Our Vision for Design Technology

The design and technology curriculum has been designed to prepare our students for life in a rapidly developing world enabling them to independently tackle design problems. Inspiring and challenging through a curriculum where students can use their imagination to create concepts and prototypes to solve real and relevant issues.

We have designed our curriculum around a cohesive journey of exploration where pupils are supported by a subject specialist from year 5 too year 11 to discover the work of others and design for users wants, needs and values.

Curriculum Intent

Learners draw upon cross curricular understanding from mathematics, science and art combined with input in engineering and ICT skills to be a broad subject where pupils are encouraged to take risks, be creative, show innovation and take on roles as resourceful and enterprising young designers and makers.

Our curriculum is aimed at developing a creative and hands on experience where pupils are taught the technical knowledge to understand the materials, processes and practical activities needed to successfully design and make around a variety of contexts. Pupils are required to carry out research and investigation, generate and develop their ideas through iteration, apply hand, machine and CADCAM skills to prototype a product solution which is tested and evaluated.

Pupils develop their design and technology knowledge through a mixture of in class orientation and home study, quizzes are set to inform attainment and a scaffold portfolio developed which is focused and relevant to the scheme being studied. Over the key stages pupils will cover a variety of skills on cutting, wasting, shaping, marking out & measuring, CAD, CAM and drawing method, these skills are intentionally repeated to embed in preparation for future study as KS4 and underpin the GCSE creative curriculum.

Curriculum Implementation

Each of our Key stage 3 schemes is designed to allow pupils the opportunity to evaluate the work of past and present design and see the impact of these influences on the wider world in daily life. Pupils develop visual communication skills following a range of design strategies to become innovative and competent makers using up to date technology to develop solutions.

Year Group Content

Expressive Arts and Design

In reception, there is a dedicated DT zone where the pupils have access to a range of design technology resources including daily woodwork opportunities. Across the year, the pupils have cooking lessons, opportunities to make models, joining different materials, and review their creations. 

Textiles: Puppets

  • Using a template to create a design for a puppet.

  • Cutting fabric neatly with scissors.

  • Using joining methods to decorate a puppet.

  • Sequencing steps for construction.

  • Reflecting on a finished product, explaining likes and dislikes.


Mechanisms: Making a moving storybook

  • Explaining how to adapt mechanisms, using bridges or guides to control the movement.

  • Designing a moving story book for a given audience.

  • Following a design to create moving models that use levers and sliders.

  • Testing a finished product, seeing whether it moves as planned and if not, explaining why and how it can be fixed.

  • Reviewing the success of a product by testing it with its intended audience.


Food: fruit and vegetables (making a smoothie)

  • Designing smoothie carton packaging by-hand or on ICT software.

  • Chopping fruit and vegetables safely to make a smoothie.

  • Identifying if a food is a fruit or a vegetable.

  • Learning where and how fruits and vegetables grow.

  • Tasting and evaluating different food combinations.

  • Describing appearance, smell and taste.

  • Suggesting information to be included on packaging.

Food; A Balanced Diet - Pizzas 

  • Designing a healthy pizza based on a food combination which works well together.
  • Slicing food safely using the bridge or claw grip.
  • Constructing a wrap that meets a design brief.
  • Describing the taste, texture and smell of fruit and vegetables.
  • Taste testing food combinations and final products.
  • Describing the information that should be included on a label.
  • Evaluating which grip was most effective.

Mechanisms; Fairgrounds

  • Designing a vehicle that includes wheels, axles and axle holders, which will allow the wheels to move.
  • Creating clearly labelled drawings that illustrate movement.
  • Adapting mechanisms.
  • Testing mechanisms, identifying what stops wheels from turning, knowing that a wheel needs an axle in order to move.

Textiles: Pouches

  • Designing a pouch.
  • Selecting and cutting fabrics for sewing.
  • Decorating a pouch using fabric glue or running stitch.
  • Threading a needle.
  • Sewing running stitch, with evenly spaced, neat, even stitches to join fabric.
  • Neatly pinning and cutting fabric using a template.
  • Troubleshooting scenarios posed by teacher.
  • Evaluating the quality of the stitching on others’ work.

DT; Eating seasonally

  • Creating a healthy and nutritious recipe for a savoury tart using seasonal ingredients, considering the taste, texture, smell and appearance of the dish.
  • Knowing how to prepare themselves and a workspace to cook safely in, learning the basic rules to avoid food contamination.
  • Following the instructions within a recipe.
  • Establishing and using design criteria to help test and review dishes.
  • Describing the benefits of seasonal fruits and vegetables and the impact on the environment.
  • Suggesting points for improvement when making a seasonal tart.

DT; Pneumatic toys

  • Designing a toy that uses a pneumatic system.
  • Developing design criteria from a design brief.
  • Generating ideas using thumbnail sketches and exploded diagrams.
  • Learning that different types of drawings are used in design to explain ideas clearly.
  • Creating a pneumatic system to create a desired motion.
  • Building secure housing for a pneumatic system.
  • Using syringes and balloons to create different types of pneumatic systems to make a functional and appealing pneumatic toy.
  • Selecting materials due to their functional and aesthetic characteristics.

