Design Technology


The Arts, PE & Technology Faculty

Design Technology


Subject Intent: 

At Saint Thomas More students receive a design and technology curriculum which allows them to exercise their creativity through designing and making. The students are taught to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a product. Skills are taught progressively to ensure that all students are able to learn and practice in order to develop as they move through the school. Evaluation is an integral part of the design process and allows students to adapt and improve their product, this is a key skill which they need throughout their life. D&T allows students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly Maths, Science and Art. Learner’s interests are captured through theme learning, ensuring that links are made in a cross curricular way, giving students motivation and meaning for their learning.


Course Overview:

The Exam board and unit list for:



GCSE: AQA Design Technology

The GCSE course is made up of 2 parts

NEA -  A main focus of the course will centre on the 3 contextual challenges (Non exam assessment). Students will choose one based on teacher’s advice. Students will present a design proposal, produce a project brief specification. They will present their design decisions using a range of communication techniques including CAD and CAM. The final solution will be modelled to become a high quality artefact. The product will receive ongoing analysis and evaluation which is evident throughout the project that clearly influences the design brief and the design and manufacturing specifications. The NEA is worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

Exam – Students will sit a 2 hour written exam in year 11. The exam syllabus consists of all technology related subjects including Resistant materials, Graphics, Electronics and Textiles. The exam is worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

 BTEC:  Pearson/Edexcel Certificate in Construction & The Built Environment

The course is made up of 4 components and each component is worth 25%

Unit 1 – Construction Technology, Students will sit a one-hour external exam based on the understanding of structural performance in construction. Students will develop a detailed understanding of how walls, floors and roofs are constructed.

Unit 2 – Construction & Design, Students will complete a project based on the main constraints when designing a building alongside prioritising a client’s needs and wants with regards to new buildings.

Unit 3 – Scientific & Mathematical Applications for Construction – Students will complete two tasks one based on the scientific application of materials used in the construction industry and the mathematical application of design and build.

Unit – 6 – Exploring Carpentry & Joinery Principles – Students will learn to understand tools, materials and equipment used in carpentry and joinery. Students will also develop practical skills using safe techniques to build a timber frame.

OCR Cambridge Nationals: Engineering Design level 2

The course challenges students to create an extensive selection of coursework but segmented into 4 individual sections which are as follows:

R105 (1 hr Exam Element) - Design briefs, specifications, and user requirements.

R106 (NEA Part 1) – Product Analysis and Research

R107 (NEA Part 2) – Developing and presenting Engineering Designs

R108 (NEA Part 3) – 3D Design Realisation

GCSE: AQA Food & Nutrition

The course is made up of 2 parts

NEA - Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks) Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks) Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task. Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

Written exam - Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5. The exam should has 100 questions with students being given 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. The exam is worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

Course  Detail:

Course Detail:

Key stage 3: All teaching of DT in key stage 3 follows the design, make and evaluate cycle. Each stage should be rooted in technical knowledge. The design process should be rooted in real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to learning. While making, students should be given choice and a range of tools to choose freely from. To evaluate, students should be able to evaluate their own products against a design criteria. Each of these steps should be rooted in technical knowledge and vocabulary.   DT should be taught to a high standard, where each of the stages should be given equal weight. The key skills we teach the students are:

  • cooking and nutrition
  •  electrical and mechanical components
  •  Resistant Materials materials
  • Graphic products


Design Technology is usually taught in 9 week rotations.


Key stage 4:

Design Technology- During the two year course students will explore the Knowledge, Understanding and Skills required to then undertaking the iterative design process. They will undertake design and making tasks that explore the process of exploring, creating and evaluating. The majority of the specification will be delivered through the practical application of the knowledge and understanding acquired. The curriculum will build on previous knowledge from KS3. Students must demonstrate mathematical and scientific knowledge and understanding in relation to Design and Technology.

Construction & The Built Environment- This course allows students to study construction and the built environment, giving them the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the industry. Students will develop skills such as interpreting and analysing information, identifying the infrastructure required for safe and efficient work and in understanding how client needs can shape building design.

The qualification is 120 GLH, which is the same size and level as a GCSE, is aimed at everyone who wants to find out more about construction and the built environment.

Engineering Design - Engineering design is a process used to identify market opportunities and solve problems which contribute to the development of new products and systems. This qualification is aimed at students who wish to study the processes involved in designing new engineered products and the requirements of a design specification. Through research and practical activities, learners will understand how market requirements and opportunities inform client briefs and will use practical skills such as drawing, computer modelling and model making to communicate design ideas.

A practical approach to teaching and learning will provide students with knowledge in engineering technology and develop their critical thinking, creativity, and key skills through engaging practical experiences.

Food & Nutrition - GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition 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.


Key stage 5:

Product Design - During the two-year course students will explore the Knowledge, Understanding and Skills required to then undertaking the iterative design process. This qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers. Especially those in the creative industries.

 They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental, and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

Enrichment Opportunities

Enrichment opportunities

  • Year 9 Teen tech group visit to Mira.
  • After school practical, support sessions for KS4 and 5.

Useful links

Useful links


Key stage 3:

Key stage 4: