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. Students 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.

It is the departments intent;

  • To foster awareness, understanding and expertise in those areas of creative thinking which can be expressed and developed through investigation and research, planning, designing, making and evaluating, working with materials and tools.
  • To encourage the acquisition of a body of knowledge applicable to solving practical / technological problems operating through processes of analysis, synthesis and realisation.
  • To stimulate the development of a range of designing and making skills.
  • To encourage students to relate their work to their personal interests and abilities. This should demand active and experimental learning based upon the use of materials in practical areas.
  • To make the department inclusive to students who have SEN; written and practical work is broken down into sections, chunking, with a high level of student-teacher interaction due to low numbers of students in a workshop. Work is scaffolded to allow all to push themselves past their expectations and in practical work, to gain confidence in the task being undertaken and in social skills with their peers, students can be buddied up with work partners. The use of physical aids for certain practical tasks are utilised and the students with hearing and sight issues, including sensory overload, are addressed individually.
  • To promote Literacy the department builds upon work throughout the key stages. A great deal of investigation is undertaken before designing can begin, with detailed analysing of the results found. Students specify in detail what they require of their solutions which are evaluated upon completion. Key words are an ongoing document that is built upon as they progress through the year groups, Answers, throughout the subject, are expanded upon with justification required for their reasoning, with command words fully understood before taking national qualifications.
  • To promote the development of curiosity, enquiry, initiative, ingenuity, respect, reflection, determination and pride.
  • To encourage technological awareness, foster attitudes of co-operation and social responsibility, and develop abilities to enhance the quality of the environment.
  • To stimulate the exercising of valued judgements of an aesthetic, technical, economic and moral nature.
  • Develop imaginative and original thought avoiding design fixation.
  • Develop the power of creativity through the process of investigation, analysis, designing, making and evaluation, both as an individual and as a group member.
  • Develop the use of new technologies whenever possible.
  • Develop the art of constructive criticism and the skills of self and group assessment.
  • Develop and encourage working individually and as a part of a group.
  • Encourage a safe working practice within all areas of Technology.
  • Develop their communication skills, including verbal, graphical and modelling skills, to help their thinking and ability to take action in the process of designing.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components; systems and control; and structures
  • Develop pupils’ confidence to design, make, modify and improve products, artefacts, structures and systems for specific purposes.
  • Develop student’s ability to disassemble and evaluative products and their applications
  • Explore values about and attitudes to the made world and how we live, work and interact within it
  • Nurture creativity and innovation through designing, making and evaluating
  • Develop ICT and Key skills through Design Technology
  • Develop an ability to choose and manage resources, materials and Techniques used.
  • Develop pupil progression in Design Technology
  • Encourage pupils to draw on knowledge and experiences from across the curriculum and from their own life in general
  • Prepare for making a contribution to life and work in a technological society
  • To enable students the ability and time to persevere with tasks which enable students to build their individual resilience.


The Department follows the specification laid out through the GCSE and A Level Specifications which provide the framework arranged from the National Curriculum but in a greater depth, so therefore in KS3 they will cover the fundamental foundation of the 3 main areas; design, make and evaluate which enforces the pupils long term and short term memory skills.

  • S.C
    Vacuum forming, jigs formers, plastic theory, adhesives, 6 areas of packaging, design rendering, 3d drawing skills, wasting process, quality control, target markets.
  • 3x3x3
    Scale, measuring, working accurately, CAD, model making, Environmental and sustainable living, practical material theory.
  • T.U
    Marking out, cutting, wasting, practical understanding of material properties, drilling, H&S, Quality Control.
  • P.C.P
    Metal theory, manufacturing methods, design movement, CAD, Template making, cutting wasting filing finishing, inculpation.
  • S.W.M
    Sustainable principles, wood theory, wood identification, wood finish, cutting, filing drilling of wood, looking at the work of others.
  • S.W.R.C
    Science, engineering, mathematics, technology, physics, group work, principles of propulsion, practical knowledge of material manufacturing, restrictions, resilience.
  • A.M.M.P
    Research, understand and the ability to identify a range of art movements, needs of the client, existing products, modelling materials; wasting, cutting, filing, finishing & testing, documentation of development, CAD, 2D & 3D drawing, rendering techniques.
  • M.G
    Draft angles, jigs & formers, 2D design, vinyl cutting, laser cutting, understand CNC; input control & output, adhesives, cutting, filing, finishing for wood and plastic, accuracy.
  • E.H
    Transferring measurements, laser cutting, working drawings, line bending.

Wood theory, metal theory, compliant materials, plastics, exam practice, art movements, sustainability, culture, society, environment, industry, enterprise, people manufacturing methods, practice exam, 2D design, engraving, vinyl cutting, joints, moving parts mechanism, bought components, stock forms, adhesives, permanent & non-permanent fixings, modern materials, smart materials, logicator, 6R’s, sources of energy, manufacturing specification.

Year 11 coursework will cover the NEA set out by the exam board and covering theory that the teacher sees as a subject content gap from assessments or to reinforce the knowledge of the NEA.

Biodegradable’ polymers, elastomers, polymers, composites, compliant materials, smart materials, alloys, modern materials, natural woods, laminates and veneers, man-made boards, product components, adhesives, design and market influences, environmental / sustainability issues, ergonomics & anthropometrics, non-ferrous metals, ferrous metals, inclusive design, consumer safety, processes & manufacture, fabrication methods: woods, metals, plastics. Forming methods: woods, metals, plastics. Composites, redistribution methods, cermets, polymers, wasting processes, CAM processing, finishing materials and processes: woods, metals, polymers. Health and Safety, quality control.

Year 13 coursework will cover the NEA set out by the exam board and covering theory that the teacher sees as a subject content gap from assessments or to reinforce the knowledge of the NEA.

