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Yewlands Academy

Design Technology


Curriculum timetable: 12-week rotation


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Design Task

Pull Along Toy 


Architecture project

Contextual Challenge  


Knowledge and skills

Health and safety in the workshop. 

Understanding a design brief and analysis of the task. 

Writing a Design specification.

 Marking out.

Quality control.

Initial design ideas. 

Understanding types of motion-rotary, linear, oscillating, reciprocating. 

Respond to a brief.

Write a design specification.

 Materials- paper and boards, source/origin and conversion and stock forms.  

 Research range of architects and architectural movements. 

Analyse the work of a range of architects.

Looking at how we might live in the future.  

Design skills, avoiding fixation.

3D drawing and design techniques.

 Built environment – Materials and the impact on individuals, society, and the environment.

Responsibilities of designers, engineers, and technologists.

Health and safety. 

Contextual design challenge Students to respond using iterative design process.  

Analysis of the contextual task.

 Students to research and investigate user needs, providing an empathetic response.

Writing a clear design brief and specification.   

 Client profiles.

Anthropometric data and its use in design. 

Research of designers past and present. 

Design skills avoiding fixation.  

Inclusive design.

Materials knowledge: Introduction to Plastics, Recap on Timbers and Paper and Boards. 

Inclusive design.


Practical Skills

Introduction to tools.

Practical use of hand tools & machinery, cutting out and sanding body blocks. 

Practical use of machinery- Pillar drill & use of jigs. 

Finishing techniques-wood stain.

Communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling. 

Orthographic projection. 

CAD sketch up.

Modelling techniques. 

Methods of joining, combining, and finishing paper and board.  

Manufacture a high-quality model of a product using card-based materials.  

Analysing, researching, generating design ideas. 

Develop design communication through sketching, CAD, isometric, sketch up & drawing tools.  

Creation of prototypes using Styrofoam and/or card modelling.  


At Yewlands Academy students receive a Design and Technology curriculum which allows them to develop their skills through technical knowledge, designing, making and evaluation.  

We encourage students to: 

  • Use their imagination and creativity to problem solve in real and relevant contexts. 
  • Use their organisational skills to work efficiently and effectively as both individuals and as part of a team. 
  • Think outside of the box and not be afraid to take risks within their projects.
  • Work in a safe manner, whilst also being considerate of their environment and others around them. 
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of technical information to their learning to support outcomes.

There are focused practical Design and Make tasks which help to develop students’ confidence to know and understand how to use specialist technical vocabulary. The knowledge and understanding skills required are also reliant on the programmes of study from other curriculum areas. We aim, wherever possible, to link work to other areas such as English, Maths, Science and Art, yet again broadening our students’ curriculum beyond the Technology classroom.

During the 12-week rotations of Year 7, 8 and 9 students are exposed to a broad syllabus linking in to the KS4 curriculums to both Design Technology and Food Technology. Students begin to experience some of the Core Competencies required by the GCSE curriculums.

Across KS3 skills are broken down into 5 different categories:  

Investigate: Students can independently use relevant technical language to interpret findings to explore all aspects of the topic and add depth to their overall project. 

Design: Students can independently explore different approaches and work in detail thinking about the success of their outcome. This will also be enhanced by their research. Shown in the work by adding annotation to designs with the use of relevant and key technical language. 

Make: Students produce work of a high standard which shows a high level of understanding and accuracy meeting success criteria and keeping within the tolerance of the tasks. 

Analyse and evaluate: Students can reflect positively as well as constructively criticise their own work. They show a high level of knowledge and understanding, suggesting improvements and solutions. They are also able to consider and respond to the opinions of their peers/target audience. They also use advanced technical language.  

Application: Students can explain in detail and show a thorough understanding of why processes happen using concise technical language. 

Through the Design and Make tasks set in KS3 and KS4, we enable our students to grow in confidence and become more technically-minded individuals, preparing them for life beyond Yewlands Academy. 


Key Stage 4 


GCSE Design Technology (8552)

The GCSE examination specification for Design Technology can be accessed on the AQA website at 

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 design possibilities.  
  • Producing a design brief and specification. 
  • Generating design ideas. 
  • Developing design ideas (CAD modelling). 
  • Realising design ideas. 
  • Analysing and evaluating. 


Design Technology provides a route to a wide range of careers in creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. It is good preparation for A level Design and Technology courses.