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 and Graphics 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 piece of jewellery or creating a packaging design in Graphics. 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 to another brief, and encourage visiting speakers to offer design-related career advice.

At Key Stage 3, the aims and objectives are:

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

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

The Textiles lessons are taught in a purpose built room with a sewing machine for each student. Pupils use a variety of materials to design and make products. They work out their ideas with precision, taking into account how products will be used and the target audience.

Year 7

Introduction to the sewing machines and Textiles. Pupils construct an electronics monster which is promoted in Graphics lessons. They work to create a character that contains a small electronic circuit which enables the monster’s eye to light up.

Year 8

Pupils explore sustainability through recycling by making an iPad case from donated fabrics.

Year 9

Pupils create a well-being cushion using the skills learnt in Graphics. They then use various textile skills including sublimation printing and embroidery to decorate, before constructing the final cushion.


Key Stage 3 Food Technology

Year 7

Pupils learn about hygiene and safety, healthy eating, the functions of ingredients and where our food comes from. This knowledge and understanding is used to design and make dishes that meet the needs of different target markets. A range of practical items are made throughout the year which develops the pupils’ knowledge of equipment and processes.

Year 8

Pupils explore the functions, good sources and deficiencies of macro and micro nutrients. There is a strong focus on practical skills, and pupils are encouraged to make challenging dishes using new equipment and processes. An independent learning project is undertaken where pupils discover food seasonality, Fairtrade and organic produce. Evaluation takes place throughout allowing pupils’ analytical skills to develop.

Year 9

Pupils learn extensively about the functions of ingredients. The ‘Christmas Bake Off’ takes place in the winter term where pupils design and make their own Christmas sweet treat. Lastly, a group work project is carried out where pupils research, design, test and make a main meal or dessert based on food from around the world.

Key Stage 3 Resistant Materials

Year 7

A key fob project introduces the pupils to the design process in which their ideas are developed in a program called 2D Design. This is a CAD (computer aided design) drawing software package that enables their designs to be cut out on a laser cutter from acrylic sheet.

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils build on their skills during a jewellery project, undertaking research into existing products, materials and styles. They generate hand drawn design ideas from their research, then further develop the use 2D Design Tools to prepare CAD drawings of moulds into which they cast pewter. Their focus is on producing a high quality finished product, as well as on the theory of metals and processes.

Year 9

Pupils design and build a phone charger stand with the option of using woods and plastics in a particular design style. They can use both hand tools and CAD/CAM to manufacture the finished product. In Year 9 Graphics is taught within the Resistant Materials and Textiles projects.


Key Stage 3 Graphics

Each pupil has access to a range of software packages including the Adobe suite, Google SketchUp 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

Introduction to Photoshop. Promoting a brand and designing a leaflet for the electronic monster project, which takes place in Textiles.


Year 8

Packaging design with Illustrator and Photoshop. Working with the Design Museum, design and make a package / disposable lunchbox to demonstrate a career path in the world of design.

Year 9

Graphics is combined with RM and Textiles. The pupils will utilise the laser cutter and sublimation printer. All design work will be created using a variety of graphics programmes.


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

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 be required to explore many design issues relating to advertising, packaging design, promotional work, illustration and visual communication. A typical project could be focused on promoting a new restaurant, designing menus, posters, fliers, and additional stationery. 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.

Pupils develop their understanding and confidence when creating products with a range of materials. A typical project could be focused on designing a textile item based on research into a culture of their choice or designing an item for a teenager. 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 sewing machines, over-lockers, sublimation printing techniques and a range of other facilities. The nature of the course encourages creative thinking.

Resistant Materials
Pupils are asked to create design ideas to meet a need; they then progress to making the item from wood, plastic or metal. For example, a typical project could be focused on jewellery or furniture design. Pupils are based in the workshop; this room is equipped with a laser cutter, computer numerically-controlled milling machines, networked computers, a lathe, pillar drills, a vacuum former and a range of other facilities. Pupils also learn how to use hand tools in addition to the more complex machines, in order that they 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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