The Design Technology department aims to develop essential and transferable skills for each and every pupil whilst providing them with exciting learning experiences. We want our pupils to develop resilience when faced with a problem, be tenacious when things go wrong and be creative when challenged.

Our aim in the department is to continually challenge pupils with complex tasks where pupils need to use higher level thinking skills. They will analyse, evaluate and create, these being essential skills in the Design Technology curriculum. In every lesson there are opportunities for pupils to reach greater depth and pupils are encouraged to design and make products that test their abilities and challenge their creativity.  Pupils will revisit learning so knowledge is embedded which allows pupils to attain mastery. 

What Design Technology lessons look like:

Pupils will experience a range of processes to make products where individual outcomes are encouraged  and design development is ongoing. Pupils carousel through different topics and spend 12 weeks at each.

KS2 pupils are introduced to the specialist classrooms and learn about basic foundation skills that they will build upon in KS3. Pupils focus is on the iterative design process. This will include materials and properties as well as designing and making for a purpose. 

At Key Stage 3, pupils will be encouraged to be creative, explore materials and technologies and take risks through a variety of practical tasks. Students combine these practical skills with an understanding of wider world issues.

In year 7 pupils learn more complex ways of assembling products, health and safety issues, manufacturing methods, cooking techniques, drawing skills and wider world issues such as sustainability. Whilst in year 8, pupils continue to apply and develop key skills whilst increasing their knowledge of aesthetic, technical, cultural, health, social, emotional, economic, industrial and environmental issues and changing technologies.

The 2 year course is designed to prepare students for the necessary skills needed for KS4 Design and Technology and the complexity of learning increases as the students progress through the keystage.  The department incorporates learning from all areas of the curriculum, such as mathematics and computing to enable pupils to transition into GCSE with ease.

Supporting Children

Design and Technology is a popular and valuable subject for pupils with special educational needs. Knowledge and understanding is drawn from across the curriculum and helps to develop and enable numeracy, literacy and communication skills that can be applied in practical ways. This consolidates skills from other lessons and reinforces learning with positive outcomes. 

Pupils with SEN often find designing activities problematic. Therefore thought is required to ensure pupils can access and produce successful initial design work. For example, it’s vital to offer a variety of methods of recording ideas quickly. In fact, the department is conscious of avoiding a rigid approach when it comes to recording and communicating design ideas and developments, for example:  Ideas could be done through model making instead of drawings. Activities focused on the physical making of designs should be supported ‘one to one’. Yet it is also important to encourage pupils to work as independently as possible. For example, by using keywords sheets, flow charts and visual instruction sheets which explain a process in a step-by-step manner.


This Department believes in planned intervention in the classroom to maximise pupil potential based on individual needs. Differentiation will not just happen but it has to be part of a planned process.

Tracking attainment and progress:

Pupils are monitored throughout the projects and tracked  so that any pupils falling behind are identified and given help and support to ensure they reach their potential. 

Pupil achievement will be recognised not only from the knowledge gained in lessons but as how successfully pupils are developed as problem solvers, competent users of technology and their development of  skills used in everyday adult life. 

The following skills are assessed throughout KS3: Research, Design, Make, Evaluate, Technical Knowledge, Cooking and Nutrition.

Curriculum Overview


Pupils will carousel through these projects throughout the year.

Making a Hand Held Game

Pupils are introduced to basic Skills in the DT room, they will look at health and safety and be able to identify hazards. They will use basic hand skills and decoration techniques to produce a hand held game of their own design.

Learning questions:

What are the health and safety rules and why do we have to follow when in a technology room?

How do I measure, mark and cut materials with accuracy?

What are the properties of materials and why these properties make them suitable for a particular task?

How do I select the correct tools and equipment suitable for the task?

What tools and equipment are needed to make a Hand Held Game?

How do I draw simple ideas and add labels to them?

How do I work with accuracy and assemble materials?

How do I evaluate using the criteria given?

What are ‘NETS’ and how do I construct packaging using nets?


Making a textile product

Pupils are introduced to basic skills in the textile room.  They will look at how to change the settings on a sewing machine and learn about basic sewing techniques and fastenings.

