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Design Technology - Subject Guide


Design Technology is taught for 2 hour per week at Key Stage 3 and is in the Design and Technology option block at Key Stage 4.  This includes, Art & Design, Computing, Food & Nutrition, Graphic Design, Resistant Materials and Textiles. At A-Level Product Design is offered in 3 different strands; Graphics, Resistant Materials and Textiles, along with a level 3 BTEC in Health and Social Care.

Key Stage 3

All pupils will work in the areas of Electronics, Food, Graphics, Resistant Materials and Textiles. Students will be involved in designing and making in a variety of ways. They will be encouraged to investigate and identify problems and generate designs to solve problems.

The pupils will make a variety of articles in the well equipped technology workshops, learning many different skills using hand tools and machinery. Some examples of tasks are: 
night lights, speedboats, photo frames, electronic alarms, cakes, jigsaws, buggies, t-shirts, cushions, metal sculptures, crumbles, fruit salads, buns, biscuits, pizza, phone models, USB drives, drinks coasters, screw drivers, tea light holders, key rings, bird feeders...and more!

We ask the pupils to bring their ingredients for food. Aprons will be supplied by the department, but pupils may wish to bring their own. They should also have a selection of coloured pencils and drawing equipment as well as the usual pens, pencils and ruler.

Each area provides different skills that are outlined below:


Electronics & Control Systems is the study of electronics and the means of manipulating them, by either human or computer. In Year 7, we learn about basic electronic components and we look at what constitutes an electronic system. We focus on Artificial Intelligence.

Food and Nutrition

Pupils gain knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet through encouraging an interest in food and cooking using a range of ingredients and recipes. They gain confidence in a practical, safe and happy environment. They learn about the importance of food hygiene and safety in a practical way.


In Graphics pupils learn key design techniques where pupils are encouraged to innovate.  Various software is used including 2D Design, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Hand drawing techniques, such as isometric, perspective and orthographic drawing, are learned. 

Resistant Materials

Resistant Materials studies woods, metals and plastics and looks at how everyday objects are made. It also includes studying computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) as well as other forming processes.  During their time in Key Stage 3, the pupils undertake several design-and-make projects using a range of different materials.


Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils learn about different stitches, dyeing, embroidery and fabrics. Through this theory work the pupils make a cushion in Year 7.  Students also learn about different production systems. 

KS4: GCSE Food and Nutrition

new Food Preparation and Nutrition
 GCSE will help to develop a
 greater understanding of nutrition, 
food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. Students will also learn about food from around the world through the study of British and international culinary traditions as well 
as developing an understanding of where food comes from (food provenance). They will master culinary skills and appreciate
the science behind food and cooking. 
This is an exciting and creative course
 which will allow them to demonstrate practical skills and make connections between theory and practice.

Students will be developing their practical skills through cooking and modifying a variety of both British and international recipes for many different occasions. They will also be studying, throughout the two years, these topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health.
  • Food science

  • Food safety

  • Food choice
  • Food provenance
  • Food groups


50% Written Exam Paper: 1hr 45 mins
, Section A – multiple choice questions, Section B – 5 questions.

50% Non-Exam Assessment
: Two Tasks – Practical + Related Written. The practical work is completed throughout the course. The Non-Exam Assessment tasks will be completed in Year 11 along with related written work, revision and exam practice. They will be set by the exam board.


AQA GCSE Food and Nutrition

KS4: GCSE Graphic Design

Graphic Communication introduces you to a visual way of conveying information, ideas and emotions, using a range of graphic media, processes, techniques and elements such as colour, icons, images, typography and photographs. You will conduct primary and secondary investigations during your design development, and explore traditional and/or new technologies. You will also consider the use of signs and symbols, and the balance between aesthetic and commercial considerations.

Pupils must work in at least one of the following areas:

  • Advertising
  • Communication graphics (logo design and 
corporate identity) 

  • Design for print 

  • Illustration 

  • Interactive design (including web design) 

  • Multi-media 

  • Package design 

  • Signage 

  • Typography 

Key aspects include:

  • how sources inspire the development of ideas
  • colour

  • line

  • form

  • tone

  • texture

Students can work entirely in digital media or entirely by hand or any mixture of the two.


60% Personal Portfolio (coursework)

40% Externally Set Assignment
 based around a theme. 10 hour design exam based on a theme given in the January of Year 11.


Edexcel GCSE Art and Design

KS4: GCSE Resistant Materials

The course will teach students all about woods, metals & plastics and the various ways of shaping/ joining them.  Students will make lots of mini projects using a range of materials, tools and processes. The projects help them to learn the skills needed to complete their GCSE NEA in Year 11. Students will also be taught how to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) to help draw their designs and used Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) eg the laser cutter.


