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Design Technology

Design Technology

Much pupil time is spent with examination classes yet the department also supports a great deal of extra-curricular where pupils undertake practical work outside normal curriculum time. In addition, the adjacent fully-equipped cookery room with one of the school chefs has proved very popular with pupils, both in and out of lesson time. We offer F1 in Schools, Robocon and Greenpower. Furthermore we take students weekly to the Cambridge University Engineering Department across the road from the school to the IET and Royal Aeronautical Society Lectures.


Years 7-9

Pupils are introduced to basic design skills and graphics techniques and undertake a variety of construction projects (using wood, metal and plastic). This includes an introduction to CAD (computer aided design), CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines and digital manufacturing (3D printing).



The Design and Technology GCSE course offers a broad and flexible approach to the subject. It is a theory and practical subject which requires the application of knowledge and an understanding of materials and material processing when developing ideas, producing products and evaluating them. Candidates are encouraged in their design folders to use a wide range of graphical techniques including freehand drawings, isometric and orthographic drawing, as well as Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture techniques.

Course Content

  • The skills, processes and concepts used in designing, including some awareness of economic and business issues.
  • The use of computers in design and manufacture.
  • The use of graphics and modelling techniques as specific design tools.
  • Materials, material processes, and skills used in the construction of products.
  • The use of components, fasteners, adhesives and man-made materials.
  • Safe working practices and British Standards.
  • Industrial practices and methods of production.

15% of mathematics and 10% science is now featured on the syllabus.

The examination consists of the following which is 50% of the total 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: – a substantial design and make task, 30–35 hours, 100 marks and 50% of GCSE:

Practical application of:
Core technical principles
Specialist technical principles
Designing and making principles

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 is awarded holistically.


A Level

The course offers a broad investigation and study of the man-made world. Those studying this subject will gain an understanding of the methods used by product designers, architects and engineers in the design and development of new products and systems. They will look at the work of a number of famous designers. Studies in detail, of the range of materials and production methods used today will be part of their studies. This subject is ideal for those with a strong interest in engineering there is a considerable amount of maths and science applied in the new syllabus.

Course Content

Non-exam assessment: – Practical application of technical, designing and making principles.

It is a substantial design and make project. Evidence is submitted in a written design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype. This involves producing approximately a 40 hour piece of coursework worth 50% of the A-level. Assessment criteria includes exploration, designing, making, analysis and evaluation.

Paper 1 – Technical principles. This is a 2 hour and 30 minutes written paper. 30% of the total A-level marks. This paper is primarily based on materials and components which are a mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2 – Designing and making principles. This is a 1 hour and 30 minutes written paper. 20% of the total A-level marks. This paper is primarily based on Product Analysis: 30 marks which is up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s) and commercial manufacture: 50 marks which is a mixture of short and extended response questions.

  • Mr Clive Battle – Head of Design and Technology
  • Mr Jacob Parsons – Teacher
  • Mr Alastair Mullholland-Cox – Teacher/DT Technician
  • Miss Emily Aveling – DT Technician

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