Design technology curriculum intent

At East Leake Academy, we believe that students deserve a design and technology curriculum that will prepare them for the ever changing world in which they live.

Design and technology gives young people opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and understanding to engage positively with the designed and made world.  They learn how products and systems are designed and manufactured. We encourage all our students to be innovative and to make creative use of a variety of resources including traditional and digital technologies.

We strive to provide opportunities, which allow students to develop a knowledge of a range of technology areas in key stage 3 including; resistant materials, engineering, textiles, digital art/media and food preparation and nutrition.

Students will grow in confidence through the specialist teaching in customised learning environments, using industry standard tools, manufacturing equipment and computer software.

All of our schemes of work have been designed to facilitate, encourage and nurture:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • resilience
  • confidence
  • practical working knowledge
  • design and presentation skills
  • CAD and technical drawing skills.
  • analytical and critical thinking.
  • reflective and evaluative thinking
  • understanding of the iterative design process
  • awareness of global issues
  • understanding of cross curricular links including STEM

Our D&T department staff

Mrs O’Hara  – head of faculty
Mr Newbold – teacher of resistant materials / assistant head of faculty
Miss Tudor –  teacher of engineering
Miss Stock – teacher of food
Miss Gilbert – teacher of food/textiles
Miss Goodwin – teacher of digital art
Miss Woodford – teacher of textiles

Content by year group

Key stage 3

Students in years 7, 8 and 9 have three lessons per week. In each year students will work in four areas of D&T to help them develop their designing and making skills alongside their knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Year 7

Resistant Materials / Electronics Mechanisms Food Textiles
Students learn about one of the varieties of plastics used in D&T and how to “work it”. Alongside this they gain experience of simple electronic circuits by using one in this project. They learn how to use simple hand tools and equipment (drills, strip heater, soldering irons etc.) safely This project gives students the opportunity to learn about how mechanisms play a vital role in D&T. Using a variety of tools and equipment students design and make a simple linkage mechanism using a variety of tools and equipment. Students in year 7 will be encouraged to take an interest in the food that they eat and to develop skills to build their competence in the basic methods of cooking. Through a practical approach, the strands of health, hygiene, safety, planning and organisation will form the basis of the course. We hope that students will be able to view food as an enjoyable aspect of everyday life and to understand its importance in our health and well-being. This project involves working with fleece fabric to make a winter hat. In a practical context students learn about the properties of fabrics, the construction process and the safe use of a variety of tools and pieces of equipment, including the sewing machine. There is an emphasis on designing for an individual and different decoration techniques are explored to create a unique product, including the use a computerised embroidery machine.

Year 8

Resistant Materials Mechanisms Food Textiles
This is a plastics based project whereby students further develop their knowledge of plastics as by designing and making a product which uses acrylic as its main material. The variety of tools and equipment they use is extended from that in year 7 This project builds on the work done in year 7 and involves students designing and making a children’s toy that incorporates a cam mechanism.












Students in year 8 will explore the theme of take-away and snack meals. They will undertake a range of practical tasks before completing a design and make assignment. By exploring different flavours, methods and influences, students can critically evaluate the market and make decisions about the value of commercially produced meals. Healthy eating and food safety are strands that run throughout the course. The focus of this project is colour, texture and surface decoration. Students use the theme of Natural Forms and work with batik and embroidery to create a cushion cover. Students investigate the needs of the potential user and develop a range of ideas before finalising a solution. The variety of tools, equipment and processes they use is extended from that in year 7, and include the use of an overlocker.

Year 9

At the end of year 8 students are asked to think about which areas of D&T they would most likely consider to follow at GCSE level (year 10 & 11).

Once they have indicated their preferences they will have the opportunity, during year 9, to be involved in extended projects (13 weeks in length) in those two areas. This is to enable them to gain a greater insight into those areas and are, therefore, able to make a more informed decision regarding which D&T subject they may wish to study at GCSE level.

Students will also complete two further, shorter, projects in two other areas of D&T (this is to ensure they will have covered all the many aspects of the D&T curriculum by the end of key stage 3).

Resistant Materials Graphic Products Food Textiles
Building on work done in year 8 students further develop their making designing & skills through a project that allows them to utilise CAD/CAM software to realise a realistic design solution. Pewter and its casting are the main material and process used in this project. This project is aimed at developing student’s ability to communicate visually. 3d sketching is an important part of this project as is their ability to design and make a graphic product that promotes a product or service of their choice.













Students consider ways of adapting popular cook-chill meals and party food to create healthy options. As with year 8, the students will undertake a range of practical tasks before completing a design and make assignment. Students will explore flavours and use sensory analysis as a way of evaluating food products. As students become more adept and confident, the complexity of the practical work increases and there will be some opportunity for personal choice. This is a fashion based project during which students investigate how logos are used to promote teenage fashion items. Building on work covered in years 7 and 8 students experiment with a range of surface decoration  techniques to generate a logo to embellish a small bag, phone case or tablet cover for the teenage fashion market.


Design and technology

Qualification: 8552
Contact: Ms H O’Hara  |

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. This GCSE allows students to study core technical, 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.

Method of assessment
Written exam: 2 hours
• 100 marks
• 50% of GCSE

Coursework – non-exam assessment (NEA):
30–35 hours
• 100 marks
• 50% of GCSE

Topic areas covered
Section A – core technical principles (20 marks)
A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – specialist technical principles (30 marks)
Several short answer questions and one extended response to assess a more in-depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – designing and making principles (50 marks)
A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Coursework content – tasks:
• substantial design and make task
• assessment criteria
• identifying and investigating design possibilities
• producing a design brief and specification
• generating design ideas
• developing design ideas
• realising design ideas
• analysing and evaluating
Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA


WJEC Level 1 and 2 vocational award

Designed for learners with an interest in the world of design and engineering, the course provides students with the ability to read technical drawings / manufacturing specifications and apply this to produce an engineered product. Students will learn how to use different tools and materials precisely.

Topic areas covered

Solving engineering problems:

  • different sectors in engineering including sustainability;
  • health and safety in the engineering environment;
  • understanding engineering materials and their properties; and
  • external examination includes technical drawings, mathematics and average literacy skills to be able to technically solve problems. Approximately one third of marks is maths based.

Engineering design:

  • analysis of brief
  • product analysing
  • specification
  • generating and evaluating ideas
  • producing third angle orthographic projection (2D design, working to scale)
  • produce a 3D engineering drawing usiung Google sketch up

Producing an engineered product:

  • interpreting engineering drawings
  • using tools and equipment correctly
  • identifying resources and stages of making
  • manufacturing processes used in engineering
  • evaluating quality of engineered products.