The department has no specific prescribed approach to the teaching of Design technology; this enables individual teachers to make the most of their specialist knowledge to implement the subject content in the best way to suit their own skill, abilities and professional judgement. However, there are common ways in which the curriculum is implemented across the department;

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Lessons are challenging in their content, using a range of resources, techniques and skills that go beyond what is laid out within the curriculum.
  • Students are regularly given the opportunity to challenge themselves in all area 3 areas of the curriculum, either as a part of a group, individually or others; parents and external guests.
  • Skills are developed through the practical implantation of the tasks, being given the responsibility to teach others, evaluating and critiquing their own work and the work of others.
  • Homework is set regularly to coincide with the schools’ requirement. Homework tasks are set to be meaningful and back up, or enhance, the teaching within lesson time.
  • The use of technological specific language forms a key part the ability to explain, evaluate and justify pupils or others work confidently and holistically.
  • Lessons are designed to be engaging and relevant within a modern day technological environment often taking reference and inspiration from everyday products to help the understanding of how and why products are designed, manufactured and recycled. Also understanding how it is the role and responsibility of the designer to enhance the sustainability of products.
  • Within Design tasks, pupils are asked and encouraged to design for and to incorporate inclusion, to avoid social and ethical stereotypes but to design for a modern sustainable environment.
  • Assessment; classroom teachers follow the schools marking policy to give feedback to all pupils. Pupils get feedback in the form of verbal, written or peer, all feedback given informs and develops work undertaken.
  • SEN provisions effectively meet the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to all areas of the learning and progress to be gained.

Retrieval Practice forms a major part of the departments scheme of work. Pupils will need to revisit classroom activities, recalling information to enable the quality of work in future lessons, whether it be a practical make, an evaluation task or an end of year test / exam. This ensures that students push their ability to recall on their long term memory and form links to their prior learning.

Assessment in year 7 and 8 is taken from the 3 areas of the curriculum design, make and evaluation assessments and are graded on a ‘best fit’ mark scheme that focuses on the expected level of progress/ability for the key areas. In year 9 pupils, despite not yet taking their GCSE, have their work compared to the GCSE levels of attainment, to prepare and enable them to see the realistic work expectations that in turn help and reinforce their option choices. At Key stage 4 and 5 pupils are doing their NEA which follows the CAT assessment policy, theory work in KS4 & 5 are assessed against the exam boards criteria and the schools’ assessment policy.

The department provides students the opportunity to use the department’s workshop, equipment and resources, enabling them to pursue extra curriculum engagement for the subject and to incorporate and enhance the work done in other subjects.

STEM: The department supports STEM activities within the schemes of work and activities outside of the classroom. There is a whole school stem challenge which forms a part of the house competition where pupils produce a water powered rocket in teams, both year group and house, to compete with other houses. They produce the rocket, the launcher and away to power the rocket.

We are involved in the Erasmus project where pupils from other countries work together with our pupils to make parabolic mirrors to heat water, designed to purify water in third world countries.

The impact of the education provided by the teachers of the design and technology department can be viewed through a number of measures;

  • The students are engaged in lessons which demonstrates that the level of education, the expectations of staff and the variation of the subject content is at a level which keeps the students focused and challenged. This is shown by the pick up between the end of Key Stage 3 and the number of students wishing to take Design and Technology for GCSE. In recent years we average a take up for the subject at around 50% of the year group, a remarkable figure for a subject that is in the option block against everyone bar Mathematics, English and the Sciences. This shows the enjoyment the students derive from the teaching we impart. From GCSE, the uptake to A Level has been between 35% – 40%, again very healthy numbers and from these a good proportion of students go on to university or apprenticeships using Design and Technology as an integral and sound base for their further studies.
  • Results show a high level of success for our students over the years. Using the AQA results analysis tools it can be seen that we score very well against comparative schools and are placed well within the top 10% of schools in the country for this subject in both GCSE and A Level. We even achieved an award in 2015; “Best performance by boys taking Design & Technology Product Design at an English Grammar School” from the good schools’ guide awards.
  • We are a very inclusive subject as there are many different aspects to the teaching we deliver, meaning that there are very few students who struggle in all elements. This can be see when viewing the outcomes of the students that are on the SEN register. While we don’t like to single out these students, as we fully embrace inclusion, it can be seen that they perform on a par with their peer group and in some areas push ahead. With a subject of many different areas there is usually always an area that students excel within and can more often than not focus on that area when choosing an area to solve in the NEA coursework element at GCSE and A level.
  • We use the AQA examination analysis tools to highlight the areas of success or failure over the previous year’s GCSE and A Level students’ papers. This information then guides our teaching for the following year groups. It can also highlight which teachers have a stronger grasp on certain areas, which could lead to some in house inset training for the rest of the department. For A Level we use more than one teacher for each teaching group as this helps the students draw on the subject knowledge of more than one expert.
  • The students are constantly being prepared for their next level of education. By running the curriculum backwards from Key Stage 5 to Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 3 the students, we feel, are always more prepared for the step up to the next level when it occurs. The Product Design specifications that were released in 2017 have allowed us to better prepare the students for their examinations by giving us the time to incorporate the processes needed to be understood, practically, into our curriculum delivery. This has meant that the knowledge has tended to settle in their long term memory as they have had to make decisions when physically performing the process. It is hoped that this would further help them in comparable courses at university as they will have had a sound and varied set of practical experiences that the majority of schools wouldn’t be able to offer.
  • We would like to think that the experiences that the students have had within this department, both curricular and extra-curricular, will set them up for later life in the furthering of their life skills. Giving them the confidence to pick up tools and equipment that they have learnt how to use and operate in school, giving them the satisfaction of fixing and making items at home.

Schemes of Work

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13