Design and Technology

Ideas must be put to the test. That's why we make things, otherwise they would be no more than ideas.

Andy Goldsworthy


In Design Technology students get an opportunity to explore creativity and hands on learning. It enables them to explore different materials and technologies to bring their design ideas to life. They have the opportunity to explore, design, make and evaluate, a process which enables them to reflect on their learning at each stage.

Head of Creative Arts and Technology

Gwen Frye  |

Subject Lead 

Asma Ali   |   

Teachers and instructors


Katka Stanclova | (Food Technology)

Adrian Ruda  | (Food Technology and DT)

Curriculum Intent

We aim to deliver an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, 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. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

The overarching concepts of Design Technology

  • Investigate and select appropriate information which feeds into them avoiding design fixation and promotes risk taking 
  • 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 

10 key skills we imbed into Design Technology 

Iterative, investigation, Justifying, imaginative & creative, innovative, modelling, skilled, communication, evaluation, mathematical 


In Key stage 3 and 4 learning is imbedded through practical application in focus practical tasks or design and make activities. We layer theoretical knowledge in a spiral curriculum driven from AQA GCSE Design and Technology. Assessment is broken into the different sub-sections of the AQA marking criteria, using the same language. Assessment takes place into all areas of the marking proforma and covers written, practical and exam style outcomes. 

During years 7, 8 and 9 students study a broad range of material areas and benefit from using specialist equipment in particular rooms. Projects vary in length over half terms or full terms.

Curriculum Map


Show list Show Grid


Design Technology is taught in Y7-Y9. We cover a range of material areas, techniques and skills in order to prepare the students for the DT GCSE. They are given the opportunity to take part in a wide range of different projects which enables the students to develop and cultivate their interest in Design Technology.



Autumn 1- Introduction to DT and H&S. Graphics skills introduced

Autumn 2- Design and make. Textiles (phone pouch)

Spring 1 +2- Balloon powered wooden car

Summer 1- Novelty plastic pen

Summer 2- Textiles pyramid product


Autumn 1- Design and make. Wooden puzzle

Autumn 2 and Spring 1-Research and investigate sustainable textiles

Spring 2 and Summer 1- Design and make a bug hotel

Summer 2- Technical drawing skills. DT graphics skills, Recycled plastic pouch

Y9 Carousel

Project 1- Lamp/decorative household object

Project 2- User centred design. Inclusive designing of a pizza cutter

Project 3- Design and make. Mini NEA

Project 4- Recycled plastic pouch



GCSE Design and Technology (AQA) will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise. Our GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.


The course is 50% exam and 50% NEA.


Flying start- Introductions to DT GCSE. Researching the work of designers and companies. Paper and boards theory, Smart and Modern materials theory

Autumn 1 Autumn 2- Eco hotel project

Spring 1 Spring 2-Mini NEA product in a tin

Summer 1- Other theory (CAD/CAM, Renewable energy & Social/Moral issues

Summer 2- Contextual challenge revealed. Student start working on NEA (Section A). DT mock exam



Autumn 1: Continue working on NEA. Complete sections A and B

Autumn 2: Complete AO2- Sections C and D. 

Spring 1- Complete development and modelling prototype. Complete AO3- Sections E and F. Prepare for exam

Spring 2- Recap theory and prepare for final exam

GCSE Subject Specification 

Please click through to the links to view more information on the AQA website.

Design and Technology - AQA Exam Board 


Useful websites

Things to do and see

Visit the Design Museum. Free workshops around Camden and Kings Cross (Keep an eye on the family bulletin for latest opportunities).

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

DT club Wednesday 3.20-4.20pm

Food lunchtime club: TBC



As part of the LaSWAP consortium, Acland Burghley offers the following level 3 courses: