The Design & Technology Curriculum
We believe Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Students will use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Students will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students also learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
Details about curriculum structure
Students begin Year 7 Design by working through a range of projects which focus on delivering key competencies and knowledge, in order for them to access a large depth and breadth of learning. Students rotate through a carousel of disciplines twice in Year 7, 8 and 9, building knowledge and skills in each rotation.
After choosing options at the end of Year 9, students can focus their studies in GCSE Design Technology, Food and Textiles in Years 10-11, through exciting, real life projects which deepen their knowledge of the world around us whilst developing products that help various users.
Students can also opt to begin BTEC Construction in Year 9 as part of their first chosen option, which builds upon the Key Stage 3 curriculum and is studied over 3 years.
Key Stage 3
Students will study 3 different subjects on a carousel: Product Design, Textiles and Food. The projects will focus on discovering each area and developing a passion for the subject.
Students will create an ergonomic torch, discovering about polymers as a material and being introduced to the design process.
Students will explore health eating, how foods are cooked, different food cultures and how to keep themselves safe when preparing and cooking foods. Students will learn a range of basic food preparation techniques and life skills through practical learning, making food products including couscous salad, pizza, and muffins.
Students will create a cushion for Leeds Art Gallery. They will complete artist research as well product analysis and mood boards to help inspire their design ideas. Along the way, students will learn lots of new textiles techniques which they will apply to their cushion. At the end of the project students reflect on the work they have produced and use questionnaires to gain client feedback.
Students will begin to build a deeper knowledge and develop key competencies across the carousel.
Students will create a sustainable sweet dispenser, focusing on the material of timber. They will develop key practical competencies, as well as practising and discovering more elements of the design process.
Students will build on their knowledge from Year 7, learning about micronutrients and macronutrients and their role within their diet. They will begin to explore the functions of ingredients through sensory analysis of food products, as well as how ingredients react when cooked through a range of experiments. Students will continue to develop their planning and food preparation competencies, making food products including quiche, macaroni cheese, fish cakes and chilli con carne.
Students will research, design and make a tote bag to be sold at the well-known Tropical World Gardens in Leeds. They must complete extensive research such as; mood boards, collages, client pages and a product analysis to inspire their initial design ideas. Students will then develop their textiles techniques through sampling and evaluation. Finally, students will learn the construction and process of making a tote bag and will then begin to apply their designs and techniques.
Students will continue to rotate in Year 9 to give them the maximum depth and breadth across the curriculum. This will help aid their choices going into KS4.
Students will begin passing through the iterative design process to create an ear phone wrap for a company. They will also discover the world of CAD/CAM, learning to use the industry standard Autodesk CAD package and the 3D printer. They will also learning about the world of manufacture and create a lamp focusing on key knowledge and competencies. Associated with the lamp, they will create a shade out of recycled materials to explore environmental issues and impact.
Students will continue to develop their knowledge and advanced competencies in preparation for them to move forward to Key Stage 4 study. In Year 9, students will explore a range of dietary needs and develop the competencies required to plan, prepare and cook foods suitable for specific target groups. Students will explore where different foods come from as well as the social, moral and ethical factors affecting food choice. Students will prepare food products including soup, bread, spaghetti Bolognese, chocolate mousse, burgers, toad in the hole and jam, along with dishes they have independently decided to make to meet a set brief.
In Year 9 students will be introduced to 3D modelling by designing a shoe, based on their favourite stories and films. They will learn the importance of templates in textiles design and demonstrate their technical competencies in imaginative ways. The shoe must include a variety of textiles techniques which they have learnt from Year 7. Students will also get the chance to focus on interior textiles design, designing and making an educational wall hanging for younger children. Throughout both these projects in Year 9, students will be expected to problem solve, answer the brief and complete research to aid their designs and making.
Key Stage 4
The Eduqas GCSE in Design and Technology offers a unique opportunity in the curriculum for learners to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems. Entering Year 10 students, will begin to explore more challenging briefs and more complex manufacturing methods. The will begin to independently pass through iterative design process, whilst also building upon key knowledge and competencies. At the end of Year 10, they will begin their Non-examined assessment (NEA) and begin researching for their Year 11 project.