Learning questions:

What are the health and safety rules of a technology room and which rule is the most important?

What is meant by the term design brief?

What are the properties of materials?

What do they understand about fibres, fabrics and where they come from?

How do I use a sewing machine accurately and confidently?

Can I use basic hand sewing skills ?

What is the difference between a hem and a seam?

What decorative techniques can be used for textile products?


Making a keyring

Pupils are introduced to the design group Alessi. They will look at products designed by Alessi and discuss the practicality of the products compared with the aesthetics. They will then move onto making a key ring using Acrylic with inspiration from Alessi.

Learning questions:

What is meant by the term client and can I suggest their needs and wants?

Analyse an existing product focusing on form and function.

How do I draw simple ideas  and describe them?

Can I follow instructions and demonstrations to make a keyring?

How to evaluate a product against the criteria set?

How can I problem solve when modifying my keyring?

What is meant by functional properties and aesthetic qualities of a product?

Food Skills—Theory

Pupils will look at health, safety, food and Hygiene, they will discuss how we look after food. They will focus on  healthy eating and look at how we taste.

Learning questions:

What are the health and safety features in a kitchen?

How is food looked after in the home?

Can I explain what is meant by the term hygiene?

Can I explain the healthy eating guide?

How do we taste?

Can I taste test various foods using different senses ?

Do I know some of the features of food from another culture?

Do I know some nutritional terms and what they mean?

Food Skills—practical

Pupils will focus on Knife skills and use of the kitchen. They will have an Introduction to the cooker and look at different cooking methods.

Learning questions:

Can I demonstrate different knife skills?

Can you explain the Claw Grip and Bridge Hold?

Am I able to use the cooker safely?

Can I use different cooking methods?

Can I follow instructions and demonstration to make food products?

How can I weigh and measure ingredients accurately?

Pupils will carousel through these projects throughout the year.


The Bauhaus and its influence

Pupils will explore the Bauhaus design. Pupils will look at where wood comes from and how we make modern materials such as plywood. Pupils will design and make a wood product using woodworking skills as well as following their own design plans.

Learning questions:

What is the Bauhaus and how did it influence design?                                     

Can I analyse products from Bauhaus and give my opinion of these?

Can I name an inventor, designer or engineer, who have developed ground-breaking products?

Can I explain what is meant by timber?

Can I name the two types of trees and explain their differences?

Can I explain the functional and aesthetic properties of wood?

What are Man-made materials and can I recognise them?

Can I accurately measure, mark, cut and shape materials and components to make a product of my own design?

Can I produce a plan to follow when making in wood?

Can I follow health and safety rules in the workshop?

Can I explain the physical properties of wood (grain, strength, durability)?


Technology Holders – Textiles

Pupils will explore different types of fabrics and fastenings used in textile products. They will learn about developing a pattern and more advanced use of the sewing machine.

Learning questions:

Can i make a basic model of a technology holder?

What fabrics are suitable for a technology holder?

Can I create a  step by step plan for making?

What fastening would you use with textiles?

Automotive engineering— Mechanisms and Electronics

Pupils will investigate automotive engineering. They will look at types of energy, the history of the motorcar and will problem solve how to make a car.

Learning questions:

What is engineering?

Can I explain Scientific principles (energy, Newton’s law)?

Can I explain how mechanical systems create movement?

How do I use a metal ruler to measure accurately?

Can I Investigate and analyse  products through disassembly to determine how they are constructed and function?


Healthy eating—Practical skills in the Food Room

Pupils will explore how to adapt a recipe to make it healthier. They will continue to learn new cooking methods and build a repertoire of healthy dishes.

Learning questions:

Health, safety and practical techniques – what are they?( Crumble basic method)                      How would you adapt and modify a recipe? ( crumble developed idea)

What are methods of cookery? ( Rice dish – use of oven)                               

Use of the Hob, (Stir fry ) how do I use it?                                                    

Bread based pizza – Developing a dough and culmination of skills – can I demonstrate them?

