Year 7

In year 7 students are introduced to the key skills required to be a successful designer in the modern world. The aim is to familiarise students with the iterative nature of the design process and to equip them with commonly used making techniques to allow them to manufacture their designs using the broad range of manufacturing facilities within the department. Students will be taught this subject on rotation which means it will be on their timetable for a part of the year (usually giving approximately 18 hours of study).

Project – Toy vehicle

We will be investigating aerodynamics, learning how to effectively communicate ideas through sketching, rendering and annotating and manufacturing a child’s toy vehicle using workshop hand tools and some machinery. The final product will be a push/pull along wood crafted toy vehicle. Emphasis will be placed on creating quality products and safe working practices.


Students will sit a test at the end of their design projects where they will be able to demonstrate their understanding of design and make principles and how design decisions effect the environment. They will show an understanding of timbers and manufactured boards and their properties, and consider how different products are suitable for different scales of production. They will also be introduced to some specific mathematical skills that are common in design and technology.

Year 8

Project – Cultural Clock

Building on the skills developed in year 7, students will aim to design products that can be constructed using CAD/CAM techniques to manufacture in acrylic. Design ideas will be developed with an understanding of how material choice effects the form and function of a product and how this will impact the environment. The theme will be designing clocks that represent a culture or country from around the world. Social responsibility will figure in the learning as students become increasingly aware if the impact design decisions like material choice and limiting waste will have on the environment.


The project will prepare students for the test that looks at the mechanical and functional properties of polymers, CAD/CAM, smart and modern materials and the responsibility of designers to choose materials in products for the benefit of future generations. As we will have worked in polymers like acrylic during our practical tasks and used manufacturing techniques like line bending 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 9

Project – Mood Light

Students will continue to use the iterative process as they investigate the work of famous designers from history as they research the work of designers like Gerrit Rieltvelde, Philippe Starck, William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They will learn how to create an electronic series circuit and employ traditional joining techniques to make their mood light. Structured teaching will enable all students to create the product whilst potential for more sophisticated creations will be encouraged.


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

Year 10

Teaching groups will consist of students that have opted for Design and Technology in addition to their core subjects. 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, 8 and 9.

GCSE foundational learning begins as students apply their skills developed in key stage 3 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 & 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 mechanical 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. We will consider the function of mechanisms and how these can be used to enhance the function of a product.

Project 2 – Drawing skills

Students will be taught how to construct design ideas using 2 point perspective. The concept of crating will help students to communicate more complex

Project 3 – Light in the Darkness

This project is deliberately designed to give students the skills needed to manufacture products using ferrous metals. This is a more technical project and students we learn how to read and make standardised working drawings.  It is the last project before the GCSE graded coursework begins, we will be using more advanced making techniques like brazing metals, vacuum forming plastics and revisiting electronic circuits. We will be creating computer-generated models to 3D print for the lamp head of the product.

GCSE Coursework NEA (non-examined assessment)

From 1st June of year 10 students will embark on their graded GCSE coursework. They will be given 3 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 2 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

AO 1

(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

NEA coursework

Students will continue to independently work through the assessment objectives outlined in year 10. The coursework deadline is February half term and exam theory will be taught on a fortnightly basis.

Theory lesson will be covering the exam themes (also outlined in year 10 above).