Design Technology

In Design Technology we aim to develop creative thinkers and confident creators. Our teaching engages pupils in practical projects that require problem solving and imagination.

Subject Area Curriculum Intent

Section 1: Principles at Key Stage 3

In Design Technology we aim to nurture the ability of students to think broadly and laterally, we believe in the value of being ‘design thinkers’. Design Thinkers* are highly sought in industry to guide strategy in all sectors.
We also teach our students that design is not purely about how something looks. A well-designed product has the ability to improve someone’s life. We therefore focus on building students’ empathy with users, and particularly, those outside of the mainstream ie elderly people, users with disabilities, users in developing countries and young children.
In the department we are committed to developing an appreciation of our environment. We teach students about biomimicry (using nature as inspiration for design). We emphasise the need to be responsible designers, choosing materials and solutions with care and consideration for the environment.
We research and share with students new ideas and technologies as they happen, we aim to bring into our teaching new opportunities to use technology ie CAD/CAM and robotics. We link our teaching to industry where possible and provide opportunities for students to meet with industry specialists.
By the end of Year 7 and 8, students will have an awareness and begin to understand the key concepts that appear in the GCSE course. Over 2 years, students will experience 72 hours of DT and 36 hours of Food teaching.
On the Design Technology course, year 7 and 8 students will be taught to;
    • Present ideas in 3D, be able to annotate ideas with justification, analysis and understanding of the user
    • Manufacture using CAD and CAM tools
    • Understand system input and outputs in electrical circuits
    • Be confident and skillful using workshop equipment
    • Have an understanding of material types and properties
    • Be aware and sympathetic to environmental issues
    • Design with environmental impact in mind
    • Create appropriate and innovative solutions
    • Write a production plan and follow plan independently to complete practical tasks
    • Apply technical knowledge of materials and processes to choose appropriate solution
    • Understand how mechanical systems enable change in movement and force
    • Draw using industry standard technical drawing conventions
    • Be aware of the differing needs of minority user groups ie users with a disability, very young or elderly
    • Make design decisions that benefit the user group
    • Apply ergonomics to the design development of an idea
    • Be aware of smart materials and new and emerging technologies
    • Respond to a brief set by industry specialists and professional designers
    • Write computer programmes to control input/output ie lights, motor or sound


In Food, the priority for year 7 and 8 students is to build skills and confidence planning recipes, to enable independently living. Students will experience key food science concepts through their practical lessons, which lead directly to the GCSE content. They will also become familiar with a method of working, imperative to achieving well at GCSE. Students will be taught;

    • To develop an understanding of healthy foods and dietary needs
    • To prepare meals safely and hygienically
    • To have an understanding of key food science concepts (denature, gelatinisation, raising agents, enzymic browning, gluten, dextrin, emulsifiers, aeration, shortening and plasticity)
    • How ingredients react and function and their different properties
    • To understand nutrition and its sources
    • Practical processes of making ie meat preparation, vegetable preparation and methods of cooking
    • Knowledge of food provenance; agriculture, food sources and food miles


Assessment of the impact of teaching will be possible through;

    • Student evaluations after each practical activity
    • Photographic recording of practical work in Food and DT
    • Starter quizzes in Food and DT lessons


The content of the DT course is divided into 3-6 week ‘projects’ written and resourced by department staff. Project specific assessment criteria fits the whole school policy of using B to S+ grading. The 10 assessment statements are also visible and in use in the department.

Sequencing the learning in the DT department is reliant on the rotation between DT, Food and ICT. There will always be two DT groups running concurrently in year 7 and 8, therefore projects are timed to avoid any clash in the use of workshop facilities.


Section 2: Connectedness (linking and co-ordinating)

In both Food and DT all aspects of the KS3 curriculum are relevant to KS4. The content of the KS3 curriculum has been designed to include knowledge and skills required at GCSE. In Food, all scientific
concepts, applied maths, practical skills and understanding, observation skills, data analysis and ability to work independently are key to GCSE success.
The progression of KS3 students in Food is built into the course through the student’s development of skills, the complexity of practical tasks undertaken and the expectation from the teacher that students increasingly work independently with less teacher input.
In year 7 DT, the learning is focussed on directed skills and knowledge. The use of technical terms are introduced with students applying the terms with justification and explanation to demonstrate their understanding. In year 8 DT, students have more autonomy to demonstrate independent working in a practical space – demonstrating confidence and skill and independent thinking when developing a design solution. They are able to apply the learning from year 7 and 8 to create unique solutions. We refer to Blooms to articulate progression to the students.


