Design and Technology at Sir Thomas Rich's

Design and Technology: Using creativity and practical skills students solve real, relevant problems.

Design and Technology allows students to use creative thinking and problem solving skills in real-life settings and situations. Students learn important knowledge about modern materials, manufacturing, designing and evaluating products, as well as skills in modelling and manufacturing high quality products in each discipline using traditional and modern methods, or specialising at KS4 and KS5.


Head of Department:

Key Stage 3 - Years 7, 8 & 9

Teaching Arrangements: Years 7-9 are taught for two periods per week as a double lesson.
Homework Guidance: One piece of homework a week, 30mins.
Assessment Arrangements: Three assessed pieces of work per half term. These can include practical tasks, classroom based tasks or homework.
Topics Covered:
Year 7
  • Food: Health and safety in the kitchen and cooking skills
  • Resistant Materials: Wood work and CAD CAM
  • Systems and Control: Alarm systems
Year 8
  • Food: healthy eating
  • Resistant Materials: Metal work, Ergonomics and CAD CAM
  • Systems and Control
Year 9
  • Food: The Eat Well plate
  • Resistant Materials: Designing and making a high quality product
  • Systems and Control

KS3 gives us the chance to build on the creative design skills in 3 discipline areas, teaching students to think independently about real life problems and how they can use design and technology to overcome them. Students get the opportunity to learn and develop practical skills in the areas of Food Technology, Resistant Materials, and Systems and Control (Electronics, as well as CAD/CAM skills and modelling).

Teaching Arrangements: 4 periods a week, usually as two single and one double lesson.
Homework Guidance: 2 pieces a week: One theory homework, one based on consolidating practical/design based knowledge.
Assessment Arrangements: 50% Coursework (Non-Examination Assessment: undertaken throughout Y11 in class. One A3 folder of design work approx. 25 pages. One final fully working product). 50% Exam at the end of the year.
Exam Specification: GCSE Design and Technology: Edexcel Topics Covered:
Year 10
  • Focus on Core materials: Woods, metals, plastics, paper and board, textiles, and electronics
  • Student specialises in Wood work, carrying out FPT using different woods
  • Develop practical skills in metals, plastics and CAD/CAM
Year 11
  • NEA project: students design and make a full working prototype of a product.

The GCSE in Design and Technology enables students to understand and apply iterative design processes through which they explore, create and evaluate a range of outcomes. The qualification enables students to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes (together with evidence of modelling to develop and prove product concept and function) that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. It gives students opportunities to apply knowledge from other disciplines, including mathematics, science, art and design, computing and the humanities.

Students will acquire subject knowledge in design and technology that builds on Key Stage 3, incorporating knowledge and understanding of different materials and manufacturing processes in order to design and make, with confidence, prototypes in response to issues, needs, problems and opportunities. Students learn how to take design risks, helping them to become resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens. They should develop an awareness of practices from the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. Through the critique of the outcomes of design and technology activity, both historic and present day, students should develop an understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world and understand that high-quality design and technology is important to the creativity, culture, sustainability, wealth and wellbeing of the nation and the global community.

Entry Requirements: GCSE Design and Technology Grade B or higher
Teaching Arrangements: 6 periods a week, some doubles
Homework Guidance: One theory piece a week, one design or practical based.
Assessment Arrangements: 50% Coursework (Non-Examination Assessment completed in Y13). 50% Examination (2 Exams 25% each completed at the end of Y13)
Exam Specification: AQA A-level Design and Technology: Product Design Topics Covered:
Year 12
  • Core design skills
  • Materials and applications: Woods, metals, plastics, paper and board, composite, smart, modern.
  • Manufacturing methods using those materials
  • Digital Design and Manufacture
  • Enhancement of materials
  • Modern, industrial and commercial practice
  • Requirements for product design and development
  • Health and safety
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Sustainability in design
  • Marketing in the development of products
  • Design methods and the history of design
Year 13
  • NEA: A3 folder of design work and a final working prototype of the product.

This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers in the creative or engineering industries. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • Product Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Graphic Design
Careers that Design and Technology may lead onto:
  • Product Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Graphic Design

“Design has taught me many new skills, both practical and in the design process. It has allowed me to express my creativity as well as improve my written communication skills. Design is a good complement to other subjects both creative and academic. It has given me a good grounding for my chosen subject of Interior Architecture.”
Nadia Smith – Year 13 2016
“I enjoy the fact that design is very practical based and differs from the other, more academic, subjects that I study. Since the beginning of the course I have had the opportunity to use a wide range of machinery in the manufacturing project, many of which are new to me. Design is definitely a challenging subject but seeing the progress of your product is very rewarding.”
Gabriella Hill - Year 12 2016
“Design is a subject that offers a lot of freedom to design and manufacture your own personalised projects. An excellent opportunity for those who wish to express their creativity in a technical environment and to utilise the wide range of machinery and equipment available in the school workshop. Developing practical skills in this way strongly compliments the more theoretical, maths based, skills gained through other subjects. This is a strong advantage for anyone interested in engineering or other related disciplines.”
Will Hopes – Year 12 2016

Associated Clubs / Societies / Trips:
  • Arkwright Scholarships: Y11 students have the opportunity to apply for a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship in Engineering or Design.
  • Rotary Technology competition: Year 10 students have the opportunity to compete against other schools in a design and technology one-day competition