In KS3 you are assessed against 4 different assessment strands throughout the year:


The design, making and evaluating assessment strands are linked to specific projects from the subject and are based on the schools SEA level criteria. You will be given the opportunity to make improvements to your work during MAD (making a difference) time and comment on what went well and areas for continued development. Each year, you will take an end of year exam that explores all the concepts you have learnt in each Technology area, which will go towards the knowledge assessment strand.

In KS4 you are assessed in a similar way as at KS3. Designing, making and evaluation are assessed in Y10 practice assignments and the same in Y11 for the final practical project. An e-portfolio of work will be produced to support your practical creations. Theory lessons will also take place once every 5 lessons to develop students’ knowledge in preparation for 10-point practice tests and end of year exams.

GCSE Design and Technology:

Unit 1

What's assessed:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

How it's assessed:

  • 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.
Unit 2:

What's assessed

  • Practical application of:
  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

How it's assessed

  • 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
  • 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

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition:

Unit 1:

What's assessed

  • Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE


  • Multiple choice questions (20 marks)
  • Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)
Unit 2:

What's assessed

  • Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks).
  • Your understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
  • Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.
  • Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks).
  • Your knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.
  • You will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

How it's assessed

  • Task 1: Written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.
  • Task 2: Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.