Design and Technology

Throughout Key Stage 3, students rotate around the four Technology subjects, gaining experience in Graphic Design, Product Design, Fashion and Textiles and Food and Nutrition. At the end of Year 8, students are given the opportunity to select one Technology subject to remain in throughout Key Stage 4.

Fashion and Textiles
Graphic Design
Product Design
Food Preparation and Nutrition

Fashion and Textiles

Students spend 12 weeks in either year 7 or year 8 studying textiles. They work on a design and make project that allows them to develop design and making skills in this area. Students make a range of textile products and learn how to use the equipment safely. They research and develop their own ideas based on a design brief.

Year 9

If students opt to take this subject further they will work on two or three extended design and make projects. They are able to develop their skills further in preparation for GCSE. Products made during this year include children’s toys, bags, soft furnishings and fashion items.

GCSE Art textiles

In year Ten and Eleven students will study a GCSE in Art Textiles. Students will complete a range of controlled assessment tasks, including designing and making a wide range of products, for example garments, wall hangings, and fashion accessories. The coursework is 60% of their final GCSE grade. In January of Year 11, these students will start the preparation tasks for a 10 hour classroom-based practical examination.

Graphic Design

Year 7 & 8

Students will spend 12 weeks in Graphic Design during year 7 and year 8.

They will complete a foundation course in year 7 where they will learn the basic skills and concepts relative to Graphic Design. In year 8 they will complete a design and make Project that will focus on utilizing skills learned in year 7. Students will develop ICT skills that are fundamental to the Graphic Design Industry.

Year 9

In year 9 students will work on further developing Graphic Design skills through 3 design assignments which  focus on techniques required for KS4. Traditional skills such as drawing and sketching will be used along with more advanced ICT techniques.

The course will focus on real life design briefs and the students will use industrial methods that are used extensively by professionals working in the graphic design industry.

Year 10 and 11

Year 10 and 11 students will be following the NCFE technical Award id Graphic Design Course. This course is a vocational course which is skills based carrying equivalent points as Traditional GCSE courses and which is graded as Pass Merit or Distinction.

The course is made up of 4 units of work which are internally and externally assessed and a 10 hr. external examination which is skills based.

The 4 units of work are

  • Understanding Graphic Design
  • Responding to a Graphic Design Brief
  • Graphic Design practice
  • Graphic design portfolio
  • Students will be expected to work to industry standards and will gain an insight into the graphic design industry.


KS4 Design Technology

NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Graphic Design

Who is this qualification for?

The NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Graphic Design complements GCSE qualifications. It is aimed at 14-16 year olds studying Key Stage 4 curriculum who are interested in any aspect of graphic design, including sourcing ideas and design. It is equivalent to GCSE grades 8.5-4.

This qualification focuses on an applied study of the graphic design sector and learners will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of working in graphic design.

This qualification has been designed to sit alongside the requirements of core GCSE subjects and is appropriate for learners who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content which is concrete and related directly to those experiences.

This Level 2 qualification is appropriate for learners who are looking to develop a significant core of knowledge and understanding in graphic design, and an understanding of how to apply their learning to the graphic design sector.

What will the learner study as part of this qualification?

This qualification shows learners how to:

  • identify and experiment with graphic design components
  • explore graphic designers, their work and working in the industry
  • work to graphic design briefs, refining and selecting ideas
  • form a graphic design portfolio and explore job opportunities within the creative sector


What knowledge and skills will the learner develop as part of this qualification and how might these be of use and value in further studies?

Learners will develop skills and knowledge:

  • in using different tools and equipment competently
  • when experimenting with materials and techniques
  • in adapting their own ideas and responding to feedback
  • in evaluating their own work
  • that are essential for the modern workplace, such as team working; presentation skills; independent working; working to deadlines; efficient use of resources.

