit develops students awareness of product design and why some products are seen as ‘design classics’ It engages students creativity and collaborative learning to design and model a new product in the style of ‘dragons den’ where students have to pitch their ideas and film an advertisement. This project also teaches isometric drawing, colour theory and the crating method of free hand sketching.

Catering: Students study bread making, pastry making and sauce making. They make rolls, loaves, pizzas, quiche, pasta and sauce and lasagne. By the end of the module they will have made, shaped, proved and cooked dough several times with different outcomes to ensure they have the independence to make it again and again on their own. They will have learnt how to make short crust pastry, which is the most versatile of the pastries, and also sauce making mainly focusing on a roux white sauce.

CAD/CAM: Students produce a creative and original clock product. Using a range of idea generation techniques, students will learn how to design and annotate to a high standard. Their best design is developed and modelled in card prior to the final design being produced using CAD (Techsoft 2D Design). Parts are manufactured by CAD using the laser cutter to cut them from acrylic sheet. These are then assembled by hand to produce a unique, professional product. Students will learn a range of skills that will build their confidence when using CAD/CAM which will develop further throughout year 9.

Engineering: The class work together as a business to batch produce 25 aluminium phone holders to a tolerance of 1mm. Working in pairs, they follow a prepared design learning how to use a variety of hand and machine tools, casting and machining the aluminium parts which are then polished to a high standard and packaged.

Textiles: Electronics and textiles skills and knowledge are combined together to make a ‘Jitterbug’; a dancing soft toy. Creativity and imagination are encouraged so each student makes an individual bug using recycled fabrics and materials. A simple circuit with an offset cam provides the movement, with opportunities for some students to develop the circuit.


GCSE & Vocational options – Years 9 to 11

Students make their GCSE option choices around Easter in year 8. The DT choices include:

AQA 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. During year 9 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.

During year 10 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 three year 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.

BTEC Construction: Another pathway and opportunity for students to explore and experience both the practically and theoretically world of construction. They will be introduced to Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Brickwork and Electrical scenario’s. They will also discover the design, technical and sustainability elements needed when working in the construction industry. This course is a great way to introduce a viable direction for everyone who has an interest in “Construction in The Built Environment” The final grade is either Pass, Merit or Distinction and is made up of 8 units two of the units are external exams (1hr 15mins) and six internally assessed.  

Cambridge Nationals in Engineering: This course focuses on working in metals and plastics in a practical Engineering context. There are four units; three non-examined units and one written exam (1hr)

The units consist of:

* Engineering materials, processes and production.

* Preparing and planning for manufacture

* Computer Aided Manufacture

* Quality control of engineered products.

Some of these units are practical assignments where students are tasked to manufacture products or components within tight tolerances and specifications. In other units they are required to quality assure and test production techniques and outcomes. Students are expected to record their findings and outcomes in portfolios and need to build a bank of subject knowledge which will prepare them for their exam task. Engineering is a good complement to other design technology subjects such as Product Design. The course allows students to experience industry standard manufacturing techniques such as CNC and CAD production as well as lathe work and moulding / casting experience. Students have the opportunity to build on work and exams in year 10 to achieve a pass, merit or distinction (Level 1 or 2) in the Cambridge National Award in Engineering Manufacture.  2018-19 is the last year this course will be offered.


In the Sixth Form we have two A level choices:

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.


Extended Certificate in Art and Design Graphics: This qualification gives a coherent introduction to the study of Art and Design and Graphic Design. Learners develop art and design projects and gain an understanding of the creative process. Students study visual recording and communication, critical analysis and production skills to produce art and design outcomes. There is also a Graphic design module which concentrates on graphics for 3D application.

The course is made up of three mandatory units and one optional unit.

Unit 1: Visual recording in Art and Design. This unit is assessed under supervised conditions. Learners are provided with a theme and a task in January and are given 30 hours of class time to complete it. A three hour supervised assessment period to mount up work and complete an evaluation will follow.

Unit 2: Critical and Contextual Understanding in Art and Design. This unit is based on four areas.

1. The importance of good quality research and investigation. 2. Visual analysis of art and design work 3. Analysis of how contextual factors can influence the work of creative practitioners 4. Drawing conclusions and forming judgements on the research carried out.

Unit 3: The creative process. In this unit students understand the stages and activities within the creative process and experiment with activities to develop their own working practice. They review how their use of the creative process has developed their own creative practice.

Unit 4: Graphics for 3D Application. Explore the digital and non-digital techniques and processes used in graphics for 3D design. Develop ideas for graphics for 3D designs to communicate information to a specific target market review and reflect on use of graphics for 3D design techniques and processes.


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