Design Technology

Our Vision

Where every member of our extended family realises their God-given potential, inspired by John 10:10. Jesus said 'I have come so you may have life in all its fullness' is routed at the heart of everything we do.

The Lord God designed our earth for us to enjoy and maintain. Morals, Ethics and Social responsibility is engrained in DT so that students grow into informed consumers and positive contributors to the wider world. The design knowledge can either help them in a career or to live a full life by actively participating in wholesome self-reliant activities, encouraging them to give time and charity to people in the community to help those less fortunate. DT is taught to develop reasoned responses and respect all views. It is important to us that the students succeed through reflection and teamwork, developing fair opinions based on their appreciation of all of God’s children. DT gives opportunities for students to appreciate that life runs on spectrums of interpretation and all experiences, positive through to negative and to live a full life you should take them all as they coexist. Designing skill is proportionate to ones understanding of a market and the sympathy to it.


Design Technology is an academic course which means it is a recognised subject, with defined areas of study, that other subjects do not cover to ensure a wider school curriculum. Students studying Design Technology might hope to become part of an industry that involves designing and, or building products, anything from stationary to superstructures like bridges and skyscrapers.

Key Stage 3

The Design and Technology syllabus in Key Stage 3 is designed to give students a basic understanding of the key skills required in the subject. In the department our aim is to give students an understanding of the need for, and requirement of, well-designed and manufactured products in all aspects of modern society. We hope to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the subject and develop the practical skills that are going to allow them to progress in whatever direction they choose.

In years 7 & 8 all students will study half a year of each discipline; Design Technology and Food Preparation and Nutrition. Rotations will take place at February Half Term. Homework will be set weekly on Show My Homework and involve a variety of tasks over student’s 18 - 20 week cycle.

Year 7

In Design and Technology our aim is to give students an understanding of the role of design in society. We hope to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the requirements of a successful design and how this affects the decisions we make when designing the product. Each element of the design process is embedded in a project to allow the student to not only develop an understanding of that aspect of the process in isolation but apply this to the manufacture of an item that they can take home and use.

All the projects in Key Stage 3 have been designed specifically to appeal to the age group and can be further personalised to suit the individual, meaning everyone is able to make something that is functional and fun!

Practical Project Supporting Theory
Acrylic Keyring Students look at design development and how to successfully take a proposal into CAD (2D Design). The product is then laser cut and Evaluated.
Wooden Blockbot Students look at how a stock/basic design can be individualised for a specific market before preparing material. The material is then engraved via CAD before Finishing.
Natural Amplifier (For a mobile phone) Students develop a better understanding of the requirements of a product, its specification (What it must achieve) before designing their product to fit an individual need.  Processes include Drilling and routing before presenting through an orthographic drawing.
DVD/Game rack Students develop a better understanding of the requirements of a product, its specification (What it must achieve) before designing their product and personalising it for an individual market of their choosing.  Processes include Drilling and routing before presenting through an isometric drawing.


Year 8 

During this Design Technology rotation, students will design and manufacture four creative products over twenty one hour lessons. They will be given the opportunity to build confidence using workshop tools accurately and ensure they have the relevant health and safety knowledge to be safe when working in a workshop environment. Students will develop a range of key practical skills such as sawing, letter punching in metal and drilling along with interesting supportive theory topics such as sustainability, adhesives and 21st century design movements.

An important skill they will build upon from the experience they gained initially in Year 7 is computer aided design (CAD). This is where students can design parts of a product using a computer program called 2D Design and then send the file to a computer linked to a laser cutter which will engrave and cut materials to the exact millimeter as required. This is an industry skill that students are gaining and can provide them with a commercially finished product. This understanding along with developing further practical skills in Year 8, will enable students the confidence to manufacture products successfully and understand the use of workshop tools, machinery and manufacturing processes.

Project Product Practical Skills Link to theory topics
1 Recycled cutlery phone stan Shaping of metal with the use of a scribe, pliers, an engineer’s vice and the process of letter punching to add initials. Sustainability, The 6 R’s including recycling, reuse and repair, environmental issues, social, moral and ethical issues, consumer feedback and global responsibility.
2 Free standing Pine Photo frame Measuring, accurate marking, sawing, drilling, sanding and chiselling. Timber joints, standard components, knock down fittings, quality control check and quality assurance, tolerance, stock form and adhesives.
3 Manufactured board trinket box Laminating, sawing, sanding, CAD/CAM, drilling and applying surface finishes. Manufactured boards, isometric drawing, health and safety legislation, CNC, CIM, volume, surface finish, hardwoods and softwoods and raw materials to processes.
4 Memphis inspired clock CAD/CAM skills with the use of 2D Design and a laser cutter, sawing, filing, sanding,  assemble of clock mechanism and gluing. 21st century design movements, CAD and CAM, use of ICT in products, risk assessment, control measures and product analysis.


Design Technology is a creative and vibrant subject. There is a mix of theory and practical lessons which requires the application of knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning, producing products and evaluating them. Students will learn a wide range of designing and making skills and will be given the opportunity to work with a range of materials and computer controlled equipment.

Design Technology encourages candidates to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and gain an insight into related sectors, such as manufacturing and design. It prepares candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

Students will experience the full design process ranging from research, writing a detailed specification, material testing, creative design ideas, 3D model making with a range of materials, manufacturing a product, testing with client feedback and final evaluation. This experience of working through a system will enable students to build confidence as an independent learnerand have a true sense of achievement. 