Successful completion of the qualifications will fulfil the entry requirements for relevant academic and vocational study post-16 including A Levels in Graphic design and other relative areas as well as level 3 vocational qualifications.

The knowledge and skills gained will provide a secure foundation for careers in the graphic design industry.

This course is challenging and requires learners to develop their graphic design skills by being creative whilst producing high level graphical outcomes.

Learners will also be given the opportunity to further develop their ICT skills through the use of Adobe Photoshop  Microsoft office and other relevant software.




Product Design

Year 7 and 8

Students will spend 12 weeks in Product Design during Year 7 and 12 weeks during Year 8. Across the two modules, students will complete a minimum of two design and make projects covering skills in sketching, design development, electronics and CAD/CAM as well as using traditional workshop tools and equipment.

Year 11

Current Year 11 students (for 2019 examinations), are studying a VCert in Craft. This course has been selected due to its focus on practical application and the current Year 11 students will be completing the coursework aspect during Term 1. This counts for 50% of their final grade. In Term 2, these students will complete the externally examined aspect of the course comprising of 15 hours preparation time and 15 hours invigilated time.


Year 9

Students will complete up to 3 skills-based projects aimed at familiarising students with the manufacturing aspect of the GCSE qualification. Students will develop a clear understanding of the design process.  This includes conducting research into materials as well as successful artists, designers and architects and they will develop design ideas through sketching, computer aided design and modelling.

Year 10 & 11

After developing skills in research, design development and manufacturing in Year 9, students will study for a GCSE in Art & Design: 3D Design. For 60% of their final grade, students will complete one research project and one major design and make project encompassing all four assessment objectives. These assessment objectives cover:


In January of Year 11, students will begin an 8 week preparatory period for the examination which makes up the remaining 40% of the qualification. This examination consists of 10 supervised hours over 5 weeks.

This course teaches students a wide range of practical and creative techniques and skills related to developing functional and aesthetically pleasing products. Students will be inspired by the work of a range of current and historical product designers such as Alberto Alessi, Bethan Gray and George Nelson.

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Year 7

Students spend 12 weeks in either year 7 or 8 studying this subject. They learn and practice a variety of practical skills in the creation of dishes such as pasta salad, chilli con carne and bread. In order to produce these dishes it is vital that they have a good knowledge of food hygiene and safety as well as how to work safely in the food preparation area. In order to help make healthy food choices, students learn about nutrition and Eatwell guide as well as the basics of food provenance and sustainability.

Year 9 & 10

Current Ofqual regulations stipulate that all GCSE assessment in food preparation and nutrition takes place in year 11. Therefore in years 9 and 10 we lay the foundations. Students delve deeper into food and nutrition, finding out more about nutrition related illness and the dietary requirements of people at different life stages. Building on their knowledge of food hygiene and safety, we now look at microorganisms and how they can be used for our benefit as well as how to prevent the spread of pathogenic bacteria. Students also consider factors affecting food choices and look at how the food we eat is produced and its impact on the environment. An interest in science is an asset as students look into the chemical and functional qualities of the food we eat.

This theoretical study is teamed with lots of fun practical work, making a range of highly skilful sweet and savoury dishes. This practical work helps to bring to life the food related principles that they have been studying.

Year 11

In year 11 we start Non Examined Assessment (coursework). The first piece is a food investigation task which is worth 15% of the final GCSE grade. This involves a range of experiments, using ingredients to test a hypothesis that students have generated based on research carried out. They look closely at how ingredients react when they are cooked and/or mixed together. As part of NEA 1, students produce a 1500 word report.

The second Non Examined Assessment piece is a food preparation task based on a type of cuisine, special dietary need or age group. Students are required to research their task, then produce 4 related dishes over 4 lessons. They then select 3 different dishes which they make in one 3 hour session. This piece requires a 2500 word report.

Finally, students sit a 1 hour 45 minute examination, worth 50% of their final grade. This is based on the different topics they have studied in years 9 and 10.