Design Technology

  • Mr M Rogers, Head of Design & Technology
  • Mrs C Sheasby, Lead Teacher of Food and Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Mrs C Carvajal, Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Ms Z Love, Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Miss N Hill, Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Mrs R Slater, Technician and Teacher of Design & Technology
  • Mrs E Taylor, Technician – Design & Technology

Design & Technology at King Edward VI School  

To understand what our subject is about it is important to know what it is not.  It is NOT Craft, Design & Technology (CDT), Cookery, Domestic Science, Home Economics, Needlecraft, Technical Drawing, Metalwork or Woodwork. 

The notes below present our departmental attitudes and the approaches we take in realising the ambitions, and expectations, we have for our students as they grow, develop as young people emerging into an ever increasingly technological world. 

Profile of a King Edwards Designer  

What are the Design & Technology skills, knowledge, understanding, characteristics, and values we identify that we want our Design students to develop, maintain and learn to exploit? 


noun: designer; plural noun: designers 

a person who plans the look or workings of something prior to it being made, by preparing drawings or plans. 

“a leading car designer”] 

In no order of priority a King Edwards designer should be: 

Open-minded – try new things; be comfortable with, and receptive to advice from unexpected sources.  Don’t’ be afraid of being open and honest with your designs. 

Resilient – be prepared to deal with criticism. Accept direction towards making improvements, which lead to a viable design solution. 

Problem solving – think realistically, logically and critically. Take pride in producing efficient function, as well as, beautifully aesthetic design.  

Questioning – of one’s self, constantly reviewing your decision making processes and the solutions you generate. Challenge yourself, could you do better? 

Communicative – Unless ideas are communicated effectively, they do not take shape and form, they do not become real. You need to express the ideas in your head in such a manner as to get them into someone else’s head. How you do this is not that important.  That it actually does happen is the important thing. 

Creative – Explore the world around you, learn to love creativity and diversity in all its myriad forms. Historical, social, cultural, technological facets of design must be part of your make up. Look beyond the obvious. Shun shallow thinking. 

Passionate – the creative industries are very rewarding but also extremely time and energy sapping.  With sustained drive and enthusiasm, you will be successful and the sacrifices all successful designers have to make will be more than worth it. 

Patient – rarely does a successful resolution arrive quickly, designs can take many iterations before the optimum design is found. Compromise only when it suits your design intentions. 

Skilful – armed with the graphic and material based practical capacity to express ideas efficiently. 

Reliable – work to a deadline, plan and manage your time cleverly. Under promise, over deliver. 

Modest – nobody knows it all. You must keep learning and seeking new sources of technological creativity upon which you will draw inspiration as a designer.  

The above list of personal characteristics is not definitive, it is intended to be interpreted as individual circumstances dictate.  However, they should be crystallised in our attitudes towards how we deliver Design & Technology provision for our young designers at King Edwards. This underpinning of what is taught (D&T Curriculum) is contextualised in the National Curriculum Design & Technology Programmes of Study: Key Stage 3. 

National Curriculum Design & Technology  

Programmes of Study: Key Stage 3 

Purpose of study  

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 


The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook

Key stage 3 

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of domestic and local contexts [for example, the home, health, leisure and culture] and industrial contexts [for example, engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture (including horticulture) and fashion]. 

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to: 


  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design] to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations


  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties


  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists

Technical knowledge 

  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions
  • understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  • understand how more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products [for example, circuits with heat, light, sound and movement as inputs and outputs]
  • apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors] and control outputs [for example, actuators] using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers]

Design KS3

Key Stage 3 Food Preparation and Nutrition

This is very much the foundation upon which GCSE and Advanced Level success is built. At KS3 we encourage students to explore design possibilities and develop a range of skills whilst creating high quality products.  All KS3 students will ‘design and make’ using Food, Textiles, Electronics and Materials (timber and plastics).  Currently, typical examples of KS3 projects will involve making food products, such as apple crumble and pizza, the production of mobile phone holders and cushions in Textiles and musical pen holders and picture frames in Product Design.  Some of these products will exploit modern technologies such as Dye Sublimation Printing and CNC machining whilst other will encourage students to learn manual skills. Through following these activities students will also develop their graphic communication skills which enable them to express their ideas creatively and coherently.  We will also cover multicultural and social aspects of Design & Technology, as well as, the environmental implications of the systems, artefacts and environments we use in our ever increasingly technological world.