DT; Constructing a Castle

  • Designing a castle with key features to appeal to a specific person/purpose.
  • Drawing and labelling a castle design using 2D shapes.
  • Designing and/or decorating a castle tower on CAD software.
  • Constructing a range of 3D geometric shapes using nets.
  • Creating special features for individual designs.
  • Making facades from a range of recycled materials.
  • Evaluating own work and the work of others based on the aesthetic of the finished product and in comparison to the original design.
  • Suggesting points for modification of the individual designs.

Food; adapting a recipe

  • Designing a biscuit within a given budget, drawing upon previous taste testing.
  • Following a baking recipe.
  • Cooking safely, following basic hygiene rules.
  • Adapting a recipe.
  • Evaluating a recipe, considering: taste, smell, texture and appearance.
  • Describing the impact of the budget on the selection of ingredients.
  • Evaluating and comparing a range of products.
  • Suggesting modifications.


Structure; pavilions

  • Designing a stable pavilion structure that is aesthetically pleasing and selecting materials to create a desired effect.
  • Building frame structures designed to support weight.
  • Creating a range of different shaped frame structures.
  • Making a variety of free-standing frame structures of different shapes and sizes.
  • Selecting appropriate materials to build a strong structure and for the cladding.
  • Reinforcing corners to strengthen a structure.
  • Creating a design in accordance with a plan.
  • Learning to create different textural effects with materials.

Textiles; fastenings

  • Writing design criteria for a product, articulating decisions made.
  • Designing a personalised book sleeve.
  • Making and testing a paper template with accuracy and in keeping with the design criteria.
  • Measuring, marking and cutting fabric using a paper template.
  • Selecting a stitch style to join fabric.
  • Sewing neatly using small regular stitches.
  • Incorporating a fastening to a design.
  • Testing and evaluating an end product against the original design criteria.


  • Use step by step instructions to draw a car in the oblique method
  • Use grid paper to draw out a net
  • Use pinning as a technique to re draw the outline of the net using a pencil and ruler to match the dots together 
  • Understanding the orientation of the vehicle net enabling designs to be added
  • Scoring card using a ruler and scissors
  • Accurately measuring out lengths of square dowel using a ruler.
  • Use a junior hacksaw with a bench hook to saw accurately 
  • Test the vehicle checking all components move and the vehicle can roll in a straight line.

Design and Build; Shoebox Bedroom

  • Design a bedroom in a plan view / birds eye view including understand the need for scale of furniture.

  • Sewing a running stitch to create pillow

  • Develop confidence scoring

  • Measuring accurately using a ruler Marking out using a ruler and pencil the location for the door and windows 

  • Using a junior hacksaw and bench hook to saw wood to length

  • Understand using PVA glue for wood to wood adhesion

  • Constructing other pieces of furniture, following their design.

Electrics; Lighthouse

  • Understand the purpose of a lighthouse and what it does
  • Design on a mini lighthouse net 4 different sides.
  • Scaling design up onto full size lighthouse net.
  • Cutting,scoring and folding a net 
  • Be able to identify circuit symbols
  • Use wire cutters/strippers to strip and cut wire.
  • Understand the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit.
  • Understand what a conductive material is
  • Make a tinfoil switch to turn the lighthouse on and off

Woodwork; Class name plaques 

  • Cutting out template using scissors and tracing onto MDF
  • Understand MDF is a manufactured board
  • Sawing using a coping saw 
  • Using a handheld power drill to create a hole 
  • Using a mallet and chisel to take out the middle of the letters 
  • Clamp their work to the bench and having scrap wood underneath to protect the table
  • Use sand paper and a cork block to smooth the edges. 
  • Painting the plaques following the template in their books.
  • Using a heat gun to dry a layer of paint if multiple colours/ layers are being used.
  • Varnish to seal the paint and finish the MDF
  • Evaluation against design

Cam Toys

  • Understand 4 different types of motion. linear, reciprocating, oscillating and rotary.
  • Measuring out lengths of wood using a rule and tri-square
  • Sawing lengths of wood using a tenon saw and bench hook in the vice
  • Marking out the centre of wood using the cross method. Marking on an arrow making sure the side holes for the cam shaft are level 
  • Using pillar drill to create holes the frame. Understanding the importance of clamping work to the pillar drill.
  • Pinning and glueing the frame in 2 "L" shapes. Understanding this method to be the best way of ensuring a square frame. Hammer, nails and PVA glue used
  • Assembling the 2 "L" shapes to create the frame. Use of the vice to hold and clamp work. Nails, hammer, pins and PVA glue.
  • Use stains to add colour to the wooden frame.
  • Marking out  styrofoam with the desired shape
  • Using a coping saw, surform and abrasive paper to cut and shape the styrofoam
  • Paint the styrofoam with design 
  • Saw dowel to length and assemble, with PVA glue, all other parts
  • Test cam toy to evaluate function


