Design & Technology

“Design and Technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it is the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in Maths and Science – directly preparing them for a careers in engineering, product design and manufacturing. Design and Technology appeals to the brightest of young minds.” – James Dyson

Welcome & Ethos

The Design and Technology department at Nunnery Wood High School aims to produce the technologists of tomorrow whilst achieving the highest possible standards for all students, regardless of ability or target grade. Students enjoy their work in Design and Technology and we strive to offer a diverse range of curriculum opportunities for students to experience, both in and out of the classroom.

Context of the Subject

The study of Design and Technology shows us how our world works and allows us to reflect on how the world is changing. It is like a never ending carousel, continually moving and responding to the world around it.

Design and Technology aims to produce the technologists of tomorrow. Pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make interesting and innovative products. Students study how to work with a range of multimedia materials, learning about new materials and technologies and investigating practically how and why products work. We want all students to be equipped with a range of creative, practical and transferable skills along with a questioning and enquiring mind to challenge the accepted and push for innovation.

Staffing Structure

Curriculum Leader
Mrs V Owen
Phone: 01905 363639

Team Structure
1 CL
2 full time teachers
1 dept TA
1 part time technician

Curriculum Facilities

The Design and Technology Department has 3 multimedia workshops, a state of the art ICT suite and a central Design Hub. We have a range of state-of-the-art CAM machines, including a laser cutter, CAMM1 machine and a 3D printer.


KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

In design and technology, pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team.

Key Concepts – The Starting Point for Planning

Designing and Making
Cultural Understanding
Critical Evaluation

Key Processes
Generate, develop, model, communicate…
Respond creatively…
Apply knowledge and understanding…
Use their understanding of others’ designing to inform their own…
Plan and organise…
Evaluate tools and equipment…
Solve technical problems…
Reflect critically…

The curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to:
Analyse products
Undertake Focused Tasks
Engage in Design & Make Assignment
Work Individually or in Teams
Work with Designers and Makers
Use ICT as appropriate
Make Links with Other Subjects and Areas of the Curriculum

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 complete a range of designing and making practical tasks and projects during the course of each year (1 hour per week). The timescale for each project is variable across the year.

Each unit of work is assessed at the end of the project or on average, once per half term. Students can be assessed in the following areas:

Idea Generation
Development of Ideas

Sources of information that may be useful


Subject title, board and syllabus code

Year 10 & 11: GCSE Design and Technology (AQA 8552)

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

GCSE Design and Technology prepares students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.
GCSE Design and Technology allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.
Core Technical Principles: In order to make effective design choices students will need a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:
• New and emerging technologies
• Energy generation and storage
• Developments in new materials
• Systems approach to designing
• Mechanical devices
• Materials and their working properties

Specialist Technical Principles: All students should develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following specialist technical principles:
• Selection of materials and components
• Forces and stresses
• Ecological and social footprint
• Sources and origins
• Using and working with materials
• Stock forms, types and sizes
• Scales of production
• Specialist techniques and processes
• Surface treatments and finishes
Designing and Making Principles: Students should know and understand that all design and technology activities take place within a wide range of contexts. They should also understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use. For example, the home, school, work or leisure. They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas:

• Investigation, primary and secondary data

• Environmental, social and economic challenge

• The work of others

• Design strategies

• Communication of design ideas

• Prototype development

• Selection of materials and components

• Tolerances

• Material management

• Specialist tools and equipment

• Specialist techniques and processes

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)

Year 10: Non exam assessment (NEA) mini project (October – May)
Exam preparation (ongoing)
End of unit exam preparation tests (half termly)
June: start final NEA project
Year 10 exam: 2 hours

Year 11 (from 2018): continue NEA project (deadline March)
Exam preparation (ongoing)
End of unit exam preparation tests (half termly)
X2 mock exams (2 hours each)


Written exam: 2 hours
100 marks
50% of GCSE

Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)
A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)
Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)
A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) 30-35 hours approx..
100 marks
50% of GCSE


  • Substantial design and make task
  • Assessment criteria:
  • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
  • Producing a design brief and specification
  • Generating design ideas
  • Developing design ideas
  • Realising design ideas
  • Analysing & evaluating
  • In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner
  • Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA
  • Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence

Sources of information that may be useful

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

GCSE Product Design encourages students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. It allows students to design and make high quality products and to raise awareness of the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing.

Designing Skills
Candidates should be taught to:

  • Be creative and innovative when designing;
  • Design products to meet the needs of clients and consumers;
  • Understand the design principles of form, function and fitness for purpose;
  • Understand the role that designers and product developers have, and the impact and responsibility they have on and to society;
  • Analyse and evaluate existing products, including those from professional designers;
  • Develop and use design briefs and specifications for product development;
  • Consider the conflicting demands that moral, cultural, economic, and social values and needs can make in the planning and in the designing of products;
  • Consider environmental and sustainability issues in designing products;
  • Consider health and safety in all its aspects;
  • Anticipate and design for product maintenance where appropriate;
  • Design for manufacturing in quantity and to be aware of current commercial/industrial processes;
  • Generate design proposals against stated design criteria, and to modify their proposals in the light of on-going analysis, evaluation and product development;
  • Reflect critically when evaluating and modifying their design ideas and proposals in order to improve their products throughout inception and manufacture use, where appropriate, a range of graphic techniques and ICT (including digital media), including CAD, to generate, develop, model and communicate design proposals;
  • Investigate and select appropriate materials and components;
  • Plan and organise activities which involve the use of materials and components when developing or manufacturing;
  • Devise and apply test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical/key points during development, and to indicate ways of modifying and improving it when necessary;
  • Communicate the design proposal in an appropriate manner;
  • Be flexible and adaptable when designing;
  • Test and evaluate the final design proposal against the design specification;
  • Evaluate the work of other designers to inform their own practice;
  • Understand the advantages of working collaboratively as a member of a design team;
  • Understand the need to protect design ideas.

Making Skills
Candidates should be taught to:

  • Select and use tools/equipment and processes to produce quality products;
  • Consider the solution to technical problems in the design and manufacture process;
  • Use tools and equipment safely with regard to themselves and others;
  • Work accurately and efficiently in terms of time, materials and components;
  • Manufacture products applying quality control procedures;
  • Have knowledge of Computer-Aided Manufacture (CAM) and to use as appropriate;
  • Ensure, through testing, modification and evaluation, that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users and devise modifications where necessary that would improve the outcome(s);
  • Understand the advantages of working as part of a team when designing and making products.

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)

Year 11: Continue controlled assessment task (September – March)
Exam preparation (ongoing)
End of unit exam preparation tests (half termly)
X2 mock exams (2 hours each)


Unit 1: Written Paper (45551)
40% of total marks
2 hours
120 marks
Candidates answer all questions in two sections
Pre-Release material issued (1st March)

Unit 2: Design and Making Practice (45552)
60% of total marks
Approximately 45 hours
90 marks
Consists of a single design and make activity selected from a range of board set tasks

Sources of information that may be useful