Design & Technology

The Design and Technology team is committed to making a difference by delivering creative, technical and practical expertise needed to complete everyday tasks confidently and to contribute successfully in an increasingly technological world. Our aim is for our students to learn how to manage and control risks, work safely with a variety of tools and materials and become resourceful, innovative and competent

At St Mary’s, we believe that creative learning opportunities in Design and Technology, together with innovative teaching methods, will inspire our pupils to challenge themselves and to gain in confidence. Students are encouraged to take an active role in their learning and become independent learners.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 to 9, students currently engage in a 36 week rotational course covering all material areas of Design and Technology. Lessons are 1hr 30 minutes a week and each project is planned to take between six and nine weeks. Students cover all material areas and follow the programmes of study set out by the national curriculum.


Year 7

  • USB (plastic)
  • Note holder (wood)
  • Coat hook (metal)
  • Organiser (textiles)
  • Food
Year 8

  • Gadget (electronics)
  • Clock (all materials)
  • Graphics
  • Puppet (textiles)
  • Food
Year 9

  • Structures (wood)
  • Metal-morphosis (metal)
  • Electronic pencil case (textiles)
  • Food
Key Stage 4


We offer three subjects within Design & Technology : GCSE Design & Technology, GCSE Food and BTEC Level 2 Construction and the Built Environment

 GCSE - Design and Technology (Edexcel):

·         Component 1 - Core – all pupils will explore the different areas of Design & Technology (EXCEPT FOOD) and then focus on one of the following specialist areas from Easter in Y10: 1. Electronics & Systems, 2. Graphics 3. Resistant Materials or 4. Textiles

·         Assessment: External Exam - 50% of total marks. The exam will consist of the following: Core 40% and chosen specialist area 60%

·         Component 2 – NEA (Non Examined Assessment). Students will produce a Design and Make project i.e. a folder and practical item in their chosen specialist area – 50% of total marks. The theme of the NEA is released by the exam board on the 1st June during Y10.

·         Exam Board: For further details please visit: Edexcel – GCSE Design & Technology

GCSE – Food Technology (AQA)
Exam paper: Contributes 50% towards GCSE:

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 100 marks

The exam consists of five core topics:

• Food, nutrition and health

• Food science

• Food safety

• Food choice

• Food provenance.


Questions are divided as follows:

• Multiple choice questions (20 marks)

• Five questions, each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)

NEA Assessment: Contributes 50% towards the GCSE.
Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)

Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)

Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

Pupils have a choice within each NEA task – A range of brief’s are available to choose from.

Exam Board: For further details please visit: AQA – GCSE Food Technology


BTEC Level 2 First Award in Construction & and the Built Environment (Pearson)

The Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Award is a 120 guided-learning-hour qualification (equivalent to one GCSE at A* to C). The Assessment grades for the qualification are Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction and Level 2 Distinction*.

Assessment of the qualification is 25 per cent externally assessed (exam); 75 per cent internally assessed (coursework). Pupils will study four units. For Unit 1 Pearson sets and marks an external examination; the remaining three units are internally assessed. Internal assessment enables learners to receive feedback on their progress throughout the course as they gather and provide evidence towards meeting the unit assessment criteria.

Delivery strategies aim to reflect the nature of work within the construction sector by encouraging pupils to experience and learn about the workplace, engaging with local employers wherever possible.

The core units are:

·         Unit 1: Construction Technology – this unit covers the different forms of construction that can be used for low-rise offices, retail units and homes. Pupils will develop an understanding of the structural performance required for low-rise construction, and explore how substructures and superstructures are constructed. This unit will be externally assessed via an examination.
·         Unit 2: Construction and Design– in this unit pupils will develop a broad understanding of the construction industry, the sort of projects it undertakes and the contribution it makes to wider society. Pupils will also look at how client needs can shape the design of a building, and develop their own design ideas to a given brief.

The mandatory unit is:

·         Unit 3: Scientific and Mathematical Applications for Construction – pupils will apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills to practical construction contexts. Pupils will develop an understanding of the scientific principles affecting the performance of construction materials and develop skills to perform mathematical calculations in construction contexts.

The specialist unit opted for is:

·         Unit 6: Exploring Carpentry and Joinery Principles and Techniques - in this unit pupils are introduced to the tools, materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) used by carpenters and joiners. Pupils will learn about the potential health and safety hazards in a carpentry and joinery work area, how to carry out a risk assessment, and what is safe working practice in the use of common tools and equipment. Pupils will also develop the knowledge, skills and techniques to determine and select appropriate materials to produce a timber frame to a given specification.
Progression opportunities

The Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Award in Construction and the Built Environment provides the skills, knowledge and understanding for level 2 learners to progress to:

● other level 2 vocational qualifications

● level 3 vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, specifically the Pearson BTEC Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment

· Level 3 (A’ Level) qualifications in the sixth form

● related academic qualifications

● employment within the construct ion industry


·         Exam Board: For further details please visit: Pearson: Level 2 First Award in Construction & and the Built Environment.



Key Stage 5
Students who opt to study A level Product Design build on knowledge, understanding and design/making skills gained at GCSE level.

A level - Design and Technology - Product Design (Edexcel)

 ·         Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology: Written examination (2 hours 30 minutes) and is 50% of the qualification. The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions, as well as

extended-writing questions focused on:

o    analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others

o    analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts

·         Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project (Non-examined assessment): This is 50% of the qualification and the assessment overview is as follows:

● The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated

● Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project which consists of a portfolio and a prototype

● The portfolio will contain approximately 40 sides of A3 paper (or electronic equivalent)

● There are four parts to the assessment:

o Part 1: Identifying and outlining possibilities for design - identification and investigation of a design possibility, investigation of client/end user needs, wants and values, research and production of a specification

o Part 2: Designing a prototype - design ideas, development of design idea, final design solution, review of

development and final design and communication of design ideas

o Part 3: Making a final prototype - design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy

o Part 4: Evaluating own design and prototype - testing and evaluation

 ·         Exam Board: For further details please visit: Edexcel – A Level Design & Technology - Product Design


For further information about the Design and Technology curriculum please contact:

Mr C Foletti- GCSE Design & Technology and A level Product Design

Miss G Clarke- GCSE Food Technology

Mrs A Wells-BTEC  Level 2 First Award in Construction & the Build Enviornment