From AQA DT GCSE specification

‘GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise. Our GCSE 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


From the Design and Technology Association

‘The introduction of the National Curriculum in 1989 saw England and Wales become the first countries in the world to establish D&T as a statutory entitlement for all pupils. It is ironic that whilst our achievements in D&T education are seen as world-leading and worthy of replication in other parts of world, they come under repeated question in the UK.
Every child is entitled to the unique contribution that D&T makes to their educational experience. If we are to preserve the subject, and our world lead, for the benefit of future generations of young people immediate and co-ordinated action is required by Government, employers in design and technology-related industries and the D&T community itself.
D&T education makes a unique and valuable contribution to the education and preparation for life for every child – at work or leisure. For some it can be the start-point for highly satisfying and successful careers in industries that bring increasing economic benefit to the UK.
The new DT GCSE has become more rigorous to bring the perceived value of the subject in line with other STEM subjects. The aim of combining the different material areas under one heading ‘Design Technology’ was to reflect the multi-material and multi-process methods of designing and manufacturing in industry. The applied maths and applied scientific concepts link the course closely with professional methods of working. The specification requires an up-to-date knowledge of smart materials and new technologies.
The Design and Technology Association led a successful campaign during the planning of the new National Curriculum to include key concepts that reflect a modern society and industry.


From the KS3 DT National Curriculum, Purpose of Study

‘Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils 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


From the WJEC Food Preparation and Nutrition Specification

‘The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages learners to cook, enables them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and allows them to acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. By studying food preparation and nutrition learners will:'

    • Demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking a variety of food commodities whilst using different cooking techniques and equipment
    • Develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food as well as a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks
    • Understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health
    • Understand the economic, environmental, ethical and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, diet and health choices
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food
    • Understand and explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and international) to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes'


From the KS3 DT National Curriculum

‘As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.’


All KS3 students at Judgemeadow experience practical lessons. Food ingredients are bought and organised for the students, with PP students having their ingredients paid for/able to reclaim the cost.


Section 3: five year impact

    • Healthy eating impacting on well-being through life
    • Practical cooking skills enabling independent living
    • Appreciation of environmental responsibilities
    • Team based learning and presentation skills
    • Design-thinking* skills – lateral thinking ability
    • Creative expression
    • Understanding of how products work and confidence to apply practical knowledge
    • Independent project based work – scheduling, management of time, interaction with professionals, self-discipline in a practical environment
    • Future focussed – industry, materials, lifestyles
    • Links to business and industry
    • Computer based skills - programming/presentation
    • Applied maths
    • Applied scientific concepts
    • Learning environment where mistakes are celebrated and risks are taken
    • Collaborative work
    • No gender stereotypes
    • Problem solving
    • Link to scientific careers (all doctors and nurses are required to complete one year of food and nutrition training before progressing to their medical career)
    • Independent learning
    • Cross-curricular links
    • Constantly evolving content
    • Encouragement to investigate beyond constraints of the classroom or course
    • Inclusion of own passions/outside interests in creative work
    • Entry into design competitions
    • Range of professional speakers and/or industry visits


‘Leicester has thriving creative industries that represent the second largest cluster of creative businesses outside of London.

‘The creative industries have grown 3 times more than the wider UK economy in recent years.’

‘1.8 million more engineers are needed by 2022.’

‘A further 1 million people needed to fill creative jobs in UK by 2030

‘The creative industries are worth £500 billion in UK’.

