You will advance skills developed in KS3 and work with a further variety of materials, tools/equipment, and computer aided design (CAD) software and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) equipment to produce suitable quality products. Knowledge and concepts are developed in areas such as materials, manufacture and sustainability. The course allows you to explore iterative design and be imaginative, creative and develop knowledge and skills for the future.

The department offers a wide range of qualifications and material specifications to suit your needs and interests. These include:

  • ·GCSE Design Technology. This is a new examination which replaces the traditional materials based options of previous years. The first cohort will be examined in 2019. You will use your existing skills and knowledge acquired at KS3 and build upon these to produce new and better solutions to real problems. You will have the choice of working in Graphic Products, CAD/CAM, Engineering Materials and Textiles or a combination of any of the above to produce a quality, marketable outcome. You may also include a smart material or electronic component if this enhances the product.
  • In Year 10 you will create practice practicals this year in preparation for your final project in Y11. Mathematical and scientific principles will also be interwoven through your studies. Unit 1, the examination you take at the end of Y11, is worth 50% of your overall mark. It is a 2-hour exam with 100 marks available.


Core knowledge and understanding:
  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy storage and generation
  • Modern and smart materials
  • Systems approach to designing
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their working properties
Material categories:
  • Paper and board
  • Timber
  • Metal based materials
  • Polymers
  • Textile based materials
  • Electronic and mechanical systems
Specialist technical principles:
  • Forces and stresses
  • Ecological and social footprint
  • Scales of production
  • Sources and origins
  • Using and working with materials
  • Stock forms, types and sizes
  • Specialist techniques
  • Surface treatments and finishes

In Year 11 you will begin Unit 2, the non-exam assessment worth 50% of the overall GCSE. You will be given a context to solve by creating a final prototype and produce a design e-portfolio in support.

  • Identify, investigate & outline design possibilities.
  • Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose.
  • Analyse an evaluate.
  • Demonstrate and apply.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition. This equips you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science and gain an appreciation of nutrition and healthy eating. The course will encourage you to cook and enables you to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities as well as develop vital life skills that will enable you to feed yourself and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.

Year 10

Section 1: Food Preparation Skills

  • General practical skills
  • Knife skills
  • Preparing fruit & vegetables
  • Use of the cooker
  • Use of the equipment
  • Cooking methods
  • Preparing, combining and shaping
  • Sauce Making
  • Tenderising and marinating
  • Dough
  • Raising agent
  • Setting mixtures

Section 2: Food, Nutrition and Health

  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients (and water)
  • Nutritional needs and health

Section 3: Food Science

  • Cooking of food and heat transfer
  • Functional and chemical properties of food

Section 4: Food Safety

  • Food spoilage and contamination
  • Principles of food safety

Section 5: Food Choice

  • Factors affecting food choice
  • British and international cuisine
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Food Labelling and marketing

Section 6: Food Provenance

  • Factors affecting food choice
  • British and international cuisine
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Food Labelling and marketing
  • Y11. You will be set the task for each of the non-examination assessments.
  • For the Food investigation (Task 1), one task is to be selected from the three tasks set by AQA issued on 1 September of the academic year in which it is to be submitted.
  • For the Food preparation assessment, (Task 2), one task is to be selected from the three tasks set by AQA issued on 1 November of the academic year in which it is to be submitted.
  • New tasks will be issued for each new cohort of students. The tasks will be made available via our secure website, eAQA.


Technical Awards (GCSE equivalent) - these subjects offer you an opportunity to focus upon the more practical aspects of the subject by developing skills and understanding of working in specific material and social areas. The final examination consists of 60% coursework (practical work and a design e-portfolio) and 40 % written examination.

  • Materials Technology - working with woods, metals and polymers with the application of related machinery and processes.
  • Fashion and Textiles - working with textiles and other fabric materials with the application of related machinery and processes.
  • Visual Communication - using graphic design to create products on the computer or with card and working with other lighter materials.
  • Health and Social Care – this is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to care for others in a broad range of health or social care settings. 
  • Child Development - this course will provide you with a good understanding of how children develop and learn and the role of the childcare practitioner in supporting this development. It prepares you to progress to the level 3 qualification.

Examples of projects produced at KS4 are - sports bottle designs, chocolate box packaging, MP3 docking stations, lighting unit, storage, jewellery, three course meals, street food, garment design and children’s educational toys.