Design and Technology

Design and Technology

Department Information

Year 7

In Year 7 students follow a rotation through Design and Technology: Materials, Design and Technology: Textiles and Food Preparation and Nutrition.  

Food Preparation and Nutrition introduces the students to a wide range of fresh ingredients, cooking skills and techniques. They will focus on safety and hygiene when preparing a variety of dishes.   

The study of Design and Technology: Materials enables students to mix technological knowledge and practical skills with creativity to design products for human needs.  They should develop lively, enquiring minds, the ability to question and argue rationally and to apply themselves to tasks and physical skills, both on their own and in groups.  Students will learn about current technologies whilst also thinking about the impact that future developments will have on our lives.  Design and Technology: Materials allows all learners to work in an exciting environment and on a range of design projects.  

Design and Technology: Textiles enables the students to extend their technical knowledge and practical skills to a Textiles specialism, learning how to use the sewing machines safely, create surface embellishment, applique and embroidery. 

Year 8

In Year 8 students have the opportunity to choose between Design and Technology: Materials and Design and Technology: Textiles.  

Students in Deign and Technology: Materials will embed and improve their existing skills through the use of design and make activities using a variety of material types and process including the use of CAD and CAM to enhance their knowledge and skill base in preparation for the pre-GCSE option in year 9. 

Students in Design and Technology: Textiles will improve their existing skills through practical activities using a variety of different textiles and processes. Students will experiment with techniques during a “Deconstruct Reconstruct” project which will allow them to take apart and remake garments and develop their practical skills and knowledge in preparation for the pre-GCSE.

Year 9

In Year 9, students have the opportunity to select Design and Technology: Materials or Design and Technology: Textiles as a pre-GCSE option. They will be developing practical and theoretical skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the requirements of the GCSE. 

They will be progressing to higher level making skills and developing knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes. They will need to understand the properties of materials to select and manufacture high quality products that are commercially viable. The curriculum is delivered through a mix of theory with practical sessions to embed the content covered. All projects develop skills for studying this subject at GCSE level.  Students are given the opportunity to work with industrial standard equipment including CAD / CAM to develop independent practical skills. 

Design and Technology: Materials begins the year with a “Technical Challenge”, assessing how closely the students can work to a tolerance to build a USB night light. Later in the year the students complete several skills based projects, preparing them for a practice Non-Exam Assessment project.  

Design and Technology: Textiles follows a similar format, building on skills from KS3, adding more complex techniques and construction to prepare students for the GCSE. Students complete projects based on contextual challenges, looking closely at smart, modern and technical textiles to push the boundaries of design. 

Year 10 / Year 11

GCSE Design and Technology encourages students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials such as paper and card, plastics, textiles, electronics, timber based materials, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Students also develop a variety of techniques for working with these materials. The students are assessed by an exam (50%) and a design and make task (50%). This qualification is a two-year course and is offered through the AQA Examination board.  

Students for both specialisms will learn about all material groups; paper and card, timber based materials, polymers, metals and alloys and textiles, and then specialise in either Materials (timber and polymers) or Textiles for the practical element of the course. 

For Design and Technology: Materials, in Year 10 students focus on a mix of theory lessons and Non-Exam Assessment preparation lessons. Students will cover most of the content for their exam and focus on developing skills for their coursework. Students will complete a practice Non-Exam Assessment project based on a contextual challenge, in preparation for their real project. Students start their real project after the June half term, aiming to complete their projects at Christmas of Year 11. This allows the students to focus on revision from Christmas to the exam.  

Design and Technology: Textiles follows a similar pattern to the Materials specialism, allowing the students to cover most of the theory in Year 10 so that they can focus on Non-Exam Assessment and revision in Year 11.  

The examination specification for this course can be accessed on the AQA website at

Departmental Staff

Miss A Clifford – [email protected]

Miss J Eden – [email protected]

The Brayton Academy