Design Technology

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for”

- (D&T Heathcote)


Curriculum Vision

Design Technology at Heathcote School is a purposeful, practical and pioneering subject. It enables pupils to explore the role of design, design ideas and develop their creative potential across a range of material areas; including Product Design, Graphic Design, Resistant Materials and Food engineering. Pupils will build a large practical skill and knowledge base from working with a wide range of materials, tools and equipment and experts from industries, transforming the lives and aspirations of our pupils. 

Our design facilities include:

  • Fully equipped workshop featuring bandsaw, lathes, pillar drills and casting bay
  • Electronics lab with etching tank, PCB drill and soldering benches
  • Textiles studio with sewing machines, over-locker and CAD embroidery machine
  • Graphics suite with laser-cutting and 3D printing equipment
  • Two Food Nutrition kitchens fully equipped with ovens, microwaves and food mixers
  • Two laptop banks with Revit, 2D Design and ProDesktop software packages


DT Pathway


Key Stage 3

All pupils study Design and Technology National Curriculum throughout Key Stage 3, completing projects in Textiles, Graphics, Product Design, and Cooking and Nutrition.

Topics assessed in each Challenge Week (KS3)


 Year Group

Year 7 Topics

The Mechanism of Money

Pupils can identify different types of mechanism and the purpose of each type. Box frames; their purpose and construction, are discovered by pupils and the safe working practices are understood. An understanding of design and functionality is introduced and evidenced.

A Home for Everyone

What will feature in the home of the future?

An appreciation of the difficulties faced by designers to provide a solution for everyone is achieved. The diverse needs of a community are understood and the methods used to learn about this are gained. Pupils learn how to use BIM to communicate their aspirational design aims.

Unconventional Entertainment

How is alternative design used to intrigue?

The constraints of conventional mainstream design are explored with the boundaries of design challenged. All pupils will understand how sustainability influences a design choice and they can identify the socioeconomic factors that influence commercial design.

Healthy Balance: Eat well

What does a balanced diet look and taste like?

Eating well and maintaining balance as part of a healthy lifestyle will be linked by pupils to the Eat well plate concept. Pupils will gain experience of preparing dishes using a variety of ingredients and should identify the purpose of specific ingredients within a particular dish.

Pop-Up Paper Engineering

Where are shapes used to convey a specific message?

Automation through mechanism will be experienced by pupils who will identify mechanical systems and relate them to their own design requirement. Confidence will be achieved amongst pupils in presenting their design concepts using a range of media and drawing principles.


Year Group

Year 8 Topics

Fabrication of a tidy study area

How to achieve innovation in a limited space?

A consistent design approach that is successful in meeting the brief and expands upon the aims outlined by pupils in their planning. Successful composite design with a focus on the inclusion of plastic component manufacturing techniques and the constituent properties of this material.

Class of your own [COYO]

How to provide a space for different TCG.

Development of pupil experience in using BIM (building information modelling) to create own modular design for a new community centre. Pupils will appreciate how to plan sustainably considering how to reduce floor space and achieve a multi-functional facility for the community

Portability and transit storage

What is meant by the term ‘wearable art’?

A deeper understanding of how components can be successfully combined with specific techniques to achieve fashionable designs that are functional and fit for purpose. Pupils will understand how batch production can be used to achieve manufacturing sustainability and high quality.

Some food for thought

How can food be ethical / socially responsible?

Understanding the plethora of key decisions that a truly committed sustainable chef makes when sourcing, making and cooking will be gained by pupils. The welfare of both people and animals will be understood and used to influence pupil’s designs for their own dish designs.

Sourcing and Procurement




 Year Group

Year 9 Topics


Modular storage



Sports arena design


Business pack



International cuisine

Materials, tools and processes


Patents, research and analysis


Key Stage 4

Pupils study the AQA course (8552) at GCSE.

Pupils will study towards a GCSE in Design and Technology.

Design and Technology are suited to pupils who have a desire to design and make high-quality prototypes through a range of modelling and machine-based product manufacture.

In Year 10 pupils will develop your deeper understanding of the principles of Design with some basic Engineering before moving onto an ‘major’ project set by the exam board to showcase the skills they have developed.

In Year 11 pupils will complete the externally set NEA assignment (Non- Examined Assessment) and study towards the written examination.

NEA Coursework

50% of total qualification



50% of total qualification

1hr 45min Written Exam Assessment.


Topics assessed in each Challenge Week (KS4)


Year group
Autumn 1
Autumn 2
Spring 1
Spring 2
Summer 1
Summer 2


Initial Concepts and Development of design proposal

Product manufacture and trouble shooting


Strategies for testing and evaluating 

Exam preparation


Sequential manufacturing and quality control and assurance

Conceptual models and presentation


Computer aided design (CAD)

Identification of a suitable project


Observation of the problem


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