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Design & Technology Overview

Ben Howard - Lead Practioner Design & Technology

Ben Howard
Head & Lead Practioner Design & Technology

Head of Department

Please email Ben Howard if you need to make an enquiry about design and technology.

Curriculum Time

Key Stage 3; year 7 have 2 lessons per fortnight. Year 8 and 9 have 3 lessons per fortnight. At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to opt for the GCSE in design and technology-product design, receiving five hours workshop time per fortnight.


In Key Stage 3, there is a set list of homework for each year group. One homework is set approximately each half term and supports or extends the work done in class. In Key Stage 4, students receive 3 homeworks per fortnight. In year 10 these are largely theory based and in year 11 they may be theory based, for exam preparation or to complete controlled assessment work that has been started in class. Access to a computer for homework is essential in year 11.

Class Groupings

All classes in design and technology are mixed ability.

GCSE specification

We currently offer the AQA GCSE in design and technology – product design. The course is split between Unit 1, a 2 hour examination (40 % of the overall assessment) which is taken at the end of year 11, and Unit 2, controlled assessment (60% of the overall assessment; 40% designing/20% making). Controlled assessment is started after Easter in Year 10 and runs into the spring term of Year 11, taking a total of 45 hours to produce. From September 2017, we will be offering AQA GCSE design and technology and the AQA technical award in materials technology.

Rooming and resources

We have two specialist multi-media workshops providing a wide range of machinery, tools and equipment, including a computer controlled router/engraver, two laser cutters and a 3D printer. We have a dedicated suite of computers for computer aided design.

Departmental Ethos

The curriculum is grounded in a project based approach to designing and making. We emphasise the need to be creative in responding to set design briefs and stress the importance of developing good drawing skills both by hand and by computer aided design. We also place great importance on thorough research, including exploring handling collections of various products and exploring the history of design. We use computer aided making and programmable electronic circuitry, where relevant, to the production of functioning end products.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Extra-curricular clubs offer pupils the opportunity to extend projects and we regularly enter pupils into design and engineering competitions such as the Rotary Technology Challenge (2nd and 3rd places in 2016), Engineering Inspirations and the Design Futura competition at the London Design Museum (placed 4th nationally in 2014). Pupils visit the annual NYBEP engineering careers event in Scarborough.

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