Design & Technology

Staffing of the department

Mr Xavier – Head of Department
Mrs Woolgar – Teacher of Food Technology

Educational philosophy / Aims of the curriculum

To develop a critical awareness of the made and natural environment and of the social contexts into which Design Technology plays an important role. Design and Technology aims to foster curiosity, ingenuity and imagination through personal involvement with concepts and materials. It also strives to increase pupils’ understanding of the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and aesthetic needs of people, which change throughout life.
Pupils should be able to:

  • Identify real needs which may be solved through creative Design and Technology based activity;
  • Identify the resources needed for the solution of problems and identify constraints which may influence proposed solution;
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary to give, in a clear and appropriate form, information about a product, system or environment;
  • Demonstrate appropriate skill to create or model a product, system or environment and then be able to evaluate its success against the original specification.

KS4 Curriculum

Our Design and Technology offered as a single GCSE option, as the course was reformed in 2019. For students who select to continue the study as KS4, they will be offered under the specialism Product Design.

KS4 Programme of study

Product design

Design and Technology is a practical subject area which requires the application of knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning, producing products and evaluating them. The distinction between Designing and Making is a convenient one to make, but in practice the two often merge. For example, research can involve not only investigating printed matter and people’s opinions, but also investigating e.g. proportions, adhesives, colour, structures and materials through practical work.

Designing Skills

  • Be creative and innovative when designing
  • Design products to meet the needs of clients and consumers
  • Understand the design principles of form, function and fitness for purpose
  • Understand the role that designers and product developers have, and the impact and responsibility they have on and to society
  • Analyse and evaluate existing products, including those from professional designers
  • dDevelop and use design briefs and specifications for product development
  • Consider the conflicting demands that moral, cultural, economic, and social values and needs can make in the planning and in the designing of products
    consider environmental and sustainability issues in designing products
  • Consider health and safety in all its aspects
  • Anticipate and design for product maintenance where appropriate
  • Design for manufacturing in quantity and to be aware of current commercial/industrial processes
  • Generate design proposals against stated design criteria, and to modify their proposals in the light of on-going analysis, evaluation and product development
  • Reflect critically when evaluating and modifying their design ideas and proposals in order to improve their products throughout inception and manufacture
  • Use, where appropriate, a range of graphic techniques and ICT (including digital media), including CAD, to generate, develop, model and communicate design proposals
  • Investigate and select appropriate materials/ ingredients and components
  • Plan and organise activities which involve the use of materials/ingredients and components when developing or manufacturing
  • Devise and apply test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical/key points during development, and to indicate ways of modifying and improving it when necessary
  • Communicate the design proposal in an appropriate manner
  • Be flexible and adaptable when designing
  • Test and evaluate the final design proposal against the design specification
  • Evaluate the work of other designers to inform their own practice
  • Understand the advantages of working collaboratively as a member of a design team
  • Understand the need to protect design ideas

Making Skills

  • Select and use tools/equipment and processes to produce quality products;
  • Consider the solution to technical problems in the design and manufacture process;
  • Use tools and equipment safely with regard to themselves and others;
  • Work accurately and efficiently in terms of time, materials/ingredients and components;
  • Manufacture products applying quality control procedures;
  • Have knowledge of Computer-Aided Manufacture (CAM) and to use as appropriate;
  • Ensure, through testing, modification and evaluation, that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users and devise modifications where necessary that would improve the outcome(s);
  • Understand the advantages of working as part of a team when designing and making products.

Make up of qualification – overview

There is one tier of assessment covering grades 1 to 9.

Examination Paper
What’s assessed:
– Core technical principles
– Specialist technical principles
– Designing and making principles

How it’s assessed:
– Written exam: 2 hours
– 100 marks
– 50% of GCSE

Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)
A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.
Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)
Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.
Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)
A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)
What’s assessed
Practical application of:
– Core technical principles
– Specialist technical principles
– Designing and making principles

How it’s assessed
– Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx
– 100 marks
– 50% of GCSE

Substantial design and make task
Assessment criteria:
– Identifying and investigating design possibilities
– Producing a design brief and specification
– Generating design ideas
– Developing design ideas
– Realising design ideas
– Analysing & evaluating

In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner
Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA
Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence
Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public