Curriculum - Design Technology

RRSA Link – Articles 1, 2, 13, 29, 31

Article 29. Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

A high quality design and technology (DT) curriculum should enable a proficient delivery of a rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils will be able to design and make a wide range of products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils will learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

The department’s aim is to be able to engage all learners in a wide range of technological disciplines at KS3 covering Textiles, Graphic Design, Resistant Materials and Food and Nutrition. This will provide the necessary tools and knowledge for a further exploration of Design and Technology at KS4, offering students access to a choice of Graphics, Textiles, GCSE Design Technology and/or Food Preparation and Nutrition. This provides all learners with opportunities to work in a range of domestic and local (such as home, health, leisure, and culture), and industrial contexts (engineering, manufacturing, construction, food, energy, agriculture (including horticulture) and fashion.)

The design and technology curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils explore a coherent three step process of ‘Design, Make, Evaluate.’ This will provide the structure of all DT disciplines across KS3 and KS4. The curriculum will be differentiated to the needs of different students and student groups to ensure that all students make good or outstanding progress regardless of starting point.

When designing and making, pupils will be taught to:


  • use research and exploration, such as the study of different cultures, to identify and understand user needs
  • identify and solve their own design problems and understand how to reformulate problems given to them
  • develop specifications to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that respond to needs in a variety of situations
  • use a variety of approaches [for example, biomimicry and user-centred design], to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
  • develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools


  • select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture
  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties


  • analyse the work of past and present professionals and others to develop and broaden their understanding
  • investigate new and emerging technologies
  • test, evaluate and refine their ideas and products against a specification, taking into account the views of intended users and other interested groups
  • understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists

Cooking and Nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Across both key stages, our DT curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. It is our aim to create a comprehensive curriculum that promotes safety, passion, creativity and discipline within the kitchen, as well as important social factors such as food source ability, ethical eating and the development of national cuisines.

  • Long term planning is in place for all courses. Schemes of learning and curriculum maps have been designed to contain specific detail on the design, make, evaluation process unique to each discipline as well as supporting technical knowledge.
  • Schemes of learning encourage progression with a view to exceeding national standards;
  • There is consistency in terms of curriculum delivery across curriculum area;
  • Appropriate awarding bodies and courses are selected so that they best meet the learning needs of our students;
  • Varied methods of assessment are regular and purposeful, consistent across all disciplines at KS3 and more subject specific at KS4;
  • There is a consistent approach towards assessment; By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
  • Assessment is moderated effectively to ensure accuracy and reliability of data;
  • Appropriate members of MLT and SLT are well informed of proposed changes to curriculum delivery or content;
  • All relevant information/data is shared with subject staff. This includes meeting deadlines related to exam entries, data entry on reports etc.
  • Student performance data is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any necessary changes in terms of curriculum delivery are planned and carried out in a timely fashion;
  • Best practice is shared with other colleagues in terms of curriculum design and delivery;
  • Staff CPD is continuous and purposeful with focus on subject specific knowledge to aid a fluid and expansive curriculum.

Teaching staff will:

  • Ensure the curriculum is implemented in accordance with this Curriculum Area policy;
  • Plan and deliver engaging lessons that cater to the needs of all learners;
  • Show effective implementation of the accelerated learning cycle in all areas of lesson planning;
  • Keep up to date with developments in their subject areas;
  • Have access to, and be able to interpret data on each student to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of students;
  • Contribute to departmental evaluation and development of the curriculum for each subject;
  • Participate in high quality professional development, working with colleagues, subject networks and external contacts to develop their technical knowledge and skills as well as understanding the learning needs of their students and how best to plan a curriculum to address those needs and engage them;
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to provide an appropriate range of curriculum opportunities.

Students will:

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook
  • Have their individual needs addressed, both within the school and extending beyond the school through a curriculum which offers breadth, support and challenge;
  • Be given additional individualised support with their learning if they are not making expected levels of progress;
  • Receive co-ordinated support to enable them to make the appropriate curriculum choices.

