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Design & Technology


What is the Intent of our Design and Technology curriculum? 


​Design & Technology aims to prepare students to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world by learning to think, design, develop and make creatively.  It is about solving real world context-based problems and using a range of materials to create successful outcomes. We aim to equip students with the relevant knowledge and safe working practices to serve them well in future educational and work settings.  The ability to reflect and a creative mindset is at the heart of what we do, building on traditional working practices that also incorporate and embrace new and developing technologies.  The wide range of subjects offered under the umbrella of “Design & Technology” gives students a diverse range of experiences and skills that will prepare them for KS4 and their future. 

How do we deliver our curriculum?  


  • Our curriculum builds on prior knowledge through base line testing of learning from KS2 that is tested on entry to KS3. 

  • We have created a curriculum for KS3 that covers the requirements of the national curriculum whilst preparing students for the rigours of the KS4 curriculum in preparation for their further education.  This covers the disciplines of wood, metal, plastics, electronics, graphic communication, textiles and food preparation. 

  • Our delivery at KS3 & KS4 is through schemes of work based on the mastery system of assessment, building on knowledge year on year to provide our students with a wide knowledge of all material areas that prepares them for further education and the world of work.  

  • At KS3 we complete an end of topic test for all students to assess subject knowledge of keywords and their application in the context of our subject. 

  • We create engaging learning opportunities throughout the classroom curriculum delivery.  

  • Students have access to professionals who visit the school or whom they meet in real industry contexts on visits.  

  • We aim to deliver the 21st Century Trivium model (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric) so that students can think about and apply their learning in a range of new and challenging contexts. This employs metacognitive and cognitive strategies to meet the learning demands of the developing curriculum. 

  • We develop students’ work relevant skillset by allowing them access to industry standard equipment and software. 

  • Students who show an aptitude in any area of technology are invited to Gifted &Talented events that give them experiences beyond our regular curriculum delivery. 

  • Health & safety is managed and delivered throughout the subject to allow students to gain confidence in safe working practices. 

  • Literacy & numeracy is developed across KS3 & KS4 in terms of specific subject knowledge and skills.  These are applied in practical and academic situations across all curriculum delivery to build students resilience and confidence with the subject. 

  • We operate an open-door policy for all students to access additional support in non-curriculum time.  This takes the form of structured sessions and informal sessions during curriculum and non-curriculum time. 

  • Staff access any available CPD programmes in school, or out of school, to enhance and refine their teaching practices. 

What is the impact of our curriculum? 


  • Students will have acquired the knowledge, skills and understanding in Technology to ensure that they enjoy and make good progress in their learning.

  • Data tracking in each academic year will identify progress of individual learners and key groups and will trigger appropriate interventions if required. 

  • Detailed analysis of GCSE (and equivalent) courses will inform future planning, teaching and learning. 

  • Annual departmental reviews, including work scrutiny, will establish strengths and weaknesses leading to RAG-rated departmental development plans. 

  • Regular reflection on the appropriateness of the curriculum will ensure teaching, learning and assessment is appropriate and challenging. This will include an annual Year 11 questionnaire. We will give all students the opportunity to feedback on the curriculum delivery as we use this information to refine and improve the teaching and curriculum content every academic year. 

  • Monitoring ‘engagement in learning’ outcomes will reveal students’ attitude and motivation towards their learning as being good or better. 

  • Analysis of participation trends in terms of extra-curricular activity. 

  • Participation in the Devon County Health & Safety audit ensures a safe working environment for all. 

What will students learn in Year 7? 



Design communication skills

Kitchen Safety (Eatwell guide)

Fibres & Fabrics 

Wind Spinners, Bloc Bots, Structures & Forces, Mass manufacturing


Lego Design


Students are introduced to the main core disciplines of Design & Technology through a range of short creative tasks and mini projects.  They will experience working in the following material areas: Resistant Materials, Textiles, Food & Graphics.  Consideration is always given to relevant health & safety issues and aiming to foster an ethos of refining and improving work through independent study. 


We aim to develop a creative, technical and practical approach to designing thinking.  Along with this, students start to build basic subject knowledge with theory tasks that link to their design and practical activities. 

Establishing an enthusiasm for the subject and how it relates to their own lives and the wider world is key at this stage of their learning. 

What will students learn in Year 8? 