  • Understand 4 different types of bridges and examples from around the world
  • Investigating shapes and structures using spaghetti. Learn how to strengthen a structure with braces
  • Design a team name and logo in a group. Team work, communication
  • Arithmetic to work out total price, number of units and remaining budget.
  • Construction of the bridge working as a team and following a drawn design 
  • Evaluating the bridge by testing with weights until failure. Conversion of grams to kilograms
  • Redesign bridge to make improvements and so the bridge can take more weights

Our year 7 learning is designed to be explorative through the introduction of mix material practical outcomes, pupils are encouraged to draw upon the work of others to inspire their own designs taking into account the key working properties of both hard and soft materials. Pupils learning in year 7 focuses on skills development in material manipulation and finishing including digital image alteration to produce functioning final products in paper and board and resistant materials.

Pupils are taught the following units:

  • Art Nouveau Wind chime - How are we influenced by the work of those who have come before us?
  • Paper and Board exploration - What are the key skills required of a graphic designer?


Pupils who meet age related expectations will be able to:

  • use a range of drawing techniques to develop their designs.

  • use a range of materials to produce their product.

  • show high quality finish of their products. .

  • analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.

  • show they are developing an understanding of what tools and equipment to use for different task in the making stage.

In year 8 pupils will apply their understanding of materials to the iterative design process to investigate different design concepts; outcomes are increasingly individual and promote creativity within both function and aesthetics. The learning is designed to build upon the practical hands on experience within both graphic products and product design disciplines, pupils develop additional skills within CAD & CAM and electronics.

Pupils are taught the following units:

  • Memphis Multifunctional Clock - Does continuously testing a design improve the final outcome?
  • Promotional Nightlight Graphic Product - What is a graphic product and why are they needed?


Pupils meeting age related expectations will be able to:

  • use a range of drawing techniques to develop their designs.
  • use a range of materials to produce a product.
  • show high quality finish of their products.
  • use of Computer Aided Design to develop their design Ideas.
  • use Computer Aided design to produce promotional materials.
  • analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.
  • show they are developing an understanding of what tools and equipment to use for different task in the making stage.

In year 9 all pupils will explore commercial practices to create a batch produced outcome using templates, jig and formers. Visual communication skills are taken further in hand drawn and CAD methods; pupils take inspiration from others to design without limitations an architectural outcome. Year 9 pupils have the option to study the subject in further depth, if chosen as the pupils option the learner will undertake a wide range of materials based investigations with additional theoretical input on polymers and metals.

Pupils are assessed using rubrics which are progressive and linked to the development of the learner based on year group and focus on four areas of the subject, independence, creativity, Skill set, responsibility.

Pupils are taught the following units:

  • USB angle poise lamp - How do we combine and finish materials?
  • Modern and Post Modern architecture - What methods can we use to create detailed 3D design?


Pupils meeting age related expectations will be able to:

  • use a range of drawing techniques to develop their designs.
  • use a range of materials to produce their product.
  • show high quality finish of their products. .
  • analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.
  • use of Computer Aided Design to design promotional materials.
  • use Computer Aided Design to produce High Quality Finished products.

Pupils follow the AQA specification for GCSE in Design and Technology and build on the solid knowledge base they have acquired across KS3. Learners get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making a variety of practical outcomes alongside the course theory content covering units 1-7 in the Autumn and Spring terms of year 10.

At the end of year 10 pupils will select a context supplied by the exam board and will follow the full design process to investigate, prioritise, design and develop a refined concept prototype and apply their technical and practical expertise to ensure that the product is fit for purpose.

This GCSE is intended for learners interested in using materials in a practical way and who wish to understand the working properties of those materials to create realistic, functioning and imaginative product solutions. Our pupils will have the opportunity to develop hands on and CADCAM skills in making high quality products using woods, metal, polymers (plastics) and paper & board.


Skills and theory based project learning around core technical principles, specialist technical principles and designing & making principles

Unit 1 – New and emerging technologies

Unit 2 – Energy, systems, materials and devices

Unit 3 – Materials – Timbers, Polymers, Metals & Alloys, Textiles, Paper & Board

Unit 4 – Common specialist technical principles

Unit 5B – Timber based materials

Unit 6 – Designing principles

Unit 7 – Making principles


Non examined assessment work structured around contexts supplied by the exam board AQA, pupils to undertake their own iterative investigation project through the design, make, test and evaluate process.


Pupils meeting age related expectations will be able to:

  • find a solution for a design problem.
  • use a range of modelling techniques to investigate their design problem.
  • use a range of materials to produce a prototype.
  • show high quality finish of their products.
  • analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others to justify their design ideas. .
  • use of Computer Aided Design to develop design solutions.
  • use Computer Aided Manufacture to produce their prototype.