Curriculum - Subject Information


Design & Technology


Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Key Stage 3 Content:

Year 7

Pupils are introduced to a broad range of tools and equipment across Design & Technology and knowledge of related health and safety. Projects introduce pupils to: carcass woodwork construction, simple mechanisms, design principles/communication skills, textiles, 2D designer, Photoshop and the CNC plotter and laser cutters. Accompanying material & processing theory drawn from KS4 specification subject content.
2 x 100mins per fortnight for 2/3 of term (last 1/3 pupils study Food, Preparation & Nutrition)

Year 8

Building on the skills introduced in year 7, pupils go on to learn about control systems though an electronics project alongside the BBC Microbit and Block Editor programming. Pupils are introduced to the vacuum former, sock monkey textiles project and encouraged to develop their skill in isometric and exploded drawing. Accompanying material & processing theory drawn from KS4 specification subject content.
2 x 100mins per fortnight for 2/3 of term (last 1/3 pupils study Food, Preparation & Nutrition)

Year 9

Choosing between D&T or FPN this year, pupils go on to develop their skills in: textiles (pen wrap), metal welding, traditional stool-frame construction carpentry work enhanced with a laser cut feature, architectural design and modelling with 3D CAD and first generation modelling. Accompanying material & processing theory drawn from KS4 specification subject content.
2 x 100mins per fortnight (At the start of Year 9 pupils opt for D&T or Food, Preparation & Nutrition)

Exam board – AQA, Course: GCSE Design and Technology 8552.

Core Technical Principles: new and emerging technologies, energy generation and storage, developments in new materials, systems approach to designing, mechanical devices, materials and their working properties.
In addition to the core technical principles, all students should develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following specialist technical principles: selection of materials or components, forces and stresses, ecological and social footprint, sources and origins, using and working with materials, stock forms, types and sizes, scales of production, specialist techniques and processes, surface treatments and finishes.
They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas: investigation, primary and secondary data, environmental, social and economic challenge, the work of others, design strategies, communication of design ideas, prototype development, selection of materials and components, tolerances, material management, specialist tools and equipment, specialist techniques and processes

NEA (Non-exam Assessment)

Substantial design and make task
• Assessment criteria:
• Identifying and investigating design possibilities
• Producing a design brief and specification
• Generating design ideas
• Developing design ideas
• Realising design ideas
• Analysing & evaluating

In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner. Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA. Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence. Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Exam Paper

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.

Paper Length of examination (% weighting) Topics

Non-exam Assessment (NEA)

(30-35 Hours) 50%

Substantial design & make task based on a chosen Contextual Challenge. Students produce a prototype & portfolio of evidence.


Paper 1 Design & Technology

(2 Hours) 50%

Core technical knowledge (incl. 6 material areas), specialist technical knowledge (including chosen material), designing & making principles.

Number of lessons per year group – Year 10 & 11: 3 x 100mins per fortnight

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