Design & Technology

Design & Technology

Head of Department:  Mr S Woodhall

Teacher of Design and Technology: Miss S Clayton Spencer

Teacher of Food Preparation and Nutrition: Mrs V Hughes and Mrs A Burridge

Teacher of Textiles: Mrs S Berry

Design and technology drives and inspires creativity amongst students. Students become confident users of techniques, tools and materials and critical users of technology. A high proportion of teaching is through practical work in excellent facilities.


All students at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8) follow four nine-week rotations, each focusing on a different material.  They develop the skills needed for the different elements of the Design Process and are assessed on these in particular. 

 Year 7 Food and Nutrition

This course involves the students learning foundation skills and knowledge for the GCSE course for Food Preparation and Nutrition. A written homework is set every week with stretch & challenge questions for higher ability students. The course introduces simple food preparation skills and allows pupils to use basic kitchen equipment.

The main learning in Year 7 involves:

  • Safety in the Food room and Basic Hygiene
  • The Eat Well Guide & basic Nutrition
  • Methods of cooking, the “Cooker License”
  • How to wash up & work as a team
  • Evaluating food products
  • How to make a basic time-plan

Students bring ingredients from home to cook in school every week. They are provided with a school recipe booklet.  A demonstration is given by the Food teacher each week. The products made in Year 7 are:

  • Coleslaw
  • Fruit Salad
  • Bolognese
  • Risotto
  • Flapjacks
  • Cup Cakes
  • Scones
  • Cookies
  • Pizza


In Year 7 students are introduced to a variety of textile materials and techniques. They will create a series of sample pieces utilising a range of processes and will be taught to safely and effectively use basic joining techniques employing both hand and machine stitching. Embellishment is a key focus of Year 7 and students use print, stitch and dye resist to build up pattern on fabrics and personalise their work.

Students will record and evaluate all this work in a design folder.

Resistant Materials

Students complete two projects in their nine-week rotation. One is a cam toy which introduces the students to mechanisms and associated forms of movement. It also helps to introduce some basic hand tools and use of workshop machinery to build up students’ confidence in a workshop environment. The second project sees students create a key-fob. Students develop skills in 2D design and use of laser cutting (CADCAM) equipment.

Design Technology – Graphics

Students cover a range of rendering techniques designed to help improve their presentation skills. The students then use these skills to form and design a Fridge magnet on magnetic paper.

Year 8 Food and Nutrition

This course involves the students learning more advanced food preparation skills and more advanced nutritional knowledge. A written homework is set every week with stretch & challenge questions for higher ability students. Mainly savoury products are made, in line with Department for Education guidelines.

The emphasis in year 8 is on

  • Nutrition
  • Food Labelling laws
  • Use of electrical labour-saving equipment
  • Hygiene and preventing food poisoning.
  • How to create a time plan as needed at GCSE.

Students bring ingredients from home to cook in school every week.  They are provided with a school recipe booklet.  A demonstration is given by the Food teacher each week. The products made in Year 8 are:

  • Burgers
  • Simple pasta dish
  • Range of sauces (Tomato, Creamy bacon and onion, Cheese sauce)
  • Soups
  • Swiss roll
  • Pasta bake
  • Lemon curd
  • Cheese straws
  • Lasagne


In Year 8 students build on the foundation they have studied in Year 7. Advanced stitch and finish techniques will taught alongside both machine and hand applique. Basic pattern cutting and shaping is also included in this unit of work. Key fibres and fabric knowledge relevant to the core content of the Design and Technology will be covered within their design folder.

Students are expected to show a working knowledge of the techniques learnt in the design and completion of an upcycled  Hat/Mask for their personal use.

Resistant materials

Students complete a design folder similar to the GCSE providing them with a good insight into the coursework required at KS4. This folder allows the students to creatively think of an educational toy which meets the ‘contextual challenge’ design brief from the exam board.Additionally, students make an education letter toy. This builds on skills learnt in Year 7 and exposes them to different types of finishes and use of the wood turning lathe. The final project completed in Resistant Materials is the use of Autodesk Inventor to produce a digital model of the educational letter toy, exposing the students to 3D modelling and use of the 3D printer. 

Design Technology – Graphics

Students complete a number of different drawing types in this rotation which are required learning in the core of the new GCSE Design Technology qualification. These include: isometric, one and two point Perspective, oblique, orthographic and exploded. Students then choose one of these drawing types to complete a quality drawing of an MP3 player design.

In Year 9 students begin courses in Technology that they have opted for as part of the GCSE options process in Year 8. GCSE Courses in Technology include: Food Preparation and Nutrition, Design Technology with a Resistant Material or Textiles focus and Engineering      

GCSE Design Technology – Resistant materials

The first section of this GCSE course involves the students completing a small mock controlled assessment piece where they are given a contextual challenge to design and make a working prototype. The aim of this is to prepare the students for the real contextual challenge they will receive in June of Year 10. Additionally, the students will be taught about the two Computer Aided Design packages we have and how to combine these with the Computer Aided Manufacturing (are these correct?) equipment such as the laser and 3D printer.