The Design and Technology curriculum will:

  • Lead to qualifications that are of worth to employers and for entry to higher level education;
  • Fulfil statutory requirements;
  • Enable students to fulfil their potential, meeting the needs of students of all abilities;
  • Provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines and requirements;
  • Help students develop technical skill in all areas, including critical, verbal and written analysis
  • Ensure continuity and progression within the school and between phases of education, increasing students’ choices during their time at school;
  • Help students, where appropriate, develop numeracy and literacy skills which can be applied across the curriculum;
  • Ensure that students' social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding is at the heart of the school's work in promoting fundamental British values and addressing prejudice and extremism by building resilience, confidence and a sense of belonging.
  • Make clear links to RRSA.

The Curriculum Leader will produce a report on:

  • The standards reached in their subject(s) compared with national and local benchmarks and any changes to the curriculum as a result;
  • The standards achieved at the end of each year, taking into account any important variations between groups of students, subjects, courses and trends over time, compared with national and local benchmarks and any changes to the curriculum as a result;

The Curriculum Leader and their SLT line manager will review this policy at least once a year and assess its implementation and effectiveness.


  • Year 3/4/5 – G&T or targeted sessions/workshops specifically designed for each year group in Summer term – Developing and refining art skills such as drawing in pencil/pen, printing or collage
  • Year 6 Induction day – Experience your first Art or Tech lesson

Year 7 Art

  • Landmark assessment (observational drawing)
  • Develop drawing skills – Shading, tone, mark making, form, texture
  • Landscape Art
  • Analyse artists such as Van Gogh – How does he make his work? C.A.M.O (Context, Approach, Materials, Opinion) – historical context
  • Experiment with mixed media (pen, pencil, chalk, charcoal, inks paint) Monochromatic colour ways – refine, develop and present your own landscape mixed media piece!
  • Food Project – Drawing and using colour
  • Macro images of food – sweets/cakes/fruit – Photography workshops (macro photography. Manual focus)
  • Draw from photos developing and refining drawing skills
  • Begin to use watercolour paints – Developing gradient and tone to create realistic paintings of Food

DT – Graphics/Woodwork/Textiles/Food Tech – you will do all of these in 10 week rotations throughout the year, fulfilling a design brief in each subject:-

Skills include:

Graphics - Drawing, lettering, colour theory, logo design, printing – Creating own logo or brand working to a design specification

Woodwork – Researching different materials, measuring and sawing wood, using drills and tools - Constructing a wooden catapult – Completing product analysis and market research using ACCESS FM (Aesthetics, Cost, Customer, Environment, Size, Safety, Function, Materials)

Textiles - sewing, dying, embroidery, embellishments – Studying African masks and printing techniques to create own fabric final piece

Food tech – Working safely in the kitchen, how to create a balanced diet, 7 components of a balanced diet (EatWell guide), basic cooking techniques – mise en place, knife skills, cleanliness while working, understanding sensory tests for professional evaluation of meals. Learn the background of where Pizza comes from – Historical and Geographical context

You will make – Fruit salad, Scones, Fruit Crumble, Pizza!


Year 8 Art

  • Landmark assessment (observational drawing)
  • Abstract art/Abstract Expressionism
  • Develop an understanding and analyse and study the works of Wassily Kandinsky using CAMO (Historical, geographical and political contexts)
  • Colour theory – Understanding the colour wheel
  • Watercolour development – Blending, gradient, flat colour, experimentation
  • Geometric shapes, composition, colour balance
  • Refine and develop own abstract expressionist paintings
  • Present final piece
  • Cubism
  • Contextualise and analyse the work of Pablo Picasso using CAMO ((Historical, geographical and political contexts)
  • Refine observational drawing creating a still life image using pencil, tone, shading, perspective and proportions
  • Develop understanding of ‘flat perspective’ – refine drawings by flattening the perspective in the Cubist style
  • Develop colour theory knowledge – monochromatic colour palettes – painting in hues and tints
  • Present final painting of Cubist style still life

Art club(s) & Extra-curricular – work on independent project, developing and refining key drawing and painting skills. + Annual art competitions with external agencies such as the Royal Academy Summer Show (All years) and Aspex Youth Platform/Workshops, Exhibitions (change yearly)

House competitions – Christmas card design (All Years)

DT Club(s) & Extra-curricular – BAE Roadshow, UTC STEM Taster day (Years 7 & 8), Bake club, Engineering club

