Design and Technology 

Course Description 

In Design Technology we offer three main areas – Resistant Materials, Graphic Products and Electronics. Students will gain experience in a wide range of materials including wood, metal, plastics and graphic materials as well as developing many practical skills.

Resistant Materials is where students will develop a better understanding of the design process. Students will carry out product analysis, taking products apart and analysing them constructively and proposing improvements. The course promotes an awareness of environmental issues such as sustainable energy and recycling, as well as good citizenship and an awareness of the moral and social aspects of industrial design and manufacturing.

Graphic Products is where students will develop skills in analysing products, model making, learning various drawing techniques and develop ICT skills in producing creative designs. The course will teach students to analyse, research, design and manufacture a graphic product of their choice for a major project.

Electronics is where students will learn about the theoretical and practical aspects of electronics including input, output and control components, circuit manufacture and industrial manufacturing techniques.

The course involves short practical projects through which students will learn about various manufacturing processes and gain a better understanding of materials and combines both the practical and theoretical aspects of Product Design.

Our expectations

Due to the nature of the subject, it is imperative that all students follow Health and Safety expectations at all times.  We expect students to be resilient when having to problem-solve and be willing to take on board advice and adapt design ideas, based on feedback given by others.


During the year, students at KS3 have the opportunity to study Food Technology on a carousel system. Food Preparation and Nutrition equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science and healthy eating. It encourages learners to make informed decisions about nutrition now and later in life. The subject also allows pupils to experience foods that they may not have come across outside of school.

Curriculum Overview

Term Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Autumn 1 Health and Safety – Machine License

Introduction to CAD – Keyring and rendering skills


Chocolate bar – graphics, cutting, shaping, laser cutting Clock Project
Autumn 2 Flower Holder – cutting, filing and shaping, friction fit and design Mobile phone holder– metal, cold forming Trinket box
Spring 1 Uplight – polymers and electronics Mechanical Toy – Design brief, specification, research, designing, CAMs, cutting, filing and shaping. Earphone wrap – CAD, packaging, vacuum forming
Spring 2 Drawing skills – isometric, oblique and 3rd angle orthographic projection TFL Tube map with Landmarks - Graphics Passive Amplifier
Summer 1 Block Bot - Timbers Sweet Dispenser Drawing skills/Modelling – one/two point perspective, isometric and exploded diagrams
Summer 2 Google sketch up - Clock


Course Overview

Students at GCSE follow the AQA GCSE Design and Technology Course (8552):


Assessment components

One written exam: 2 hours (50% of GCSE) at the end of Year 11:

  • Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)
    A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.
  • Section B – 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.
  • Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)
    A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

One practical assessment during Year 11:

  • Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx.:
    Task: Substantial design and make task based on ‘Contextual challenges’. Students will produce a prototype and create a portfolio of evidence:
  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
  • Producing a design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Developing design ideas

Contextual challenges are released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA.

Main activities

Theory content covers topics such as materials (timber, plastics, textiles, electronics, paper and board, metal), social/environment impact, manufacturing processes, technical drawing, sustainability and mechanical systems, research, iterative design, modelling, CAD/CAM, prototyping, practical skills, evaluating.

Why you should consider this subject for GCSE

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Our GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. There are many routes that can be pursued should students choose a pathway into Design Technology.

Future Careers

Examples of careers include a/an: Product Designer, Primary/Secondary Teacher, Games Developer, Web Designer, Interior Design, Marketing/Advertising, Construction, Architect, Graphic Designer, Engineer, Fashion Design, Carpenter.


Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 65% grades 9-4.

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 75% grades 9-4.