Design and Technology

Our well planned and varied curriculum develops inquisitive learners through structured tasks and skill acquisition with both hand and machine tools from Year 7 onwards. The acquisition of skills is vast and encompasses practical, technological and design based proficiencies. 

Projects are always thoroughly supported with a context and ‘brief’, so the curriculum connects well to a real world experiences and needs. 



Design and Technology at Key Stage 3

Our KS3 students experience a skills-based curriculum with foundations in the AQA GCSE Design and Technology specification. Year 7 students experience a wide range of small practical tasks, where theory of manufacturing processes, materials and design skills are developed. A focus on Computer Aided Design and Manufacture enables students to see rapid prototyping of their designs, a key skill required for GCSE Design and Technology. We aim for our students to learn a new skill each lesson and to become independent practitioners as they move through this Key Stage.

Moving into Year 8, students will focus on a single project focusing on design requirements required to be able to effectively communicate their designs to others. Formal and informal design techniques are used, from busy ideas pages to more formal technical drawing. The skill of taking a design from paper into reality is a focus with students learning about design eras and design influences along with client/user group preferences. All key skills in designers of the future. In Year 9, students undertake a mini GCSE project, giving them an insight into the demands of the GCSE Design and Technology course. One project is completed with equal emphasis on designing and making. Clear links with industry are formed, with Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD CAM) skills developed. A greater emphasis on innovation and creativity is placed on this project as students need to demonstrate clear desire to create solutions to real problems and work effectively with real clients. 

Design and Technology at Key Stage 4

Our GCSE Design and Technology course is the culmination of acquisition of skills gained in KS3 and an opportunity for students to demonstrate excellent subject knowledge. Theory forms a large element of the course in Year 10 and is designed to enable students to understand why and how products are made. Designing sustainably is a real-life application of our subject and students will learn how designers can be more ethical with material choice and through sourcing of materials and sustainable manufacturing techniques. Historical figures in design, architecture and engineering are studied with an opportunity to demonstrate influences of these inspiring designers within their own work.

Small practical tasks form the basis of skill in Year 10, where students consolidate their theoretical knowledge through a product they design and make. Maintaining industry links, we also encourage both independent work and group tasks, with communication being massively important in both written, visual and physical designs. Both hand sketched ideas and use of CAD CAM is essential and we introduce CAD software, Fusion 360, to students in Year 10 to enhance and further develop this skill throughout the GCSE course. 

In Year 11, students undertake their Non- Examined Assessment, worth 50% of their final GCSE Grade. This takes the form of an A3 written document consisting of a 20 A3 page design portfolio and a product. Submission of this is during Term 2, enabling the remaining time in class to be focused on revision and exam technique prior to final exams in May. Students will work in exercise books to record all theory lesson notes and class tasks. Excellent organisation of this workbook, along with detailed note taking, will prove beneficial to students as this forms the basis for revision in Year 11.