Course Outline – Resistant Materials

Exam Board                EDEXCEL

Examination               50%        1hr 45mins

Coursework                50%        50 hrs

GCSE Design Technology – Textiles

In the first year of this GCSE students will study in depth the Fabrics and Fibres Specialism content of the Design and Technology GCSE. This will allow them to explore a full range of materials, components and techniques and gain an understanding of the wider issues in textile manufacturing and design.

Environmental, social and ethical issues within the textile industry are explored within an initial controlled assessment style outcome and accompanying folder.

Students will extend their knowledge of garment and related textile manufacturing processes including awareness of CAD/CAM, printing and fabric manipulation.

Students will complete 2 practical outcomes in this year.

Course Outline –Textiles focus

Exam Board                EDEXCEL

Examination               50%        1hr 45mins

Coursework                50%        50 hrs

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

This is an excellent course for students wishing to build on their key stage 3 practical skills. It is a very scientific course with detailed nutritional knowledge. It complements many other GCSE subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, P.E. and Geography. A wide range of topics are covered in theory lessons in line with the AQA syllabus for Food Prep’. They include the following:-

  • The chemistry of Macro and Micronutrients.
  • Diet and healthy eating.
  • The detailed science of nutrients.
  • Food hygiene and safety, and the safe storage of food.
  • The science behind different cooking methods.
  • Functional properties of food and ingredients.
  • Sensory evaluation and testing of food.
  • Food security and global issues surrounding food provision.
  • Food Provenance: where and how foods are grown, reared and caught.
  • Food processing and how it affects ingredients.
  • Different ingredients and dishes from a range of countries.
  • The nutritional needs of a range of consumers.
  • Influences on food choice.

These topics are covered in Year 9 and 10, with a practical lesson every week. A written homework is set every week with stretch & challenge questions for higher ability students. High level practical skills are developed in line with AQA guidance. Students bring ingredients from home to cook in school, every week. A demonstration is given by the Food teacher each week.

Course Outline – Food Preparation and Nutrition

Exam Board                AQA

Examination               50%      

Coursework                50%

In Year 11 the Food Preparation and Nutrition students complete two pieces of coursework. They are structured as follows:

NEA 1 – Investigation.

The Food Science Investigation (15%). This is a 2000-word report of experimental practical work. It must have photographic evidence and be completed by the October half term.

NEA 2 – Food Preparation Assessment.

The Food Preparation Assessment (35%) Recommended time 20 hours (including a 3-hour practical exam at the end). This is the major piece of written coursework which includes a showcase of the students’ practical skills.

GCSE Engineering

The first year of this course is spend building up the students’ knowledge of mechanisms and how they can be combined with material to produce a working prototype. Additionally, the adding in of an electronic element which is required in their controlled assessment. The aim of this is to build up their practical skills and get the student to think about how components can move in a design. Homework tasks are used to introduce theory content before it is move into in more detail in Year 10.

Course Outline – Engineering

Exam Board                AQA

Examination               50%        2hrs

Coursework                50%       30hrs

Year 10 Design Technology, Resistant materials focus, Textiles focus

In this year students are taught the Core and Specialism content they need to know for their exam in year 11. The theory taught here is broken up with mini practical’s to help demonstrate the theory taught and provide a more tangible experience.

In June of this year the students are provided with the contextual challenge where they will need to choose one and start thinking about a design and working prototype they can make.  

Year 10 Engineering

In this year students are taught the theory content they need to know for their exam in year 11.  The theory content here focuses on introducing the students to Engineering calculations by working out, Stress, Strain, Youngs modulus, Pressure, costs, working life of tools etc. Additionally, students are taught about a variety of different materials and processes such as gravity and pressurised die casting, press forming and sand casting.

In June of this year the students are provided with a Design problem that they have to solve by analysing the problem, forming a solution and manufacturing a working prototype to solve the problem.

Year 11 Design Technology, Resistant materials focus, Textiles focus

Year 11 is spent on the controlled assessment where the students have to choose a theme and associated contextual challenge. They spend the year forming a Design brief and Specification before developing a design, making small prototypes, forming a working prototype and evaluating their design.

From May onwards final exam preparation is prioritised providing students with necessary support before they sit their Core and Specialism paper.

Year 11 Engineering

Half of year 11 is spend on the controlled assessment which is worth 40% of their final mark. The students are presented with a design problem and then have to form a design and working prototype to solve design problem.

From February onwards continued exam preparation is continued memorising Engineering equations and utilising them to solve design problems.