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Design & Technology Long Term Plan

Design & Technology Learning Journey

Design & Technology Recommended Reading

What is Design & Technology about?

Design & Technology is an integral part of the most impactful and influential changes and developments in industry, commerce, employment, society and popular culture. D&T gives students an insight into the thinking, ideas, materials, technologies, processes, structures, products and services that contribute to the development of both vital utilities and everyday conveniences we enjoy in a modern society. It equips students with expertise that they can use for further study and employment in a multiplicity of disciplines such as architecture, engineering, graphic, product and automotive design. It also leaves them adaptable in the face of change, with transferable skills in communication, analysis, critical thinking and evaluation that aid them being able to pursue a number of different courses of study or career.

What do we teach in Design & Technology and why?

The teaching of Design & Technology focuses on the following key domains of knowledge:

  • Materials and their uses, properties, characteristics & application
  • Specialist tools and equipment used appropriately and safely
  • New, emerging & disruptive technologies
  • Iterative design development of prototypes
  • Identification of user & stakeholder requirements
  • Research & investigation of primary/secondary sources & data
  • Critical evaluation of product/service feasibility & viability
  • Social, moral, ethical & ecological considerations
  • Industry & enterprise

Within these relevant domains of study and industry, students are given the courage to be creative and the rigour to develop critical thinking skills, allowing them to be inventive and innovative. With these skills, they generate ideas, design and make prototypes and solve relevant societal problems through collaboration and nurture, considering their own and others’ needs and values. Students develop a broad knowledge of materials, components, technologies and practical skills. They become independent and critical thinkers who can adapt their technical knowledge and understanding to different situations. All content and assessment is relevant and purposeful to industry practices.

What does Design & Technology enable our students to do?

  • Studying Design & Technology at Kingsmead School enables students to do the following:
  • Know, understand, use and apply a wide range of materials, choosing and justifying their use related to their varied properties.
  • Make safe, appropriate, skilful and creative use of relevant technological equipment & techniques to solve problems and make products that meet human needs.
  • Know, understand, use, apply and consider the impact of digital and disruptive technologies on society, culture, manufacturing and the enhancement of modern products in the 21st century.
  • Solve problems creatively using an iterative design cycle that puts the user at the centre of the process, utilising traditional and digital communication techniques.
  • Identify the needs, wants and technical requirements of users and stakeholders in order to develop appropriate design solutions.
  • Conduct primary & secondary research in order to use, analyse and present data to inform design decisions and solutions.
  • Undertake critical analysis & evaluation and collect feedback in order to identify further development, modification and optimisation.
  • Be aware of the social, moral, ethical, cultural, economic and ecological factors that influence the design, manufacture, use and disposal of modern products and services.
  • Be aware of advances in technology, manufacturing and large-scale production, utilising this knowledge to take risks in order to be resourceful, innovative and enterprising.

How is the curriculum structured in Design & Technology?

At KS3, students are taught relevant curriculum knowledge and skills through several bespoke design and making-related projects and units of work 1 hour a week. At KS4 students spend the first year of their GCSE course extending and applying their theoretical, design and making knowledge for 3 hours a week. In the second year of the course they engage in the Iterative Design Challenge, a Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) that makes up 50% of their overall GCSE grade. Alongside the NEA, they continue to extend and apply their theoretical knowledge in preparation for the Principles of Design & Technology written exam, which makes up 50% of their overall GCSE grade. At KS5, in the first year of the A-Level course students deepen their knowledge and expertise over 5 hours a week. In the second year, students engage in a more advanced Iterative Design Challenge (NEA) that makes up 50% of their overall A-Level grade. Alongside the NEA, they continue to extend and apply their theoretical knowledge in preparation for the Principles of Design & Technology and Problem Solving in Design & Technology written exams that make up 50% of their overall A-Level grade.

What specifications do we follow?



What are the links between Design & Technology and other subjects?

The students’ Design & Technology experience is enhanced by the application of knowledge from other areas of the curriculum such as:

  • Maths – Measuring, marking, weights& sizes, use and representation of data, mathematical modelling
  • Science - Properties & characteristics of materials, developments in modern, smart & composite materials, environmental & sustainability considerations, forces & motion, electronic systems & components.
  • Art – Drawing skills & techniques, colour theory, rendering, tone, shading, presentation drawing.
  • Business & Economics – Production methods, economies of scale, new & emerging technologies, linear & circular economy.
  • Geography – Sourcing and extracting of materials & natural resources, environmental & sustainability considerations, social, ethical & economic considerations, globalisation.

What are the future careers students can take when they study Design & Technology?

The study of Design & Technology enables students to access career opportunities in the creative, manufacturing and engineering industries. Employment is attainable in fields such as civil engineering, architecture, industrial design, illustration, graphic design, animation, product design, automotive design, concept art and mechanical design engineering.

What extra-curricular activities can students take part in when you study Design & Technology?

Students in all key stages are encouraged to make use of the computer and workshop facilities in the department after school to engage in personal projects, develop a particular skill/area of interest or to improve, develop and refine class or coursework tasks. We also offer trips to places of interest such as the Design Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Mini Cooper car plant.