Design & Technology

The Design & Technology department aims to foster a stimulating learning environment where students can use creativity and imagination whilst gaining knowledge about materials, processes and creative design thinking. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of design whilst implementing an iterative design process which encourages originality.

The Design and Technology Department sees itself as an outlet for many of the ideas and topics and knowledge covered in other subjects around the school be it environmental concerns, mathematical skills, materials and properties, using IT and Computing, reflecting on the reasons for past designs and decisions or writing up and critically evaluating existing items.

Students will study a broad range of Design & Technology subject areas at KS3, this course is planned to provide knowledge which allows them to be resourceful, innovative and enterprising and builds the foundations for pupils to study for GCSE Design and Technology and GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition at KS4.

The Department is extremely well resourced, and students are able to experience many materials and manufacturing techniques.

Students in Year 7 undertake a carousel of 4 Design and Technology subjects (Resistant Materials, Food Technology, Textiles and Graphics) plus a rotation to Computing. In Year 8 Textiles is substituted for Systems and Control. In each area they will follow an overarching theme to design and manufacture products which have an application in everyday life.

During Year 8 Pupils can select one of two GCSE subject options, GCSE Design and Technology or GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.


Resistant Materials

In KS3 students develop a range of practical and Design skills which enables them to manufacture products from Timbers, Metals and Plastics safely and with a range of tools and equipment. Students learn to followthe design process from design brief, Investigating the need, existing products and end user to designing and developing them through to manufacture and product evaluation.

Projects vary from year to year and the skills developed by the pupils increasing in complexity and quality of outcome. Some of the previous and current projects undertaken at Key Stage 3 include;

  • Wooden Spinning Tops
  • Phone and Tablet Stands
  • Ball bearing Maze Games
  • Metal Garden Trowels
  • Small Wooden Storage Items

Food Technology

In KS3 students develop a range of practical skills which enables them to make and prepare a range of food products safely. Students learn about nutrition and we focus on the Eatwell Plate, the 5 a day guideline and specific nutrients e.g. starchy carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins and minerals. In year 7 and 8 students will learn how to use the cooker safely by producing a range of food products such as fruit salads, pasta bake, risotto, chicken in sweet and sour sauce and pastry products


In KS3 students develop an understanding of how to communicate ideas we also currently look at the development of logos and how branding of product and businesses can play an important part in the world around us. We cover a range of graphic techniques including sketching, isometric drawing, colour rendering, modelling and net design. 

We use a variety of different graphic product materials mainly paper, card, photo paper, foam board, light plastic and a number of different fixtures/ fastening systems.

Projects vary from year to year and the skills developed by the pupils increasing in complexity and quality of outcome. Some of the previous and current projects undertaken at Key Stage 3 include;

  • Flat Pack Creatures
  • Travel Board Games
  • Pop up Books/Cards
  • T-Shirts for an event
  • Logo design for a Transport Company

Systems and Control

Systems and Control involves learning about basic electronic components and circuits.  These are used in a range of design and make projects that also involve CAD/CAM.

Systems and Control also includes the use of mechanisms using Gears, Cams and Pullies.

Projects vary from year to year and the subject is only covered once either in year 7 or year 8. Some of the previous and current projects undertaken at Key Stage 3 include;

  • Nightlights
  • Mechanical Toys
  • Steady Hand Games


In Textiles students learn to work safely and confidently with a sewing machine and small equipment (scissors, pins etc.) and how to manipulate a variety of fabrics and components, mixing colour and texture.

Students are encouraged to work together and independently, developing their own design ideas into a successful product, they learn a wide variety of construction and decorative skills

Projects vary from year to year and the subject is only covered once either in year 7 or year 8. Some of the previous and current projects undertaken at Key Stage 3 include;

  • Headphone Pouches
  • Bags

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

For Students choosing to study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition the GCSE is 50% Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) and 50% written exam. All coursework is completed in year 11.

In year 9 and 10 the students develop their food preparation skills by producing a range of dishes. They also develop their understanding of nutrition and food functions by looking at individual ingredients and nutrients.

The first Non-Examined Assessment is completed in September of year 11. Students are given a brief where they have to look at how different conditions affect how a particular ingredient works e.g. looking at how different flours, liquids and preparation techniques affecting the formation of gluten in bread dough. Their second Non-Examined Assessment is started in November and they have to plan, prepare and evaluate a two-course meal for a specific theme e.g. a two-course meal suitable for a picnic. As part of this task students have a three-hour practical exam.

GCSE Design and Technology

In 2017 GCSE Design and Technology was formed from the amalgamation of the existing technology subjects. The GCSE covers all main topics as part of a module of Core Theory. This includes Timbers, Paper and Boards, Metals, Polymers, Textiles, Systems and Control.

Pupils are able to pick a Specialism for further theoretical study and can use this as the basis of their Non-Examined Assessment. The course is divided so 50% of the Mark is gained from the Non-Examined Assessment and 50% from the GCSE Exam paper.

In Year 9 and 10 Pupils will undertake a range of practical and theory based tasked to develop their skills in the core theory and specialist subject areas. This builds towards both the Exam and the Non-Examined Assessment.

As one of the projects in Year 9 Pupils undertake the Design Ventura project an external Design Challenge set by the Design Museum in London.

In Year 10 Pupils will undertake a practice piece of Non-Examined Assessment to build their confidence ahead of starting their final project in the summer term. This final project will take them through Year 11 until the end of the Spring term when attention returns to the theory knowledge and the final exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the rotations work at Noadswood in KS3 Design and Technology?

Pupils move between different disciplines of Design and Technology every 6/7 weeks in year 7 and then again in year 8. They will get to experience each of the different areas with a subject specialist in an appropriate room.

What are the different disciplines of Design and Technology?

We offer Resistant Materials, Graphics, Food Technology, Textiles and Systems and Control at Noadswood

Are there any enrichment opportunities in Design and Technology?

We have many extra-curricular clubs running and participate in a national design competition called Design Ventura. We are always looking for other opportunities to extend pupils learning beyond the classroom and encourage pupils to solve realistic design problems.

What is the IT equipment on offer?

We have lots of laptops and some PCs available for pupils to use where necessary. We also have a laser cutter, sublimation printer, 3D printer and CNC milling machines.

What IT packages do you use?

We have Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator etc.), and also use Techsoft 2D Design to programme the laser cutter.