Hospitality and Catering
The EDUQAS vocational award builds upon students’ food preparation skills and experiences from KS3. In Year 10, students will develop a greater understanding of food nutrition and dietary needs, food commodities and environmental factors, as well gain an in-depth understanding of hygiene and safety in professional settings. Students will learn about all the different parts of the Hospitality and Catering industry and what makes a business successful. This is a practical course whereby students will master culinary skills using an array of ingredients and cooking methods, while learning about food presentation.
Students undertake the BTEC Art-Design (Textiles) qualification, consisting of 3 units of work based on different briefs and themes. Students are given the opportunity to research, design and make products, which meet a range of design briefs. Students learn to design products for different clients and industries such as; interior and fashion wear. Students use inspiration from past and present artists and designers to inform their own ideas and outcomes, learning from real-life practitioners.
Students complete a coursework section over 35 hours. They will design and create their own project to solve a real world problem. This can be through a range of materials and techniques.
Hospitality and Catering
Students will continue to master a variety of technical competencies and become proficient in the kitchen. They will continue to develop an in-depth knowledge of food safety, food choice and the operation of the Hospitality and Catering industry in preparation to take their written examination worth 40% of the qualification. In Year 11, students will also complete non-exam assessments worth 60% of the overall grade where they will plan, prepare, cook and serve a variety of nutritional dishes in a safe and hygienic manor that are suitable for different situations and customer requirements.
Students complete an exam unit of work where the brief is provided by the exam board. The students spend 20 hours of controlled assessment researching, designing, making and evaluating their process. In a 10 hour exam (over 2 days), students make a product which they have planned to ensure they meet the brief. Students use the competencies and knowledge learned in Year 10 to support them with their independent choices.
Key Stage 5
Students will focus on developing their skills and knowledge in order to begin their NEA (coursework) at the end of the year. Their first project will be based around the creation of an architecture inspired lamp. They will introduced to all of the process and materials they could possibly work with in the design department, from 3D printing to concrete moulding. They will then complete a small NEA practise project ready to start their NEA at the end of Year 12.
Students conduct a personal study of work where they choose their own starting point to investigate. Students undertake in-depth primary and secondary research and create studies and responses to order to demonstrate their findings. Students are encouraged to seek knowledge from past and present practitioners to help build their own skills, in order to produce successful final composition pieces. During this process, students produce a sketchbook of research, findings, samples, and designs like a designer in the industry would use. Students will also creating an extended piece of formal writing analysing a chosen topic, which will help develop their knowledge of industrial practitioners.
With the iterative design process fully embedded, it allows students to identify real world design opportunities. In a similar format to the GCSE, students will create a coursework piece based on a real world problem they have chosen and design something to solve this. Pupils will be given freedom to write challenging design briefs, using them to create quality and demanding products. They will learn about design and manufacture processes in industry in order to prepare them for design based university courses or careers. Students will also have the opportunity to become proficient in industry standard equipment, including CAD/CAM, to develop designs from concepts to realisation.
Students complete an examination unit of work presented by the exam board. Students select their own brief to investigate and undertake in-depth primary and secondary research, cultural studies and responses to order to demonstrate their findings. Students are encouraged to seek knowledge from past and present practitioners to help build their own skills in order to produce successful final composition pieces with the exam timeframe. This can vary from creating a piece of fashion such as a dress/artistic wall hanging and window display.
Qualifications we offer at KS4 and KS5
GCSE Design and technology (Product Design)
BTEC Construction and the built environment (First)
GCSE Food preparation and nutrition
BTEC Textiles (Art and Design)
AS/A level Design and Technology (Product Design)
Enrichment and extracurricular opportunities in the subject
Young Engineers Club
Young Engineers brings together Technology, Science and Maths in order to give students opportunities to embark on design and making projects beyond the classroom, with a view to producing problem solvers and critical thinkers for the future.
A range of trips and visits are planned for the future. Trips will vary from visiting IKEA to generate designs for the company, to visiting a manufacturing site to see the manufacturing process. The aim is to give the students a broad range of experiences within Design Technology.
Where could this subject ultimately take you?
Design Technology prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Students learn to think creatively and solve problems as individuals and as part of a team. The way we teach the students helps them respond to needs by developing a range of design ideas, using digital design tools, manufacturing products and systems, and building up a range of applied technical competencies. The students we teach will go on to solve the world’s problems and we need them now more than ever. In terms of career, there are varied avenues including: food nutritionist, architect, carpenter, site manager, fashion designer and engineer.