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Design Technology

Subject Lead - Miss Julia Barlow, 01805 623531 Ext. 319

Teachers - Ms Fay Fisher, Mr Ed Grundy

Technician - Mrs Rachel Coles


Design and Technology is key to developing critical and creative thinkers, allowing pupils to evaluate and understand how everything around them is designed and made. At Great Torrington School pupils are given the opportunity to make their own choices, problem solve and build up a resilience within their own working practice, enabling them to become reflective thinkers. 


Pupils will demonstrate their knowledge and skills, often by producing a portfolio or a physical product while working within a brief. They will demonstrate safe working practices, while working individually and show an ability to critically evaluate and select appropriate working methods within a variety of material areas.




  • To build a Design and Technology curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of academic knowledge and skills by:
  • Enabling pupils to develop the skills they need for designing and making through a range of creative and practical activities.
  • Developing pupils’ ability to investigate, analyse and evaluate, applying their understanding and technical knowledge across a range of products and materials, reflecting the real world.
  • Providing the academic building blocks to be able to proceed to study STEM related subjects through apprenticeships or academic institutions.


Curriculum and Qualifications


Key Stage 3


During the course of the year, pupils work through a wide range of design and make projects covering all material areas of Design and Technology. Each project is delivered through a balance of theory, design and practical work developing whereby they become more practically and visually literate as well as improving their technological skills. They are able to make informed judgments about wider technological issues, are able to understand that constraints influence the development of their ideas, and are able to evaluate their work, and that of other people. The KS3 curriculum is intended to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of D&T for all pupils and prepare those pupils who wish to study the subject at GCSE level.


Key Stage 4


At key stage 4, pupils have the option to study GCSE Design and Technology or Level 1/2 awards in Constructing the Built Environment. 


Exam Board - AQA GCSE Design and Technology


GCSE Design and Technology prepares pupils to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Pupils gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Pupils get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.


GCSE Design and Technology allows pupils to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth. 




The GCSE has two assessment components:


Non Examination Assessment (50%) – A design and make project consisting of a folder of 20 x A3 sheets of drawings, models and a final prototype which responds to a context set by AQA in June of year 10.


Synoptic paper (50%) – A 2 hour examination

The examination paper and non-exam assessment (NEA) will measure how pupils have achieved the following assessment objectives:


  • AO1 - Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants
  • AO2 - Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose
  • AO3 - Analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others, and wider issues in design and technology
  • AO4 - Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of 'technical' principles and 'designing and making' principles.


The examination paper requires pupils to demonstrate their application of maths and science-based knowledge when applied to Design and Technology.

Exam Board - WJEC: Level 1/2 Awards in Constructing the Built Environment


WJEC Level 1/2 Awards in Constructing the Built Environment offer an experience that focuses on learning through application, i.e., acquiring and applying knowledge, skills and understanding through tasks set in sector or subject contexts from the construction industry that have many of the characteristics of real work. 


This qualification is a vocational course and is designed for pupils who are interested in how things are constructed. Pupils use and develop their skills in the use of a wide range of hand tools and materials in the areas of joinery, electrics and painting and decorating and throughout will demonstrate their application of appropriate health and safety.


Content Overview


There are three main units:


  1. Safety and security in construction.
  2. Using practical construction techniques.
  3. Understanding how to plan a construction project.




25% - One two-hour timed assessment on how to plan a construction project.

50% - Three practical assignments to demonstrate practical construction skills.

25% - One exam to show your understanding of how to work safely and securely in construction and the Built Environment

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