Design Technology

Key Stage 3 Design & Technology

What will I learn in this subject?

Design & Technology covers a broad range of skills that are needed for the 21st Century.  The subject requires students to think methodically and creatively to solve a problem.  They learn about traditional and modern materials and manufacturing processes to then make an informed decision on the best way to achieve this.  As technology advances we want our students to feel confident they can adapt and change with it.

What skills and themes are covered?

The following areas are covered during the Key Stage:

  • String Puppet — an introduction to Health and Safety and basic hand tools
  • Rollerball Game — an introduction to CAD and Plastics
  • Steady Hand Game — an introduction to Electronics
  • Jewellery — using cuttlefish casting
  • Picture Frame — using batch production methods to produce a high quality product
  • The Clock Project — students use existing designers as inspiration for a clock which makes use of CAD and CAM
  • Bottle Opener — students extend their traditional making skills and combine them with DAC/CAM
  • Automaton — students put their knowledge of mechanisms into practise
  • Desk Tidy — extends the students skills with hand tools incorporating knowledge of wood joining techniques
  • Mobile Phone — students experience a Product Design activity in producing a high quality mode

How is it assessed?

There is a marking and assessment sheet used for all work, this will identify strengths and weaknesses in the student’s work and is completed fortnightly.  At the completion of the project, students are issued with an assessment booklet where they have the opportunity to level their work.  With assistance from the teacher, students then set themselves targets for their next project.

Where does this take me?

There are a wide range of qualifications offered within Design & Technology.  Students can take a range of BTEC and GCSE options in Engineering, Construction and Product Design, and can then progress to a BTEC level 3 course equivalents.

Key Stage 4 – BTEC Engineering

What will I learn on this course?

The Engineering option encompasses hands on practical manufacturing skills and techniques in Mechanical and Electronic/Electrical Engineering, along with the accompanying theory. Students are able to learn and develop the application of these important life skills in an environment which reflects a ‘real world’ working ethic.

In the first year of this two year course you will complete Unit 1: The Engineered World, this unit is an External assessed unit which will be assessed by an online exam. The other unit that you will complete in the first year is Unit 2: Investigating an Engineered Product.

In the second year students may have the possibility of completing either Unit 7 (Machining Techniques), in this specialist unit you will use the all the machinery found within the Engineering workshop such as the Milling machine, Centre Lathe, Pillar drill and various hand tools.  Or you may have the possibility of completing Unit 8 (Electronic Circuit Design and Construction), in this specialist unit you will learn about designing electronic systems, constructing electronic circuits using electronic building blocks, know how to populate circuit boards permanently and construct electronic circuits safely, as well as test and evaluate electronic circuits.

BTEC Level 1/2 First Award in Engineering

Core Units

Unit 1: The Engineered World.

Unit 2: Investigating an Engineered Product.

Specialist Unit

Either Unit 7 “Machining Techniques” (double unit) or Unit 8 “Electronic Circuit Design and Construction” (double unit).

How is this qualification taught and assessed?

This course is mainly coursework based with one of the four units being assessed by an online test (25% of the course).

What qualification will I achieve?

A BTEC Level 1/2 First Award in Engineering (worth 1 GCSE)

Where will this qualification take me?

Students are actively encouraged to develop independent and team-working skills within this engineering scenario, placing them in an excellent position to progress into further and higher education or indeed, employment.

How can I find out more?

Either see Mr McKean ( or Mr Summerfield ( or email them for further details.

Key Stage 4- GCSE Product Design

What will I learn on this course?

The course is structured so that all students will create a portfolio and product chosen from a list of projects issued by the examining board (AQA). The projects are open ended allowing students to choose subjects, media and materials they are interested in. You will learn how to identify a need, write a design brief and specify the outcome. You are then given the opportunity to show and develop new and existing skills to make it.

How is this qualification taught and assessed?

The course is a GCSE course which has an exam at the end. The portfolio is worth 60% of your final grade; and the theory exam is 40%. To ensure that you are on track for both elements, 2 lessons a week will be on your coursework whilst the other is a theory lesson giving you plenty of exam practice ahead of the real thing.

What qualification will I achieve?

A GCSE in Product Design.

Where will this qualification take me?

There are a number of pathways which stem from this course. There is the opportunity to use CAD and CAM during the course. There will be detailed designs you have created and you will be using a range of materials, it really is up to you. There are a number of higher level courses which look at computer design, manufacturing and product design itself. You will also have a portfolio which shows you have a logical and ordered way of thinking to reach a detailed, useful conclusion – something employers and education institutions will all be interested in.

How can I find out more?