Design & Technology

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“Design and Technology is about making things that people want and that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting; it is an inventive, fun activity”.

James Dyson

At TWGGS, the Design and Technology department encompasses a collection of vibrant, creative subjects. Projects studied in Textiles, Food Technology, Resistant Materials, Graphics and Product Design aim to inspire pupils to be inventive and inquisitive, challenging their creativity and problem-solving skills. Across the spectrum of lessons, pupils research and develop design ideas, from devising a recipe in Food Technology to creating a bespoke Design Movement inspired clock or creating a 3D printed keyring promoting a local cause. By following the process through to making a final product, pupils amass a wealth of practical and problem-solving skills. Within the department we regularly enter competitions, giving pupils an opportunity to work on another brief, and encourage visiting speakers to offer design-related career advice.

At Key Stage 3, the aims and objectives are:

  • To enable the pupils to experience designing and making through problem solving
  • To allow pupils to experience ‘real’ design situations through industry links
  • To encourage pupils to develop career aspirations in the fields of Design & Technology
  • To develop pupils' confidence with ICT in Design & Technology
  • To increase pupils' understanding of the technological world
  • To develop pupils' understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes

In each area we teach pupils to investigate and analyse their work so that they can produce end products to a very high standard.

Key Stage 3 Textiles

Year 7

The roll up bag project introduces pupils to key practical skills used within the discipline.  Working with sewing machines, as well as hand sewing skills, pupils develop a prototype of a roll up bag which could be used for paint brushes or as a pencil case.  Individual creativity is explored through the choice of fabric used and other decorative textiles techniques..

Year 8

Pupils build on their practical skills by using sewing machines to produce a small drawstring bag with a sustainable focus. The project challenges pupils to prepare their own paper sewing pattern by calculating the required dimensions, working with standard pattern markings and learning the construction processes used to make a functional textile product. In considering the environmental impact of their design, pupils are encouraged to minimise wastage in their making process and look for opportunities to recycle fabrics.

Year 9

The Design and Technology curriculum in Year 9 combines Textiles with Graphics. Pupils expand upon taught knowledge from Year 7 and 8 in a GCSE style iterative design challenge. Using creativity and imagination, pupils will design and make products that solve a real GCSE Design Context for a chosen user. Pupils are encouraged to work with independence to develop innovative products that are made using a variety of specialist techniques and processes.


Key Stage 3 Food Technology

Year 7

Food preparation is an important life skill that allows pupils to create and prepare nutritious meals to feed themselves and others; a set of skills to support a greater independence. Pupils are taught how to understand and apply nutrition and health principles in order to prepare healthful meals. Within the Food Technology room, pupils begin to learn about hygiene and safety. Pupils are also encouraged to become more conscious of other people's nutritional demands, as well as thinking about taste, texture, and fragrance to help adjust existing recipes. Throughout the course, pupils make a variety of sweet and savoury foods to improve their practical skills.

Year 8

Pupils build on their practical skills learnt in year 7 to adapt and prepare a variety of predominantly savoury dishes, allowing them to feed themselves and others as part of a healthy and varied diet. Pupils investigate macro and micronutrient functions, good sources of nutrients and nutrient decificenes. The emphasis is on practical skills allowing pupils to become even more proficient in a variety of realisation techniques, as well as the use of utensils and electrical equipment and the application of heat in various ways. Pupils expand upon taught knowledge from Year 7 with matters of health and safety standard; it  is the expectation that pupils will consider other people's dietary needs when developing and preparing their own dishes. Pupils are encouraged to become more reflective after their practical lessons allowing them to develop their analytical skills.

Year 9

Food Technology in Year 9 allows pupils to develop their knowledge and awareness of healthy eating and other people's dietary demands. Pupils gain a thorough understanding of the functionality and science underlying the ingredients they use. Pupils have the opportunity to create and produce their own sweet treat for the 'Winter Bake Off' during the winter term and to perform in a group work project in which they research, plan, test and make a major meal or dessert influenced by international cuisine.

Key Stage 3 Resistant Materials

Year 7

A trinket box project introduces the pupils to a manufacturing environment. It allows pupils to communicate their design thinking using annotated sketches and to make a product for a domestic context. They explore specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery, including computer-aided manufacture to realise a high-quality product for their chosen user.

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils build on their manufacturing and research skills from Year 7 in the construction of a Design Movement/Art Style inspired clock for a chosen user. Pupils use differing research and exploration techniques to identify a user and to generate 3D conceptual ideas. The project challenges pupils to develop a greater independence in the creation of a bespoke product. Traditional and modern manufacturing techniques and processes are available including the laser cutter and 3D printers.