The design technology department comprises of two well-resourced workshops and desktop computers as well as a trolley with thirty laptops. The selection of machinery includes two laser cutters, a lathe, pillar drill, mortise, belt sander, strip heaters, hot wire, heat press, pewter caster etc.

The non-examined assessment (NEA) begins from June at the end of Year 10 and the external examination lasts for two hours at the end of Year 11.

Year 9:

Year 9 is broken down into the following lessons per fortnight:

  • X1 Theory lesson (Core technical principles)
  • X1 Technical drawing skills
  • X3 Practical projects working through the whole design process

Below is a table of theory topics the students will study during Year 9.

Section Content

Section 1:

New and emerging technologies

Industry and enterprise

Sustainability and the environment

People, culture and society

Production techiniques and systems

Informing design decisions

Section 2:

Energy generation

Energy generation

Energy storage

Modern materials

Smart materials

Composite materials and technical textiles

Systems approach to designing 

Electronic systems processing

Mechanical devices

Section 3:

Materials and their

working properties

Paper and boards

Natural and manufactured timbers

Metals and alloys




Year 10:

Year 10 is broken down into the following lessons per fortnight:

  • X1 Theory lesson (specialist technical principles)
  • X1 Exam preparation 
  • X1 Mini practice NEA in preparation for the major project starting from 1st June of Year 10.
  • X2 Practical projects working through the whole design process


Below is a table of theory topics the students will study in Year 10.


Section Content

Section 4:

Common specialist

technical principles

Forces and stresses on materials and objects            

Improving functionality                                                  

Ecological and social footprint                                        

The 6 R’s                                                                              

Scales of production

Section 5A:

Papers and Boards

Sources, origins and properties

Stock form

Working with paper and boards

Commercial manufacturing processes

Standard components 

Surface treatments and finishes

Product examples

Section 5B:

Timber based materials

Sources, origins and properties

Manufactured boards

Sustainable timber production

Stock form

Working with timber based boards

Commercial manufacturing processes 

Standard components 

Surface treatments and finishes

Product examples


Year 11:


Year 11 is broken down into the following lessons per fortnight:

  • X1 Theory and exam preparation (Designing and making principles)
  • X4 Non examined assessment (One major project based on a brief set by the exam board published each year at the end of year 10).
Section Title Content

Section 6:

Designing principles

Investigation, primary and secondary data

The work of others

Design strategies

Communication of design idea and prototype developments

Section 7:

Making principles

Selection of materials and components

Tolerances and allowances

Material management and marking out

Specialist tools, equipment, techniques and processes

Surface treatments and finishes 

Thorough testing and understanding of the following previous sections:
  1. New and emerging technologies
  2. Energy generation
  3. Materials and their working properties
  4. Common specialist technical principles
Exam Preparation

Exam technique

Glossary of key terminology 

Command words in exam questions

Layout of exam paper

Understanding the mark scheme

Revision aids such as revision wheels/stars etc

Interactive quiz to test knowledge 

Essential theory topics to revise



Product Design (3D Design) is a two year course in Sixth Form with 4 units in total and is set by the exam board AQA.

In Year 12, students will study 2 units throughout the year. Unit 1, Materials, Components and Application is a 2 hour written exam sat at the end of year 12 and is where students discover the theory behind the subject. Unit 2, Learning through designing and making, is where students produce an e-portfolio of a design and make project linked to the theme of ‘In the style of...’. Students explore a range of product designers and 20th century design movements where they get inspired by iconic design work and are therefore able to enthuse their passionate and creativity for the subject.   

In Year 13, students will study the remaining 2 units throughout the year. Unit 3, Design and Manufacture is a 2 hour written exam sat at the end of year 13 and is where students gain a deeper understanding of materials, components and manufacturing.  Unit 4, Design and making practice is where students produce an e-portfolio of a design and make project of their own choice. They are set a design brief by a real client who has identified a problem in their day to day life and the student must meet their specific requirements to solve the problem. The students experience what it’s like in industry to have a client to keep in regular contact with and discuss potential ideas to make sure they satisfy their needs in the final product the student manufactures.


The Design Technology department has run a number of different trips to cater for the wide range of interests the students have and to enable the students to explore industry practice.

Product design A-Level students visited the Bristol IKEA store where they had a presentation to understand the background on IKEA and sustainability, shop floor to understand the concept of flat pack products and a behind the scenes tour of how the store runs on a daily basis.

For this academic year, there is a potential trip to New Designers in London where selected university students from across the UK show case their degree work which I hope will inspire GCSE and A-Level students to what they could achieve and the possibilities within the degree courses.  

Extra Curricular

For Product Design, we hold a ‘PD enhancement session’ on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school and this is available for Year 9 to 13 students to attend to support with their GCSE and A-Level work. This can be for their theory, exam technique or controlled assessment.

Throughout the whole Design Technology department, we strongly advise our A-Level students to come to the department in any study periods to enhance their skills and gain additional help and advice in their academic work.

Future Possibilities

Once students have completed their A-Levels, it is at this point they can decide on the next step where they would focus on an area that they are passionate and creative in.  They can then go onto a wide selection of higher education courses at a college or university or they could study an apprenticeship.

Product design could take you into a number of exciting career paths. Careers within Product Design can include product designer, model maker, graphics communicator, industrial designer, CAD technician, interior designer, mechanical design engineer, architect, gaming interface designers/developers, product manufacturer or advertising consultant to name but a small selection.