Design & Technology


Our mission is to provide students with a variety of resources and learning experiences that will enable them to enjoy and achieve.  We aim to enable students to gain and develop essential skills, to cultivate enquiring minds that will ask questions of meaning and value, to encourage students to engage in discussion and offer reasoned responses, while remaining sensitive to the opinions of others, and to develop students’ employability skills so that they can achieve now and in the future.


The Design and Technology department provides a programme of study to ensure all students undertake a series of Design and Make assignments and complete theory-based exercises to develop knowledge and understanding within each of the material areas. These activities are designed to develop skills in designing and making using a variety of contexts within the various material areas. We aim to encourage students to become increasingly confident and independent, able to design creatively, take constructive criticism positively in order to improve designs further, and have the knowledge and skills to make their designs become a reality.

Examples of cross-curricular links

English: Vocabulary strategy – technical vocabulary taught explicitly
Analytical writing
Mathematics: Measurements, scale, angles
Science: Characteristics of materials, electricity and circuits
Humanities: Social, historical and cultural influences on design
Geography: Environmental and sustainability lined to material properties

Examples of Cultural Capital entitlement from NC

The subject gives students a wider understanding of importance of design, and the role it plays influencing consumer behaviour, and it connection to wider cultural trends. The department also offers a range of visit to workplaces, and cultural institution such as the V & A.  


  • Key Stage 3

    In Key Stage 3 students attend a one-hour lesson every two weeks, so students have 19 lessons over an academic year.  Students are introduced to a range of materials and processes to expand their previous knowledge and skills.

    Year 7

    We are currently developing the year 7 schemes of work so projects may change over the year. The ‘Bling Box’ continues to be the first project by which students are introduced to the workshop and materials. The year group studies different types of woods, both deciduous and coniferous, manmade board, and their properties. Students are encouraged to develop skills to use accuracy and work independently to solve problems throughout the project. The advantages of using CAD are introduced. After the initial project, students will work on a second, smaller project to create a prototype product, which requires design techniques and iteration.

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 

    Health and safety

    Workshop introduction

    Marking up their projects accurately

    Using a range hand tools 

    Understanding the properties of wood and manmade boards

    Introduction to using machines in the workshop

    Research the artist Piet Mondrian. 

    Design technique 

    Introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD) 

    Design iteration

    The importance of ‘finishing’ wood and techniques used 

    Creating a prototype and the importance of developing designs in this format 

    Year 8 

    In year 8 the department builds on the students’ prior skills. Students now work using a polymer for the first project, and learn about sustainability and plastics. They use their research skills to evaluate the issues and understand the alternatives offered. Students investigate three art movements: Pop Art, Bauhaus, and Art Deco. They then design, evaluate and iterate a range of ideas to create a Thermo-plastic clock. A 3D model is used as a template to create their final piece. A range of CAD programmes are introduced.  Each term, students will be introduced to the following skills and projects:-

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Research art movements

    Learn the skill of creating a ‘creative mind map’
    Design presentation skills

    Design development and evaluation 

    Design iteration

    Rendering techniques

    Modelling skills

    Revisit health and safety in a workshop 

    Introduction to new 
    machines and techniques in the workshop

    Using tools and equipment to create an acrylic clock to the students design

    Finishing acrylic to a high standard 

    Computer Aided Design (CAD) 

    Technical drawing skills

    Architectural modelling 

    Year 9

    We are pleased to participate in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Innovate national schools competition during the first term. Students are given a live design brief and collaborate to investigate and innovate a design to solve the brief. Following this project student’s work in wood and acrylic to make an angle-poise lamp.

    Each term, students will be introduced to the following skills and projects:-

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Investigate the V & A design  brief.

    Collaborate ideas to create a range of design ideas.

    Research materials and properties.

    Test materials and evaluate solutions.
    Present finished design sheets of a final product and the journey to solve a design brief.

    Development of workshop skills and instruction to new machines 

    Cad 2D design 

    Creating a wooden base, measuring and marking up 4 dowel joints

    Reading technical drawings


    Stakeholder research 

    Design techniques using a range of materials to render design projects. 

    Design iteration

    Materials research 


    Skill progression

    Students gain confidence to work independently in the workshop with the freedom to use a range of processes such a metal work lathes, wood lathes. They can choose approximate materials and learn how to communicate design ideas, be that through modelling a prototype, design sketches or CAD work.



  • Key Stage 4
    Design and Technology OCR

    Year 10

    Throughout Year 10 they will cover a range of theory and work on sample non-examined assessment (NEA) projects such as bottle opener, bench design prototypes etc. In June of Year 10 they will start their NEA, choosing 1 of the 3 contexts set by the exam board; this is worth 50% of the GCSE and will be completed by February of Year 11. The exam is also worth 50% and will be taken at the end of Year 11.

    Students are taught new skills and then asking them to apply these skills to a design problem. Students are encouraged to develop their drawing, CAD and CAM skills independently so as to enhance their design work.

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


    Materials and their Working Properties

    Material Categories

    Material Properties

    Project based learning: 

    Design prototyping task using a range of models to communicate design ideas. 


    Designing and communication skills. 

    Technical drawings. 

    CAD – 2D design

    Workshop skills. 

    Project based learning: 

    Design communication skills, researching materials to design a small product. Use of mixed materials and joining methods in the workshop environments to create a design. 


    Ecological and Social Footprint

    Sources and Origins

    Using and Working with Materials

    Stock Forms, Types and Sizes

    Specialist Techniques and Processes 

    Project based learning: 

    Cad skills and machine processes to look at batch product of a product. 

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6


    Surface Treatments and Finishes

    CNC machines – advantages and disadvantages

    Rendering technics. 

    CAD –Fusion360 & solid works. 

