Design and Technology at Sir Thomas Rich's School


The Design & Technology Department at Sir Thomas Rich's School works hard to enable the pupils to:-

  • develop their own creativity, capability and entrepreneurial skills
  • apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to a range of technological activities
  • develop analytical, critical and collaborative skills

We are keen to ensure that the pupils enjoy their Design and Technology lessons and enthusiastically work to transfer our passion for our subject to the pupils in a stimulating and engaging way. The department has high expectations of pupils' work in all aspects, from designing through to the manufacturing of quality end products. We encourage awareness of technological developments and an appreciation of industry and the processes required to achieve success in these fields.

Our Aims:-

  • To encourage, stimulate and develop student interest, enjoyment, curiosity and concern about technological aspects of their lives, society and the environment;
  • To enable students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the knowledge, skills and processes, which will enable them to apply this expertise appropriately, in a wide range of situations.
  • To develop the relevant body of knowledge and skill, which they can then apply when conceiving, designing, producing and evaluating a range of technological products;
  • To enable students to perceive design and technology as a major cultural feature, including its link to the world of work;
  • To allow all students to have equal access to DT and to experience success and enjoyment in their work;
  • To develop an awareness in students of the impact of design and technology activities on society, the environment and the economy;
  • To support the development of desirable personal qualities such as safety awareness, politeness, perseverance, problem solving, concern for others, initiative, creativity, collaboration, team work and independence.
  • To encourage students to have vision, high expectations and determination.

Key Stage 3

The department consists of staff who teach in a 'roundabout' involving Years 7-9. Pupils are taught in self-contained modules, with assessment taking place at the end of each module.

In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils have two 40 minute lessons per week of Design & Technology. Each module is approximately a term in duration.

Modules completed in Years 7 - 9 include Resistant Materials, Systems and Control and Food Technology. In each module students work either individually or in groups designing, modelling and making to high standards.

Year 7 - The course begins with a review of primary school work and an introduction to Design and Technology at STRS. Each individual course then starts with an introduction to 'Health and Safety' issues. Topics include:

  • Resistant Materials - Health and Safety, workshop tools and equipment, the design process, introduction to wood, wood joints, 2D Design software.
  • Electronics - Basic circuits and the use of circuit boards, electrical components, circuit production and soldering.
  • Food technology - How do we work safely in the kitchen, practising basic kitchen skills and using flour, eggs and raising agents.
  • Year 8 - The students follow a very similar 'roundabout' to the one in Year 7. They study the three main areas again, but completely different topics, tasks and projects.
  • Resistant Materials - The properties of metals, working with metals, shaping and joining metals, Creo Parametric 2 software.
  • Systems and Control – A = studying and building structures – B = studying and using levers, linkages and mechanisms.
  • Food Technology – Eating well, balanced diets, sensory evaluation and seasonality.
  • Year 9 - Students continue in the roundabout system but in Year 9 students complete more complex projects to help prepare them for options and GCSE courses.
  • Resistant Materials - Students produce a 'Desk Tidy' in resistant materials (polymers/plastics), 2D Design and Creo Parametric software.
  • Electronics - Students produce a device using a capacitor and a darlington pair as a switching system.
  • Food Technology - Students look at the production of food using meat and fish.


At present, students are able to study GCSE Resistant Materials at key stage 4. The Edexcel Design and Technology [Resistant Materials Technology] course is a combination of coursework and examination work. Each year, pupils have produced a broad range of products and accompanying project folder work to a high standard, achieving excellent examination results.

In year 10 students undertake a range of mini projects to build their knowledge, skills and expertise in the subject. This experience with the knowledge they gain from theory lessons helps to prepare them for the end of year 10 exam and more importantly the demands of their GCSE project.

At the end of year 10 students are introduced to the major GCSE project. Students are given detailed guidelines to help them with their coursework project. This booklet, along with more detailed guidance on SharePoint, gives the student the structure and time plan to ensure that they complete their coursework projects successfully. Students choose a wide range of projects from within a broad range of suggested project topics. If students follow these guidelines the coursework is no more demanding than other subjects. The end of year 10 and the beginning of year 11 is dedicated to producing a top quality design folder, using the guidelines in the booklet, resources on SharePoint, advice from staff and information from the examination board. At the end of the autumn term, students plan and organise their practical work, which they begin around Christmas.

A Level

Many students continue to study Design and Technology in the sixth form. At present, we study the Edexcel Product Design course at AS & A2 levels. A wide and varied range of projects is studied by the students at both AS and A2 level. The quality of the work that the students produce and hence the examination results are invariably excellent.

A Level Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement for entry is a grade B in a closely related Design and Technology subject, such as Resistant Materials, Engineering or Product Design.

Life after A Level

This is an ideal course for those students intending to pursue a career in areas such as Engineering, Graphic Design, Product Design, Production Engineering, Interior Design, Materials Science, Architecture, Micro Electronics and Control Systems. We have many students who have progressed to the top universities in the country. This has led to them achieving rewarding and successful careers in their chosen field.