Design and Technology

Year 9 Excitement

This year is an opportunity to ‘go deeper’ as students have a larger number of lessons throughout the year. We aim to broaden student’s experience of the wide range of facilities that are available in DT whilst also building on the fundamental CAD, wood and polymer skills developed in years 7 and 8.

Project 1 Trinket Box

Students will continue to use the iterative process as they identify user needs and function for their trinket box. They will learn traditional joining techniques for making a high quality crafted item. Structured teaching will enable all students to create the product whilst potential for more sophisticated creations will be encouraged. This project is about creating high quality items so much emphasis will be placed on carrying out tasks within tight tolerances.

Theory 1

We will be revisiting themes from previous years and developing our knowledge of scales of production for wood and manufactured board products, maths in DT, maths: calculating volume and the environmental impact of products and social responsibility of designers and manufacturers.

Project 2 Electronic Picture/Mirror Frame

As we live in an increasingly gadget oriented society, this project is aimed at providing students with a foundational knowledge of series and parallel circuits in electronics and how to embed these into designed products. Students will learn how to safely solder components and test for current flow using voltmeters and trouble-shoot faults. They will continue to develop their designing and making skills as they research the work of designers like Gerrit Rieltvelde, Philippe Starck, William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They will then go on to manufacture using CAD/CAM as they laser cut and line bend an acrylic base and use traditional joinery techniques to manufacture their picture/mirror frame. All products are fully evaluated during the designing, making and on completion as we teach students to understand that iterative design ensures constant evolution of products suitable for a changing world.

Theory 2 Design in the 21st century

Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge of energy, material properties, the global workforce, product marketing, built-in obsolescence, modern and smart materials and life-cycle analysis.

Theory 3 Polymers

As we will have worked in polymers like acrylic and polystyrene during our practical tasks and used manufacturing techniques like line bending, vacuum forming and laser cutting, we will be deepening our knowledge of the range of techniques for making polymer products to different scales. We will look into thermoforming and thermosetting polymers, manufacturing techniques like rotational moulding, extrusion, vacuum forming and understand the environmental impact of products made using these materials.

Year 10 Expertise

GCSE learning begins as students apply their developing skills with greater freedom and independence whilst deepening their knowledge of the core design topics as well as more advanced knowledge of natural and manufactured timbers required for successful completion of the course.

Theory topics to be covered are:

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

The GCSE follows the EDUQAS exam board and is weighted 50% coursework and 50% exam. The exam will take place at the end of Year 11 and will be a 2 hour written paper based on the previously mentioned themes.

Project 1

Designing for User Needs

User centred design (UCD) is a fundamental skill that will equip the designer in meeting the needs of a client or target market. In this project we will be creating a pull along toy aimed at young children. The investigation will look into the needs of young children and the importance of play for child development through discovery, communication and social interaction. The product will factor in ergonomic requirements and safety considerations.

Project 2

Light in the Darkness

This project is deliberately designed to allow students the opportunity to develop their own design briefs. It is the last project before the GCSE graded coursework begins and aims to allow student’s free-reign to self-direct the stages and outcomes of their work. They will be given some guidance as they are shown how to analyse the task, plan their investigation, design and develop their ideas, evaluate suitability, plan and manufacture and evaluate the final outcome.

GCSE Coursework NEA (non-examined assessment)

From 1st June of Year 10 students will embark on their graded GCSE coursework. They will be given three themes from the exam board that year and the teacher will select the ones that are most suitable for the students. Example themes from previous years have been ‘Space’, ‘Greener World’, ‘Sport and Music’ etc. The NEA will be finally presented as two pieces of work consisting of the informal sketch pad and the formal portfolio. The contents and assessment objectives are listed below. All other sketch pad work will count as supporting evidence of the thoroughness of the students approach.

The Assessment Objectives


(a) Identifying and investigating design possibilities – 10 marks

(b) Developing a design brief and specification – 10 marks


(c) Generating and developing design ideas – 30 marks

(d) Manufacturing a prototype. – 30 marks


(e) Analysing and evaluating design decisions and prototypes – 20 marks

Year 11 Expertise

NEA coursework

Students will have completed Sections A and B of the assessment objectives (as outlined in Year 10 above) and be well on the way to completing Section C of their independent project. Coursework deadline is February half term and exam theory will make up the lesson content from then.

Theory lesson will take place fortnightly covering the exam themes (also outlined in Year 10 above).