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Garth Hill College

Design and Technology - Curriculum Page

In the Design and Technology department our curriculum aims to develop practical and technical skills in a range of materials and to allow pupils to build confidence in a varied range of processes and equipment. The curriculum also builds key life skills such as resilience, team working and problem solving.

We allow pupils to approach learning in a wide variety of ways and offer the opportunity for developing both theory and practical skills. The theory knowledge is developed throughout the five-year course with the opportunity for pupils to specialise in an area of interest or strength at GCSE. Pupils are guided to see how the subject knowledge links with a wide range of other subjects and how Technology plays a significant part in all aspects of our lives.

No matter which specialist area pupils opt for at GCSE they will also learn skills that will be beneficial in later life – From home cooking and repairing damaged items to accurately measuring/marking out or doing basic DIY tasks.

Subject Leader

YEAR 7, 8 and 9

Key Stage Leader – Mr Hamilton


During the three-year Design and Technology curriculum pupils will cover a range of material areas as well as learning various drawing and practical skills. They will also complete a unit of work in Food Preparation and Nutrition (please see separate information sheet). At the start of Year 9 pupils will choose and focus on a specialist area of Design and Technology, following the National Curriculum whilst being introduced to selected core GCSE theory topics.

Material areas covered in Design and Technology are:

  • Metal based Materials
  • Paper & board materials
  • Textile based Materials
  • Timber based Materials
  • Polymer based Materials

Other areas covered:

  • Pupils will learn a range of presentation and drawing techniques including technical drawing and the use of CAD.
  • Pupils will complete a project involving electronics and look at how circuits and systems are constructed and common components used in them.
  • Pupils will look at a range of manufacturing techniques as well as scales of production. The sustainability of material resources and energy
  • The moral and ethical issues related to designing and making products.

Learning Journeys

Learning Journey - Years 7 and 8

Learning Journey Metals

Learning Journey - Textiles

Learning Journey - Timbers


All pupils in Design and Technology are assessed in two key aspects – Technical skills (designing and making) and Technical Knowledge (evaluating and subject knowledge). Each term pupils will be assessed based on the work they have produced in class and for home learning as well as an end of unit assessment.

Class teachers will base reported results on assessed pieces of work within each of the two aspects.  Assessed pieces of work and the aspects they cover can be found on the assessment schedule for each D&T material area.

At the end of the year pupils will complete an end of year exam which will test their understanding of all the topics covered over the course of the full college year.

Home Learning

Home learning is usually set once a fortnight. It is expected that it should take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete.

All tasks will be recorded on Class Charts. Pupils and parents can access this from home. Pupils will also record that home learning has been set and the due date in their planners.

All home learning tasks will link to the project or theory work being covered and help consolidate or expand pupils’ understanding of the subject.

All home learning is marked and feedback is given back to pupils on a regular basis.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

Parents and carers can support by encouraging their child to look around and take notice of the environment around them and how Technology has played a part in shaping it. Some pupils struggle with their drawing skills and may benefit from spending a little time practicing this at home.

Parents and carers can also ensure that their child has the correct tools for learning (most of which can be purchased from the LRC if necessary).

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

www.technologystudent.com – Technology student is an excellent website that is used at GCSE level but more able students or students with a keen interest in a certain topic may find it beneficial to expand on what they are learning in their Design and Technology classes.

Assessment Framework - Key Stage 3

Assessment Schedules

Assessment Schedule Metals - Year 7

Assessment Schedule Metals - Year 8

Assessment Schedule Metals - Year 9

Assessment Schedule Polymers + Electronics - Year 7

Assessment Schedule Polymers + Electronics - Year 8

Assessment Schedule Timbers - Year 7

Assessment Schedule Timbers - Year 8

Assessment Schedule Timbers - Year 9

Assessment Schedule Textiles - Year 7

Assessment Schedule Textiles - Year 8

Assessment Schedule Textiles - Year 9

Assessment Schedule Paper and Boards - Year 7

Assessment Schedule Papers and Boards - Year 8

Assessment Schedule Papers and Boards - Year 9

Knowledge Organisers - Year 7, 8 + 9



Papers and Boards

Polymers and Electronics


YEAR 10 and 11

Subject Leader – Mr Turnham

  • Metal Specialism – Mr Turnham
  • Timbers Specialism – Mr Hamilton
  • Textiles Specialism – Miss J Seymour
  • Paper & Boards Specialism – Mr Turnham

Exam Board and syllabus code Exam Board - EDEXCEL (1DT0)


All pupils taking GCSE Design & Technology complete core theory content that covers the following materials and areas:

Materials and their properties: Metal based materials, paper & board materials, textile based materials, timber based materials, polymer based materials and smart and composite materials.

Other core theory content: Basic electronic systems, a range of manufacturing techniques, scales of production, the sustainability of material resources and energy, the moral and ethical issues related to designing and making products.

They will specialise in one of the following four materials:

  • Metal based materials
  • Paper & Board materials
  • Timber based materials
  • Textile based materials

For their chosen specialist material, pupils will cover further in-depth theory/practical content on a range of relevant topics associated with their chosen material. The controlled assessment (coursework) project will also be principally based around their chosen material area.

The new GCSE places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

The course starts with practical and theory activities to develop an understanding of workshop practices. This theory develops into a range of practical applications that are used to make viable products. This theory includes basic machining, basic hand skills, industrial processes, materials, joining, finishing and CAD/CAM.

Throughout part of year 9 and the whole of year 10, pupils will have the opportunity to design and make products using a variety of materials which include wood, metal, plastics, textiles and papers & boards. They will also learn about all of these material types along with the other core theory topics.

Most of Year 11 is used to complete the non-examined assessment (NEA) - a major coursework study (in a material of the student’s choice) to develop a practical outcome for their GCSE assessment. The project involves extensive research and development of ideas leading up to the manufacture of a demanding practical outcome. Further theory is developed and the course culminates in an extensive revision program.

Learning Journeys

Learning Journey Metals

Learning Journey - Textiles

Learning Journey - Timbers


Pupils will be assessed throughout each year based on their theory and practical work along with mock examinations.

In Year 11, pupils will complete their NEA controlled assessment with a focus on a material choice of their own. This forms 50% of their final grade.

Pupils will also complete a final written examination (1 hour 45 mins) at the end of Year 11 counting for the final 50% of their grade.

The exam will be split into two sections:

  • The core section (40 marks) looking at basic knowledge of all of the following areas: Woods, metals, plastics, textiles, papers & boards and electronics.
  • The second specialist section (60 marks) will focus on the material they choose for their specialism/controlled assessment.
  • 15 marks across the two sections will be awarded for mathematical calculations.

Home Learning

Home learning will be set every fortnight or as appropriate based on the projects pupils are working on.

During periods of controlled assessment, home learning may not always be set as pupils focus on their assessments.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

  • Use examination papers (when available on EDEXCEL website with mark schemes) to test subject knowledge
  • Encourage your child to practice their technical drawing skills at home.
  • Encourage your child to stay after college for catch-up/revision sessions if required

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

Reading List

  • Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology Student Book Mark Wellington, Andrew Dennis, Trish Colley, Tim Weston, Jenny Dhami

Assessment Schedules

Assessment Schedule Metals - Year 10

Assessment Schedule Papers and boards - Year 10

Assessment Schedule Textiles - Year 10

Assessment Schedule Timbers - Year 10

Assessment Schedule - Year 11 (Metals, Papers & Boards, Textiles + Timbers)

Knowledge Organiser

Design and Technology Theory (Core) - KS4 Knowledge Organiser: 

Click here - Microsoft 365 password required for access to KS4 KO