Year 8 – Time to take your options! Choose between:

Fine Art, Art Graphics, Art Textiles

Food Preparation and Nutrition, Resistant Materials

Year 9 – Foundation Year – (Year 10 working on Component 1 [sustained projects] until Component 2 [NEA] in year 11)

Art textiles (60% Coursework, 40% Exam Module)

  • One sustained project inspired by Indian Textiles
  • Develop, refine, record ideas based around the historical and cultural research into Indian Textiles, fashions and artistic inspirations
  • Refine drawing and design skills using pencil, lino/block/potato printing, watercolour, oil pastel, wax resist
  • Study Mandalas – where do they come from and what do they mean? Religious context
  • Design own mandalas based on nature, repetition and symmetry
  • Develop textiles skills in sewing, embellishments (decoration), tie dye, marble dye, hand dye, batik (wax) and embroidery
  • Design and produce your own block prints – creating a final outcome of your choosing that demonstrates all of the skills and knowledge you have developed

Art Graphics (60% Coursework, 40% Exam Module)

  • Become a Graphic Designer by working to fulfil a design brief
  • Work in a range of media such as drawing, lino printing, mono printing, etching, painting, photography and photoshop
  • Illustrate, design and create, looking at advertising, media, publishing, brand-design, logos and more!

Fine Art (60% Coursework, 40% Exam Module)

  • Develop and refine your drawing skills utilising pencil, pen and a wide variety of other media to create detailed drawings of tribal masks
  • Begin with researching and understanding African tribal masks – what are they for? Who used them?
  • Research masks of another culture of your choice (Japanese, Mexican, Native American or African)
  • Develop your portraiture skills, learning the proportions of the face and experiment with drawing facial features and expressions – developing your own portraits in your own unique Mask, suiting your personality and identity!

Extra-curricular – Art intervention and catch up sessions, artist-led workshops, gallery visits, plus competitions

Resistant Materials

  • Develop core knowledge of materials and processes
  • Learn all about polymers, metals, timbers and textiles – how to use them and what for
  • Look at target markets and market research – how to design your product for a specific customer
  • Use workshop machinery and sustainable materials to build and make your product

Food Preparation and Nutrition (50% Coursework and Theory, 50% Practical)

  • ‘Cuisines around the world’ Looking at different food and cuisines from a selection of different countries
  • Understand sourcability and sustainability of food products
  • Flavours and textures- what makes a balanced palate?
  • Nutrition and health – what makes a balanced, healthy diet?
  • Food science – experiment with different elements of cooking, writing your hypotheses and results, as well as evaluation your own and your peers’ cooking!

Extra-curricular – Southsea Food Festival, Network with BoxxFresh, Apprenticeships with local restaurants, Culinary school visits


60% Component 1 (Portfolio including one sustained project) 40% Component 2 (Externally set assignment spread over 15 weeks culminating in a 2 day, 10 hour exam)

Year 10 – 11 Fine Art, Textiles and Graphics

  • ‘Identity’ project
  • What does Identity mean? How does it differ for different people?
  • Within your subject area, refine and develop the skills you have acquired from foundation to demonstrate an understanding of visual language surrounding the theme of ‘Identity’
  • Externally set assignment – January year 11 – 7 ‘Starting points’ to choose from, differing each year. Spend 15 weeks building a body of work covering all of the assessment objectives based around your chosen starting point.
  • 2 day exam working on a final outcome/response

Year 10/11 Resistant Materials

  • 50% coursework, 50% NEA
  • Develop confidence and knowledge of a wide range of complex materials and processes
  • Become and engineer and design, make and build/construct a wide range of outcomes
  • Use various types of hard and soft woods, metals, polymers and textiles, working to fit a design brief

Year 10/11 Food preparation and nutrition

  • What are the 7 Components of a healthy diet?
  • What are calories, why do we need them?
  • Develop practical skills within the kitchen – low, middle and high end skill basis (knife skills, food preparation, butchering, baking, filleting, patisserie)
  • Scientific elements – experiment with yeast, enzymic browning, starch, fibre
  • How to create detailed meal plans to suit various dietary requirements
  • 3 hour practical exam – cooking 3 meals with a specific focus (NEA)