Design and Technology

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At Key Stage 3 students will study the following aspects of Design and Technology:

  • Electronics
  • Traditional hand and machine skills
  • Computer Aided Design

During each project there is a strong emphasis on traditional making, engineering and craft techniques which ensures students have a broad skills base to take into Key Stage 4. Learning in Key Stage 3 relates to the project being undertaken but links in with the GCSE syllabus. In all material areas students are encouraged to develop their problem solving skills. Time is taken to teach iterative design – the process of developing many ideas and identifying the most appropriate idea to take forward.

All students also are given access to leading edge technology, which allows students to build Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) into their work.

Students will follow the following programme of study:

Year 7

  • Templates and jigs
  • Forces and motion
  • Basic electronics
  • CD case pinball machine

Year 8

  • Graphics – ‘Mini me’ pictogram
  • Chocolate mould
  • Pewter jewellery

Year 9

  • Systems and control – amplifier circuit
  • Concrete casting
  • Structures

KS3 Technology

Why study AQA Design and Technology?

Product designers and designers working in other fields, such as architecture, engineering or automotive design all aim to develop innovative products which consumers want to use.

This course will help you to understand and appreciate the design and manufacture of products. You will learn to be creative in your approach to solving technical problems. Computer Aided Design will be used to help with your design ideas and in making products.

A broad range of materials can be accessed in the workshop and processes from craft skills to mass production techniques will be investigated.

You will gain skills which will be useful in a wide range of design, engineering or manufacturing related jobs. Lessons are a mixture of theory and practical. Nowadays making skills only account for 10% of the overall GCSE grade.

To be successful students need to be able to draw to an acceptable level, be able to apply maths to problem solving and have a good grasp of science. Good English skills will also help students to achieve high grades.

You will study:

  • computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM);
  • environmental impacts of design;
  • enterprise – how business people develop innovative products;
  • smart and modern materials such as Glass Reinforced Plastics and composites:
  • properties of wood, metals and plastics;
  • how to select materials and work with tools and equipment;
  • applied mathematics for problem solving;
  • how skills and knowledge studied are applied in industry.

You will:

  • learn to interpret a design brief and develop a variety of ideas;
  • evaluate your designs against a specification and develop the best ideas;
  • use your drawing and written communication skills in order to communicate your ideas;
  • work practically with wood, metal, plastics and electronics;
  • learn how to plan work and solve problems to meet a deadline.

A full syllabus is available at


The practical project will start early in Y11.
The final exam takes place at the end of Y11.
Y10 (Sept – March) Practice GCSE project
Y10 (April- July) Exam revision and practice papers.
Y11 (Sept – April) Controlled Assessment. A timed 35hr design folio and practical project on a chosen theme (50% of overall mark).
Y11 (June) Examination on technical aspects of designing and making (50% of mark overall).


Homework is an integral part of the course and it will be necessary for students to have basic drawing equipment at home and access to a computer and digital camera. Licensed CAD/CAM software is provided for home use. Access to computer equipment is provided, at lunchtime and after school, for students without their own facilities.