Curriculum statement for Design and Technology.

Lead Teacher: Mrs S Williams

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, students design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 


Our curriculum aims to ensure that all students: 

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world;
  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users;
  • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • There is significant variability in how primary schools approach teaching design technology at KS2 and our students enter secondary school with wide ranging experiences, knowledge, understanding and skills. They generally lack knowledge, skills and any workshop experience. Our rural community often gives students added confidence with practical work which requires the safe use of tools and equipment to be further embedded into their learning.  

In Design and Technology, students need to be able to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs and prepare them for adult life in a practical, mindful and creative way. They need to learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments.  They need to learn to think creatively to improve quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. Students need to understand their responsibility as global citizens to think and act sustainably. Students learn to use a wide range of materials and the tools and equipment for forming them. Most projects require a user/client response which then creates a response to generate design ideas and inform production.  

The KS3 curriculum is focused on building foundational skills and being able to make choices of materials, tools and techniques.  Students need to develop the skills and confidence to use professional tools and equipment to design and make a series of products across the range of specialisms and learn to apply their knowledge and skills to create more complex products with a high level of finish. To learn, students need opportunities to retrieve and practice knowledge and skills to develop their proficiency and enable them to produce better quality products. They need to develop a variety of research skills to support idea generation and consider needs of others as they do in industry. Students need to develop evaluative and analysis skills and be able to apply them within different contexts.  

Design and technology covers the disciplines of working with wood, plastic, metal, textiles and systems and control. With the assumption of no workshop experience at the start of Year 7,  students will use professional tools and equipment to design and make a series of projects which cover each of the specialisms with a gradually more complex and developed level of production. At the heart of every project is a core of safety and constant reiteration of the safe use of equipment. Each practical project is linked to a variety of research, ideas, analysis and evaluation tasks which culminates in Year 11 with the production of their NEA (Non Exam Assessment) where they get the opportunity to showcase their skills. 

For the research, analysis and evaluative sections of the curriculum, students will explore their projects through written and illustrated work which encourages imagination and innovation. Design ideas and development becomes gradually more complex throughout the years with more technical and artistic techniques taught with each project. 

The KS3 curriculum starts with developing a firm foundation of safety, which continue as a ‘golden thread’ throughout the KS3 and KS4 curriculum; this enables students to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence in a safe way. The curriculum provides students with the opportunity and breadth of knowledge which envelops a vast range of topics. From this broad foundation, students become more innovative and develop the skills and knowledge needed to design and make products at a high level. The curriculum is built on 6 areas of design technology: 

  • Context 
  • Development 
  • Planning Making skills 
  • Evaluating 
  • Technical skills 

All projects ensure that students are able to develop the knowledge and skills in each of these 6 areas. There is a degree of flexibility within the projects, allowing students to have input and to take into consideration materials. The curriculum aims to ensure that students understand their responsibility as global citizens to think and act sustainably and the concept of recycling and re-using is embedded into everyday thinking.  As students progress through the curriculum they develop the knowledge and skills to be able to apply their learning with increasing independence.  

When designing our curriculum, we have considered the individual needs of our students. To ensure that students with SEND have the opportunity to develop the same knowledge and skills as their peers, we adopt a range of strategies within the classroom such as in class support from a teaching assistant, smaller group teaching and adapted equipment where necessary. This enables students to develop confidence as well as the knowledge and skills they need to progress. 

Formative assessment is embedded into every lesson, with verbal feedback. Summative assessment is used at the end of each project. The outcomes of formative assessment and summative assessment are used to inform the curriculum.  

Extra-curricular clubs provide the opportunity for all students to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise in their particular areas of interest. Our model railway club is particularly popular. Design and Technology also leads an annual STEM trip to Oxford and regularly enters DT focused competitions through the Rotary Club and Lancaster University. 




Skills are delivered through units of work with a different area of specialism every half term. KS3 are in mixed groups of Year 7 and 8 (2 lessons PW)and KS4 are in a mixed Year 9 and 10 group (3 lessons PW), Year 11 work on their NEA. This allows all students full access to all DT resources across the year.


Designing Principles


Materials and Their Working Properties


Making Principles


Energy, Systems, Devices and Environment



2D and isometric 3D freehand drawing.

Designing products for oneself and for others using a starting point theme.

Introduction to 2D Design to draw basic shapes and sketchup for CAD modelling and 3D printing.

Development of 2D Design skills including working to specific measurements and tolerances.

