Head of Department

Mrs R Petch (acting)

Subject Overview

The Design and Technology department strives to create a stimulating learning environment where students learn about research, designing, making and evaluation techniques. In Key Stage 3, we run a carousel system so students can sample each specialism that we offer. These specialisms are Food Technology, Textiles Technology, Resistant Materials and Graphic Products. The 3-year course is designed to give students experience of each specialism and prepare them for the necessary skills needed for Key Stage 4 Design and Technology.

Key Stage 3 

Year 7:

  • Food Technology - Five-a-Day Food
    Students learn to design and make a range of food products for a packed lunch or a picnic that follow the five a day rule. They will make pizza toasties, fruity flapjacks, apple crumble, barbeque chicken wings and pasta salad, cupcakes and cookies.
  • Graphic Products – Handheld Technology
    Students learn about product evolution and environmental issues. They design a piece of hand held technology, model using styrofoam and use CAD/CAM to design packaging for their product. They learn about logos and packaging symbols.
  • Resistant Materials – Pewter Casting
    Students learn about the process of casting metals. They create ideas for jewellery or key fobs using geometric shapes. They are then taught how to use tools and equipment in the workshop to make a mould and cast their design.
  • Textiles Technology - Sock Creatures
    Students analyse existing products. They learn textiles construction techniques and make their product out of recycled socks.

Year 8:

  • Food Technology - Healthy Snacks

Students design and make a range of meal options for school or home that are healthy to eat, have pupil appeal and follow the school meals standards and healthy eating guidelines. They learn about nutrition and malnutrition, and how to analyse existing products and planning to make their products. They make Dutch apple cake, pasta with homemade tomato sauce, chicken kebabs with side dishes, and cheese and onion pasties.

  • Graphics - Mobile Phone Holder
    Students are taught how to design logos, to use 2d design to create nets, and Photoshop to design creative graphics. They also learn the process of vacuum forming to design and make a mobile phone holder.
  • Resistant Materials - Link Toy
    Students learn about different timbers and bridle/dowel joints. They design a link toy suitable for young children. They learn marking out techniques, and use a wide range of tools and machinery to make their product. 
  • Textiles - Bag Project
    Students learn how to research relevant products, how to use the sewing machine and different embellishment techniques. They also have the option of using electronics within their bag design.

Year 9:

  • Food Technology -  Family Meals
    In this specialism students will learn about food, nutrition and health, food science, food safety, food choice and food provenance. They will also learn practical skills through cooking a range of recipes and how to investigate and analyse a task.
  • Graphics – greeting cards using pop up mechanisms
    Students will investigate a number of mechanisms, design and develop creative graphics for a greetings card and assemble their product using different tools and equipment. They will learn drawing, rendering and evaluation techniques
  • Resistant Materials – Spice Rack
    Students will learn about different polymers and timbers and create a spice rack for the kitchen which has individual elements. Students will learn how to make a finger joint, vacuum forming and line bending, and an understanding of CAD/CAM. This project will help students develop their skills in the workshop in preparation for GCSE.
  • Textiles – Pencil Roll

Students will learn about the differences between natural and man-made fabrics. They will print a design onto cotton and make this into a pencil roll for a specific customer. Students will learn how to set up and use a sewing machine and use this to complete their practical work.

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

At KS3, students have two formal assessments per project. They are assessed on research, designing and evaluation skills in term 1. They receive a mid-make and a final make assessment for their practical outcomes in projects 1-4. The students are given the opportunity to improve their assessment using feedback given by their teacher. They have a tracking sheet in the front of their books with their levels so progression can be tracked.

Key Stage 4 

Key Stage 4 Overview:

Students have the option of picking GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition, or Design and Technology. Within Design and Technology there will be the opportunity to specialise in a particular material area including timber, polymer, paper and boards and textiles.

Students will learn the theory element during year 10 covering many topics in depth. They will then complete the Non-Exam Assessment in year 11 which consists of a substantial design and make task from a design brief set by the examination board.

Years 10 and 11:

  • Food Preparation and Nutrition

This new GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

  • Design and Technology

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise. The GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

In Design and Technology, there are 100 marks available for the Non-Exam Assessment which equates for 50% of the total marks.

Students will undertake a substantial design and make task which will be assessed on:

• Identifying and investigating design possibilities

• Producing a design brief and specification

• Generating design ideas

• Developing design ideas

• Realising design ideas

• Analysing & evaluating

Students will sit a 2-hour exam, there are 100 marks available which is worth another 50%. Areas that will be assessed are core technical principles, specialist technical principles, designing and making principles.

In Food Preparation and Nutrition there are 100 marks available for the NEA which equates for 50% of the total marks. This involves 2 tasks.

Task 1:

Food investigation (30 marks) Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2:

Food preparation assessment (70 marks) Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task. Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

The final 100 marks and 50% of the final grade comes from the examination in which theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition will be assessed.

Key Stage 5 

Course Title:

A-level Design and Technology: Product Design

Examining Body:


Overview of the course:


The new qualifications place greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

What Will You Study:

Product Design requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. This specification requires students to cover design and technology skills and knowledge. These have been separated into technical principles and designing and making principles.

Students will develop the ability to draw on and apply a range of skills and knowledge from other subject areas to inform their decisions in design and the application or development of technology. There are clear links between aspects of the specification content and other subject areas such as Computer Science, Business Studies, Art and Design and History. Students must also demonstrate maths and science skills.


Paper 1; Technical principles, 2.5 hour exam, 120 marks (30%)
Mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2; Design and making principles, 1.5 hour exam, 80 marks (20%)

Questions are a mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks. Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s)

Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks

NEA; Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles. Substantial design and make project, 100 marks, 50% of A-level. Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.

Possible Career Paths:  

  • Textile Technology
  • Consumer science
  • Electronics
  • Dental technology
  • Architecture
  • Furniture making
  • Printing
  • Cybernetics
  • Product Design
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Medical technology
  • Model-making
  • Vehicle design
  • Packaging technology
  • Building crafts
  • Prosthetics
  • Sign-making
  • D&T teaching
  • Food technology

Structural engineering