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Design and Technology

Our aim is to guide pupils in making informed decisions about Design and Technology related concepts and issues. We endeavour to broaden the young minds of our pupils with challenging and enjoyable lessons and projects, which give pupils the chance to create realistic, personalised products.

Our specialist team of teachers and technicians are passionate about their teaching and subject, welcoming new technologies as well as respecting the traditional methods of the past. Our unique style of teaching and assessment within Key Stage 3 allows pupils to make rapid progress, and a rich and diverse Key Stage 4 and 5 offering our pupils pathways into the increasingly expanding world of technology.

Key Stage 3

Across Key Stage 3, pupils are taught by all teachers within the department and cover a range of skills as described below.

Projects evolve and are adapted frequently to reflect the ever changing subject of Technology. Projects include:

  • Ergonomic lightsabers: understanding how form plays a part in the design and manufacture of ergonomic products.
  • Tower of Hanoi: basic and advanced practical skills with a focus on materials and quality of production.
  • Amplifier: focussing on recycling with the integration of electronic circuits.
  • Interior design: analysing fashion and soft furnishings using complex textile machinery and techniques.
  • Basic food hygiene and preparation skills.
  • Charity box: initial electronics and programming with an emphasis on moral/cultural impact.
  • CAD culture: an Autodesk driven 3D project utilising the latest 3D printing technology.
  • Innovation challenge: individual challenges to stimulate the problem solving aspect of design and technology.
  • T-shirt: refashioning an existing product into a new product using advanced textiles skills
  • International cuisine: exploring international food and presentational techniques

Pupils are taught a range of skills and techniques from the new national framework including:

  • Selecting appropriate specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery, including computer-aided manufacture.
  • Creating production schedules that inform the manufacturing of products.
  • Match and select suitable materials considering their fitness for purpose.
  • Following procedures for safety and hygiene and understand the process of risk assessment.
  • Using a broad range of manufacturing techniques including handcraft skills and machinery to manufacture products precisely.
  • The use of CAD/CAM equipment to manufacture products.
  • Work confidently within a range of relevant domestic, local and industrial contexts, such as the home, health, leisure, culture, engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture and fashion.
  • Consider additional factors such as ergonomics, anthropometrics or dietary needs.
  • Analyse where human values may conflict and compromise has to be achieved.
  • Developing detailed design specifications.
  • Understand how to reformulate design problems.
  • Develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches.
  • Use 2D and begin to use 3D CAD packages to model your ideas.
  • Produce models of your ideas using CAM to test out your ideas.
  • How to competently use a range of cooking techniques for example, selecting and preparing ingredients.
  • How to use simple electronic circuits incorporating inputs and outputs.
  • About textile fibre sources e.g. natural and synthetic and fabrics e.g. plain and woven
  • How to select and modify patterns and use in textile construction.
  • How materials can be cast in moulds.
  • How to make adjustments to the settings of equipment and machinery such as sewing machines and drilling machines.
  • How to use software and hardware to develop programmes and transfer these to programmable components for example, microcontrollers.
  • How to make use of microcontrollers in products.
  • How to construct and use simple and compound gear trains to drive mechanical systems from a high revving motor.
  • The positive and negative impact that products can have in the wider world
  • How products can be developed considering the concept of ‘cradle to grave’.
  • About an increasing range of designers, engineers, chefs, technologists and manufacturers and be able to relate their products to their own designing and making.

Key Stage 4

The launch of the new Key Stage 4 curriculum has allowed the department to draw greater focus to practical skills and high end manufacture. Current courses include:


GCSE Food preparation and Nutrition


This new GCSE 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.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance.

During Year 10 you will be taught a variety of practical skills which will enable you to complete a series of design briefs, extend your design skills and evaluate your products. In Year 11 you will complete a major Non-Examined Assessment which consists of two tasks. Task 1 will be a 10-hour food investigation and written report to answer a specific question relating to food science. Task 2 will be a 20-hour food preparation assessment where you will design and make a three-course meal of your choice with a written report. All tasks will incorporate designing, researching, making and ICT presentation skills.




This qualification is intended for learners aged who are interested in food preparation in a commercial catering environment and wish to develop skills and knowledge that will prepare them for further study and employment within this sector. It will particularly appeal to learners who are looking for a course that is practical in nature.

Level 1/2 in Hospitality and Catering will give learners the opportunity to develop an understanding of:

  • the hospitality and catering industry as a whole
  • practical food preparation skills and techniques
  • meal and menu planning
  • cooking methods and recipes
  • commercial practice
  • career opportunities in the catering sector
  • food hygiene and safety.

This is assessed as follows:

  • Unit 1: Online examination based on the theoretical content of the course. This contributes 40% of the overall qualification. (Externally assessed).
  • Unit 2: Controlled assessment that is run over a total of 9 hours and gives learners the opportunity to demonstrate their range of practical skills in a given context. This contributes 60% of the overall qualification. (Internally assessed).



Studying this GCSE in Electronics enables learners to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the behaviour of analogue and digital electrical/electronic circuits including a wide range of electronic components,
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of electronics as an engineering discipline to help them answer questions about practical circuits,
  • be aware of new and emerging technologies,
  • develop and learn how to apply observational, practical, problem solving and evaluative skills in the identification of needs in the world around them, and to
  • propose and test electronic solutions.

It is assessed as follows:

Component 1: Discovering Electronics

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 40% of qualification.
  • A mix of short answer questions, structured questions and extended writing questions, with some set in a practical context.

Component 2: Application of Electronics

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 40% of qualification.
  • A mix of short answer questions, structured questions and extended writing questions, with some set in a practical context.

Component 3: Extended system design and realisation task

  • Non-exam assessment.
  • 20% of qualification
  • An extended system design and realisation task to assess electronics skills.


The department has its own 3D printer, which students regularly use.


beyond the classroom

We offer a variety of extra-curricular activities and after school clubs including:

  • Textiles Club
  • Food Club
  • STEM club
  • Masterchef competition.
Local Bake Off contesent, Howard, judging the annual Silverdale Masterchef competition.



GCSE Course Specifications –

A-Level Product Design Specifications –