Introduction to wood, plastic, metal. Understand the physical properties of these materials and why they have been selected in the making process.

Paper and board: the difference between paper and board, working with tracing paper, card board

Polymer categories: thermoforming plastics, thermosetting plastics, sustainability and wider issues relating to plastics

Natural timber: categories of woods, hardwoods, softwoods and manufactured boards.

Textiles: Natural and man made, use of sewing machine and hand sewing skills.

Show an understanding of materials and their physical properties to select the most appropriate material to use in the manufacture of a product

Introduction to health and safety in the workshop. Focus on hazards and precautions when using hand tools and machines, including CAD/CAM.

Working with papers and board: how to cut, crease, score, perforate and laminate paper and card using scissors, laminator, craft knives and safety equipment

Working with timber: how to cut, drill and sand timber using the pillar drill, jigsaw, coping saw, tenon saw and sanding disc.

Working with polymers: how to cut, drill and deform thermoforming plastics using the pillar drill, jigsaw, coping saw, band sander and strip heater.

Working with textiles: Use of sewing machine, sublimation printer. Joining and fastening techniques.

Use templates to mark out wood joints accurately and consistently.

Modify and adapt practical work throughout the making process.

Input-process-output systems diagram.

Input and output components

How to assemble simple components.

Mechanisms: cams and followers, parallel linkages, reverse motion linkages. Levers.

Input and output components for a light.

How to solder a simple circuit.

Environmental impact, recycling, selecting appropriate materials for the future.

9/10 Two-point perspective drawing, isometric, single point perspective, 2 point perspective and orthographic scale drawing.

The work of others: designing in the style of a designer/design movement.

Development of 2D Design and Sketchup skills drawing.

NEA: iterative planning and research

Use subject specific terminology and scientific vocabulary when selecting and using materials including absorbency, density, fusibility, conductivity, strength, hardness, toughness, malleability, ductility and elasticity.

Know the primary sources of paper and board, textiles and timber-based materials and the main processes involved in converting the raw materials into workable forms. Identify the commercially available types and sizes of materials and components.

Know and understand how different material properties and components are used in commercial products, how properties influence use and affect performance. Understand the physical and mechanical properties relevant to commercial products made from paper and board and timber-based materials.

Use a wide range of tools, equipment and processes to shape, fabricate, construct and assemble products.

Use templates and jigs to mark out and form materials accurately including the process of laminating plywood.

How to combine CAD and CAM work with practical in the workshop to manufacture a product.

Commercial manufacturing including routing, surface treatments and finishes of timber-based materials including painting, waxing and varnishing .

Commercial manufacturing theory including die cutting, offset lithography, surface treatments and finishes of papers and boards including embossing, printing and UV varnishing.

Input and output components for a 5V LED light

Develop soldering skills with a more complex circuit.

Energy generation and storage

Systems approach to designing

Electronic systems processing 

Mechanical devices

11 NEA (RM specialism): develop, communicate, record and justify design ideas using a wide range of appropriate techniques.

Design and develop prototypes in response to client wants and needs.

Using 2D and 3D Design skills to develop prototypes and 3D models for testing.

Select the appropriate materials and components appropriate to the task based on:

Functional need


Social, cultural and ethical factors



Know what life cycle assessment is and how to relate this to the manufactured product.

Select and use a wide range of specialist tools, equipment and processes to shape, fabricate, construct and assemble high quality outcomes, as appropriate to the materials and components being used.

The manufacture of materials and components to minimum and maximum measurements (tolerance).

The application and use of quality control to include measurable and quantitative systems during manufacture.

Apply existing knowledge of energy, systems and devices to exam style questions.
Year Monday Tuesday Wednesday Trips
7 Fashion/Textiles club Model Railway Club
8 Fashion/Textiles club Model Railway Club Rotary Club Technology Tournament
9 Fashion/Textiles club Model Railway Club STEM trip to Oxford
10 Fashion/Textiles club Model Railway Club STEM trip to Oxford
11 NEA coursework catch up Fashion/Textiles club Model Railway Club

KS4 AQA 1-9 GCSE Design and Technology

This option course allows students to further develop their interest and skills through studying and designing everyday products. In Year 9 and 10 students research, design and manufacture a range of products specialising in wood, plastic, metal, electronics, engineering and graphics, learning a variety of skills to support their projects and sit an exam to assess their progress. They will continue to learn a range of skills which build to provide the confidence to complete their final major project and GCSE exam in Year 11.