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Design and Technology

Design and Technology Subjects


The Technology department offers a range of interesting and challenging GCSE courses.  Technology is seen as an important part of the curriculum and all the courses on offer are approved and supported by the government, industrialists, educationalists etc.


Design and Technology develops in pupils a variety of personal, social and academic skills.  All courses have at their centre problem-solving activities.  Pupils are asked to identify areas of need before investigating, analysing and proposing possible solutions.  The best solution is then realised in a practical way.


Pupils are encouraged and helped to find problems that are relevant and meaningful to them personally.  In this way they can often bring their own interests and hobbies into the classroom.
All courses are suitable for both male and female pupils.


Assessment Terminal examination accounts for 40% of the marks.  Coursework is worth 60%.  As 60% of the marks are available through project-work, pupils who are prepared to work hard and follow staff advice will always do well.


GCSE Home Economics – Child Development (OCR)

The Child Development GCSE introduces the pupils to new areas of study.  The specification encourages pupils to develop an understanding of the overall needs of young children under 5 years including, the social and environmental influences that affect their development in our contemporary, multicultural society.
The specification covers the following areas:


  • Family Structures in the UK
  • Parenthood and Pregnancy
  • Physical Development
  • Nutrition & Health
  • Intellectual, Social and Emotional Development
  • Community Support


GCSE Electronic Products (AQA)

Electronics can be found in all areas of our modern life: work, the home, recreation, etc.
The subject content of this course is intended to provide candidates with a knowledge and understanding of electronics and materials which, when linked with relevant designing and making skills, will allow them to design and construct electronic products in response to appropriate design briefs.


Activities will be varied and include those which give pupils an appreciation of industrial practices, control systems and the disassembly, investigation and evaluation of commercially produced electronic products.  Computer Aided Design will be used where appropriate.

While most of the content is based around electronics, it is expected that pupils will develop sufficient depth of knowledge of a range of casing materials and construction processes to allow them to make informed choice during the development of their electronic product.


The coursework project provides candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to integrate their knowledge, design skills and making expertise to produce electronic products of quality which satisfy a specific need or function.


This course is conceptually challenging and some pupils find it very hard.  Pupils with skills in Mathematics and Science will find it more accessible.


GCSE Food Technology (OCR)

This is an interesting and varied course in which pupils can enjoy preparing food products, tasting and evaluating a wide variety of foods.


The course includes:-

  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Development of Processes and Skills
  • Industrial Producing
  • Health & Safety
  • Sustainable Design


All pupils will have the opportunity to be entered for the Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene in Yr 10.  This is a useful in the application for part-time work.


GCSE Graphic Products (AQA)

This is an interesting and challenging subject which well-motivated pupils thoroughly enjoy.
Candidates for this examination will be required to take:-

  • a single written/design paper
  • produce a design project which consists of a design folio and a practical piece.


In the early part of the course, the pupils acquire various graphic skills which they can incorporate into their project.  These include:-

  • sketching – freehand drawing techniques
  • pictorial drawing – perspective and isometric
  • working drawing – orthographic drawing
  • presentation skills
  • rendering/texture/marker pens/air brush
  • computer graphics
  • use of colour
  • packaging – nets/vacuum forming etc


The project carries the majority of marks in the examination (60%) and gives pupils who are prepared to work hard the opportunity of doing well.  Pupils can choose their own project (with guidance from their teacher).  A typical project could be – Design and make a board game.  The candidate would be required to work through the design process producing a folio of ideas leading up to a final solution.  He/she would then make a prototype of their final design.  During this part of the course candidates will also study how graphic products are produced in industry.


GCSE Resistant Materials Technology (AQA)

This is a course that enables pupils to develop their knowledge and expertise of a range of materials both modern and traditional.  The main materials studied are wood, metal and plastics, but other materials such as textiles, ceramics and glass are not excluded.


Pupils will also study a range of related and supporting concepts such as various graphic techniques, Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture.   Structures and mechanical systems.  In addition, pupils will also undertake activities in which they investigate, disassemble and evaluate familiar products and applications.  Pupils will undertake assignments in which they design and make products and which include activities related to industrial practices and the application of systems and control.


The Coursework project provides pupils with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate their knowledge, designing and making skills, and to produce outcomes of quality which satisfy a specific need or function.  Most pupils particularly enjoy this aspect of the course and produce items that provide many years of usefulness.


BTEC First Certificate in Construction (EDEXCEL)

This course is suitable for students who are interested in construction and the built environment around them.  BTEC qualifications are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications, developing the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to prepare learners for future employment.

The BTEC First Certificate is a double award qualification, equivalent to 2 GCSE’s at grades A* – C.  In addition to this, there is potential for students to complete extra units (time allowing) to achieve the BTEC First Diploma, equivalent to 4 GCSE’s at grades A* – C.


The two core units which students will study are
Unit 1: Construction Industry (including Sustainability)
Unit 2:  Health, Safety and Welfare.


For the third unit students will study Unit 7: Exploring Carpentry and Joinery, which will be the practical aspect of the course.  All units have equal weighting.


Assessment for the qualification is 100% coursework with no exams.  Students must adhere to a high level of health and safety when in the workshop, or on site visits.  Personal protective equipment may need to be worn at specific times throughout the course.


Progression routes following this course include A levels; further education vocational qualifications such as BTEC Nationals in Construction, Civil Engineering or Building Services Engineering: and NVQ’s in wide range of trades, studied either in full time education or through apprenticeships.


GCSE Textile Technology (OCR)

The GCSE Textiles course offers many opportunities for those who enjoy being creative with textile materials.  Students will experience a wide variety of design and make tasks and there will be a good deal of ‘hands on’ construction of textile products.


The course includes:

  • Taking a close look at fibres/fabrics
  • Safe use of tools/machinery
  • Modern technical textiles/sustainable textiles
  • Developing graphic skills/fashion drawing
  • Product planning
  • Mass productions systems
  • Developing your practical skills


A Level Resistant Materials

This Course Promotes:

  • Enjoyment of design and made activities
  • Innovation response to design challenges
  • Awareness of design thinking and technological concepts
  • Understanding and hands of experience of materials
  • Involving students’ interests
  • Understanding the social implications of design and technology
  • Use of students’ perception sensitivity and aesthetic judgment

Students require at least a GCSE grade B in Design and Technology related course with, C or above in Maths and English


Prospects & Careers

  • Entry qualification for most university courses
  • Designing
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Many other related careers


A Level Textiles

This is a popular course focused on Textiles.  It encourages creativity, innovation and independent thinking and there is plenty of opportunity for students to design, make and evaluate.  Students will study fibres and fabrics, construction techniques and methods of decoration/dyeing.  They will use their knowledge of this to develop exciting designs in any of the many areas of Textiles.


Assessment in Year 12 is by a Product Analysis study coursework folder and an Advanced Innovation Challenge, which is carried out under controlled conditions.  In Year 13 students design and make a product of their own choice and then sit an examination which combines a material question with design task.


Students will require at least a grade B or above in Design and Technology related course.  GCSE Art is an advantage, but they must have a willingness to work and an interest in fabrics and design.


This course will provide a suitable foundation for studying any Design, Creative or Textile based course or Career in Interior Design, Consumer Management, Teaching, Textile Science. It will by nature enable students to show their capability of organising and managing their own coursework in preparation for further education and gives opportunity to develop their creative flair.

St Mary's Catholic High School, Newbold Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8AG

St Marys Catholic High School Academy Trust is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with Company Number 8107212 and has a registered office at Newbold Road, Upper Newbold, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 8AG.

St Mary's Catholic High School