Design Technology

Introduction to studying design technology

Design and technology at Maiden Erlegh school is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, our pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Students enjoy the design and making nature of the course.




What career can studying design and technology lead on to?

There is a range of vocational qualifications (such as BTECs, NVQ/SVQs, and diplomas) linked to an interest in design technology, such as:

  • Graphic design
  • Fashion styling
  • Art and design
  • Media
  • Engineering
  • Photography
  • Construction and building services
  • Motor vehicle – technology and repair

Year 7 (Foundation, KS3)

Students either do food or DT for half the year and then swap.

  • Term 1  This unit is about developing students’ product design skills through making a woods, metals and plastics with differentiated joints. This will include: Material properties- wood, plastic and metal, types of tree and where wood comes from (deciduous and coniferous), ferrous and non-ferrous and alloys, tools and equipment, accuracy and precision, marking out and measuring and art movements- De Stijl and Pop Art.
  • Term 2  All students will be given opportunity to use woods, metals and plastics. Students will get their first chance to work in a workshop with machines and tools. This will include: Practical activity, CAD and CAM and laser cutting, how to save correctly and how to document the practical with a diary of make.
  • Term 3  Students will be encouraged to use inspiration and product analysis to help with designing. This will include: Evaluation skills, sustainability, 6 Rs and history of production techniques and construction.

Year 8 (Foundation, KS3)

Students either do food or DT for half the year and then swap.

  • Term 1  This unit is about developing students’ product design skills through making a lamp with wood, metal and plastic. This will include: Design styles, product Analysis, designing and developing ideas, how to present a final idea in 3D, model making and CAD.
  • Term 2  Students learn about metals and learn to solder. Students also develop their skills in keeping a manufacturing diary. Including: Soldering and electronic components- resistors, capacitors and power supply, metals theory and grain properties and plastic theory- thermoplastics.
  • Term 3  Students learn to finish their product and learn about finishes including varnish, polish, oil, wax, mechanisms- levers and linkages and historic weapons that use force and mechanisms.

GCSE in Design & Technology

Year 9

  • Term 1  Introduction to the design process. Students complete mini projects that encourage them to learn a wide range of basic skills and essential subject theory.  They develop their sketching techniques, use hand and power tools and work with a wide range of compliant materials.  For many it is the first opportunity to use computer aided design systems and computer aided manufacture.  Introduction to Google SketchUp as a 3D computer aided drawing tool and use of the 3D printer.
  • Term 2  Continuation of mini projects with an introduction to graphic drawing systems that will include orthographic, isometric, developments and nets for modelling. On-going knowledge of materials and processes, particularly timber and polymers.  
  • Term 3  Introduction to more complex processes using hand and power tools when working with metals, there are learning opportunities for metal turning, milling, dip coating and pewter casting.

Year 10

  • Term 1  Product analysis – looking at existing products and how they have been designed to meet a commercial need.  Learning how to recognise design opportunities that could be develop into commercial products.  Advanced freehand sketching in three dimensions and will include perspective drawings, rendering and enhancement techniques.
  • Term 2  Advanced formal drawing techniques that will include auxiliary, assembly and sectional drawing.  Further creative design of relevant products to fulfil a need made from woods, plastics and metals. Advanced computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing techniques using 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC router and Google SketchUp. 
  • Term 3  Preparation for Controlled assessment set by AQA examination board – This term is used for students to prepare for their final design folio.  This design folio is set within the context set by the examining board.  It is anticipated that at this stage students will lean towards an engineering resistant materials option for the making of their final product.

Year 11

  • Term 1  Controlled assessment set by AQA examination board – This term is used for students to manufacture a prototype product that has been designed by them. This and the supporting A3 folio is worth 50% of the GCSE.
  • Term 2  PPE examinations and further revision theory work.  Finishing the project build of a shop quality product and extensive testing and modifications.
  • Term 3  Preparation for the examination paper 1 that will form part of the final examination worth 50% of the GCSE. 

A Level

A level design and technology offers enormous satisfaction to those pupils who are ready to meet the challenge of a detailed study of design, particularly those who have studied Product, Textiles or Graphic Products at GCSE. Attractive features of the course are the production of 3D design & make projects which demands that pupils tackle real design issues and examination contexts that assess design and creative ability. There is a material focus on product design and resistant materials.

Year 12

  • Term 1  - 1st Half Term Students study designers, design styles, material properties and manufacturing techniques. Students complete a group project in chair design.
  • Term 1  - 2nd Half Term  Students complete an individual project on lamp design.
  • Term 2  - 1st Half Term  Students complete the lamp project through manufacture and evaluation.
  • Term 2  - 2nd Half Term  Real NEA (A personalised project).
  • Term 3  - 1st Half Term  Real NEA (A personalised project).
  • Term 3  - 2nd Half Term  Real NEA (A personalised project).

Year 13

  • Term 1 - 1st Half Term Students are working on their own personalised NEA.
  • Term 1 - 2nd Half Term  Students are working on their own personalised NEA.
  • Term 2 - 1st Half Term  Students are working on their own personalised NEA.
  • Term 2 - 2nd Half Term  NEA completion and final assessment.
  • Term 3 - 1st Half Term  Social/moral/ethical impact of product life cycle, product testing, tools in the workshop and accuracy and marking out.

Ideas for extra fun in design and technology!

Visit the design museum -

Visit this exhibition -

Check out:

Lots here too!