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Design Technology & Food Preparation

Design and technology

Curriculum Aims:

In a technology driven world, it is easy to let a mechanical process override thoughtful consideration of the human experience.  We encourage and build empathy, helping pupils to adopt a user-centred approach, and combating the bad habit of relying on mechanics to define form and function.  In Design Technology and Food Preparation,  we enable our pupils to develop the skills to engage positively with the designed and made world, harnessing the benefits of technology.  Pupils will learn how products and systems are designed and manufactured, facilitating them to use creativity and imagination and providing them with a sense of purpose to improve the world around them.  Pupils will learn to use the iterative design process to design and make products using relevant and the most up to date technologies.  It is our belief that we will equip pupils to become entrepreneurial in their approach to products - designing and mading to such a high quality that they are commercially viable, and considering the future impact of their designs on the environment.

Curriculum Features:

Our projects at Key Stage3 focus on the mastering of basic practical skills, which is essential to becoming an expert at KS4. The projects ensure pupils are  confident in using the tools and equipment safely in the workshops and understand the working properties of a range of materials. Our lighting project at KS3 encourages pupils through the iterative design process to plan, modify, compare and combine design ideas considering cultural values and sustainability. Pupils will learn to understand advancements in technology and global changes - they use CAD/CAM, electronics and systems in KS3, building these skills at KS4 and KS5. This is also the same for Food Preparation and Nutrition as projects are closely linked to real life and industry. Pupils are developing higher order thinking skills ensuring all that is made is purposeful. 

Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering as well as final assembly”

  • James Dyson, British Engineer

Design and Technology is the practical application of Physics and Maths which feature throughout projects within the curriculum, the T in STEM. We focus on two main materials areas, timbers and metals, leading to pupils secure knowledge of these materials and enabling them to make independent and informed choices during their Non Examination Assessment task at KS4. Creative expertise is required to specialise and to become a resourceful innovator when generating ideas for the NEA contextual challenge. 

Pupils remain with a subject specialist teacher in KS3 and KS4 enabling a challenging, consistent approach and the development of relationships where practical demonstrations and activities enthuse and engage pupils. We consider British values as we teach an ethical, diverse and inclusive range of projects. These are continually evaluated and revised to maintain enthusiasm. Learning environments support the teaching and enhance the learning as informative resources.

Co-curricular experiences:

We encourage pupils to work creatively after school, offering the opportunity to  pursue projects of their choosing to encourage the use of critical thinking skills as they plan, adapt their ideas, developing innovation and resourcefulness in the pupils.

We participate in the IET Faraday Challenge in Year 8 which is an annual, national engineering-based competition of STEM activity days with a real-world challenge for pupils aged 12-13 years. This aims to inspire the next generation of engineers and technicians.

We also attend the Rotary Challenge Technology Tournaments which are one day events for multiple teams of four students to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) by collectively solving a previously unseen technology task. Each team is challenged to plan, design, develop, build and then test their solution, with the tournament offering a fun way to develop team building, communication and time management skills.

What follows is a current summary of the intended subject curriculum content in each year of the key stage.  It highlights the key knowledge and skills intended for learning, and some of the ways progress in the curriculum is to be assessed.  It clarifies the key questions students should be addressing and gives links to help students and families to develop this learning further.

KS 3

We offer a range of Design Technology specialisms drawn from Product Design, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Food Technology, Systems Control and Textiles Technology throughout Key Stage 3, where skills such as problem analysis and solution, research methods, design and control mechanisms are developed.  They are taught how to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments.

Year 8 and 9 Food Preparation and Nutrition

Year 7

Year 8

YeaR 9


GCSE Design and Technology

GCSE Design and Technology 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.

The 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.

DT Curriculum development

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GCSE food preparation and nutrition

The GCSE specification in food preparation and nutrition will equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and encouragement they need to cook. It will give them the ability to apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating.

Students will be able to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways, and develop vital life skills so that they can feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously.

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Hospitality and Catering level ½ award

The WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering has been designed to support learners in schools and colleges who want to learn about this vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study. It is most suitable as a foundation for further study, providing learners with a core depth of knowledge and a range of specialist and general skills that will support their progression to further learning and employment.

The hospitality and catering sector includes all businesses that provide food, beverages, and/or accommodation services. This includes restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars. It also includes airlines, tourist attractions, hospitals and sports venues; businesses where hospitality and catering is not their primary service but is increasingly important to their success. According to the British Hospitality Association, hospitality and catering is Britain’s fourth largest industry and accounts for around 10% of the total workforce. Since 2010, over 25% of all new jobs have been within the hospitality and catering sector with the majority of new roles falling within the 18-24 age groups, according to a report by People 1st.

The WJEC Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering has been designed to support learners in schools and colleges who want to learn about this vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study. It is most suitable as a foundation for further study. This further study would provide learners with the opportunity to develop a range of specialist and general skills that would support their progression to employment. Employment in hospitality and catering can range from waiting staff, receptionists and catering assistants to chefs, hotel and bar managers and food technologists working for supermarket chains. All of these roles require further education and training either through apprenticeships or further and higher education.

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification. It is most likely to be studied by 14-16 year olds in schools alongside GCSEs.

Year 10 Hospitality and Catering Curriculum

Year 11 Hospitality and Catering Curriculum

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AS Design and Technology: Product Design

This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers. Especially those in the creative industries.

They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice.

Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers. 

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