Healthy eating—Theory

Pupils will explore the theory of healthy eating, they will look into the nutritional value of foods and explore methods of cooking, designing and adapting recipes to be healthier.

Learning questions:

Nutrition – why do we need it and what does it do for our bodies?      

Methods of cooking – what are the main methods?       

Looking at food types and why we do we need a mix of these?          

What are the important factors needed to modify a recipe successfully?    

Why do we cook our food?                                                                                

What role does food play in our general health and well-being?

Pupils will carousel through these projects throughout the year.

Plastics and CAD CAM

Pupils will complete a project using 2D Design and the laser cutter. They will learn about different types of plastic and produce a product made from plastic. They will also look at types of production methods.

Learning questions:

Can I explain the difference between a thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic?

What are the different families of plastic and can you explain the advantages and disadvantages of using them?

Can I explain what is CAD CAM and be able to use CAD CAM to design and manufacture a product?

Can I develop designs and models using iterative design techniques?

Can I design a test to check the quality and function of my product and use this information to evaluate your work?

Designing for a client – Perfume design

Pupils will look at designing for a particular client.

Learning questions:

What is a Client?

Can I analyse existing products?

What is a 3D printer and what is it used for?

How to design using 3D software?

Basic Design Technology Skills

Pupils will focus on graphic design skills, mainly drawing in isometric, learning rendering techniques and use these to design a futuristic product.

Learning questions:

What is the design process and what are the key terms that designers use?

Can I draw using isometric paper?

Can I drawing using a set square and a drawing board?

Can I use rendering techniques to make my designs realistic?

Textiles— Cushion

Pupils will focus on using more advanced sewing and machining techniques. They will look at decorative home furnishings and produce a cushion .

Learning questions:

Designing with international links.

Looking at soft furnishings.

Designing and making patterns.

Advanced sewing and machining techniques.

Food Technology

Learning questions:

Do I understand the microbiological aspects of breadmaking?

Can I explain and demonstrate what a roux is?                                                

Can I produce a star diagram for taste testing a specific product?

Can I prepare, measure, weigh, assemble and cook ingredients to produce good quality dishes?


Pupils will carousel through these projects throughout the year.

You, Technology and the Future

Pupils will focus on designing for a particular purpose. They will make 2 products looking at different world issues.

Learning questions:

What is Sustainable Design?

What developments are there in Design technology and the impact on society and environment?

What are ergonomics and anthropometrics?

Can I design for diversity?

What are the classifications of materials and focus on their properties?

How to evaluate a product with focus on the material use?

What are SMART materials and what their uses?



A Textile Product and Design History

Learning questions:

What do we mean by History of Design?

How did these events and individuals in design help shape the world?

How did your event help shape the world? What individuals were influential in doing this?

What are your design specifications for your textile product?

What improvements need to be made for your design to work?

Can you produce a model and pattern piece to develop your chosen idea?

Can you develop a design specification to include a wider range factors- environmental issues, cultural and religious differences?

Food Technology

Learning questions:
Cooking using the eat well guide.
Bread Making – ( batch production and different use of ingredients/ methods)
Cooking with meat. ( chicken curry and rice)
SMART food ( pasta and processing techniques)


Possible School Clubs and Events the Design and Technology Department offers:

F1 in School competition

Industrial Cadets

Lego League

Stem Week Events

Greenpower Car

Textiles Club

Masterchef competitions

Local vists


Useful websites:

Places to visit to help your child in Design  and Technology outside of school:

Cragside ( Rothbury) – there are lots of things to see and do at Cragside House. Discover the first home to be lit by hydroelecticity – the place where modern living began. Check out the amazing gadgets and modern conveniences.

Discovery museum (Newcastle) – Museum of Science and Industry, the first science museum outside of London. It was housed in the temporary pavilion that was built for the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition. The exhibits take you through the history of Newcastle focusing on the area’s maritime, scientific and technological importance to Britain and the rest of the world.

The National Glass Centre (Sunderland) – Visit the current exhibitions and watch how glass was first made and watch demonstrations.

Other Information: 

Due to Covid19 restrictions some of the DT curriculum will have some minor changes.

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