Design and Technology

Key Stage 3


In Design and Technology students use a wide range of sources of information to investigate form and function before communicating ideas. They can recognise that there are a variety of users who may have different needs. They then communicate their ideas using a variety of media, as appropriate to the design activity and audience. All students produce plans that predict the time needed to carry out the main stages of making the products safely and accurately. Having manufactured a range of products using different skills and techniques, students evaluate how their products would perform in use and modify the designs in light of results to improve the performance.

Typical topics covered in KS3 are as follows:

Year 7

  • CAD/CAM produced simple products such as key rings.
  • Wooden puzzles and small toys.
  • Healthy eating with a well-balanced diet and seasonal foods and fair-trade.
  • A textiles book cover with surface decoration such as Batik, Applique, block printing or Tie Dye.

Year 8

  • Nutritional needs of teenagers and influences on food choices.
  • Model making and cardboard engineering.
  • Treasure chest storage box.
  • PE bag with a detailed applique design.

Year 9

  • Nutritional properties of, and cultural influences on, food.
  • Metal and plastic coat hooks.
  • Electronic burglar alarm.
  • A culture inspired ski hat.

Key Stage 4


Design and Technology allows students to make decisions, consider sustainability and combine skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make quality products. The students explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, economic, environmental, ethical and social dimensions interact to shape designing and making. They will analyse existing products and produce practical solutions to needs, wants and opportunities, recognising their impact on quality of life. Throughout the two year course they develop decision-making skills through individual and collaborative work. Successful students will understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies; that products have an impact on lifestyle. They will develop the skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge. There are four options for the students to choose from; Catering, Graphic Products, Resistant Materials Technology and Textiles Technology.

In Catering the students do the following:

  • Develop their understanding and knowledge of nutrition;
  • Explore the functional properties and working characteristics of ingredients;
  • Learn about the preservation and processing of food through both theory and practical means;
  • Analyse, research, design and make various products to fit particular specifications.

In Graphic Products the students do the following:

  • Produce a scale model of a simple graphic product;
  • Investigate the manufacture of a fizzy drinks bottle;
  • Design a hand-held games console;
  • Produce an architectural model of an existing building.

In Resistant Materials the students do the following:

  • A metal work project which involves the manufacturing of a product that will be brazed together;
  • An investigation of how a simple product is manufactured and assembled;
  • A plastics project developing a product such as a desk tidy.

In Textiles Technology the students do the following:

  • Collect material samples and produce a booklet containing such materials;
  • Disassemble a sports garment and investigate its manufacture;
  • Design a fashion product or accessory that has morphing properties;
  • Design a winter fashion product that promotes the feeling of well-being.

Examination Board


% Components

The course is structured so that the students complete their coursework element in Year 10 leaving their Year 11 free to study for their GCSE exam. The exam counts for 40% of the final grade; the coursework makes up the other 60%.

Key Stage 5


Edexcel’s Product Design (RMT and Graphics)

Product Design A levels offer two completely separate pathways: Resistant Materials Technology and Graphic Products. The structure of the courses allows students to develop a range of skills and outcomes at AS level, demonstrating their creativity. Students then apply these skills to a design and make project at A2. The course also develops students’ knowledge and understanding of, and skills and application in, designing products. It also develops students’ research, analysis, product development, project planning and evaluation skills.

AQA’s Product Design (Textiles)

The Textiles course has been designed to encourage students to take a broad view of design and technology, to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing.

Examination Board

Edexcel for Product Design
AQA for Textiles Technology

% Components

All of Edexcel’s courses have the same assessment practices, which is such that the design and make elements are worth 60% of the final grade and the exam papers are worth the other 40%. There is an exam and a design and make activity in each year of the two year course.

AQA’s Textiles Technology is such that the design and make elements are worth 50% of the final grade and the exam papers are worth the other 50%. There is an exam and a design and make activity in each year of the two year course.

Additional Information

Here are some useful websites if you are interested in Design Technology: