Design & Technology

Key Stage 3

Year 7

This year students will embark on a program of study based on the new National Curriculum for Design and Technology. They will learn about the importance of safety in the workshops, before embarking on a number of practical projects including a basic electronic/soldering project of a Moisture Tester before going on to develop basic design communication skills including sketching, drawing controlled lines. 3D sketching and annotation. This year, with the inclusion of laser cutting technology, students will learn how to use CAD/CAM in design and will apply this to the design and make of models, which will include logos and typography in creating signage to develop brands and convey messages. For the final product of the year, students will use CAD software to design and make pewter caste jewellery to a given theme.

Year 8

The theme of designing will continue into this year beginning with analysis of famous or household products to help learn about products and inspire students for their own design work. Students will learn how existing products can be a rich source of information and develop designs using rendering and modelling and CAD to communicate designs. Students will then move on to design and manufacture a small batch of identical lanterns based around a theme. Students work in groups to design and manufacture lanterns to help them understand manufacturing processes including batch and scales of production. For the final product for this year group, they will develop an understanding for a basic product: salad servers and explore how design can improve the product. They will investigate a range of options before producing a specification, making examples and considering finishing techniques.

Year 9

Students in Year 9 will experience a range of opportunities to enhance their skills in CAD/CAM, and advanced modelling to communicate their ideas.

At the start of the year, all students will investigate the Art Deco design era and use the influences of Art Deco in the design of a trinket box that will test the skills of woodworking and joint construction. Learning to apply elements of popular designers and design eras are necessary to develop students in the art of innovation in design.

Students will also design and make an educational product for a child, identifying a ‘client’ (child between 0-5) and understanding her needs, wants and interests; conducting product analysis, generating ideas and a specification, prototyping and planning production, manufacturing and evaluating the product. The opportunity for use of CAD/CAM to model and test the outcomes of the designs is an essential part of the development of the product.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Design and Technology


Subject Leader:

Mr Naiker


Exam Specification:

AQA Design & Technology 8552

QN Code:




Summary of course content

Central to the content of this qualification is the requirement for learners to understand and apply processes of iterative designing in their design and technology practice. They will need to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills through a variety of processes that ‘explore needs, ‘create’ solutions and ‘evaluate’ how well the needs have been met.   The knowledge, understanding and skills that all learners must develop are underpinned by technical principles and principles of designing and making.   Design and Technology requires learners to apply mathematical skills and understand related science. This reflects the importance of Design and Technology as a pivotal STEM subject.


What is assessed?

Practical application of the following in both examination and non-examination work:

• Core technical principles

• Specialist technical principles

• Designing and making principles


Written exam: 2 hours

  • 100 marks
  •  50 % of the GCSE (maths and science knowledge contributes to at least 15% of the marks in the exam and will be examined in any of 3 sections below)

The exam is split into 3 sections:

  • Core technical principles (20 marks) – a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding
  • Specialist technical principles (30 marks) – several short answer questions (2-5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles
  • Designing and making principles (50 marks) – A mixture of short answer and extended response questions

Non-exam assessment (NEA) approximately 30 – 35 hours

  • 100 marks
  •  50 % of GCSE


  • Contextual challenges to be released annually by the exam boards on 1 June, in the year before      submission.
  •  It is a substantial design and make task where students will produce a working prototype and a portfolio of evidence (maximum 20 pages) to demonstrate the assessment criteria above.  The assessment criteria is:
  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
  • Producing a design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Realising design ideas
  • Analysing and evaluating

Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by the exam board     

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Year 10 is focused on revising skills learnt in KS3 and building the additional knowledge needed for the course.  Students will need to learn about the following, through both theoretical and practical work:

  • Papers and boards
  • Natural and manufactured timber
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Thermo and thermosetting polymers
  • Natural, synthetic, blended and mixed fibres, and woven, non-woven and knitted textiles.   


There are eight topic areas which will be taught throughout the course.  These are:

1. Identifying requirements

2. Learning from existing products and practice

3. Implications of wider issues

4. Design thinking and communication

5. Material considerations

6. Technical understanding

7. Manufacturing processes and techniques

8. Viability of design solutions.


What type of homework tasks will be set?

Homework will be a range of small projects, research, maths tasks, finishing class tasks and revision.

How will it help me in the future?

To become innovative designers, engineers and consumers of the future.  It will form a foundation that can built upon at college, apprenticeships and in further education

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

It will develop a deeper understanding of all materials and their properties and a deeper understanding of their impact on the environment

What skills will I develop?

Practical Skills

Problem Solving Skills

Mathematical and logical thinking skills

Presentation Skills

Communication Skills