50% written paper: 
2 hour written paper at the end of Year 11. Theory work completed throughout the course.

50% coursework project: (non-exam assessment - NEA), mostly completed in Year 11.
Written, design and making.


EDUQAS Design and Technology

KS4: GCSE Textiles

This course encourages pupils to 
be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and 
gain an insight into related areas such
 as manufacturing and designing. Pupils will produce a range of mini projects and then go on to produce 1 large piece of examined coursework. They will learn about all aspects of Design Technology, with a key focus on Textiles.


50% written paper
: 2 hour written paper at the end of Year 11. Theory work completed throughout the course.

50% coursework project: (non-exam assessment - NEA), mostly completed in Year 11.
Written, design and making.


EDUQAS Design and Technology

KS5: A-Level Fashion and Textiles

A-Level Design and Technology: Fashion and Textiles

The subject is built on the experience of GCSE and allows students to further their studies of Product Design. It involves practical and theory work.  The main emphasis is on producing high quality practical work, which is well designed. The theory work is taught as far as possible in a practical orientated manner.  


Unit 1: Paper 1 (2 hours 100 marks), Examination, 25% 

Unit 2: Paper 2 (2 hours 100 marks), Examination, 25%

Unit 3: Non-exam assessment (200 marks), Coursework, 50% 


AQA Fashion and Textiles

KS5: A-Level Graphics

A-Level Product Design: Graphics

This course allows you to further your studies of Product Design with the emphasis on Graphic Products. Key skills and processes are: CAD (Adobe Photoshop, Solidworks, 2D Design), CAM (laser cutter, 3D Printer, laser image transfer, CNC router), printing processes, plastic forming, technical drawing (isometric drawing, planometric, orthographic, perspective), industrial practices and more...


Unit 1: Principles of DT (2.5 hrs 120 marks), Examination, 50% 

Unit 2: Design and Make Project (120 marks), Coursework, 50%


Edexcel Product Design

KS5: A-Level Resistant Materials

A-Level Product Design: Resistant Materials

This A-Level builds upon the work that a student would have done during any Design Technology GCSE. It involves practical and theory work. The main emphasis is on producing high quality design and practical work which is displayed in an A3 sized portfolio.  The department has a range of tools and machines such as a 3D printer, two laser cutters, CNC milling machine, large CNC router, lathes, pillar drills, a heat treatment area, a thermo-forming machine (including vacuum forming, injection moulding, blow moulding and plastic dip coating) that the students can use under supervision. 


Unit 1: Principles of DT (2.5 hrs 120 marks), Examination, 50% 

Unit 2: Design and Make Project(120 marks), Coursework, 50%


Edexcel Product Design

KS5: BTEC Health and Social Care

BTEC Health and Social Care

This BTEC Level 3 National Diploma is the equivalent of 2 A-Levels with 10 hours of teaching per week.

The course has been designed for students who are intending to go onto further study in a related sector. It is intended to account for two-thirds of a two-year, full-time study programme.

It supports access to a range of higher education courses if taken as part of a programme of study that includes another BTEC or A-Level alongside it. It offers flexibility and choice for students, equips students with skills needed for higher education and the world of work and provides students with an invaluable and thoughtful perspective on contemporary issues in health and social care.

Inclusion of the community justice sector opens up more career opportunities and the course reflects job opportunities relevant to areas of work in health and social care. Students can shape the qualification around a chosen career.


There are 8 units. 3 are assessed externally (exam) and 5 are internally assessed. Qualifications in the suite are graded using a scale of PP to D*D*.


Edexcel Health and Social Care


Design Technology is located on the Kingsbury site with a dedicated Computer Aided Design (CAD) room with software including the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Solidworks (3D software) and 2D Design. There is a dedicated Textiles room suited with sewing machines, a well-resourced food preparation room, a design studio and a series of workshops.  The workshops are equipped with machines such as lathes (wood and metal), brazing hearth, forge, milling machine, belt sanders, buffer, grinder, injection moulder, vacuum former, thermoforming unit and a laser image transfer unit.

We also have a series of Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) machines, including two A2 laser cutters, a large bed CNC router and a 3D printer.


Head of Design:

Mr Miller (Graphics)

Teachers of Design Technology

Teacher Subject Area
Mrs Bator Textiles, Health and Social Care
Mr Bennett Resistant Materials
Mr Holt Electronics, Resistant Materials
Mrs Lewis Food
Mr Stevens Resistant Materials
Mr Wadsley Graphics
Miss Winkworth Art, Textiles, Health and Social Care
Mrs Wisdish Textiles, Health and Social Care


Mr Buxton