Year 9

The Design and Technology curriculum in Year 9 combines Graphics and Resistant Materials into Product Design. Pupils expand upon taught knowledge from Year 7 and 8 in a GCSE style iterative design challenge. Using creativity and imagination, pupils will design and make products that solve a real GCSE Design Context for a chosen user. Pupils will create advanced innovative products that are made using a variety of modern processes and materials.

Key Stage 3 Graphics

Each pupil has access to a range of design software packages including the Adobe suite, Google SketchUp, TinkerCad and 2D Design Tools. We aim to build pupils’ skills to enable them to use the software with confidence and produce work of a high standard. The Graphics room is also equipped with drawing boards and, as part of the course, pupils will learn technical drawing skills.

Year 7

In Year 7, pupils are introduced to graphical communication through 2D and 3D drawing skills by designing a promotional keyring for a chosen charity/local organisation. Pupils develop both hand drawing skills and explore CAD and CAM. They will become familiar with the use of Adobe Illustrator and TinkerCad design progams as tools to develop their design ideas. Pupils will explore rapid prototyping using 3D primters to realise their ideas.

Year 8   

In Year 8 pupils build on their 2D and 3D design skills from Year 7. Pupils design and make a cookie cutter based on a theme of their choice. They use research to inspire their creations and investigate the needs of an end user. This product is accompanied by promotional packaging designed to provide detailed information on the product and others in the range. 

Year 9

The Design and Technology curriculum in Year 9 combines Graphics and Resistant Materials into Product Design. Pupils expand upon taught knowledge from Year 7 and 8 in a GCSE style iterative design challenge. Using creativity and imaginationk, pupils will design and make products that solve a real GCSE Design Context for a chosen user. Pupils will create advanced innovative products that are made using a variety of modern processes and materials. 


GCSE Design & Technology

OCR Specification for GCSE Design and Technology

Design and Technology prepares pupils to participate in today’s rapidly changing world of technology. This subject asks pupils to become creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. During the GCSE course, pupils take part in design and technology projects which are linked to their own interests and industrial practice. They develop a knowledge and understanding of specific materials, related techniques and manufacturing processes, in order to construct working prototypes and achieve functioning design solutions. The course content reflects the importance of Design & Technology as an integral part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) framework.

Pupils complete an Iterative Design Challenge, which makes up 50% of the GCSE. The challenge allows them to explore and identify real needs and contexts. Pupils create viable solutions and evaluate how well the needs have been addressed. ‘Explore, create, evaluate’ is a process that occurs repeatedly as design solutions are developed, continually improving the outcome and building clearer needs and better solutions. Ideas and prototypes are then developed into successful products in the future. Pupils’ work is collated in their own design portfolio which forms an integral part of the coursework.

Pupils develop their understanding of ICT to enhance their design portfolios, through:


  • Computer aided design (CAD) software
  • Control programs
  • ICT based sources for research
  • 3D modelling software (Google SketchUp)
  • Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) techniques, using a laser cutter and 3D printers

The other 50% of the GCSE is a written examination that covers the principles of Design and Technology. Pupils study important issues that affect design in the wider world such as sustainability, global issues and user-centred design. They learn about a range of materials and components that can be used to create products including smart materials that respond to changes in light, temperature or pressure.

Pupils gain skills relevant to a wide range of occupations, further and higher education and to their personal life; they develop decision-making skills, including the planning and organisation of time and resources when managing a project. They become independent and critical thinkers who can adapt technical knowledge and understanding to different design situations. They learn to be ambitious and open to explore and take design risks in order to stretch the development of design proposals; they also develop an awareness of the implications of cost, commercial viability and product marketing.

The study of Design and Technology can lead to careers in product design, engineering, architecture, fashion and graphic design. The subject develops creative and strategic thinking, while developing awareness of the opportunities that exist within the design community.

TWGGS offers courses in three areas of GCSE Design and Technology. It is important to note that, while the GCSE is always offered, not all three option choices necessarily have a sufficiently high uptake to run each year.

Pupils will use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of Design Contexts issued by the Examination Board. Pupils’ will consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values in the creation of products that support their chosen end user. Projects vary year on year.  A typical project could be focused on how good design could support and promote a healthy lifestyle. Graphics is taught in the Design and Technology block, which is equipped with a range of modern facilities. Each pupil has an A2 workstation, with a reversible desk unit and access to a suite of computers. Pupils learn how to produce two and three dimensional illustrations using 2D Design Tools, Google SketchUp and Photoshop. They will also learn how to rapidly prototype thoughts and ideas using the 3D printers and modern and smart materials.

