Design Technology

Meet The Team

Faculty Leader: Ms S Mason Head of STEAM

Deputy Leader: Miss A.Munro 2nd in STEAM

The Team:


Introduction and why it is important to study Product Design

Learners at Key Stage 3 have single, one-hour lesson a week in Product Design (on rotation with other technology subjects – 18 lessons a year)  to develop their skills with various materials, techniques and creative processes. Learners are also encouraged to develop transferable skills that they will need whatever career path they chose; collaboration, critical analysis, problem solving, resilience, initiative and of course, a growth mindset.

  • Foster an interest and enjoyment in the understanding and use of Product Design.
  • Stimulate each student’s curiosity about the world around them and about everyday objects, how they are made and function.
  • Encourage students to confront and discuss design and technological issues – both new and existing – as well as to consider ethical, moral and environmental aspects
  • Equip students to be confident citizens in an increasingly technological world and look to the future with creativity and innovation.
  • Develop confidence in practical and problem solving activities with real life contexts.
  • Develop an enterprising attitude and to take risks where appropriate.
  • See opportunities and make things happen.
  • Provide a sound basis for further technological study and entry to Design & Technology based professions

As well as the above Britain’s economic prospects are based on high value sectors such as engineering, advanced manufacturing, design and the creative industries.  They are areas where Britain is still highly competitive and Product Design plays a key role in providing the skills needed to maintain this level.  The subject inspires student to follow careers in these fields – the careers of the 21st Century.

Each year learners will create a design folder sketchbook and at least 1 final practical piece.  In Product Design, there is always personal choice and options no matter what stage the learner is at. Personal choice is essential to allow each learner to express and explore their creativity. 

Key Stage 3 is a critical developmental stage as learners explore their skills and interests. Any expert started out as a beginner at some point so it is our responsibly to nurture this part of their education.

What do we study in Product Design?

Year 7

Emerging Skills

Year 7 is a foundation course where students learn how to use the range of equipment and machinery within the Product Design area. Health and Safety is taught and students complete a ‘Driving Licence’ as they experience each new piece of major equipment – such as the drilling machine, sanding machine, vacuum former etc.  Lessons are a mixture of design-based and practical work. Students use CAD/CAM alongside traditional skills using wood working tools to manufacture a wooden maze game and a personalised laser cut key fob.

Year 8

Embedding Skills

Product Design lessons in Year 8 continue to develop designing and making skills using a variety of processes, equipment and materials. Students are introduced to designing for a specific market and style.  They design and create a decorative trinket box using a combination of soft woods, hard wood and manufactured board.

Year 9 

Established skills

This is the final year of Key Stage 3 Product Design. A lot more freedom is given in this year to experiment and discover their secure strengths and weaknesses in readiness for GCSE.

Year 9 students work individually to develop designs upcycling, further developing and consolidating prior learning along with an appreciation of the moral and environmental responsibilities that the designer should consider when developing solutions for the benefit of everyone.  Students are encouraged to take risks and be creative with their design thinking, exploring the qualities and characteristics of materials and producing products for a chosen style and target group.

Year 10 and 11


Throughout Key Stage 4, Product Design evidence towards each of the four Assessment Objectives:

AO1 – Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants

AO2 – Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose

AO3 – Analyse and evaluate:

  • Design decision and outcomes including for prototypes made by themselves and others
  • Wider issues in design and technology

AO4 – Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • Technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Year 10

September to December – Component 2 Theory based lessons with practical elements.

Core technical principles  –

Materials and their working properties.

Papers and boards, 

Natural and manufactured timbers,

Metal and alloys, Polymers

Mechanical Devices

Movement and magnitude of Rotary systems, levers, linkages

January to April – Component 2 Theory based lessons with practical elements.

Core technical principles continued-

Energy generation and storage.  Renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels.

Development of new materials.

Modern, composites, technical textiles, smart materials.

In-depth technical principles –

Metals, plastics, timbers. Sources and origins, properties, social and ecological issues, stock forms, commercial processing, finishing.

April – July – Component 1 preparation.

Designing and Making principles

Investigating, designing, making, evaluating,

Iterative design exercises

Contextual Challenge

Self-directed project with their chosen Design Brief. Pupils will draw upon the skills learned over the past 4 years and will follow an iterative design process to create a final coursework piece, a detailed folder of work that demonstrates analysis and decision making. A formal presentation folder that summarises the challenge.

The final set of Non Examined Assessment Design Briefs will be issued by the examination board at the beginning of June.  Students are required to explore All of the briefs and document the analysis prior to the selection of their chosen Brief.

Identifying and investigating design possibilities. Deadline Week 1 July

Developing a design brief and specification. Deadline Week 3 July

Year 11

September to December – Continuation of Component 1. 

Generating and developing design ideas. Deadline Week 3 December

January to April – Continuation of Component 1. 

Manufacturing a prototype. Deadline Week 4 February

Analysing and evaluating design decisions and prototypes and final compilation and submission of project folders. Deadline Week 3 March

April to May – Examination preparation.

From this point pupils will revisit and develop the core knowledge delivered during year 10 using past questions and practical experimentation in preparation for their 2 hour theory examination

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