It’s a subject that allows young people to learn with their hands and their brains.

Sir James Dyson, industrial designer

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils 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. Pupils 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.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Pupils work within stimulating contexts providing a range of opportunities, to respond with solutions which challenge expectations where appropriate. Pupils are given the opportunity to combine practical and intellectual skills with an understanding of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues. Through design and technology, pupils confidently develop practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.

As part of their work with food, pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.


  • to develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • to 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
  • to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook
  • to encourage pupils to pursue practical skills beyond the classroom and to develop a pride in their creativity.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Term 1


In KS3 students are taught all three material areas on a rotational system. Each project will include practical and written/design/evaluation work with constructive feedback given regularly as verbal and written feedback during class tasks and home-learning assignments. Both aspects will be assessed on completion of the project to give an overall grade.

Year 7

Students will undertake an introductory project (5 hours of lessons plus home-learning) and a follow-on project (11 hours of lessons plus home-learning) in each material area.



  • Introduction to resistant materials
  • Safe use of the RM room and equipment
  • Practical use of Tenon saw, Hegnar saw, pillar drill, glue gun and other appropriate equipment to design and make a simple item
  • An introduction to linkages and levers


  • An introduction to woods and boards.
  • Measuring, marking, cutting, joining and finishing woods
  • Use of a comparative shop, market surveys, mood boards and evaluation of existing products to help develop design ideas
  • Practical work to include butt and dowel joints
  • Isometric drawing



  • Safe use of the textiles room and equipment
  • An introduction to fibres and fabrics
  • Practical felt – making and weaving


  • An introduction to the sewing machine
  • Practical measuring, marking and cutting fabrics
  • Practical joining and neatening fabrics – pinning, tacking, hems and seams
  • An introduction to surface decoration techniques

Term 2



  • Safety and hygiene in the food room
  • An introduction to food technology equipment and skills – basic knife skills, use of digital scales and hand blender, safe use of hob and oven, washing up and clearing away
  • An introduction to the Eatwell Guide and to seasonal fruit/vegetables
  • Students will bring in ingredients to make simple, healthy recipes which include a selection of fruits and vegetables


  • A healthy diet – an introduction to nutrition and food choice
  • Consideration of the value of convenience foods
  • Designing and evaluating – use of annotated sketches and star profile
  • Choosing, preparing and using equipment safely and appropriately
  • Further practical work to extend and refine skills via a selection of recipes which can form the basis for healthy meals and snacks – knife skills, grating, rubbing in, forming a dough, shaping, dividing, glazing, baking, grilling, boiling, simmering, draining and lining a tin

Term 1

Students will undertake one project in each material area (16 hours of lessons plus home-learning time).



  • Developing a design specification and customer profile
  • An introduction to metals – ferrous and non-ferrous, alloys, casting and surface decoration techniques
  • An introduction to plastics – thermoset and thermoplastics and their environmental impact, vacuum forming and encapsulation
  • Practical to extend and develop precision and quality when working with plastics and metals
  • An introduction to packaging



  • How the sewing machine works
  • Use of a paper pattern, straight grain, care labelling
  • Fibres to fabrics – natural and synthetic, manufacturing techniques, properties and uses
  • Practical (pyjama bottoms) to extend and refine skills – laying out and pinning, cutting, machining seams, hems and casings, inserting elastic, pressing
  • More surface decoration techniques to include sublimation printing

Term 2



  • Staple foods – sources and uses
  • More about nutrition and dietary goals
  • Food safety
  • Introduction to sensory analysis
  • Introduction to foods from other cultures
  • Analysing a design brief and recipe design and development.
  • Food labelling and nutritional analysis
  • Practical to extend skills and techniques including: using yeast, cooking a variety of starchy carbohydrates, starch thickened sauces, handling high risk foods, simmering, stir frying, creaming, using a food processor and electric mixer in order to produce more complex dishes which can form the basis of family meals.

Term 1

Students will undertake one project in each material area (12 hours of lessons plus home-learning time) and will then complete an additional extension project in one material area which will further develop relevant practical skills and techniques.



  • Practical application of finishes and pattern including printing techniques
  • Scale of manufacture, production techniques and quality control
  • Sustainability and the 6 Rs



  • Sustainable textiles
  • Designers working with recycled textiles
  • Practical: zips and fastenings, linings
  • Working with a paper pattern
  • Surface decoration techniques
  • Smart textiles

Term 2



  • Food provenance and sustainability
  • Meal planning and diet through life
  • Functions of ingredients
  • Sensory evaluation and testing
  • Practical food investigation
  • Practical to extend skills and techniques including shortcrust pastry and more complex two part dishes

Term 1


Girls may choose to study either Food Preparation and Nutrition or Design and Technology (with a textiles focus) for GCSE

Food Preparation and Nutrition (AQA 8585)