Pupils develop their understanding and confidence when creating products with a range of textile materials and techniques. Pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of Design Contexts issued by the Examination Board. Pupils will consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values in the creation of products that support their chosen end user. A typical project could be travel or well-being related. These projects vary year on year.  Pupils work in the Design and Technology block, within a purpose built room which accommodates all of their needs. They have access to a variety of tools and equipment and a range of other facilities. The nature of the course encourages creative thinking.

Resistant Materials
Resistant Materials consists of a range of creative, imaginative and innovative experiences of designing and practical based activities.  Using a variety of Design Contexts issued by the Examination Board, pupils’ will consider their own and others’ needs, wants and values in the creation of bespoke products that support a chosen end user. An example could be how to promote healthy eating in an outdoor setting. These projects vary year on year allowing pupils to challenge themselves. Pupils are based in the workshop; this room is equipped with a laser cutter,  networked computers, a lathe, pillar drills, a vacuum former and a range of other facilities. Pupils also learn how to use specialist hand tools in addition to the more complex machines in order to develop a sense of enjoyment and pride in their ability to design and produce outcomes of high quality.

Written exam


Principles of Design and Technology

2 hour examination

100 marks

50% of GCSE


This component brings together the learners ‘core’ and ‘in-depth’ knowledge and understanding.


  • ‘Core’ knowledge of Design and Technology principles demonstrates learners’ broad understanding of principles that all learners should have across the subject.
  • ‘In-depth’ knowledge allows learners to focus more directly on at least one main material category, or design engineering.


The question paper is split into two sections. A minimum of 15% of the paper will assess learners’ mathematical skills as applied within a design and technology context.


Non-exam assessment


Iterative Design Challenge

100 marks

50% of GCSE


This component offers the opportunity for learners to demonstrate understanding of and skills in iterative designing, in particular:


  • the interrelated nature of the processes used to identify needs and requirements (explore)
  • creating solutions to meet those needs (create)
  • evaluating whether the needs have been met (evaluate).


As an outcome of their challenge, learners will produce a chronological portfolio and one final prototype(s). It is through the iterative processes of designing that learners draw on their wider knowledge and understanding of Design and Technology principles



A Level Design & Technology

Edexcel specification for A Level Design & Technology

Applying creativity to a problem, making a functional item to improve our lives in some way, is hugely rewarding. From the moment we wake up, we all rely on technology and design: our phone, toothbrush, the bus to school or the classroom - everything is designed. In this digital age, it is essential we prepare the next generation to take on these challenges. Using 3D Computer Aided Design and CNC Manufacturing Techniques (Laser Cam), pupils will be able to realise their design solutions.

With an A Level in Design Technology pupils will have many relevant skills to discuss at interviews and apply to relevant courses beyond TWGGS. The Design Technology A Level develops the ability to use creativity and imagination when applying design processes, modifying designs, and manufacturing prototypes that solve real world problems, considering others’ needs, aspirations and values. Pupils identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design ideas and make and test prototypes. They acquire subject knowledge in Design and Technology, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture.

During the course pupils develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of materials, components and the processes associated with product design, testing and evaluation. They also gain a critical understanding of the wider influences on Design and Technology, including cultural, economic, environmental, historical and social factors.

The course is taught in two components, as illustrated. Pupils undertake a written exam at the end of the two year course. Each pupil also produces a design portfolio illustrating the development of an idea to meet a specific design brief, leading to an architectural model or prototype. Their design portfolio will form an integral part of future interviews.

TWGGS pupils have gained university places studying a range of courses: architecture, civil engineering, product design, graphic design, interior design, mechanical engineering, textile design and foundation courses.

Component 1


Principles of Design and Technology Topics 1‐12

2 hours 30 minutes written examination
120 marks

50% of A Level


The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions, as well as extended writing questions.

  1. Materials
  2. Performance characteristics of materials
  3. Processes and techniques
  4. Digital technologies
  5. Factors influencing the development of products
  6. Effects of technological developments
  7. Potential hazards and risk assessment
  8. Features of manufacturing industries
  9. Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  10. Current legislation
  11. Information handling. Modelling and forward planning
  12. Further processes and techniques


Component 2


Non-examined assessment

120 marks

50% of A level


There are four parts to the assessment covering the identification of a design problem, developing the design, making the prototype and evaluating both the design and the final prototype


Pupils will produce a substantial design, make the product and evaluate the project, which consists of a portfolio and a prototype.


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