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Design Technology

Course description 

Design Technology is subject that provided students with the opportunities to develop their capability, combining their design and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products, solve problems and apply their skills and knowledge to real world situations.

Design technology has changed vastly over the last few years and it uses increasingly sophisticated resources, including dedicated teaching environments, manufacturing equipment and specialist teaching. As students progress through KS3 students are given the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of the subject such as Product Design, Food Technology, Textiles and Graphics (within Product Design). However, at its core, is creativity and imagination. Students learn to design and make products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. To do this effectively, they will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on additional disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

Key Stage 3 

Design Technology is a combination of Product Design, Food Technology and Textiles; within Year 7 & 8 students will develop the core skills and knowledge that is required at KS3, these core skills are varied dependent on the subject, however, it is expected students will have applied these skills to all areas of Design Technology at KS4.

 The topics that students will cover through their projects are:

  • Understanding contexts, users and purposes
  • Generating, developing, modeling and communicating ideas
  • Planning
  • Practical skills and techniques
  • Own ideas and products
  • Making products work
  • Where food comes from (Food Technology only)
  • Food preparation, cooking and nutrition (Food Technology only)

The projects that students cover are:

Year 7

Wooden Toy Car design and Make- 

This project allows for students to learn how to safely use all the machines and equipment required at KS3. Students will also study knock down fittings and wood joints. There will also be a focus on their designing skills in response to a Design context that is targeted at a specific user.

Wooden Robot Key Skills project- 

Students will design and make a wooden robot that has been packaged; the focus of this unit is how students plan their making activities and how they can communicate their ideas.

Felt Monster with Circuit

Student will be introduced to a range of different stitches, this project will result in a completed a monster from recycled materials that has an LED circuit. The focus of this project is the practical skills and how students generate their idea.

Graphic Unit-Key drawing principles

The graphic unit has been added in preparation for students selecting a DT subject at KS4. Students will be shown a range of different drawing techniques that can be transferred to any of their Design Technology Projects in KS3. The focus of assessment for this unit will be Practical Skills and Techniques

Farm to Fork

Students will undertake an exciting investigation into the Providence of food through practical demonstrations, practical lesson and content based lessons. Students will also be taught how to handle and prepare food safely.

Year 8

Lantern Design and Make

Students will design and make a lantern with the aim of combining both their Textiles and product Design knowledge. The focus for this unit will be generating and developing designs. 

Practical investigation of a product.

Students will be given an example of a product that they need to make, based on their observations and observational drawings they will investigate how the product works before completing this.

Graphic Unit-Key drawing principles

Students will continue to develop their skills from Y7, the focus for this unit will be on CAD.

Design and Make an Appliqué cushion.

Students will design and make an applique cushion, the project allows students to use a wide range of techniques and processes that can be later transferred to KS4. The focus for this unit will be Practical skills and techniques.

Farm to Fork

Continuing from Y7 Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of food preparation, cooking and nutrition. Students will understand what makes a healthy diet, they will be able to design and make recipes that demonstrate this.

Key Stage 4 

AQA GCSE Design and Technology

The specification comprised of two components; the Written Paper and the Non-examined assessment, both component are worth 50%. The written paper is worth 100 marks and will take 2 hours to complete, students will answer multiple choice questions and extended response answers. The Non-exam assessment will contribute towards 50% of the students overall mark. The NEA project in its entirety will take between 30-35 hours to complete and consist of a working prototype and a portfolio. Students will be expected to cover the following topics for both units:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles


    Each topic is further divided into sub-topics covering over 20 areas.


Students will cover these topics through single theory lessons and Projects in Year 9 and Year 10, before starting their NEA project in Y11, the projects for the NEA are set in June of each year. It is vital students adhere to deadlines due to the tight timelines in Y11. Projects in Year 9 and Year 10 will be formalised in June 2017.


AQA Technical Award, Fashion and Textiles

The new, practical Level 1/2 Technical Award in Fashion and Textiles is designed to equip students with the practical skills in Fashion & Textiles they need to progress to further general or vocational study. They’ll develop a broad understanding of the sector so they can make informed decisions about their career opportunities.


The specification comprised of three units, Unit 1: Skills demonstration, Unit 2: Extended making project and Unit 3: Fundamentals of fashion and textiles. Within Unit 1 students will undertake a number of mini projects that will allow them to be assessed against 12

practical skills and the knowledge associated with these. In Unit 2 Students will undertake an extended project that showcases the skills they have developed in

Unit 1 and the knowledge they have developed through Unit 3. Students will produce a made outcome in addition to a small portfolio to evidence the planning and development and testing and evaluation stages. Unit 3 is a 90 minute exam that covers the following areas:

• materials and components

• processes and techniques

• tools and equipment

• industrial processes


• commercial practice

• career opportunities.


WJEC Food and Hospitality

The WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering has been designed to support

Students who wish to learn about the vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study. It is most suitable as a foundation for further study. This further study would provide learners with the opportunity to develop a range of specialist and general skills that would support their progression to employment. 

The WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering is made up of two mandatory units: Unit 1 The Hospitality and Catering Industry which is a 90 minute exam and Unit 2 Hospitality and Catering in Action, which is delivered through two Projects.


This course has been designed to develop in learners the knowledge and Understanding related to a range of hospitality and catering providers; how they operate and what they have to take into account to be successful. There is the opportunity to learn about issues related to nutrition and food safety and how they affect successful hospitality and catering operations. In this qualification, students will have the opportunity to develop food preparation and cooking skills as well as transferable skills of problem solving, organisation and time management, planning and communication.

Students will study core skills in Year 9 and undertake Unit 2 in Year 10 before sitting their exam (Unit 1) in Year 11.


All students will have an Exam and course work; the percent weighting of each element is dependent on the course.

At KS3 homework will be set on Show my homework as a HLP in accordance to the Academy’s policy.

As a minimum at KS4 students will be given homework books to complete, they will also be required to complete work as directed by the teacher.

Books, Equipment, Materials and Resources Recommended/Needed 

The basic Academy will provide the equipment needed for students to complete their work in lessons, however, students may wish to purchase additional items; these can be purchased through the school at cost; a list can be provided by their Teacher. 

KS4 Students will be expected to purchase a folder. 

KS3 and KS4 Food Technology Students will be expected to purchase their own ingredients.

Opportunities for Study beyond Key Stage 4 

All courses can be studied at College, 6th Form or through apprenticeships 

Career Opportunities Supported By This Subject 

 Design Technology is such a diverse and varied subject; it is a good idea to see the course as a ‘gateway’ course as It allows for so many possibilities for career opportunities such as: Designers, Product Designer, Graphic Designer, Architect, Engineer, Drafts Man, CAD Designer, Fashion Designer, Textiles Designer, Seamstress, Chief, Food Scientist, Food Developer, Teacher, Product Developer. 

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