Design Technology

Teaching Staff and Responsibilities

Mrs L Doe: Subject Leader

Mrs S Cadman: Specialist Technician

KS3 (Years 7-9)

How do we organise teaching groups at KS3?

Pupils are taught in groups of up to 22.  They are taught for one double period (100 minutes) a fortnight throughout the whole year. In year 8 & 9 pupils are streamed into 6 groups, 2 top groups and 4 mixed groups.

Aims at KS3

  • To develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • To build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • To critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • How does this subject develop over KS3?
  • Pupils are assessed on their ability to Design, Make, Evaluate and their Technical knowledge of the subject. This includes processes, designing methods, making techniques as well as use of CAD & CAM.

What will my daughter learn at KS3?

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of domestic and local contexts [for example, the home, health, leisure and culture], and industrial contexts [for example, engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture (including horticulture) and fashion]. When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:


  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design], to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools


  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties


  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologist

Technical knowledge

  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions
  • understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  • understand how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products [for example, circuits with heat, light, sound and movement as inputs and outputs]
  • apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors], and control outputs [for example, actuators], using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers].

Are there any useful websites that will support my daughter’s learning?

KS4/GCSE (Years 10-11)

How do we organise teaching groups at KS4?

  • GCSE classes are taught in classes of no more than 18 for Health & Safety reasons.  Pupils have access to both the class teacher as well as a highly skilled specialist technician.

Which GCSE specification do we prepare pupils for?

AQA Design and Technology.  Here is a link to the specification for more detailed information:

What will my daughter learn at KS4?

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare pupils to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Pupils will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise. Our GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

In order to make effective design choices students will need a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties. All of this section will be taught and all will be assessed.

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.

Each specialist technical principle should be delivered through at least one material category or system. Not all of the principles outlined above relate to every material category or system, but all must be taught.

The categories through which the principles can be delivered are:

  • papers and boards
  • timber based materials
  • metal based materials
  • polymers

Are there any useful websites that will support my daughter’s learning?

Future Pathways/Careers