Design and Technology


foundation years: Years 7 and 8

Foundation Years

 In Years 7 and 8, students complete a range of design and practical workshop based projects, which introduce them to the broad range of topic, skills and knowledge within Design and Technology.

Students also complete a project in Food Technology in both Year 7 and 8, which teaches them about ‘Food Hygiene’, ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Food Nutrition’.

All Technology projects include both theory and practical elements.

Design and Technology

  • Electronics – PCB manufacture and soldering.
  • Plastic moulding techniques.
  • Wood working – fret saws, belt sander, pillar drill and lathe.
  • CAD / CAM – 2D Design software, laser cutting and vinyl cutting.
  • Design movements.
  • Sketching and rendering skills.
  • Inclusive and ergonomic design.

Examples of products students produce include ‘Electronic Fuse Testers’ and ‘Clocks’.

Food Technology

  • Health and safety – knives, ovens, food storage and preparation areas.
  • Hygiene – personal and kitchen hygiene.
  • Nutrition – eat well plate and guideline daily amounts.

Keystone Year: year 9

In Year 9, Design and Technology is run on a carousel with Art, Graphics, Music and Drama. All students study approximately 16 lessons in each subject.

In Design and Technology, students will learn how to use a range of advanced 3D CAD software (Solidworks) as well as electronics and circuit board manufacture.

What Do Students Learn About?

  • Vacuum forming
  • Laser cutting
  • Etching PCB manufacture
  • Soldering
  • Electronic components
  • Laser cutting
  • A range of workshop tools and machinery
  • Health and safety in the workshop.
  • 2D Design software.

GCSE: years 10 and 11

Design and Technology at GCSE Level allows students to develop their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Grade Content

In Years 10 and 11, students complete the Non Exam Assessment (NEA) part of their GCSE in which they have to produce a portfolio of design work and working prototype.

Students will research, analyse, design, develop and manufacture a product linked to the exam board context.

Students will also develop their knowledge in CAD / CAM software, iterative design, manufacture processes and specialist design principles.

The design and make portfolio is worth 50% of their overall GCSE grade in this subject

Non Exam Assessment (NEA) – 50% of grade:

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

Exam Content – 50% of grade:

Students will also complete a series of interactive theory based lessons, which prepare them for the final summer examination. During these lessons, students will learn about a broad range of topics:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy generation and storage
  • Developments in new materials
  • Systems approach to designing
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their working properties 

A Level: years 12 and 13

Design and Technology is for students who are interested in solving practical problems using a variety of design and manufacture skills to produce high quality products. The main emphasis is on Product Design, responding to human needs via creative solutions for home, industry or recreational contexts.

Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

You will need to work independently in school and at home with a commitment to the fast pace, challenges and problem-solving you will encounter.

Grade Content

Non Exam Assessment (NEA) – Design and Making Practice – 50% of A Level

  • Substantial design and make task
  • 45 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of A-level


This is a major design and make unit where knowledge of the Product Design subject content is applied to the design and manufacture of the student’s own project.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate, research, design and develop a product of their choice before getting creative in the workshop and indulging in a range of practical skills.


Paper 1 – Technical Principles – 30% of A Level

  • Written exam: 2.5 hours
  • 120 marks
  • 30% of A Level
  • Mixture of short answer and extended response.


Paper 2 – Designing and making principles – 20% of A Level

  • Written exam: 1.5 hours
  • 80 Marks
  • 20% of A Level
  • Mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Extension And Enrichment

Students can enhance their skills and knowledge in Design and Technology by attending our many after school workshop sessions available to them. They can learn new skills including metal working and advanced computer aided manufacture.

Students have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and workshops at the Design Museum in London.