Curriculum - Subject Information


Design and Technology (DT)

Design and Technology (DT) is studied by all students in year 7 to 9. Students can choose to study the subject further in year 10 and 11, as one of their GCSE option choices.

Reason for sequencing the curriculum for every year group in the way it is, and the subject specific/pedagogical approach taken:

In Key Stage 3, projects focus on assessment strands to cover the National Curriculum, through both practical and theory work. Assessment areas are spread out to ensure full coverage over the 3 year Key Stage. Key Stage 3 work also incorporates elements of the GCSE coverage to ensure progression moving through the years.

Year 7


Year 7 is an introduction to DT for many students, a focus on health and safety, introduction to a workshop and tools/equipment. Projects are skills based and link designing, making and CAD/CAM.


Projects are teacher-led and step-by-step to allow students to feel comfortable and safe in a workshop environment and make progress in all areas (some students have less experience than others)

Year 8


Year 8 builds on the core skills learnt in year 7 and develops these by encouraging independence – students are taught how to set up and run equipment and CAD/CAM machines.


Projects offer a range of skills and techniques with are more complex – students are required to understand the activities required and work through activities in a logical order.

Year 9


Year 9 builds on year 8 by offering a choice of projects offering stretch and challenge. Students also work in small teams to solve solutions for users and contexts.


Projects are open – students are expected to research and solve problems with their designs – utilising their knowledge of materials and processes from year 7, 8 and continued research.

Year 10


Year 10 allows students to experience small scale projects which use the same assessment structure as the NEA in year 11. Students build on their theory knowledge from Key Stage 3 and apply this in contexts and stand-alone theory lessons.


Short, sharp focused projects which allow students to understand how they are being assessed and how to improve. Students are encouraged to be creative and learn from mistakes in preparation for year 11.

Year 11


Year 11 focusses on a student led project (started in term 3:2 in year 10) until April in year 11. The NEA equates to 50% of the GCSE grade. Theory sessions are embedded in the NEA and are also delivered as stand-alone sessions.

The NEA work is produced online, allowing the teacher to recognise progress and adapt work accordingly. Deadlines are set and communicated with students. Students can access work online at any time.

Theory sessions cover specialist content and develop from the embedded theory from year 7-11.

How we build on prior learning:

  • National Curriculum strands are mapped from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 3 and projects in Key Stage 3 are plotted against the GCSE specification.
  • All National Curriculum areas are covered throughout Key Stage 3, core content is repeated and expanded on and merges with the GCSE content at year 9.
  • We aim to ensure that all students can access the Key Stage 3 and 4 curriculums by knowing what they should have covered before reaching us.
  • A benchmarking exam in year 7 allows us to see actual knowledge against the DT Key Stage 3 National Curriculum.
  • Projects are built on from year to year, allowing all students to access content from any starting point.
  • Student independence increases as the students learn and experience more.
  • Assessment is focussed on key areas which are developed over time. Assessment areas and layout are consistent from year 7-11 and contain activities/tasks that increase in complexity over time.
  • Assessment areas at Key Stage 3: Design, make, evaluate and knowledge.
  • Assessment areas at Key Stage 4: Investigate, Design, Develop, Make, Evaluate
  • GCSE theory content is embedded throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Projects have specific theory content and are plotted to ensure that all areas are covered and repeated to develop skills from previous years.
  • End of unit knowledge tests are developed into small scale exams to prepare students in Key Stage 3 for the expectations at GCSE.

How we prepare students for the future:

Education beyond GCSE

DT at Stradbroke High School is not just about a pathway to a set GCSE (as this can change over time). We are passionate about setting creative projects, tasks and challenges that allow students to receive an education that broadens their knowledge and experience – to prepare them for the next steps of their journey.


  • Projects, tasks and challenges are created to enable students to find areas that they can excel in, that they may never have had the opportunity to see or do.
  • We have created links with key designers/companies within the field.
  • We practice life skills and create a work ethic to prepare students for the world of work.

Life skills 

Some of the skills we help to develop are:

  • Practical skills/modern skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Problem solving
  • Reflection/Evaluating
  • Analysis
  • Independence
  • Teamwork
  • Bigger picture thinking
  • Presentation/Communication

Additional provision to support learning:

  • Teachers offer an open-door policy for GCSE students to allow them to work at lunchtimes on a computer or to improve practical work.
  • GCSE Students falling behind are offered additional lunchtime slots to reach their potential.
  • Mr Gionis provides a TinkerTech session to Key Stage 3 students (Day/times are advertised in the department) – to encourage a passion for creativity.
  • After school sessions will be offered in term 2 and 3 for year 11 GCSE students to work on practical solutions.
  • Assessment sheets and assessment criteria are in the same format and use student friendly phrases to allow students to evaluate their own progress using a mark scheme.
  • Step-by-step guides are printed as resources which students can access.
  • Seneca revision online requires reading of core content before testing.
  • Microsoft forms online tests encourage ICT access and reading/typing.
  • Students are encouraged to research using primary and secondary sources to inform decisions.

DT Learning Journey

Example Key Stage 3 Assessment Skills/Feedback

DT Curriculum Map

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