    Project based learning:

    Mini NEA using design iteration, modelling, research and the workshop to create a design that fits a set design brief. 


    Investigation, Primary and Secondary Data

    The Work of Others
    Design Strategies

    Communication of Design Ideas

    Prototype Development

    Project based learning:

    Completion of mini NEA using design iteration, modelling, research and the workshop to create a design that fits a set design brief.


    Selection of Materials and Components

    Material Management

    Introduction to the non-assessment Exam ( NEA) 

    Product analysis

    Market research

    Project based learning:

    Start exam OCR  NEA June 1st 

    Year 11
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 


    New and Emerging Technologies

    Developments in New Materials

    Systems Approach to Designing

    NEA coursework portfolio

    Research, design , design iteration , initial ideas, stakeholder research, CAD drawings, 


    Mechanical Devices

    Forces and Stresses

    Scales of Production

    NEA Coursework portfolio

    Design iteration, Modelling, Prototype development. Primary user and materials research, CAD drawings,


    Smart materials 



    NEA Coursework portfolio

    Final prototype development. Technical specification. CAD drawings.

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6


    Environmental, Social and Economic Challenge

    Selection of Materials and Components

    NEA Coursework portfolio

    Final prototype, evaluation, modification and primary user feedback. 



    Specialist Tools and Equipment

    Specialist Techniques and Processes

    Revision techniques. 

    Consolidate learning and revision tasks for GCSE exam in June
    Skill progression

    Over the 18 months of the course student’s gain and deeper understanding of how to design and deliver a set brief. Students learn to think as a designer and develop critical thinking and analysis skills.

  • Key Stage 5

    At KS5 OCR Product Design is offered as a natural progression from OCR Design and Technology GCSE. Product Design is focused on consumer products. Students analyse existing product in respect of materials, components, and marketability to understand their selection and uses in industrial and commercial practices of product development. Students design and investigate areas of design and manufacture developing a portfolio for their final exam presentation. Students work towards two exam papers in year 12 & 13 covering related design and manufacturing theory. Product Design (H006) focuses on consumer products and applications and their analysis in respect of:

    • Materials, components, process and their selection and uses in products and/or systems
    • The selection and use of the above in industrial commercially viable products and practices.

    Year 12
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


    Manufacturing scales



    ICT digital Technologies Injection & blow Moulding

    Project based learning:

    Product deconstruction, manufacturing technique, investigation of construction methods. 


    Health & Safety


    CAD skills – Solidworks & 2D design 

    Project based learning:

    Design, model and communicate a range of designs based on a subject area. 


    Surface Finishes

    Quality Assurance & Quality control. 

    Sketching skills 

    Project based learning:

    Investigate materials. Different modes of communication methods. Photoshop.   Materials investigation. Solidworks construction. 

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6


    Laser and plasma cutting

    Steam bending

    Rendering skills

    Project based learning:

    Quality assurance. Quality assurance. Methods of manufacturing. Design interaction. Modelling concept ideas.


    Line bending 

    Ferrous/nonferrous/metal alloys

    Modelling skills 

    Project based learning:

    Stakeholder research. Primary user needs. Modelling before sketching. Rendering techniques. Construction systems. 


    Natural woods

    Manmade boards


    Textiles fabrics and Fibres

    NEA: investigate need in the product or architectural field. Research existing products/building. Investigate designers, art movements and architects.

    Year 13
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


    Sheet metal forming. 


    NEA:  continue to investigate need in the product or architectural field. Research, evaluate existing products/building related to the problem. Primary user and stakeholder identified in depth. 


    Die casting/sand casting

    Standards ISO BSI

    Steam bending

    NEA: Design iteration. Materials and process investigation. Design progression. Primary user feedback 


    Composite materials 

    Smart materials 

    NEA: Design prototypes, materials testing. CAD design. Design development. Technical specification and time line. Final prototype 

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6


    Modern materials 

    Structural Integrity

    NEA: Testing of final prototype, evaluation, and modification and primary user final feedback. Submission 

    Revision and consolidation of subject knowledge.  

    Students build over both GCSE and A level to think as a designer investigating product design in depth. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of aspects of the design process by applying the core knowledge, investigative skills, product analysis and iterative design to develop a deeper understanding of the subject area. They will be encouraged to make mistakes and re-design ideas for a better outcome.

  • Careers and progression
    Qualification pathways 

    The Design Technology department has responded to student requirements by broadening the offer at KS5 to include Level 3 BTEC in Engineering as well as ‘A’ level Product Design.

    GCSE OCR Design and Technology progresses naturally to ‘A’ level OCR Product Design where a number of students go on to study a range of courses including Architecture, Interior Architecture, Product Design and Product Engineering.

    Example of successful progressions

    Three students progressed from our sixth form to reading design related degrees at university in 2019.

    Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 
    • There is a strong emphasis with the Design and Technology programme linking the subject areas to careers by introducing case studies of designers and manufacturers.
    • The department enter national competitions such as ‘Innovate’ enabling the students to investigate current trends, social issues and designs.
    Examples of link to Gatsby benchmark 5 (encounters with employers)
    • Opportunities to meet local businesses such as Weetabix and Tata Steel to enable the students to hear about business models and apprenticeships.
    • Visits to are organised for all year groups within the Art, Design and Technology department that include Amazon, Victoria and Albert Museum, Big Bang Fair, Riverford Organic Farm, Henry Moore Foundation.
    • We are lucky enough to have a strong links with Oundle school where students  are involved building a Green  Powered Car to race, Life drawing classes and have the opportunity to use the CAD/CAM facilities to complete design projects.
    Employability skills

    Collaboration, communication, creativity, resilience, presentation skills, analysis and evaluation.

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