Design Thinking:


Section 4: Teaching and Learning

Retrieval practice
    • Key stage 3 starter questions on previous lesson(s)
    • Key stage 4 starter exam questions on previous topics
    • End of topic assessments
    • Use of knowledge organisers
Concrete examples
Food and DT are easily exemplified in the world around us. We explicitly link learning to real-life examples often with tangible products. Students practice answering ‘explain’ and ‘describe’ exam questions by referring to concrete examples. Revision notes are made with a column ‘concrete examples’. More use could be made of story-telling to bring to life unfamiliar situations for students, such as, industrial processes.
We link the theory taught in class with practical lessons, therefore giving students an experience with which to connect the theoretical knowledge to. Students are encouraged to bring their interests from outside of school into the Technology classrooms and link their specialist interest to their studies in Food or Design.
Revision timetables have utilised interleaving to support students’ learning. Starter quizzes will refer back across a few topics
Dual coding
DT and Food inherently use many visuals to illustrate ideas and concepts. This is an area that could be developed much further to enable students to ‘hook’ information to one diagram/illustration.
Promotion of Tier 2 and Tier 3 subject specific language
When using exam questions in lessons, time is given to analysis and annotating of key words, to ensure understanding by all. Colour is used to code tier 2 and tier 3 words. Glossary of subject specific language is used to aid student’s independent learning.




For Key Stage Three students we run a Tuesday afterschool club in the workshop, developing making skills.

STEM Ambassador

Ex-student Sabina Tayub who is now a Civil Engineer and a STEM ambassador has returned to Judgemeadow to run the Innovators’ Club.

curriculum review: design technology

year 7 (36 hours)
Introduction to course
Baseline Assessments
Product analysis
Observational drawing, Annotation with justification
LED circuit and holder
Health and safety in workshop, Practical soldering skills, Understanding of electrical components,
Making with CAD/CAM
Drawing skills
Isometric drawing, Shading and presentation skills
year 8 (36 hours)
Introduction to course
Baseline Assessments
Product analysis
Observational drawing, Annotation with justification
Toy Mechanism
Working with accuracy, Practical making in timber – use of hand and machine tools
Cam mechanisms, Properties of timber
Drawing Skills II
Third angle orthographic drawing, Isometric drawing
Protective Wear
Ergonomics, Smart materials, Designing for a user
year 9 (38 hours)
Introduction to course  
Baseline assessment  
Perspective drawing and rendering

One and two point perspective, Isometric drawing, Third angle orthographic drawing, Rendering

Making skills

Micro making tasks using all workshop equipment, Health and safety, Precision making

Problem solving

Designing for a user, Model making skill

3D Drawing in CAD

Use of Google Sketch-up

Design Ventura

Designing for a specific user, Working in teams, Modelling, Presentation skills

year 10, year one of gcse (76 hours)
Introduction to course  
Baseline assessment  
Shapes task

Precision measuring and marking-out, Working with card, timber, plastic, metal and fabric, Understanding of industrial making processes


Specialist understanding of material, Material working properties and characteristics, Making of timber joint

Contextual challenge dry-run

Preparation for the NEA, Designing for a specific user

Theory knowledge

New and Emerging Technologies, Energy, materials, systems and devices, Common specialist technical principles,

Timber based materials

year 11, year two of gcse (90 hours)
NEA – Contextual Challenge

Research, Designing, Modelling, Making, Evaluation

Theory knowledge

Designing principles, Making principles, Materials

Revision Exam preparation, Past papers

Curriculum overview: Food technology

year 7 (18 hours)
Developing practical making skills and understanding of nutrition
Baseline assessment, Hygiene and safety, Fruit salad practical, Eatwell guide, Deli salad practical, Starchy foods, Savoury crumble practical, Dairy and alternatives, Pizza toast practical, Foods high in protein, Granola bars practical, Product sensory analysis
year 8 (18 hours)
Developing practical making skills and understanding of nutrition

Baseline assessment, Cooker safety lesson, Recall eatwell guide, Savoury rice practical, Energy needs, Mini-carrot cakes, Protein part 2, Frittata practical, Fruit scones practical, Function of key micronutrients, Pasta bake practical, Dietary needs of young people

year 9 (18 hours)
Developing practical making skills and understanding of nutrition

Recall diet and health, Risotto practical, Tots to teens, Pasta Fiorentina practical, Special diets, Cottage pie practical, Food standards traceability, Samosas practical, Food and functions, Savoury tarts practical, Dutch apple cake practical, Lasagne practical, Festival investigation, Food festival practical

year 10, year one GCSE (76 hours)

Food commodities, Principles of nutrition, Diet and good health, The science of food, Where food comes from, Cooking and preparation, NEA preparation

year 11, year two GCSE (90 hours)

NEA One, NEA Two, Revision

Design Technology Staff

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Head of Department: Zoe Eaves