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Design Technology

Head of Department: Mr S Kirk

Teachers: Mr G Stevens, Mr S Neave, Ms L Smith, Mr Oschilewski

Technicians: Mr J Kirk, Mrs J Boler, Mrs K Murrell

Design and Technology is an innovative, dynamic and creative subject which gives all students the opportunity and challenge to solve problems, and to produce realistic working products to the best of their personal ability. Through project based studies, students gain experiences relevant to virtually all areas of working adult, and future life. Understanding how the world around us works, and the skills to develop new and innovative designs when technology is ever changing, is the key to appreciating the wider role of this subject. Our business is to help students to become knowledgeable and skilled in this way of working.

Years 7, 8 and 9

Year 7:

Food Preparation and Nutrition: The course aims to teach the boys a wide variety of skills and to develop their knowledge and understanding about food. How to eat well, food hygiene, food safety and where food comes from. Regular practical cookery sessions are designed to build their confidence in handling ingredients and equipment.

Resistant Materials:  The course aims to teach the foundation of woodworking, whilst developing their knowledge and understanding of tools and how to manipulate materials to a high standard. Regular practical sessions are designed to build their confidence in handling tools and equipment and the idea of collaborative working, which is an essential aspect.

Year 8:

Graphics: The course aims to provide students with a good grounding in presentational drawing. This includes sketching, and the application of colour; formal drawing in orthographic, isometric and perspective. Students will be introduced to modelling in compliant materials to produce a shop front, based on their own designs. Finally, students will be introduced to Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), to look at how designers effectively utilise technology to produce design ideas.

Structures: Pupils will apply their understanding of forces and structures when designing and making a bridge. Pupils gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to design and make a scale model of a frame structure, through team collaboration.

Resistant materials: The main aims of this unit are for pupils to have an introduction to metal work; building familiarity with tools and equipment including an understanding of how they work with links to science and maths. They will use their understanding of metals to manufacture products that fulfil a given purpose and set of criteria.

Sustainability: The main aims for this project are for pupils to have an introduction to the topic of sustainability in particular in relation to energy consumption, materials, technological change and our need, as responsible citizens, to protect the planet for future generations. This includes discovering how technology can provide solutions to sustainable energy generation problems.

Year 9:

Food Preparation and Nutrition: The aim of the course is to continue to extend the skills that were developed in Year 7 and to expand their knowledge and understanding about food and nutrition, and how to prepare and cook good food in a short time, using fresh ingredients for a variety of occasions. Regular cookery sessions encourage confidence in handling ingredients and equipment and provide students with valuable life skills and prepare them for the GCSE course if they choose this as an option in Year 10.

Resistant Materials: Students will explore needs, wants and opportunities in the context of designing for clients, through their creation of an automata. Students will recognise critical factors that need to be included as design criteria, and they will develop their product to include mechanisms, to create the movement in the product. Elements of gears, levers, linkages, cams and pulleys will be explored and incorporated to complement the design intentions.

Graphics: Pupils will investigate a range of graphic products and, in particular, increase their understanding of the purpose of packaging through the design and manufacture of perfume packaging.  They will make decisions about their work at various stages in the task that include the effective communication of a range of design ideas, independent design development through rough modelling, and making choices about a wide range of materials, equipment and methods of manufacture in order to produce a quality, functioning final product. 

Innovative Design: The main aim for this project is for pupils to develop their evaluative techniques, and advance their knowledge & understanding of hand held technology to see how technology can improve our everyday life. They will evaluate critically and create innovative product designs using CAD, where students deliver a formal presentation of their work, and appropriately utilise CNC machinery to convey their ideas.

Link to national curriculum page:

GCSE: Years 10 and 11

GCSE Course Content

Year 10

Curriculum Outline:

The following subjects are offered as option choices at GCSE under the remit of Design Technology:

  • Food preparation and nutrition
  • Graphic products
  • Resistant materials

Exam Board: AQA

The linear format of each of these specifications means that the students cannot enter the exam at the end of Year 10, but instead will be entered at the end of Year 11. However, the theory context will be covered while students are undertaking their foundational projects throughout Year 10. This knowledge and understanding will be tested periodically throughout the course. Throughout this year, students acquire the underpinning skills that are essential to their success in both the written paper and the controlled assessment to follow. The underpinning skills are: practical; theoretical knowledge; designing; modelling and ICT based. Theoretical work covered includes: properties of materials, sustainable issues in design, methods of manufacture, health and safety and consumer rights legislation.

Year 11

Curriculum Outline:

This course comprises of two separate elements; the Controlled Assessment (Coursework) module and the terminal exam paper. Students demonstrate the need for the products in question and develop their product designs using the design process. It requires good graphical communication, and the ability to keep to deadlines. Students are required to: analyse and research; produce a clear specification for the targeted user group; generate ideas and synthesise them; create and test different products; produce a programme to construct the products and fully evaluate the solutions against the design constraints and project brief. The controlled assessments will be taken from numerous themes supplied by the examination board.

Exam Board: AQA

Links to Specification:

Sept 2016:

AQA resistant materials

Link to Specification:

AQA Graphic products

Link to Specification:

AQA Food preparation and nutrition

Link to Specification:


From Sept 2017 > AQA GCSE Design and Technology

Link to Specification:

A Levels: Years 12 and 13

Entry requirement: Good general GCSE grades, including a minimum grade B or a 6  in a Design and Technology subject.

Design Technology A Level Course Starting Sept 2017

Course content: This is a two year course which requires you to produce and submit one portfolio which will demonstrate your creativity and flair when investigating, designing and making a product. Students will undertake a commercial design and make project that apply the knowledge and understanding of the subject. It will need to be sustainable in the environment.

Students will be expected to develop knowledge of a wide range of resistant materials, graphical media, textiles, smart materials and manufacturing processes as well as knowledge of past designers. This is to be applied in their project. ICT will be integral to this course as will the ability to communicate graphically and by the written word. Students will be able to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world. Students will have the confidence to innovate and produce creative design solutions as they develop their own design brief with a client/end user.





Written Exam

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology



Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project