Special Educational Needs


          Meet our Community


Design and Technology

Department Aims 

In Design and Technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. 

Pupils identify needs and opportunities while working in stimulating contexts that provide a range of opportunities and draw on the local ethos, community and wider world. They respond with ideas, products and systems, challenging expectations where appropriate. They combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. As they do so, they evaluate present and past design and technology, and its uses and effects. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate. 

The department is well resourced with access to its own IT and CAD/CAM facilities. Each area of the subject is delivered in specialist rooms that provide a modern and stimulating environment in which pupils work. GCSE results are consistently well above the national average. 

 Key Stage 3 

At Key Stage 3, pupils’ experience designing and making in the areas of Food and Nutrition, Product Design, Graphics, Systems and Control and Textiles. They design and make a variety of products in line with National Curriculum requirements. Pupils have access to 4 specialist rooms and an exciting range of materials and equipment from simple hand tools to state of the art computer aided design and manufacturing centres. Skills and knowledge progress in all areas through years 7, 8 and 9 to provide a sound foundation at Key Stage 4. 

Food Course Outline and Structure – Key Stage 3 

Each year in Key Stage 3 pupils experience a rotational timetable of food and textiles. Each rotation lasts approximately 18 weeks allowing for pupils to develop their skills in both areas. 

During the Food Preparation and Nutrition rotation pupils are taught the importance of healthy eating and the principles of nutrition. Making a range of predominately savoury dishes, pupils are encouraged to explore flavours and textures whilst learning a variety of cooking techniques. 

Year 7: 

This unit starts with looking at the basic health and safety within a kitchen environment. The pupils learn the 4c’s of good food hygiene and become familiar and more confident in the cooking areas. They are able to identify hazards, enabling them to be able to keep themselves safe. Pupils move on to learn and apply the sections of the Eatwell Guide to meal planning and how they fit into our daily diet.   

Year 8: 

This unit develops the deeper understanding of food products linking to the Eatwell Guide. Pupils will look at how different nutrients work within our bodies to maintain a healthy body. This unit will look at the nutritional information found on food packages. Pupils will look at how this information can be used to influence their choice when buying food products.   

Pupils will also learn about the use of multicultural ingredients, food labelling, traceability, food availability, food assurance schemes and animal welfare. 

Year 9 

This unit is a practical and creative course which focuses on providing students with the necessary practical skills and nutritional knowledge they will need before commencing GCSE study. 

Pupils will extend their knowledge and understanding of food, diet and health. They will: 

  • extend food preparation and cooking techniques;  
  • extend their knowledge of consumer food and drink choice; 
  • be able to apply their knowledge to make informed choices; 
  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently; 
  • build an apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high quality products for a wide range of users; 
  • evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others. 

Product Design Course Outline and Structure – Key Stage 3 

Year 7: 

Pupils start the year by completing their Essential Machine Training certification and develop their understanding of health and safety in a practical and design workshop. They learn to identify and understand user needs and solve design problems using a range of workshop tools, equipment and machinery, including an introduction to computer-aided manufacture.  

Pupils develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans and modelling. 

Year 8: 

Pupils develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations. They analyse the work of past and present professionals to develop and broaden their understanding and investigate new and emerging technologies. Units include control, electronics and more in-depth experience of computer-aided manufacture. 

Pupils use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs and solve their own design problems. 

Pupils continue to develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans and mathematical modelling. 

Pupils also complete a refresher Essential Machine Training unit.  

Year 9: 

Pupils continue to generate creative and functional ideas and avoid stereotypical responses to their own design problems. They test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups. 

Pupils select and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture. 

Pupils understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists. 

 Key Stage 4 

 All pupils have the opportunity to study Design and Technology GCSE and Food & Nutrition GCSE.  


Within GCSE Design and Technology, pupils are taught to: 

be creative and innovative when designing; 

  • be creative and critical thinkers; 
  • understand the role that designers and product developers have; 
  • the impact and responsibility they have on and to society; 
  • consider health and safety in all its aspects; 
  • design for manufacturing in quantity and to be aware of current commercial/industrial processes; 
  • consider environmental and sustainability issues in designing products; 
  • plan and organise activities; 
  • select and use tools/equipment and processes to produce quality products; 
  • understand the advantages of working as part of a team when designing and making products. 

 The course is assessed through the following- 50% Non-Exam Assessment and 50% written paper. 

Written assessment covers all areas of:  

Core knowledge and understanding with five clear and distinct topic areas: 

  • design and technology and our world 
  • smart materials 
  • electronic systems and programmable components 
  • mechanical components and devices 
  • materials 

and an In-depth knowledge and understanding of natural and manufactured timber 

The NEA is based on set contextual challenges’ set by the exam board where pupils identify multiple design possibilities and follow the iterative approach throughout all research, designing and manufacturing processes. 

Within GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition, pupils are taught to: 

  • develop a greater understanding of nutrition and the working characteristics of food materials;   
  • 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 and the challenges surrounding food security; 
  • master culinary skills and appreciate the science behind food and cooking; 
  • develop a range of challenging practical skills; 
  • understand food provenance and where and how ingredients are grown, gathered, reared and caught. 
  •  Understand functional and chemical properties of protein – denaturation, coagulation, gluten formation and foam formation; 
  • Understand functional and chemical properties of carbohydrate – gelatinization, caramelization and dextrinization; 
  • Understand functional and chemical properties of fat – plasticity, shortening, aeration and emulsification; 

How will the course be assessed? 

EXAM: Food Preparation and Nutrition 50% of GCSE 

  • Theory for the exam will be taught in Year 10, applied in Year 11 and examined at the end of Year 11. You will have one written exam (1hr 45 mins) to test your knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from the sections above. There will be multiple choice questions (20 marks) and then five questions each based on the five areas listed above (80 marks). 
  • COURSEWORK Task 1: Food Investigation 15% of GCSE 
  • You will complete a practical investigation into the working characteristics and functional and chemical properties of a given ingredient or food product. You will complete a written or electronic report (1,500 – 2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation. School provides ingredients for most food investigations and experiments. This investigation will be completed in the autumn term of Year 11. 
  • COURSEWORK Task 2: Food Preparation Assessment 35% of GCSE 
  • Over a few weeks you will plan, prepare, cook and present food related to a special diet, a lifestyle or a culture. You will then prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes of your choice within a three hour session and you will have planned in advance how this will be achieved. You will complete a written or electronic portfolio including photographic The course is assessed through the following- 50% Non-Exam Assessment and 50% written paper 

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition provides a core of knowledge which is advantageous if pursuing further studies in Science-related A levels and beyond. 

Exam Board: AQA Syllabus 8585