Design & Technology

Design and Technology teaches children essential life skills such as problem solving, planning and preparing nutritious meals as part of a healthy lifestyle and exploring concepts without worrying about the outcome.  It encourages children to enquire, explore, reason and develop resilience through practical tasks.  Creativity and expression are encouraged through a variety of projects and experiences.

The National Curriculum promotes the need to develop within students “their capacity to adapt and respond flexibly to a changing world” and this is our challenge in the design and technology curriculum.  There is currently a skills shortage in the UK for engineers and we engage our students in externally provided STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities.

Head of Technology – Mrs K Johnson
Technology Technician – Mr G Kearton
Food Technician – Mrs J Barlow

KS3 Curriculum:


The Design Technology department offers an exciting curriculum which is new to the majority of students. Our feeder schools are not fortunate enough to have dedicated workshop and food room facilities.

There are five main disciplines that our curriculum is designed around.  These are

  • Analysis of a task, investigation and planning
  • Designing
  • Technical knowledge and language
  • Making
  • Reflection and evaluation

The skills and knowledge developed and are built on in KS3 and provide students with an insight of what to expect if they opt to take a technology subject at KS4.

KS3 Overview:

Recent changes at KS4 have meant that skills and knowledge required for the GCSE subjects can begin to be delivered at KS3.  Effectively this means that students spend five years in technology preparing for their GCSEs.  The schemes of learning enable students to gain skills and knowledge, build on them and then be confident by the time the GCSE examinations come around.  Our hope is to provide students with a range of learning that can be transferred both to other subjects and practically at home.

In food, year 7 focus on health and safety by learning to safely use a range of equipment from paring knives to eye-level grills.  We ask parents to support their children by providing ingredients and offering constructive comments when students bring finished dishes home.  Students also learn how eating properly can affect their health.

Year 8 in food focusses on developing the skills learned.  Practical work such as bread, pizza and soup require students to experiment with design and flavours.  Evaluation plays an important role in food as it enables students to reflect upon and then improve their outcomes.

When students opt for food in year 9, the scheme of learning begins to look in more depth about the diseases that can be caused by poor diet. Students learn to adapt recipes in order to cater for people with different problems.  The course also looks into meat-free alternatives and food from different cultures.

Year 7

In design and technology, children learn to combine some very modern technology such as using the laser machine with other, more traditional methods.  Year 7 focusses on learning about the source and properties of materials through a range of practical tasks.

Year 8

Year 8 builds on this skills and knowledge base and students do a lighting project where a USB powered circuit is combined with an LED and light gathering acrylic for maximum effect.  Students use a simple CAD (computer aided drawing) package to draw out components that are then manufactured using the laser.  Structures and mechanisms are also investigated in year 8.

When students opt for design and technology as a GCSE, they are proficient in the use of workshop equipment.  They go through the process of designing, planning and making a creature house for the garden.  Students are encouraged to research endangered animals and birds in the UK and come up with their own design solution.

KS4 Design Technology

We currently offer the AQA GCSE Design and Technology and BTEC Hospitality Level 2 at Key Stage 4.  Both courses are excellent for allowing students to develop independent learning skills and in preparing learners for Level 3 study.

Students have three lessons per week in option subjects.  Both courses involve a coursework and examined element.  The courses also include practical work and students need to be well organised with ingredients, additional research and homework.



Paper 1
What’s assessed
Core technical principles
Specialist technical principles
Designing and making principles
How it’s assessed
Written exam: 2 hours
100 marks
50% of GCSE


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.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What’s assessed

Practical application of:
Core technical principles
Specialist technical principles
Designing and making principles

How it’s assessed

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx
100 marks
50% of GCSE


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

There are after school sessions in technology on Thursdays and Fridays to enable Key Stage 4 students to catch up with any work they have missed and to complete homework if they are unable to do this at home.

We encourage and support students in finding suitable work experience placements in year 10 and enjoy visiting them “at work”.  We help students to find further education placements or apprenticeships at the end of Key Stage 4.


Key stage 4 BTEC Hospitality

The Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Award has been developed to provide an engaging and stimulating introduction to the world of hospitality. It includes two core units and a mandatory unit that form the fundamental knowledge and understanding of hospitality principles followed by a selection of five optional specialist units from which a further unit is chosen. The core units are:

  • Unit 1: Introducing the Hospitality Industry – this unit covers the different aspects of the hospitality industry, looking at its component parts and the different products and services that are offered as well as the essential processes involved in operating a hospitality business.
  • Unit 2: Working in the Hospitality Industry – this unit covers the importance of team working and customer service for working in a variety of roles within the hospitality industry, and looks at other important aspects such as personal appearance and personal attributes necessary to work successfully.

The mandatory unit is:

  • Unit 3: Food Safety and Health and Safety in Hospitality – where learners will discover the various aspects of health and safety, and food safety law in relation to those working in the hospitality industry.

The optional specialist units offered within this qualification build on the core and provide learners with an opportunity to develop a wider understanding and appreciation of the hospitality industry, depending on their interests and motivation.

The optional specialist units include the underpinning knowledge required for a broad understanding of the hospitality industry. The units are:

  • Unit 4: Costing and Controlling Finances in the Hospitality Industry – where learners will explore the costs that are incurred within the hospitality industry and how they are controlled, as well as understanding how hospitality businesses can make a profit.
  • Unit 5: Enterprise in the Hospitality Industry – where learners look at what Three of the optional specialist units relate to specific areas of the hospitality industry. These units contain a mixture of practical skills and theory related to these areas. The units are:
  • Unit 6: Planning, Preparing, Cooking and Finishing Food – where learners will explore the understanding and skills required for proficiency in planning, preparing, cooking and finishing a range of food types in the hospitality industry.
  • Unit 7: Food and Beverage Service in the Hospitality Industry – where learners will explore the understanding and skills required to deliver food and beverage service in the hospitality industry.
  • Unit 8: Front Office Services in the Hospitality Industry – where learners will explore the understanding and skills required to work in front-office roles in the hospitality industry.

Assessment approach

The Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Award in Hospitality includes one externally assessed unit in the core unit, Unit 1: Introducing the Hospitality Industry, to introduce externality into vocational programmes of study. This will assist learners as they progress either into higher levels of vocational learning, or to academic qualifications, by providing independent evidence of learning and progression alongside the portfolio-based assessment. This approach will also assist learners with developing their transferable skills in analytical writing, and in applying their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts.

The remaining units are internally assessed. Internal assessment enables learners to receive feedback on their progress throughout the course as they gather and provide evidence towards meeting the unit assessment criteria.

There are after school sessions for hospitality on Thursdays and Fridays to enable Key Stage 4 students to catch up with any work they have missed and to complete homework if they are unable to do this at home.