Design & Technology

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Year 7

Students in Year 7 work on 3 projects over the school year, all of which will have elements of the GCSE and vocational options that we offer for Y9 – 11.

In the food room students work on a mixture of practical and theory session based around the theme of Healthy Eating. The practical sessions include the preparation of dishes including toasted sandwiches, soup, pasta salad and crumble. Students learn about Health and Safety in the food preparation environment, nutrition and other food-related issues such as sustainability and food packaging information.

In Materials Technology, students work on two projects. The first is a CAM toy product where they learn about timber manufacture and simple mechanisms. They also learn about CAD (computer aided design) and CAM (computer aided manufacture). The second project is to design a laser cut maze product where they consolidate and further develop their knowledge of CAD/CAM by creating a handheld game.


Year 8

Students in Year 7 work on 3 projects over the school year, that continue to have further elements of the GCSE and vocational options that we offer for Y9 – 11.

In the food room students work on a mixture of practical and theory sessions based around the theme of Global Gastronomy. The practical sessions include the preparation of dishes including scones, pizza, stir fry and bean burgers. Students extend their knowledge of Health and Safety in the food preparation environment and nutrition, as well as gaining new insight into areas such as dietary requirements and portion control.


In the workshop, students design and make a clock inspired by The Memphis Group to extend their use of CAD/CAM and incorporating the use of modelling and iterative design.

The third project focuses on textiles, where whilst learning about the production and use of textiles in a commercial sense, they manufacture their own mascot, from design and production planning all the way through to construction.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Options

GCSE Design and Technology

Exam Board: OCR

Course Outline: Design and Technology has 2 units – an externally assessed exam paper (50% of the overall grade) and a ‘non-exam component’ (50% of the overall grade).

The exam component, titled ‘Principles of design and technology’, includes both the ‘core’ principles that all students must know, and ‘in-depth’ principles that are more specific to the materials or systems they have deeper practical and design experience of. The exam is worth 50% of the total GCSE grade for the subject.

Students should:

  • Analyse existing products
  • Demonstrate applied mathematical skills
  • Demonstrate their ‘core’ design and technical knowledge and understanding
  • Demonstrate and apply their in-depth technical knowledge of working with materials, ensuring functionality of products or systems and manufacturing processes and techniques.


Non-exam Assessment (NEA): The ‘non-exam’ component is a design and make activity based around one of three themes set yearly by the exam board. Students produce a detailed portfolio of the development of their product from first ideas right the way through to manufacture and evaluation. This is submitted electronically in the form of an electronic portfolio. Students are taught the majority of the theory needed for the exam through the controlled assessment task.  The NEA is also worth 50% of the total GCSE grade for the subject.

All learning for both units is delivered through the following topic areas:


  • Identifying requirements
  • Learning from existing products and practice
  • Implications of wider issues
  • Design thinking and communication
  • Material considerations
  • Technical understanding
  • Manufacturing processes and techniques
  • Viability of design solutions.


NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering complements GCSE qualifications. This qualification is designed to match the rigour and challenge of GCSE study and is an equivalent qualification.

The qualification is graded Level 1 Pass / Merit / Distinction / Distinction* and Level 2 Pass / Merit / Distinction / Distinction* (equivalent to GCSE grades 9 – 1). This qualification is appropriate for learners who are looking to develop a significant core of knowledge and understanding in engineering and be able to apply their learning.

This qualification has been designed to sit alongside the requirements of core GCSE subjects and is appropriate for learners who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content which is concrete and directly related to those experiences.

It is distinct from GCSE Engineering, as it encourages the learner to use knowledge and practical tools to focus on developing transferrable skills in practical engineering accompanied by the theoretical knowledge to help with progression into employment and onto further education.

The study of engineering is the application of maths and science to solve real world problems. This involves an understanding of the different disciplines of engineering and how they have shaped the products and projects of the modern world. Learners will be able to read technical drawings, select appropriate materials along with tools and machinery, and know how to carry out a practical task, working in a safe manner in line with current health and safety legislation.

The qualification focuses on an applied study of the engineering sector and learners will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of working in the sector.

What will the learner study as part of this qualification?

This qualification shows learners how to:

  • Understand engineering disciplines
  • Understand how science and maths are applied in engineering
  • Understand how to read engineering drawings
  • Understand properties and characteristics of engineering materials and know why specific materials are selected for engineering applications
  • Understand engineering tools, equipment and machines
  • Produce hand-drawn engineering drawings
  • Produce Computer Aided Design (CAD) engineering drawings
  • Demonstrate production planning techniques
  • Demonstrate processing skills and techniques applied to materials for a manufacturing task
  • Understand how to create, present and review art and design work

Eduqas Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering

The food qualification offered, equips the students with practical skills and knowledge to enable them to gain a solid understanding of the hospitality and catering industry, as well as practical skills for work as part of a kitchen brigade.

Unit 1: Hospitality and Catering Industry – Written paper – 40% – Gaining knowledge about: planning hospitality and catering provision, types of establishment, job roles, operational efficiency, legal and financial considerations and meeting customer expectations.


Unit 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action – Controlled Assessment Task – 60% – Responding to a given brief, students will carry out preparation, cooking and present nutritional dishes, alongside answering assessment criteria in the form of coursework. This covers types of provision and kitchen and front of house operation as well as personal safety in their preparation.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

A Level Product Design

Exam Board: AQA 

Course Outline: Students follow the AQA GCE Product Design specification which is split into the following three units.

Paper 1 is an externally assessed written paper, the focus of which is ‘Technical principles’.  This unit is worth 30% of the whole qualification.  Theory and homework tasks are set which develop student’s material knowledge and their knowledge of both workshop and industrial manufacture. Questions are a mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2 is a second externally assessed written paper, which focuses on ‘Designing and making principles’. This unit is worth 20% of the A Level qualification. Questions are a mixture of short answer and extended response questions. Exam paper comprises of two sections:

  • Section A: Product Analysis (30 marks)

Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

  • Section B: Commercial manufacture (50 marks)

Mixture of short and extended response questions

Non-exam Assessment (NEA): This is a coursework unit which is marked internally and moderated by the exam board.  This unit is worth 50% of the final A Level qualification.  Students are required to complete a high quality portfolio of design work and manufacture innovative products of a high quality.  An iterative and client focused approach is critical to success.  Students follow a design brief of their own choosing and must follow the design process from investigation, design development, product manufacture through to product testing and evaluation.manufacture through to product testing and evaluation.