Design Technology


Our Design and Technology department aims to provide a stimulating environment where pupils have the opportunity to work in a safe, creative and innovative manner. The department has dedicated workshops for Resistant Materials, Graphic Design and we are in the process of expanding our department to include a fully equipped specialist kitchen for Food Preparation and Nutrition. We strive to provide an inspiring learning space that encourages our pupils to fulfil their potential through technical and enjoyable design and make tasks.


Lower School: Key Stage 3

In lower school, pupils will complete a range of activities in Resistant Materials and Graphic Design. Whilst in the workshop, pupils will work with wood, metal and plastic which will allow them to gain a secure knowledge and understanding of relevant techniques and skills required.

Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture (CADCAM) is an integral part of our Design and Technology curriculum. This is evident throughout our planned KS3 projects and allows our pupils to interact with how 2D and 3D CAD drawings can be made into real-life products.

As an added subject area, Year 7 will also complete a unit of work in Food Preparation and Nutrition.



This subject is ideal for those people who enjoy designing and making and is a very suitable choice for any candidate who is considering a career in areas such as: engineering, product design, theatre and set design, industrial design, manufacturing, architecture, graphic design, packaging and advertising and many more.

With the new specification for Design Technology, the subject has moved on and now equips pupils the opportunity to gain experience in identifying, analysing and solving problems through design and development of resistant materials product prototypes via an iterative process. The specification has two major parts Component 1 and Component 2.

Component 1

Written examination   /   1 hour and 45 minutes: 50% of the qualification   /   100 marks

Content overview

1. Core content covering all materials areas to a limited degree and one from the following material categories to a deeper level:

2. Metals

3. Polymers

4. Timbers

Assessment overview

The paper consists of: Section A (assessed on the core content) and Section B (assesses the material category).

Section A: Core

This section is 40 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 10 marks of calculation questions in Section A.

Section B: Material categories

This section is 60 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 5 marks of calculation questions in Section B.

Component 2

Non-examined assessment (Coursework): 50% of the qualification   /   100 marks

Content overview

There are four parts to the assessment:

1. Investigate (16 marks): This includes investigation of needs and research and a product specification.

2. Design (42 marks): This includes producing different design ideas, review of initial ideas, development of design ideas into a chosen design, communication of design ideas and review of the chosen design.

3. Make (36 marks): This includes manufacture, and quality and accuracy.

4. Evaluate (6 marks): This includes testing and evaluation.

Assessment overview

- Students will undertake a project based on a contextual challenge released by the exam board a year before certification: These contexts are open to interpretation by the students and will leave lots of opportunity for their own choice of design brief.

- The project will test studentsí skills in investigating, designing, making and evaluating a prototype of a product.

- The project will be internally assessed and externally moderated.



A Level


Design and Technology is a very popular subject with many St. Maryís pupils. It offers the opportunity for students to be creative and imaginative producing their design work and culminates in the manufacture of a variety of products to their own design.

At A Level, the students acquire a wide body of knowledge and practical skills that cover all the areas required to be able to design and make useful and attractive products.

A Level Design and Technology is a suitable progression for those students who have studied the subject at GCSE; though other students who have not followed this route would be considered on their merits from earlier experience.

Students who have gained an A level in Design Technology can expect to go on to a wide variety of degree courses such as Engineering, (Mechanical, Building or Production Engineering) Architecture, Industrial Design, Furniture Design,  Interior Design,  Film and stage set design and many others.

Please find below the component content of the course. It is also worthy to note that the first 7 topics of the A level are common to the AS so can be co-taught and an alternative NEA (Non-Examined Assessment) can be used as both a practice for A-level or the AS coursework.


Component 1: Principles of Design & Technology

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes: 50% of the qualification  /  120 marks

Content Overview

Topic 1: Materials

Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials

Topic 3: Processes and techniques

Topic 4: Digital technologies

Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products

Topic 6: Effects of technological developments

Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment

Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries

Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment

Topic 10: Current legislation

Topic 11: Information handling, modelling and forward planning

Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.

Assessment Overview:

The paper includes calculations, short-open and open response questions, as well as extended-writing questions focused on:

- analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others

- analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.


Component 2: Independent Design & Make Project

Non-examined assessment: 50% of the qualification  /  120 marks

Content Overview

Students will:

- individually and/or in consultation with a client/end user identify a problem and design context.

- develop a range of potential solutions which include the use of computer-aided design and evidence of modelling.

- make decisions about the designing and development of the prototype in conjunction with the opinions of the client/end user.

- realise one potential solution through practical making activities with evidence of project management and plan for production.

- incorporate issues related to sustainability and the impact their prototype may have on the environment

- analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes for prototypes/products made by themselves and others

- analyse and evaluate of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.

Assessment Overview:

- The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.

- Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project, which consists of a portfolio and a prototype

There are four parts to the assessment:

Part 1: Identifying and outlining possibilities for design; Identification and investigation of a design possibility, investigation of client/end-user needs, wants and values, research and production of a specification

Part 2: Designing a prototype; Design ideas, development of design idea, final design solution, review of development and final design and communication of design ideas

Part 3: Making a final prototype; Design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy

Part 4: Evaluating own design and prototype; Testing and evaluation