Pizza                                      Tart

Key Stage 4

At King Edwards we follow the OCR specification for GCSE Product Design.  In comparison to our KS3 D&T curriculum, this involves a deeper study of Design in all its varied aspects.  This is underpinned by the design process, which involves the completion of two coursework projects from concept through to realisation. This GCSE is assessed through four compulsory units. They are:

Unit A551: Developing and Applying Design Skills. This unit requires students to develop and write a design brief, draw up a design specification and generate a range of design proposals.

Unit A552: Designing and Making Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge is a teacher-led activity that stimulates and supports the student through a thought-provoking creative exercise.

Unit A553: Making, Testing and Marketing Products.  This unit follows on from A551.  Students are involved in prototype manufacture and testing, evaluating and marketing their final design.

Unit A554: Designing Influences. This is the terminal examination.  Students are required to demonstrate that they understand the influence upon designing of issues (amongst others) such as social, moral and cultural issues, environmental factors, consumer law, globalisation of design and manufacturing, sustainable technologies and computer-aided design and manufacturing.

Internally assessed coursework (A551 and A553)accounts for 60% of the final GCSE grade with externally set examinations (A552 and A554)making up the remaining 40%.

Design KS4


Key Stage 4 Food Preparation and Nutrition

At King Edwards we follow the Eduqas specification for GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.

This course enables learners to develop a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding, which allows them to plan, prepare and cook a wide range of dishes using several complex skills whilst also applying the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating.

The course creates a balance between practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding and compliments several other GCSE studies taught within school.

NEA (Coursework) projects account for 50% of the overall mark and are internally assessed, whilst the examination accounts for the remaining 50% of the overall mark and this is externally assessed.

Pie                                                                Indian food

Key Stage 5

In order to facilitate as seamless a  transition from GCSE to Advanced Level, we offer the OCR Advanced  level specification.  This specification is designed to offer students the opportunity to study, propose and realise prototype solutions closely linked to the real world of product manufacture in a range of material areas. Recognising the routes that are pursued at GCSE, this course provides candidates with the opportunity to continue their studies either exclusively or as a combination of focus material areas.

Students are encouraged to:

• initiate design solutions, develop, test and trial working models and prototypes;

• develop and sustain imagination, innovation and flair when working with concepts and materials;

• develop an understanding of contemporary design and technological practices and consider the uses and effects of new technologies and modern materials;

• develop thinking skills, financial capability, enterprise and entrepreneurial skills.

Design AS

The course is assessed through the following four compulsory units:

F521: Advanced Innovation Challenge. Students take part in a timed design challenge based on a pre-released theme, under examination conditions. The challenge consists of a design, and modelling exercise recorded in a workbook. A written reflection paper is completed at a later date.

F522: The Product Study. Students carry out an in-depth product analysis resulting in suggestions for improvements. This is a coursework component that is marked by the teacher and externally moderated by the examination board.

F523: Design, Make and Evaluate.  Students produce a portfolio and product. The project is marked by the teacher and externally moderated by the examination board

F524: Product Design. A written paper that consists of two components. Candidates are able to select questions across the focus material areas as they wish.

Beyond school

Many of our students who take KS4 and KS5 courses in Design & Technology, go onto pursue careers in a Design related profession.  From Fashion Design, Architecture, Materials Science, Sports Technology, Exhibition Design and Graphic Illustration (to name but a few destinations our students have gone onto) to gaining internships at Rolls-Royce, the variety of potential university choices and career paths Design & technology offers is truly vast.

Design A2


Please contact Mark Rogers ( should you require any further information.