Design and technology

Aims of the curriculum

Key Stage 3 design and technology aims to prepare students for living and working in an ever-changing world by being adaptable and aware of the impact of their decision making on the environment. To enable pupils to develop their design and technology capability through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make products.

The Key Stage 3 design and technology curriculum gives the pupils the opportunity to build sound knowledge and understanding of the subject through a number of tasks which enables them to work through a variety of design contexts whilst gaining practical experience using a range of materials. In Year 7 pupils are given the opportunity to learn and develop practical skills and knowledge of materials in four media areas. The pupils are then encouraged to apply the processes taught in focused tasks to mini projects. In Year 8 pupils develop further skills in each of the four media areas to produce more imaginative practical answers to the problems and design briefs set.

Curriculum overview

Food technology
  • Pupils are introduced to Food Technology basics through focused tasks aimed at learning and understanding the importance of hygiene and safety in a working kitchen and healthy eating.
  • This is coupled with understanding and application of the design process to be able to design and make food products under a wide range of contexts.
  • Pupils also learn basic food preparation skills and methods throughout the module.
Graphic products
  • Pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the design process and skills in design generation through the theme of Corporate Identity and CAD.
  • The skills focus is biased towards product analysis and creativity, application of research, developing and creating quality products.
Product design
  • Pupils complete practical projects where they explore the key Resistant Materials wood, plastic and metal.
  • The projects follow the design process and help develop knowledge and understanding of these materials and manufacturing processes.
  • Pupils experience key wood and metalwork skills as well as studying how to design for a purpose.
 Textiles
  • Pupils develop their knowledge of textiles and the use of these to manufacture products for a need.
  • Pupils develop a range of hand skills to be able to manufacture products using fabrics and other materials.

Students will study Food once every 2 weeks all year, and other subjects will be studied dependant on which teacher the pupil is allocated.

Teaching methods and student organisation 

The school curriculum pathways are organised into Thomas and More. Throughout Key Stage 3, students are taught three times a fortnight within these pathways, in mixed ability classes, supported and encouraged through differentiated tasks. Pupil will complete all tasks in all media areas with individual teachers throughout the Key Stage. Lessons are usually divided between practical and theory-based tasks. The majority of design and theory work is delivered as homework to maximise the practical time in lessons.  Homework is delivered in the form of design exercises, quizzes, research tasks and spelling tests.

Progression after Key Stage 3

At the end of Key Stage 3 pupils opt to study one media in more detail. The students’ enjoyment of Design and Technology is shown through its popularity by the number of students opting for it at Key Stage 4. It has been a popular subject at Key Stage 4 and offers the experience of hands on learning that is not available in some other subjects. This positive endorsement by students demonstrates the value and importance of Design and Technology:

  • Level 2 OCR National in Design Engineering.
  • Level 2 WJEC Hospitality and Catering.

All the above courses are vocational by name, although are GCSE equivalent, count towards progress 8 and support progression into A-Level subjects.

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

Pupils are welcome to seek additional assistance with homework tasks during lunchtimes in G42/G44 where there is access to computers and one to one support from staff. Extra support is available for students after school by all Design and Technology Staff.

Useful design and technology websites