Year 10

  • Topics will include theory and related practical application in order to increase and refine practical and organisational skills when cooking more complex dishes.
  • Food, nutrition and health: functions, sources and effects of deficiency or excess, of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.
  • Nutritional needs and health: making informed food choices, the Eatwell Guide, energy needs, nutritional analysis.
  • Cooking of food and heat transfer
  • Food science: functional and chemical properties of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and raising agents.
  • Food spoilage and contamination
  • Principles of food safety
  • British and international cuisines

Term 2

Design and Technology: Textile Based materials (AQA 8552)

Year 10

  • Students will focus primarily on the specialist technical principles related to textiles materials and cover the design and making principles through fashion illustration and appropriate construction techniques in order to create prototypes.
  • Work of others: students will take inspiration from the work of fashion designers and textile artists to help inform and develop ideas.
  • Ecological and social footprint
  • Scales of production
  • Surface treatments and processes
  • Selection of materials and components
  • Topics will also include theory and related practical application in the core and technical principles of design and technology: new and emerging technologies, energy, materials, systems and devices

Term 1

Year 11

  • Factors affecting food choice
  • Food provenance, environmental impact and sustainability
  • Food processing and production
  • Experimental techniques, sensory testing and evaluation
  • Non exam assessment: Food Investigation task (10 hours)
  • Non exam assessment: Food Preparation Task (20 hours) to include a 3 hour practical session)

Term 2

Year 11 (in 2017-18 students will be studying for AQA Design and Technology: Textiles Technology)

  • Controlled assessment project (45 hours, 60%):

design ideas and testing, toile production from disassembly and/or pattern blocks, production planning and flowcharts, quality control, production of original prototype and evaluation.

  • Choosing fibres and fabrics with an understanding of modern and smart materials in today’s society.

Ecological and social footprint of textiles


There are currently three experienced specialist teachers, who are easy to approach and have excellent subject knowledge. The department is supported by a full time technician

  • Mr M McCarthy (Head of Department)
  • Mrs V Adams
  • Mr J Coleman (Technology Technician)

The department is also receives input from art teachers.

Additional Information

What your daughter may do in lessons
Lessons are fast paced and packed with lots of practical activities. Students work independently or in small groups to complete the tasks with an emphasis on developing the skills needed to produce high quality products.

How your daughter’s progress will be assessed.
Constructive feedback is an essential way to help students improve and this is given regularly as verbal and written feedback during class tasks and homework assignments. Throughout the course your daughter will be assessed by her teachers; her practical skills will be observed and outcomes monitored. Practical outcomes and completed project booklets will form the basis of assessments. There is also an end-of-year examination.

Girls have three Technology lessons per fortnight with homework set once a week. Pupils will be taught in groups of 22 and will rotate around the three material areas during the course of each year.

Girls may choose to study either Food Preparation and Nutrition or Design Technology (with a textiles focus) taught by one specialist teacher. In Years 10 and 11 students have four lessons a fortnight. The focus is on practical work, making links and applying knowledge. Constructive feedback is given regularly as verbal and written feedback during class tasks and homework assignments. Throughout the course your daughter will be assessed by her teachers; her practical skills will be observed and outcomes monitored. Assessment is through controlled assessment projects (50%) and terminal examination (50%).

How can parents help?

How can parents help?

  • Be interested and encourage your daughter to talk about her work.
  • Help her to be well prepared for lessons, by agreeing time to shop for ingredients and by checking that she has the correct materials and equipment.
  • Read the teacher comments in her booklet and encourage her to act on them.
  • Reflect on assessments to enable her to identify how to improve.
  • Review her work frequently.
  • Encourage her to explain her learning.
  • Discuss her designs and plans and help her to evaluate her work.
  • Encourage her to ask her teacher for help if required or if lessons have been missed.
  • Involve her in practical activities at home.
  • Discuss your choices as a consumer.
  • Watch related programmes – technology, design, fashion, inventions and food are all popular television topics.
  • Read labels and relevant magazines and websites.
  • Critically evaluate products in use and discuss how they are made.
  • Visit museums, exhibitions and displays.
  • Encourage her to try creative and problem solving activities.
  • Read through recipes with her and discuss ways in which you could modify these to suit your family.
  • Grow and pick herbs, vegetables or fruit.

Where next

Where next?

Careers linked to technology include fashion or costume design, food technology, dietetics, retail, engineering and food or material sciences.

Skills such as logical thinking, creativity, perseverance, communication, problem solving, planning and evaluation, all developed through technology, are highly desirable to employers in all sorts of sectors. The development of fine motor skills is essential for anyone wanting to study subjects such as medicine or dentistry.

The skills developed while studying technology can be the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment from creativity. Girls learn a range of life skills, which will stand them in good stead whichever career they decide to pursue.