Design Technology

The Subject Way

Our subject has a ‘Subject Way’ at the heart of it. Our Subject Way is designed to help students become young subject specialists. The Subject Way has two main purposes:

Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.

It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.

Why study Design Technology?


You will have the chance to design and make products for yourself or others which you can keep and take home. The style, colour, shape and form of the product is in your hands. This subject allows you to use your own creative flair to invent, design and produce unique and individual products.

What will I learn about?

You will learn about and use different methods of researching and analysing existing products. You will learn different methods of communicating and modelling design ideas using a variety of different materials and equipment including Computer Aided Design and Manufacture.

You will learn a range of different hand skills and workshop processes that can be used to make a high quality product.

You will get the chance to design and make individual personalised products of your own.

The course is delivered through a series of projects, which concentrate on different types of wood, metals and plastics. The lessons are theory based at the start of the projects and are mainly centred around specific research related to the area of study.

Once the products have been designed, pupils are then given the opportunity to make their product using all the hand tools and machines available in the Design and Technology Faculty.

How will I be assessed?

Written Exam: 2 hours – 100 marks – 50% of GCSE

This includes a design section; using pre-released material which will test designing, making and the knowledge of materials and processes used in the workshop.

NEA non examined assessment coursework 50% of GCSE

This is a design and make project of your own choice, which you will start at the end of Year 10 and work on throughout Year 11.

What do employers think about the subject?

All employers value a person who is creative and capable of solving problems independently.

Design Technology will encourage you to develop these skills as well as your making skills. Employers value this ‘hands on’ approach to education. By opting for Design Technology you will gain a skill which can be used in a variety of college courses and careers.

What are the skills I will gain?

  • Communicating and drawing using graphical techniques and CAD (Computer Aided design)
  • Analytical thinking skills and how to approach problems from different angles
  • Hand skills on a variety of workshop tools and machinery
  • Problem solving techniques
  • Innovative making methods and design techniques used by top designers


In Y11 you will spend the year designing and making a product in response to a design challenge set by the exam You will spend the majority of Y11 completing this project.

Year -by-Year Subject Breakdown

In Year 7 your child will study:

  • The Design Process
  • Vacuum forming
  • Workshop safety
  • Basic Workshop tools
  • Shaping and joining MDF
  • Basic CAD
  • Development nets
  • Laser cutting
  • Strip Heating
  • Properties of plastics


The responsibilities of designers and manufacturers (social ethics), environmental issues – extinction of animals and the use of plastics – effects on environment in production and disposal

In Year 8 your child will study:

  • Basic Electronic circuits and soldering
  • Vectorising images in CAD
  • Basic wood joints using the table router
  • Laser cutting
  • Countersinking Metal shaping, cutting, finishing
  • Case hardening
  • Paint spraying
  • Hardwoods – Oiling and varnishing


Energy use and its effects on the environment, Recycling of electronic products including product lifecycle, obsolescence and the social effects of it on consumers.

In Year 9 your child will study:

● Electronic components and printed circuit boards
● Using CAD/CAM to design and make parts and components to a high accuracy
● Assembly techniques used in batch production
● 3D CAD Drawing
● Presentation drawing, communication techniques and rendering
● How nature influences design
● Designing for a client

In Year 10 your child will study:

● How to respond creatively to a brief
● How to work with and combine multiple materials to make a quality product
● How to work within a specific design brief
● Wider issues relating to design
● Their NEA task

In Year 11 your child will study:

Their NEA task
Revision of topics covered in Y10 in preparation for their final examination