Design communication skills

Foods Around the World

Tool Wrap

PIC Dice

Race & Chase Game



Students develop their subject knowledge in all material areas through longer and more complex material focused projects.  This starts with a focus on design drawing skills that can be applied to product development in all areas of the subject.  We start to introduce the concept of an end user and consider their needs through analysis and research. Health and safety awareness is balanced with the development of the creative mindset.  

The practical element of the subject moves to a more challenging level, building on basic skills acquired in year 7, with the introduction of more complex tools, techniques and equipment. Students will complete four projects during the year that enable them to explore and develop their subject knowledge and understanding:  

  • Electronic PIC dice - circuit building, coding & handmade wooden housing. 

  • Race & Chase Game - introduction to CAD (computer aided design), DTP (desktop publishing) & graphic design.  

  • Tool Wrap - introduction to the sewing machine to make a practical fabric product. 

  • Foods Around the World - cultural influences on food with the focus on a nutritionally balanced diet. 

What will students learn in Year 9? 




Design communication skills

Diet Through Life


Pewter Casting


2D Design


Students embed their subject knowledge, skills and understanding, moving from what was learnt in year 7 & 8, to becoming competent and confident to use them in a range of design situations. An analytical approach is encouraged in all areas of the department to solve problems for a specific end user. 

More challenging and sustained projects start to prepare students for the move to KS4.  An increase in subject theory to deepen subject knowledge is combined with more complex project briefs and higher-level technical skills. 

Students will complete four projects during the year that enable them to further explore and embed their subject knowledge and understanding: 

  • Diet Through Life - explores the creativity needed to deliver the different nutritional needs at different stages of life. 

  • Hats – students adapt hat patterns to enhance their sewing machine skills, making a 3D wearable item that is unique. 

  • Clocks – explore the use & role of CAD, combined with traditional hand making skills in resistant materials. 

  • Pewter Casting – allows students to access a more challenging engineering style design & make project through casting & finishing metal. 

GCSE Course 


We offer three courses for students to choose from in KS4: 

  • GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition  

  • GCSE Design & Technology – Product Design  

  • Engineering (Level 1 / 2)  


GCSE Design & Technology is a subject that brings learning to life, requiring learners to apply their learning to real-life situations.  This course aims to relate authentic real-world awareness of iterative design practices and strategies used by the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries.  Students learn to use critical thinking, which leads towards invention and design innovation.  They design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. 


GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.  An understanding of nutrition is such an important life skill that will enable them to grow into happy and healthy adults. Students can build on this wide range of practical skills and benefit from them in the future. 


Engineering Level 1/2 qualification is appropriate for learners who are looking to develop a significant core of knowledge and understanding in engineering and be able to apply their learning, as well as those learners who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences. The study of engineering is the application of maths and science to solve real world problems. This involves an understanding of the different disciplines of engineering and how they have shaped the products and projects of the modern world.  

Homework and Independent Learning 


Homework is set regularly for all our students.  It is always linked to tasks being completed in lessons. Each week the lesson work is posted in the class Google Classroom, often with any associated resources.  This allows students to return to the work and refine it independently or make use of the resources to help them complete homework. A brief description of homework tasks is also posted on Class Charts as a reminder of the deadline.    


All of the Technology teachers are happy to give additional guidance on any task and we can usually be found in our classrooms most days if a pupil requires further help to complete a piece of work. We operate an open-door policy so that students can pop in any break or lunch time should they need to access more support from their specialist teachers.  


KS3 students can expect homework on average every two to three weeks.  They should be spending around 45 minutes on a task in year 7, and up to an hour and a half once they reach year 9.  


​GCSE students will be expected to complete work outside of lessons every week.  This will range from about an hour and a half in year 10 but could be upwards of two hours a week as they are working through their NEA (Non-Exam Assessment) in year 11.  All Year 11 classes will have after school club days to facilitate the completion of the NEA as often specialist equipment or software is needed that won’t be accessible at home.  

Extra-curricular and Enrichment Opportunities 

  • After school & lunchtime clubs available weekly for all students. 

  • Visiting professionals to the department. 

  • KS4 visits to local workplaces. 

  • School based house competitions. 

  • Involvement in regional & national competitions like the IET Robot Challenge & Future Chef Competition. 


Useful links 


GCSE Design and Technology - OCR - BBC Bitesize 

GCSE Home Economics: Food and Nutrition (CCEA) - BBC Bitesize 

Up Learn - Getting the A* at A Level ( 


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