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Design Technology

Curriculum Overview

The foundation of quality in teaching and learning is for appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills to be identified, planned and taught.

It is unreasonable for students to undertake the complex requirements of design and make assignments without having first acquired the necessary skills and experiences required for their work. Outcomes produced in Design and Make assignments (DMAs) result from the application of knowledge/skills and understanding gained through Focused Practical Tasks (FPTs) and Investigating, Disassembling and Evaluating Activities (IDEAs). This all helps to develop a specialised technical vocabulary. The knowledge and understanding skills required are also reliant on the programmes of study from other curriculum areas, in particular the STEM subjects.

This forms the basis for the development of the course at Key Stage 3 and is organised so that all students follow the same programmes of study, but this does not mean that the provision is identical for all students. The work is differentiated to allow the needs of the individual group/student to be fully met.

Key Stage 3

Projects are developed to allow students to access the key concepts in Design and Technology during Key Stage 3. They are given the opportunity to develop a range of skills that will allow them to become more independent, confident learners in Design Technology.
Projects are delivered using a rotation format covering the essential material areas within Design Technology.

Y7 – E textiles project and Food Technology

Y8 – Pull Along Toy - Resistant materials and Pewter Casting.

Y9 Product design, mobile phone holder and Food and nutrition.

Alongside this we offer Hospitality and Catering L1/2 in Y9.

Key Stage 4

The examination specification for both courses taught at GCSE can be accessed on the AQA website at

The 2 courses on offer are:

GCSE Design Technology (8552)

The course is split into two sections – 50% examination and 50% NEA (Non Examined Assessment).

In Year 10, students will build up their practical skills and wider design technology knowledge through a variety of activities in paper, card, textiles, wood, metal, plastics, electronics and milestone activities.

In Year 11, students will complete the Non Examined Assessment. This consists of a portfolio of independent investigations into the contextual challenge which will lead them onto developing a final prototype.

This is a challenging course that stretches and enables students to use various subject specific skills to ensure they develop a thorough understanding of a wide range of materials and processes.

The Design Technology NEA task is divided into 6 sections:

  • Identifying and investigating deign possibilities.
  • Producing a design brief and specification.
  • Generating design Ideas.
  • Developing design ideas (CAD modelling).
  • Realising design Ideas.
  • Analysing and Evaluating.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition (8585)

The course is split into two sections – 50% examination and 50% NEA (Non Examined Assessment).

In Year 10, students will build up their practical skills and food knowledge through a variety of practical activities and milestone activities.

In Year 11, students will complete two Non Examined Assessments. The first will be a Food Investigation assessed with a written report consisting of 1,500-2,000 words. The second task is a Food Preparation Assessment resulting in a three-hour practical examination and a written portfolio.

This 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.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance.

Upon completion of these courses, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering, food or engineering and design technology industries.