Design Technology

‘Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values’.

Powerful knowledge

Pupils will develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.

Curriculum intent

Central to the teaching of Design and Technology are the following aims:


Across the key stage focused practical tasks are planned in order to develop & practise a broad range of foundation skills & knowledge (FPT). Pupils are then given opportunities to develop their design & technology capability, applying their knowledge and skills, through assignments in which they design & make products focusing on different contexts and materials (DMA). At Key Stage 3 a collaborative approach with Product Design, Food and Textiles is adopted in order to provide a broad and balanced curriculum with all students having access to all areas and a range of resistant and compliant materials. Pupils are given the opportunity to research and apply knowledge of different cultures in the world. There is also importance placed on finding and interviewing a client ensuring these skills are accumulated and can be applied within the wider context of communication and behaving in a professional manner.

In order to achieve a broad range of experiences using a range of different materials across the key stage, pupils are taught by specialist teachers following a rotational system approximately every 9 weeks. Pupils spend 2 hours per fortnight in year 9, with 3 hours for years 7 & 8, as a block in D&T. A double lesson per fortnight facilitates the teaching and learning of increasingly more complex skills in practical work, allowing pupils to become more independent and organised in the development of their practical capability.

Across each key stage students are required to use ICT where relevant and practical, most especially in design make assignments.


At Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to study one Design & Technology subject in greater depth by specialising in one of the following AQA specifications:

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

This specification enables students to:

GCSE Textiles

This specification enables students to:

GCSE Product Design

Enables students to:

Pupils have 5 hours over the two week timetable in year 10 and 6 hours in year 11 for Design & Technology, which is divided into 1 hour sessions.

Learning Support

The curriculum is designed so that students of all abilities can access it by using a full range of activities to suit all learning styles. Children with particular needs are taught using knowledge of them as individuals, along with assessment data and best practice given by specialists within the school e.g. ASD base or SENCO. Teaching Assistants and technicians within the department are very much part of the delivery of the subject and are integrated into lessons supporting students both generally and with those identified by the teacher as having specific needs requiring more one to one support, such as in practical lessons.

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world around them.

In Design and Technology, we explore a number of material areas considering the environmental impact of using the materials, and ethical issues involved in acquiring and using them. We consider the impact of the material as a whole and the alternatives available that may allow us to reduce that impact. The course offers significant opportunity to research the impact of design and advertising globally, and how the global market and online advertising requires a multicultural approach within the industry. The curriculum calls for us to analyse the ethical, moral and social implications of designs (both existing and then their own designs) allowing for objective analysis and consideration of others.

In addition to this, pupils will work with 3rd party clients in order to learn the communication skills needed to work with others and collaborate on ideas/adapt their own ideas. It also allows for further analysis of situation and global problems that the pupils are expected to solve using design and communication skills acquired. This allows for an awareness of others and people with needs different to their own, looking at inclusive designs and encouraging pupils to look at problems from others perspectives. Some projects e.g. in year 9 also aim to research, design and make products from different cultures around the world. Students also develop knowledge and understanding of designer & artist’s ideas and concepts identifying how meanings are conveyed. Students are exposed to a wide variety of cultures, beliefs and religions. Through their investigations they will research, design, make and evaluate ideas that reflect a variety of cultures and religions from around the world.

Design and Technology develops the creative and expressive aspects of our students, as well as the practical capabilities needed to manufacture ideas. Student’s learn to communicate their ideas, meanings and feelings. Students investigate visual, tactile and other sensory qualities of their own and others work. We encourage independent thinking that will enable students to develop their ideas and intentions, expressing relationships between the students and the potential client, through a range of different methods and materials.

Curriculum enrichment

Pupils are encouraged to spend additional out of lesson hours working within the department in order to support their lesson studies. Additional after-hours clubs are put on in order to support GCSE students completing their Non-Exam Assessment. The department has an open-door policy for all pupils in order to facilitate completion of practical work.

View Our Technology Curriculum Plan >


Key Stage 3
Students will complete research, design work and evaluation for a design task for their assessment. This will be produced on computer as it as an assessed piece of work, which will develop their presentation and ICT skills. In addition, specific tasks are set to develop different revision techniques reviewing knowledge and key words learnt during the unit of work.

Key Stage 4
Students will be given regular exam questions to develop their exam technique. They will also complete longer term projects which will give them the opportunity to extend knowledge gained in lessons for deeper learning. Design tasks will be completed to prepare them for the NEA. In year 11 all homework is part of the NEA, this being worth 50% of the GCSE. All sheets are completed on computer and involve research, designing, planning and evaluation of a product in response to the chosen task set by AQA. Once the NEA is complete students plan their revision, prepare for the exam and practise past exam papers to develop their exam technique in readiness for the 50% terminal exam.

In year 10 Textiles all work produced will contribute to the coursework required for the GCSE. The majority of practical work will be completed in class, therefore much of the homework set will require students to research project briefs, develop design ideas and evaluate practical work. All of this is to be presented creatively in a sketchbook with a minimum of 2 hours spent doing this per week. In year 11 students select an exam board task, beginning the investigation and preparation for their practical exam.


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